Glenn S. Edwards

Glenn S. Edwards

Professor of Physics

Office Location: 
French Family Science Center, 2314, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
Box 90305, Durham, NC 27708-0305
(919) 660-2674


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.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park 1984

  • B.S., University of Maryland, College Park 1978

Selected Grants

Duke Free Electron Laser Program Plan-FY99 awarded by Office of Naval Research (Principal Investigator). 1994 to 2000


Wagner, Wolfgang, et al. “Thermal Vapor Bubble and Pressure Dynamics During Infrared Laser Ablation of Tissue.” Applied Physics Letters, vol. 94, no. 013901, 2009.

Layton, Anita T., et al. “Drosophila Morphogenesis: Tissue Force Laws and the Modeling of Dorsal Closure.” Human Frontier Science Program Journal, vol. 3, no. 6, 2009.

Toyama, Yusuke, et al. “Apoptotic force and tissue dynamics during Drosophila embryogenesis.Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 321, no. 5896, Sept. 2008, pp. 1683–86. Epmc, doi:10.1126/science.1157052. Full Text

Rodriguez-Diaz, Alice, et al. “Actomyosin purse strings: renewable resources that make morphogenesis robust and resilient.Hfsp Journal, vol. 2, no. 4, Aug. 2008, pp. 220–37. Epmc, doi:10.2976/1.2955565. Full Text

Edwards, G., et al. “Pressure (mechanical) effects in infrared tissue ablation.” Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging  Proceedings of Spie, vol. 6854, Apr. 2008. Scopus, doi:10.1117/12.776999. Full Text

Peralta, X. G., et al. “Emergent properties during dorsal closure in Drosophila morphogenesis.Physical Biology, vol. 5, no. 1, Apr. 2008, p. 015004. Epmc, doi:10.1088/1478-3975/5/1/015004. Full Text

Edwards, G. S., et al. “6450 nm wavelength tissue ablation using a nanosecond laser based on difference frequency mixing and stimulated Raman scattering.Opt Lett, vol. 32, no. 11, June 2007, pp. 1426–28. Pubmed, doi:10.1364/ol.32.001426. Full Text

Garguilo, Jacob, et al. “The surface oxidation potential of melanosomes measured by free electron laser-photoelectron emission microscopy.Photochemistry and Photobiology, vol. 83, no. 3, May 2007, pp. 692–97. Epmc, doi:10.1562/2006-09-11-ra-1037. Full Text

Peralta, X. G., et al. “Upregulation of forces and morphogenic asymmetries in dorsal closure during Drosophila development.Biophysical Journal, vol. 92, no. 7, Apr. 2007, pp. 2583–96. Epmc, doi:10.1529/biophysj.106.094110. Full Text

Kim, Y., et al. “Commissioning of S-band RF gun and linac for the mark-III FEL facility at Duke University.” 28th International Free Electron Laser Conference, Fel 2006, Dec. 2006, pp. 411–14.