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Biophysics and medical physics (BMP)

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BMP – where physics meets medicine, biology and chemistry.

Are you attracted to medicine and physics? If so, this may happen to be your field.

Biophysics and medical physics is a broad field where basic physics is empolyed to understand the nature of biological systems, in particular those issues involving ionizing radiation, magnetic resonance, medical therapy and medical diagnostics.

Photo: Hans Fredrik Asbjørnsen

About the group

Our research activity falls in the crossection between Physics, Medicine, Chemistry and Biology, and

  • includes fundamental research as well as applied reaserach
  • is theoretically and experimentally challenging
  • is centered around the activity at the EPR-laboratory and the Cell-laboratory
  • has strong connections to the medical community in the Oslo region
  • collaborates with research and medical institutions nationally and internationally

The reserach spans from applied experimental research to theoretical and experimental fundamental research with strong connections to medical challenges, in particular challenges involving ionizing radiation such as radioacktivity and X-rays, and also magnetic resonanse sepctroscopy. 

We educate Medical Physicists in close collaborion with Oslo University Hospital (OUS) and the National Radiation Protection Agency (Statens Strålevern, NRPA).

quantum optics laboratory is also associated to the BMF-group.


The effects of ionizing radiation is a common factor in most of our studies.  We want to understand the basic nature of the interaction between biological matter and ionizing radiation; to become better equipped to utilize ionizing radiation in cancer treatment (high doses), and to better predict the possible negative and beneficial effects of lower doses of ionizing radiation (i.e. the risk). 

The research is performed in our two laboratories (the EPR-laboratory and the Cell-laboratory) and in the laboratories of our close collaborators at Oslo University Hospital (OUS) and the National Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA). 

At the EPR-laboratory the focus is on the molecular level, at the Cell laboratory the focus is on the cellular level, and at OUS and NRPA the focus is on medical, heath and safety issues for the whole body

The Cell laboratory

The cell laboratory is completley equipped for culturing mammalian cells and has instruments for measuring and controling the oxygen level in the cells' micro environment. 

  • we study the combined effects of hypoxia and ionizing radiation on cells, in particular the effcts of low doses and low dose rates.  
  • we measure the effect of various growth parameters (protein metabilsme, number of cells, and cell cycle distribution)
  • we use a number of different molecular biological methods (western blotting, transfection, flow cytometri) together with our advanced microscope equipment. 

The low dose rate studies are relevant and important for environmental questions as well as for improving cancer treatment with ionizing radiation. 

The Cell laboratory collaborate closesly with Oslo University hospitals, with the Faculty of Medical Science at UiO, and is the principal investigator of the EU-prosject METOXIA (7th FP).   

The EPR-laboratory

Some of the questions we seek answers to are:

  • What happens in DNA (the heritage molecule) imediately following exposure to ionzing radiation?
  • Which changes occur?
  • Which radical products are formed? 
  • How do the radical products react?
  • What determines their reaction paths?
  • Is it possible to modify their reaction paths?
  • Is it possible to predict the radiation effects by theroretical calculations?
  • How is the radiation dose absorbed in biological systems?
  • Can dose measurments be improved using EPR-dosimetry?

We employ advanced experimental techniques (EPR-, ENDOR-, EIE spectroscopy) and theoretical quantum chemical computations in our research. 

For more information about the activity in our EPR-lab, please visit

Medical physics at Oslo University Hospitals

Many physicist are employed at the hospitals in Norway and many of these have graduated from the master and/or phd program in the BMF-group at the Depatment of Phsyics at UiO. 

As a student in the BMF-group your may perform your reseach project at the Interventional Centre  on topics like

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) based functional imaging methods applied to the brain
  • Kinetic modelling of dynamic contrast enhanced MRI
  • Image analysis and processing relatred to image segmentation and kinetic modelling  

The home page for the Interventional Centre

At the Radiumhospital their is a large variety in research topics for master and phd-students, in particular relevant to cancer therapy.

The National Radiation Protection Authority (Statens Strålevern, NRPA)

 As a student in the BMF-group your may perform your reseach project at NRP on topics related to medical use of ioinzing radiation, e.g.

  • calibration routines for radiation therapy, X-ray/CTdiagnostics and nuclear medizine
  • new dosimetry methods for computer tomography (CT)
  • quality assurance in radiation therapy
  • quality assurance of the national mamma program ('mammografiprogrammet')

The home page for NRPA.


The BMF group colaborate closely with national and international research and medical insitutions

Adjunct professors from the Oslo University Hospital (OUS) and from the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) are importan contributors to the research and to the training of master and PhD students in the Biophysics and Medical Phsyics (BMF) group. 


Academic programmes and courses

  Biophysics and Medical Phyiscs

  • The BMF educate Physicists, and many of our graduates obtain positions as Medical Physicists
  • Our masterstudents are part of the Master program in Physics, with the 'direction' Biophysics and Medical Physics.
  • The requirement for entering the BMF master study  is a standard FAM-bachelor program including the course FYS3710 (Biophsycs and Medical Physics).
  • The bachelor course FYS3710 (Biophysics and Medical Physics) is taught in the fall  
  • FYS-KJM4710 is mandatory and must be part of the master curriculum. 

Master courses / phd courses  - given by, or in close colaboration with, the BMF group:

FYS-KJM4710   /    FYS-KJM9710 Radiation and radiation dosimetry fall
FYS4720  /  FYS9720    Cellular radio biology fall
FYS4730  /  FYS9730 Medical radiation physics for radiotherapy spring
FYS4740  /  FYS9740 MR-theory and medical diagnostics spring
FYS4250  /  FYS9250 Biomedical instrumentation


FYS4761  /  FYS9761   Physics in medical X-ray diagnostics fall








    Tags: biophysics, medical physics, biomedical physics, radiation physics, radiation biophysics, medical physicist, EPR, ESR, ENDOR, magnetic resonance, free radicals, dosimetri, hypoxi, cancer, radiation protection, low dose irradiation, cell kinetics, cell and molecular biology
    Published Nov. 10, 2010 3:28 PM - Last modified Feb. 21, 2022 10:00 AM