Biological Physics & Physical Biology Seminar

Seminar information

BP/PB seminars are held most Fridays. The first talk begins at 8 am pacific/9 am mountain/10 am central/11am eastern in the US, which is 4 pm in the UK/5 pm in central Europe/9:30 pm in India (assuming that regular or daylight savings time is aligned across countries -- we've done our best to check!) The second talk starts at half past the hour.

The goal of the series is to highlight interesting current research in biophysics, broadly defined.

Email list signup and talk zoom information: Click here to join the mailing list and/or volunteer to speak.  Zoom information for each seminar will be shared with the mailing list on Wednesdays, and again in a reminder email on Fridays shortly before the talks begin.

Past talk videos: The BPPB  YouTube channel has recordings of selected past talks. 

Organizers: A rotating cast of organizers has helped to sustain this seminar series over the past few years. The current team is: Sonya Bahar, Jing Chen, Moumita Das, Andrej Košmrlj, Enkeleida Lushi, and Ashok Prasad. 

Follow us on Twitter @bppbseminar

Upcoming seminars

Friday, December 8

Ioana Ilie

From atoms to blobs: Multiscale simulations of amyloidogenic polypeptides

Aleksandra Nelson

Non-reciprocity permits edge states and strong localization in stochastic topological systems

Friday, December 15

Matej Krajnc


Bekele Gurmessa


Recent past seminars

Friday, November 17

Nenad Pavin

Exploring Tumor Karyotype Evolution Using the 'Macro-Karyotype’ Concept 

Friday, November 10

Abhyudai Singh

Stochasticity in timing of intracellular events: A first-passage time approach

Friday, November 3

Daniel Needleman

Active Matter, Microtubules, and Cell Division

Friday, October 27

1. Saad Bhamla

The Blob: Topologically Entangled Living Matter

2. André Longtin

Entropy production and flow in humans under heat stress and exercise

Friday, October 20

1. Silke Henkes

Making the cornea spiral: Constructing quantitative simulations of epithelial cell sheets

2. Kayla Sprenger

Design of vaccine components and protocols for inducing protective antibodies against HIV

Friday, September 29, 2023

1. Allyson Sgro

Understanding the emergence of microbial collective behaviors

2. Jürgen Kurths

Stability of power grid concerning tropical cyclones: Increasing resilience by protecting critical lines

Friday, September 22, 2023

1. Jing Chen

Sticking with two poles: Critical biophysical factors for rescuing mitotic spindle from monopolar and multipolar abnormalities

2. Zhiyue Lu

A Far-from-steady-state Theoretical Framework for Information Transduction via Stochastic Biosensors

Friday, September 15, 2023

1. Juan B. Gutiérrez

Collective Human Behavior

2. Abdul N. Malmi Kakkada

Collective Cell Migration Driven by Mechanical Coupling 

Friday, July 28, 2023

Tutorial + Talk: Tim Atherton

Shape Sculpting and Shapeshifting with Soft Matter

Friday, July 21, 2023

1. Elio Abbondanzieri

A bridge too far: Bridging DNA contacts allow Dps from E. coli to condense DNA

2. Daniel Paranhos Zitterbart

Phase transitions in emperor penguin huddling behavior and its application in conservation biology

Friday, July 14, 2023

William Bialek

Finding evidence for scale invariance in animal behavior

Friday, July 7, 2023

Tao Zhang

Modeling collective interactions between spheroids and collagen fibers

Friday, June 30, 2023

1. Herve Turlier

From microscopy images to mechanical models of tissues and back

2. Daniel Cohen

Adventures in Cellular Herding—understanding and controlling collective cell migration

Friday, June 16, 2023

1. Guillaume Duclos

Microscopic interactions control a structural transition in active mixtures of microtubules and molecular motors

2. Zeb Rocklin

Modeling rigidity in tensegrity systems

Friday, June 9, 2023

1. Kate Jensen
Liverwort gemmae interact as capillary multipoles

2. Yaouen Fily
Evolution of Collective Swimming in the Mexican Cavefish

Friday, June 2, 2023

Irene Georgakoudi

Tutorial: Label-free, two photon metabolic imaging 

Talk: Disease detection and treatment monitoring via non-invasive, high resolution, optical metabolic imaging 

Friday, May 26, 2023

1. Ben Rogers
The role of complexity in self-limited assembly of tubules from nanoscale building blocks

2. Qiong Yang

From molecules to development: Biological timing and patterning

Friday, May 19, 2023

Deep Learning for Imaging and Microscopy

2. Jonathan Michel

Tuning Semiflexible Biopolymer Network Mechanics through Structurally Correlated Assembly

Friday, May 12, 2023

The Chromokinesin KLP-19 affects microtubule dynamics and shifts the force balance during mitosis

Friday, May 5, 2023

Friday, April 28, 2023

Unraveling Multiple Mechanisms of Long Non-Coding RNA Regulation through Transcriptional Stochasticity

2. Elizabeth Read

Modeling and Inference to Understand Collective Stability of Epigenetic Marks

Friday, April 21, 2023

Inferring intracellular mechanics from active and passive measurements

Friday, April 21, 2023

2. Hossein Jashnsaz (Vanderbilt University)
Predictive mathematical models of signal transduction in temporal environments

Friday, April 14, 2023

Friday, April 7, 2023

Friday, March 31, 2023

Talking to Cells: Engineering Dynamic Cell-Material Interfaces to Guide Cell Fate 

2. Meng (Stephanie) Shen

Tuning Electrostatic-Mediated Self- Assembly Beyond the Classical Theory 

Friday, March 17, 2023

Quantized metachronal waves in arrays of cilia

2. Jie Liang

Minimalist 3D Chromatin Polymer Models: Structure and Function of 3D Genome

Friday, March 3, 2023

1) Keisukei Ishihara, University of Pittsburgh

Topological control of organoid morphogenesis

2)  Diego Krapf, Colorado State University

Understanding non-Brownian diffusion in the cytoplasm of mammalian cells

Friday, February 10, 2023

1.  Daphne Klotsa: A touch of non-linearity: mesoscale swimmers and active matter in fluids

2. Thomas Fai: Modeling the fluid dynamics of vesicle transport into dendritic spines

Friday, February 3, 2023

John Tyson, Virginia Tech, Department of Biological Sciences

Tutorial: A Dynamical Paradigm for Molecular Cell Biology 

Friday, January 27, 2023

Statistical dynamics of tumor initiation and progression

2. Barbara Jones IBM Quantum, IBM Research Almaden

Dynamics of Viral Evolution and Mutation: a study of viruses in and around cells

Friday, December 16, 2022

1: Synthetic Biology: Physical Biology by Design
James J. Collins

2: Role of Cell Surface Mechanics in Leukocyte Adhesion
Richard Waugh

Friday, December 2, 2022

1: The Hopfield Network and its generalizations
Pankaj Mehta

2: scTOP: physics-inspired order parameters for cell identity and development

Pankaj Mehta 

Friday, Nov 18, 2022

Alice Quillen 

2:Topology-Sensing Reaction-Diffusion Systems in Active Nematics.
Mike Norton

Friday, Nov 4, 2022

1: Tutorial -- Stochastic System Identification Toolkit to Interpret and Design Noisy Single-Cell FISH Experiments
Brian Munsky

2: Integrating Mechanistic Models and Machine Learning to Interpret and Design single-mRNA Nascent Chain Tracking Experiments
Luis Aguilera de Lira 

Friday, October 28, 2022

1: What wakes us? Networked clocks in the brain vs. Daylight Saving Time
Erik Herzog

2: Biological Physics of Chromatin Structure-Mediated Gene Regulation in Yeast & Fly
Alexandre Morozov

Friday, October 21, 2022

1: Information transduction in heterogeneous cell populations
Purushottam Dixit 

2: Emergent Actin Flows Explain Distinct Modes of Gliding Motility
Christina Hueschen

Friday, October 14, 2022

1: Dynamics-based data science in biology
Luonan Chen

2:Coordinating systems-level organelle biogenesis with cellular growth
Shankar Mukherji

2: Structured population models: applications and kinetic theory
Tom Chou

Friday, Sept 30, 2022

1: Curvature sensing as an emergent property of multi-scale assembly of septins
Ehssan Nazockdast

Friday, Sept 23, 2022

1: Hamiltonian Biology
Kingshuk Ghosh

2: Time-evolution of mechanical and transport characteristics in crowded biomimetic networks
Janet Sheung

Friday, Sept 16, 2022

1: How cells stay out of thermal equilibrium by proliferating at high and frigid temperatures
Hyun Youk

2: Genes on the move: Measuring the rate and evolution of horizontal gene transfer
Ben Kerr

Friday, Sept 2, 2022

1: Tutorial: Building a proportional cell
Jane' Kondev

2: Research Talk:  How cells measure length
Jane' Kondev

2: Multiscale spatiotemporal reconstruction of single-cell genomics data
Qing Nie

Friday, Aug 19, 2022

1: Observing membranes in action on nanosecond timescales
Rana Ashkar

2: From nanotech to living sensors: unraveling the spin physics of biosensing at the nanoscale
Clarice Aiello

Friday, Aug 12, 2022

1: Tutorial Talk: Multicellular is Different: Biophysics and the Evolution of Multicellularity
Peter Yunker

2: Research Talk: Soft Matter of Life: The Evolution of Multicellularity
Peter Yunker

Friday, Aug 5, 2022

1: Getting cool things for 'free': biophysical insights from our Multicellularity LTEE (Long Term Evolution Experiment)
Will Ratcliff

2: The geometry of phenotypes : Cell shapes as a mirror of Cell states
Ashok Prasad

Friday, July 15 2022

1: Self-organization via non-reciprocal interactions
Ramin Golestanian

2: Stochastic Phase Synchronization in Focal Neocortical Seizures
Sonya Bahar

2: Pulsating active matter
Étienne Fodor

Friday, June 17 2022

1: Self-organization and shape regulation in bio-inspired droplets
Kimberly Weirich

2: Cytoplasmic streaming during 3D cell migration
Wanda Strychalski 

Friday, May 27, 2022

1: Hill-type, bioinspired actuation delivers energy economy in DC motors
José Alvarado

2: Mechanics of Primary Cilia

Yuan-Nan Young

Friday, May 13, 2022

Tutorial: Rheology of active suspensions

David Saintillan

Talk: Active hydrodynamics of interphase chromatin

David Saintillan

Friday, May 6, 2022

1. Topological Mechanics in Biological Systems

Camelia Prodan 

2. Cell polarity as a driver of diversity and robustness in developing morphologies

Ala Trusina

Friday, April 29, 2022

1. Autonomous mechano-adaptation in bacterial swimming motility

Navish Wadhwa

2. Proteins in a crowd under heat and pressure

Margaret Cheung 

Friday, April 22, 2022

1. Do active nematic self-mixing dynamics help growing bacteria colonies maintain genetic diversity?

Daniel Beller

2. Impact of mechanics on actin filament disassembly

Hugo Wioland

Friday, April 15, 2022

Carla Mulas

2. Cells use mechanical communication 

to optimally network

Kinjal Dasbiswas

Friday, April 8, 2022

Jing Chen

2. Using computational fluid dynamics to understand the mechanics of jellyfish swimming and feeding

Laura Miller

Friday, April 1, 2022

Jeremy Schmit

2. Predicting robust emergent function in stochastic systems

Evelyn Tang

Friday, March 25, 2022

Jie Lin

2. Physics of morphogenetic matter

Margaret Gardel

Friday, March 18, 2022

APS March Meeting, No talk

Friday, March 11, 2022

1. Cutting through the mechanics of three-dimensional elastic cell sheets

Stephanie Hoehn

2. Epigenetic inheritance and its influence on future generations phenotype in bacteria

Hanna Salman

2.  Research talk: Cytoplasmic divisions without nuclei

Mustafa Aydogan

Friday, February 25, 2022

1. Biomechanics and mechanobiology funding opportunities for all career stages at the U. S. National Science Foundation

Wendy Crone

2. Bayesian nonparametrics for single molecule

Steve Presse

Friday, February 18, 2022

1. The dynamics of cell migration in flat and curved confining geometries

Chase Broedersz

2. Swimming through the weeds, bacterially

Suraj Shankar

Friday, February 11, 2022

1. Quantification of approximate symmetries in evolution and development

Adrianna Dawes

2. Phototaxis of microalgae: lessons from Chlamydomonas an Micromonas

Marco Polin

Friday, February 4, 2022

1. Tutorial: Fundamental equations for mechanics and transport of cytoskeleton

Alex Mogilner

2.  Steady and wavy actomyosin contraction

Alex Mogilner

Friday, January 28, 2022

1. Design of vesicle prototissues as a model for cellular tissues

Laura Casanellas

2.  From atomic scale molecular diffusion to hierarchical free energy landscape of transcription factor protein search on DNA

Jin Yu

Friday, January 21, 2022

1. Squeezing, pinching, dragging, and pulling: from multiscale models to morphogenesis

Lance Davidson

2. Visceral organ morphogenesis via calcium-patterned muscle contractions

Noah Mitchell 

youtube channel Please visit our previous past seminars page to see the topics in biological physics covered so far in this series.

Past talk videos: Please visit the BP/PB  youtube channel to find recordings of selected past talks.


Special thanks to Meredith Betterton, Kim Weirich, and Sri Iyer-Biswas and who were part of the original 2020 organizing team that launched this seminar series!  Also thanks to Nuris Figueroa Morales on the 2021 organizing team!

Thanks to those who have live-tweeted the talks: Peter Foster; Brian Munsky; Guillermina Ramirez-San Juan; Brian Camley; Vivek Prakash; Kirsty Wan; Akanksha Thawani; Haneul Yoo; Olivia Leland; Arnold Mathijssen; Jasmine Nirody; Tapomoy Bhattacharjee; Dan Rokshar; Purushottam Dixit; Anna Bajur; Todd Gingrich; Wallace Marshall; Eric Dufresne; Maggie Johnson; Kinjal Dasbiswas; Ned Wingreen; Rana Ashkar; Manasa Kandula.

Friday, October 13

Suriyanarayanan Vaikuntanathan

“Active” associative memory