Glenn Steven Edwards


Professor Emeritus of Physics

Glenn Edwards investigates biological systems using a range of experimental techniques and theoretical methods from physics. His interests include Investigations of energy transduction where laser energy transforms into vibrational energy of biological molecules which then transforms into heat and pressure pulses that selectively drive tissue-scale dynamics. This line of research has led to human surgical applications of Free-Electron Lasers and spin-off laser technology. Another interest includes investigations of how biology harnesses physical mechanisms in biomechanical processes. This line of research investigates tissue dynamics and pattern formation during early development in Drosophila embryos.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor Emeritus of Physics

Contact Information

  • Office Location: French Family Science Center, 2314, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: +1 919 660 2674
  • Email Address:


  • Ph.D. University of Maryland, College Park, 1984
  • B.S. University of Maryland, College Park, 1978

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Fellow. American Physical Society. 2006

Courses Taught

  • PHYSICS 264L: Optics and Modern Physics
  • PHYSICS 162D: Fundamentals of Physics II

Representative Publications

  • Aristotelous, AC; Crawford, JM; Edwards, GS; Kiehart, DP; Venakides, S, Mathematical models of dorsal closure., Progress in biophysics and molecular biology, vol 137 (2018), pp. 111-131 [10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2018.05.009] [abs].
  • Lo, W-C; Madrak, C; Kiehart, DP; Edwards, GS, Unified biophysical mechanism for cell-shape oscillations and cell ingression., Physical review. E, vol 97 no. 6-1 (2018) [10.1103/physreve.97.062414] [abs].
  • Kiehart, DP; Crawford, JM; Aristotelous, A; Venakides, S; Edwards, GS, Cell Sheet Morphogenesis: Dorsal Closure in Drosophila melanogaster as a Model System., Annual review of cell and developmental biology, vol 33 (2017), pp. 169-202 [10.1146/annurev-cellbio-111315-125357] [abs].
  • Lu, H; Sokolow, A; Kiehart, DP; Edwards, GS, Quantifying dorsal closure in three dimensions., Molecular biology of the cell, vol 27 no. 25 (2016), pp. 3948-3955 [10.1091/mbc.e16-06-0400] [abs].
  • Lu, H; Sokolow, A; Kiehart, DP; Edwards, GS, Remodeling Tissue Interfaces and the Thermodynamics of Zipping during Dorsal Closure in Drosophila., Biophysical journal, vol 109 no. 11 (2015), pp. 2406-2417 [10.1016/j.bpj.2015.10.017] [abs].