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 of Research Presentations: (100%)

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.

During the 2020-21 academic year, in order to receive credit for a critique, students must complete and submit the critique form online. To keep student feedback anonymous, we will not include any names when we share the critiques with the presenter.

Students must pass 100% of the critiques to pass the class. Students must notify and obtain permission from the course instructor in advance if they 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 the finals week and write critiques for four talks
  • OR attend an outside research seminar and prepare a one page report, which describes the presentation, the question(s) asked by the student, and the answer 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

Tips for Your Presentation

Coming Soon


Spring 2021

March 31: Tatum Prosswimmer (Daggett Lab) & Jung Ho Chun (Baker/King Labs)

April 7: Zhaoqian Wang (Veesler Lab) & Erin Yang (Baker Lab)

April 21: Runze Dong (Gu Lab) & Matthew Hirano (Seelig Lab)

May 5: Elena Holland (Nath Lab) & Brianne King (Zalatan Lab)

May 19: Anna Lauko (Baker Lab) & Bonnibelle Leeds (Asbury Lab)

May 26: Ian Hull (Lutz Lab)

June 2: Kejia Wu (Baker Lab) & Samantha Zepeda (Veesler Lab)