Jané Kondev

kondevWilliam R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Physics


PhD, Cornell University, 1995


Jané Kondev is a theoretical physicist who works primarily on problems in molecular and cell biology. Research in the Kondev group is driven by quantitative experiments on single molecules and single cells, which are typically performed in biology labs the group collaborates with. The goal is to provide a mathematical framework that can explain the available quantitative data, and makes testable predictions that can guide new experiments. Members of the group are inspired by the new vistas that open up when life's processes are described in the language of theoretical physics, thus providing new insights about outstanding problems in biology.

Awards and Honors

  • Simons Investigator in Physics (2020) 
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor (2014)
  • Irvin Isenberg Lectureship (Marine Biology Lab, Woods Hole) (2014)
  • Society of Biology Book Award Winner: Undergraduate textbook, Physical Biology of the Cell (2013)
  • Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University (2007-08)
  • HHMI-NIBIB Interfaces Award: Quantitative biology: a new curriculum to link the physical and biomedical sciences (2006-08)
  • Cottrell Scholar, Research Corporation (2002)
  • CAREER Award, National Science Foundation (2000-04)
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Princeton University (1998-99)
  • Third prize, XVI International Physics Olympiad (1985)
Faculty Guide

Watch: Gullivers Travels in Biology: On the Size of Living Things

Watch: Jané Kondev and the Mathematics of Biology

Sample of Current Projects

  • Transcriptional regulation of gene expression
  • Chromosome organization in cells
  • Dynamics of the cytoskeleton
  • Epigenetic memory
  • Self-assembly in cells

Recent PhD Students

  • Debora Tenenbaum (2022) Transcriptional Coupling of Neighboring Operons in Bacteria
    • Present Position: Postdoctoral Fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  • Gabriel Bronk (2019) “Mathematical Modeling of Histone Modification Spreading During the Repair of DNA Double-Strand Breaks."
    • Present Position: Computational Biology Research Fellow, McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School
  • David Harbage (2019) “Models of protein filament length regulation”
    • Present Position: Clinical Pharmacologist, PK/PD Modeler at Acceleron Pharma
  • Joseph Rauch (2019) “Interplay between ecology and evolution in microbial communities engaged in a public goods game”
    • Present Position: Project Manager at The Climate Foundation
  • Timothy Harden (2016) “Single Molecule Studies of Bacterial RNA Polymerase Dynamics”
    • Present Position: Senior Strain Engineer I, Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc.
  • Lishibanya Mohapatra (2016) "Biophysical Models of Length Control of Cytoskeletal Structures"
    • Present Position: Assistant Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
  • Sandeep Choubey (2015) "Bio-physical Models of Transcription in Cells"
    • Present Position: Professor, The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, India
  • Baris Avsaroglu (2015) "Functional Chromosome Organization in Yeast"
    • Present Position: Senior Scientist, Synthego HALO Platform

Sample of Recent Publications