The Biophysics and Optical Sciences Facility (BiyOSeF) is housed in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Appalachian State University. Dr. Jennifer Burris and Dr. Brooke Hester are the two principle investigators in the facility. Dr. Burris and Dr. Hester mentor currently mentor a combined total of 5 graduate student members and 10 undergraduate students who work in the facility on a variety of multidisciplinary projects. The facility has the capability of studying materials using Raman spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, optical tweezers, and Raman-tweezers. We collaborate with scientists from Appalachian State University in the Physics & Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, and Computer Science Departments, as well as the Fermentation Science Program and researchers from UNC-Charlotte and other institutions throughout the country.
The creation of multidisciplinary research groups is part of Appalachian State University’s Strategic Plan, and in 2008, Dr. Burris helped to form a multidisciplinary research group at Appalachian State University consisting of faculty and students from the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Physics & Astronomy. Dr. Hester arrived at Appalachian State in 2011 and joined the group at that time. The primary objective of this group is to increase the understanding of the science of biological systems and to develop local and statewide biotechnology. This group has been previously funded by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (2010-IDG-1006) and the North Carolina General Administration through two Equipment Funding for Innovation Competitive Grants. BiyOSeF is the facility associated with the Physics portion of this multidisciplinary research effort.