'Science & Food: The Physical and Molecular Origins of the Food We Eat' (PHYSCI7) is a Physical and Life Sciences General Education class for UCLA students that will be next offered in Spring Quarter 2023.

What makes lettuce crispy and some cuts of meat chewier than others? This rigorous course explores the origins of food texture and flavor. We use concepts in the physical sciences to explain macroscopic properties such as elasticity and phase behavior, as well as the physiological role of food molecules in the plants and animals we eat. Guests in the classroom include chefs and farmers who illustrate practical applications and manipulations of food texture and flavor.

Learn more about the curriculum here.

'Cell Biophysics in Physiology and Disease' (PHYSCI174) is a course for upper level undergraduates with a focus on mechanobiology, which Prof. Rowat developed. The course is currently not being offered.

'Special Topics: Perspectives on Food and Society' (FOOD STUDIES 181) is an undergraduate course developed by Prof. Rowat. The interdisciplinary course is designed to engage students in societal challenges including equity in food access and health disparities by integrating perspectives from science to policy to storytelling.

'Introduction to Integrative Biology and Physiology' (PHYSCI289A/B) is a graduate course for Master's in Physiology students taught by Prof. Rowat. The goal of the course is to equip students with skills in scientific research, including giving a research talk, as well as grant writing and reviewing.

Undergraduate Student Research

We enthusiastically work with undergraduate student researchers from diverse fields including biophysics, bioengineering, physics, molecular biology, mechanical engineering, and physiology. At this time we do not have capacity to provide quality research experiences for any new undergraduate students.


A series of events on Science & Food that are open to the general public will be held in conjunction with the class.