At the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) a consortium of five PhD graduate programs is advancing education and research at the interface of the biological sciences and the quantitative sciences. Graduate students in the five programs under the Quantitative Biosciences Consortium (QBC) umbrella are learning to apply quantitative experimental techniques, physical models, and mathematical analyses to understand the complex mechanisms that underlie biological processes.

While training in their chosen fields, these students work across disciplines to learn various perspectives on research problems and various approaches to research questions. They develop expertise in an area of research in the context of other fields in the quantitative biosciences.

Because UCSF is a dedicated health sciences campus, the mechanisms studied within the five programs are often those that function properly in health and are dysfunctional and often unregulated in disease.

The biological and quantitative sciences—once largely separate—are now combining forces to reveal and measure the intricacies of biological processes. Increasingly, mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists, chemists, and engineers work alongside systems biologists, geneticists, pharmacy and medical scientists, and others to quantify—in powerful new ways—the actions and interactions of biology. QBC gives this union a strong, unified voice across UCSF.


  • Champion robust PhD training across UCSF in the quantitative biosciences.

  • Support curriculum development at UCSF in the quantitative biosciences

  • Create a focus that draws the best new faculty members and students in the quantitative biosciences to UCSF

  • Provide a common physical space for students within the five graduate programs to meet, study, discuss, and debate new ideas in the quantitative biosciences