Molecular Biophysics Training Program

To ensure that all our students obtain sufficient breadth in their molecular biophysics training, all students must take courses from the curriculum defined below.

Core Courses (Required)

CHEM219A OR BIOM200 A/B (offered in the FALL)


CHEM219A - Special Topics in Biochemistry

This special topics course is designed for first-year graduate students in biochemistry. The course is coordinated with the fall Biochemistry seminar series. Students discuss topics related to the next seminar which recently have included protein processing, the chemical modification of proteins, the biosynthesis and function of glycoproteins, lipid biochemistry and membranes, and systems biology.(BMS students may substitute equivalent course, Physics students may take either Chem 209 or Chem 219A)


BIOM 200 A/B - Molecules to Organisms: Professor(s): Biomedical Sciences Faculty

An in-depth discussion of the molecular processes relating to cell signaling, cell biology, and how drugs interact with different organ systems. The course offers comprehensive coverage of the major pathways in cell signaling from a biochemical perspective.

(Physics students may take either BIOM 200 or Chem 219A)


CHEM213a/BIOM213a: Structure of Biomolecules and Biomolecular Assemblies (offered in the WINTER)

Professor(s): Kevin Corbett and Mark Herzik

A discussion of structures of nucleic acids and proteins and their larger assemblies. The theoretical basis for nucleic acid and protein structure, as well as methods of structure determination including x-ray crystallography, cryoEM, and computational modeling approaches will be covered.

CHEM213b/BIOM213b: Biophysical Chemistry of Macromolecules (offered in the SPRING)

Professor: Galia Debelouchina

A discussion of the physical principles governing biomolecular structure and function. Experimental and theoretical approaches to understand protein dynamics, enzyme kinetics and mechanisms will be covered.

CHEM291: Molecular Biophysics Seminar

Chem 291- Molecular Biophysics Seminar 

Monthly Student seminar and Monthly Journal Club. Held the first and third Tuesdays of each month.

Scientific Ethics

Research Ethics Course Options

COGS241: Ethics and Survival Skills in Academia, Winter

Course Website:
Register for COGS241 on TritonLink (like any other class) to receive units for this course.

SOMI226: Scientific Ethics, Spring

Course Website:
Register for SOMI266 on TritonLink (like any other class) to receive units for this course.

CHEM250: Survival Skills for Graduate Students (Prof: Susan Taylor)

This course is for Chem/Biochem first year students. It includes faculty panel discussions and group presentations on all the relevant topics including authorship, honesty in presentation of data, mentor-advisee relationships, unconscious bias, whistle blowing, conflicts of interest, data management, peer review and publication, and research misconduct. In addition, students receive two weeks of training in how to effectively present their research in written and oral formats. (S/U grades only.)

PHAR/BIOM219: Ethics in Scientific Research

Register for BIOM219 on TritonLink (like any other class) to receive units for this course.



Recommended Course Offerings

CHEM214D: Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry (offered in the FALL)

Professor(s): G. Ghosh

This course is strongly recommended for students who have not had a course in cell biology. This course represents a continuation of 114C, or an introductory course for first-year graduate students, and covers topics in molecular and cellular biochemistry. Emphasis will be placed on contemporary approaches to the isolation and characterization of mammalian genes and proteins, and molecular genetic approaches to understanding eukaryotic development and human disease.

PHYS 275 Biological Physics

Professor Olga Dudko

This course is offered in the Fall. It covers how quantitative models derived from statistical physics can be used to build quantitative, intuitive understanding of biological phenomena. The organizational thread that links various topics of this course is based upon the underlying physics prospective. The idea of two-state variables and the Gibbs distribution will be employed to investigate ion channel gating, phosphorylation, and ligand-receptor binding and electricity.

PHYS 277: Physics of the Cell

Professor(s): E. Koslover

This course explores how the physical architecture of the cell is intertwined with its biological function. Students will gain experience in constructing simplified physical models for cellular structures and processes and applying these models to biological data.