Cells are soft yet carefully organized structures that give rise to diverse processes, unfolding across multiple length and time scales. Examples include the recognition and response to environmental conditions, dynamic change of shape, and communication. These and many other cell-wide processes are governed by innumerable components, and involve highly nonlinear couplings between them. One of the main challenges in describing physical aspects of living systems is identifying an appropriate level of abstraction, one that captures the essence of the biological behavior. In our research we model cellular environments by following physical and chemical principles, and explore the emergence of diverse biological phenomena in such models. In pursuit of these goals, we study a broad range of topics in Soft Matter and Biological Physics, utilizing a variety of methods spanning theory, simulation, and experiment. Our interdisciplinary research lies at the interface of physics, chemistry, biology, materials science, and computation.