Dear Physical Biology of the Cell Applicant,

It is with regret that I write to inform you that the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is cancelling the 2020 Physical Biology of the Cell (PBC). As I am sure you are aware, the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus global health emergency have triggered a series of events that require travel constraints, stay at home orders, and social distancing. Given these circumstances, the MBL has a responsibility to protect the health and safety of the entire MBL community, and therefore, has chosen to cancel the course following guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Given complexities of coordinating a course such as this, including the concern that many participants might be unable to come to the MBL even if we did hold the course, it is clear that it would not be possible to recreate the full PBC experience this summer. That said, the course directors Hernan Garcia and Rob Phillips are excited to try an experiment in which they continue with the full schedule of daily talks which will be open to all of this year’s faculty, TAs, staff and applicants, and alumni from previous years.

If you are interested in taking the course in 2021, your 2020 application will automatically be considered. We will contact you in November to inquire about your continued interest and availability and relay any additional relevant information. You will have the opportunity to add and/or update your application at that time. In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact

The decision and steps being taken to mitigate the spread of the virus are disruptive to all of us and I thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.

I hope that most of you will be able to join us in Woods Hole next year.


Nipam H. Patel