Activities: Molecular Biophysics Training Program: Purdue University Skip to main content


Dinner/Lunch & Data (D&D)

In a meeting facilitated by a rotating T32 preceptor, trainees present their research to their peers in an informal setting, allowing them to get to know the science their peers are doing, do some collective problem solving, and build a stronger sense of community. D&D is held once a month in each academic semester, with current and former MBTP trainees presenting 20-30 min summaries of their research progress. Current trainees are required to attend as a condition of their appointment, whereas past trainees are expected to attend as often as possible through the end of their graduate career so that they can continue their gained expertise.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Biomolecular Galaxy

Under the guidance of an advising mentor, Molecular Biophysics Training Program MBTP trainees organize, fund, invite/host a keynote speaker, and run our annual MBTP symposium. HG2BG is a 2-day regional event held in early May in the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering, and features talks from graduate and postdoctoral trainees and new faculty trainers, a student-invited keynote lecture, a large poster session, and topical workshops facilitated by MBTP trainers and local experts. The keynote speakers of prior HG2BG symposia were Dr. Cynthia Wolberger (NAS, 2019), Dr. Douglas Lauffenburger (NAS, 2021), Dr. Janet Smith (NAS, 2022), and Dr. Jay Groves (2023). Students identify financial backing for the symposium from university departments, industry, and professional organizations such as BPS, the latter of which in turn advertises the event on a national scale. Preceding the symposium is a career development panel and discussion featuring speakers from various careers. HG2BG not only fosters teamwork, as a small group of biophysics students work together to fund, schedule, and conduct a professional regional meeting, but also career development via introduction of trainees to our various departments, companies, and academic societies.

Happy Hours with the PD

Once a month the PD, or other members of the EC, meet over appetizers at a local restaurant with available members of the entire T32 cohort (locale chosen by a T32 trainee serving as “Bar Czar”). These events support the biophysics community and provide the PD with informal feedback on how the program is performing that cannot be easily obtained any other way.

HOCK Socials

During the academic year, MBTP supports a bimonthly get-together in the Hockmeyer (HOCK) Hall of Structural Biology lobby. These Friday afternoon events create a welcoming, supportive environment and give trainees the opportunity to network and build teamwork as they plan and organize these events. Fun science-related group activities, such as Lab Olympics and pumpkin carving, provide additional team-building opportunities. This is a well-regarded and attended activity is currently managed by Mackenzie Chapman Imhoff, a member of our first cohort, who is a post-doc in the Tesmer lab.

Molecular Biophysics Journal Club

Molecular Biophysics Training Program (MBTP) trainees will meet and discuss on a weekly basis the underlying scientific premise, experimental design, use of adequate biological variables, authentication, transparency and RCR compliance of papers presented for journal club under the guidance of a preceptor. In special sessions, selected trainees will review papers for each of the student-invited speakers for the Interdepartmental Molecular Biophysics Seminar Series prior to their visit. At least one meeting will be devoted to RCR topics selected by the faculty mentor each semester.

SBBC Symposia

SBBC is also the local chapter of the Biophysical Society. To this end, SBBC runs 2 day-long symposiums each year that highlight work of graduate students and postdocs. T32 trainees are invited to speak, participate, and judge. SBBC also hosts the T32 holiday party along with HOCK Socials, helping build community and reinforce our biophysics identity.