Molecular Biophysics Training Program

BPSD 520 Seminar

Course Overview

Instructor: Ning Zheng

Credits: 1 (max 30)

UW General Catalog Course Description: Group conferences on graduate student research. Prerequisite: BPSD graduate student, or permission of instructor. Offered: AWSp.

Recommended Background: Involved in graduate research

Textbooks: None

BPSD 520 is a 1 credit class for credit/no credit. All students enrolled in the BPSD graduate program and all current trainees of the Molecular Biophysics Training Program including the Hurd Fellow are required to register for BPSD 520 in Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters.  The course meets up to once a week for 50 minutes, although fewer meetings might be required in some quarters. In each meeting, two students present their original research project for 20 minutes and take questions for 5 minutes. All other students in the class provide written critiques for each speaker, to improve presentation skills.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Discuss a wide range of biophysics research with peers
  • Give a good quality presentation of their research

Topics Covered

  • Molecular Biophysics
  • Biological Physics
  • Biological Structure
  • Biological Design

Assignments and Grading

Critiques and Presentations

Students are graded pass/fail on written critiques providing feedback to each speaker in the seminar series. In addition, based on their program requirements, some students will be required to give one of the research seminars. In this case, the presentation replaces the two critiques for that day.  Presenting students should be prepared to speak for 20 minutes, allowing five minutes for questions, and an equal amount of time for the day’s other presenter to speak and answer questions.

“Tips for Talks”

From Bertil Hille
From Eddy DeRobertis

In order to receive credit for a critique, students must complete and submit the critique form (available in class) by the end of the class session. To keep student feedback anonymous, we will remove the top portion of the form with the student’s name before we share the critiques with the presenter.    

Students must pass 100% of the critiques to pass the class. A student must notify and obtain permission from the course instructor in advance if he or she cannot attend a session due to health or family emergencies or work-related travels.  All students may miss one class without instructor permission in each quarter. Students who miss more than one class without instructor permission can make up each missed class by doing one of the following:  

  • Attend the BPSD or Biochemistry rotation talks during finals week and submit critiques for four talks
  • OR attend a research seminar by an outside (non-UW) speaker and prepare a one page report, which describes the presentation, the question(s) asked by the student, and the answer(s) given by the presenter

Access and Accommodations

Your experience in this class is important to us, and if you have concerns about the accessibility of any component of the class, we encourage you to contact You may also wish to contact the Disability Resources for Students (DRS) Office, as described below.

It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law. If you experience barriers based on a disability or temporary health condition, please seek a meeting with DRS to discuss and address them. If you have already established accommodations with DRS, please communicate your approved accommodations to your instructor at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course.

Disability Resources for Students (DRS) offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions.  Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DRS. If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (this can include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or


Autumn Quarter

October 4, 2023
  • October 4, 2023 @ 12:30 pm in HSB T-435

    Presenter: Sidney Lisanza (Baker Lab)


October 18, 2023
  • October 18, 2023 @ 12:30 pm in HSB T-435

    Presenters: Matthew Hirano (Seelig Lab) & Anna Lauko (Baker Lab)


November 1, 2023
  • November 1, 2023 @ 12:30 pm in HSB T-435

    Presenters: Chengbo Chen (Lee Lab) & Kejia Wu (Baker Lab)


November 15, 2023
  • November 15, 2023 @ 12:30 pm in HSB T-435

    Presenters: Runze Dong (Gu Lab) & Alesi Escobedo (Guttman Lab)


November 29, 2023
  • November 29, 2023 @ 12:30 pm in HSB T-435

    Presenters: Cullen Demakis (Baker Lab) & Fernando Banales Mejia (Maly Lab)


Winter Quarter

January 3, 2024
  • January 3, 2024 @ 12:30 pm in HSB K-069

    Presenters: Ryan McHugh (Baker/DiMaio Labs) & Audrey O'Neill (Kollman Lab)


January 10, 2024
  • January 10, 2024 @ 12:30 pm in HSB K-069

    Presenters: Susana Vasquez Torres (Baker Lab) & Adam Nguyen (Campbell Lab)


January 24, 2024
  • January 24, 2024 @ 12:30 pm in HSB K-069

    Presenters: Matthew Hirano (Seelig Lab) & Mia Cervantes (Klevit / Nath Labs)


February 7, 2024
  • February 7, 2024 @ 12:30 pm in HSB K-069

    Presenters: Vada Becker (Lee Lab) & Lei Gao (Kong Lab)


February 21, 2024
  • February 21, 2024 @ 12:30 pm in HSB K-069

    Presenters: Jesse Huang (Gordon Lab) & Sophie Hurwitz (Hoppins Lab)


March 6, 2024
  • March 6, 2024 @ 12:30 pm in HSB K-069

    Presenters: Ji Min Lee (Veesler Lab) & Clara McCurdy (Ruohola-Baker Lab)


Spring Quarter

March 27, 2024
  • March 27, 2024 @ 12:30 pm ~ HSB K-069

    Presenters: Joy North (DiMaio Lab) & Isaac Sappington (Baker Lab)


April 3, 2024
  • April 3, 2024 @ 12:30 pm ~ HSB K-069

    Presenters: Hannah Perry (Vaughan Lab) & Jessica Caruso (Zalatan Lab)


April 17, 2024
  • April 17, 2024 @ 12:30 pm ~ HSB K-069

    Presenters: Preetham Venkatesh (Baker Lab) & Kathryn Denecke (Kueh Lab)


May 1, 2024
  • May 1, 2024 @ 12:30 pm ~ HSB K-069

    Presenters: Abhishek Raghunathan (Akamatsu Lab) & DéJenaé See (Baker Lab)


May 15, 2024
  • May 15, 2024 @ 12:30 pm ~ HSB K-069

    Presenters: Meg Lunn-Halbert (King / Baker Labs) & Dylan Hedman (Asbury Lab)


May 22, 2024
  • May 22, 2024 @ 12:30 pm ~ HSB K-069

    Presenters: Runze Dong (Gu Lab) & Kejia Wu (Baker Lab)


May 29, 2024
  • May 29, 2024 @ 12:30 pm ~ HSB K-069

    Presenters: Susan Kleinfelter (King Lab) & Andres Fernandez (Campbell Lab)