Biological Physics and Soft Matter Journal Club

Biological Physics and Soft Matter Journal Club (BPSMJC)

Schedule for 2015-2016. Meet in BH410. Pizza available by 11:50.

Wed, Sept 23. Presenter: Jordan Bell, on

Wed, Sept 30. Presenter: George Araujo, o

Wed,  Oct 7. Presenter: Prof. Tieyan Si

Wed, Oct 14. Presenter:  Cassady Rupert (Kareen Columbe group)    on

Wed, Oct 21. Presenter:  Xin Yi (Huajian Gao group)   on





What is BPSMJC? - The Biological Physics and Soft Matter Journal Club is designed to be a forum where students and faculty present and discuss current research articles relevant to the interests of the group.  The meetings are informal and interactive. Attendees are encouraged to briefly read the paper so that the group reaches the best understanding of the work through an hour-long discussion. Pizza Lunch is provided.

What research topics are the group interested in? - The breadth of the research interests  to be covered reflect the common interests of regular attendees. We are open to learning any exciting findings in the areas of cell motility, cytoskeletal networks, nanopore physics, protein self assembly and interactions, single molecule biophysics, bacteria motion, and any other exiting work in soft matter, active materials, and fluid dynamics.  

How do I join BPSMJC? -  Everyone is welcome to join our journal club and we strongly encourage graduate student and post-doc participation.  To join the e-mail list, please simply show up at the meetings you are interested in.

When does BPSMJC meet? - We usually meet every Wednesday at 12:00, in B&H Rm 410.  Show up a few mins early for Pizza, so that the presentation can get started promptly. 

What have others presented in the past? - To see what others have presented in the past, and what's coming up,view the Schedule page.

How are meetings formatted? - The presentation typically starts with a short introduction of the subject and how the presenter came to decide to present this particular work at BPSMJC today.  BPSMJC usually finishes at 12:55.

How should I prepare to be a BPSMJC presenter? - Meetings are informal and you should expect (and encourage) your audience to interupt with questions.  Questions quickly turn into free flowing discussions that are the hallmark of an engaging journal club.  To leave time for discussions, you should not prepare more than 20-25 minutes of presentation material, which can easily take 50 minutes of total group time when free discussions take place.  Shortening your presentation might mean focusing on only one part of a long manuscript, or it might mean avoiding long tangents that lead away from the main story. 

How long does it take to prepare a BPJC presentation? - In total, preparing a presentation should take no more than 6 hours. First, take the time to choose an article that you are passionate about.  Then, take the time to read the article thoroughly.  You don't always need to fully understand every mathematical detail or supplemental data, but you should know the paper well enough to convey a clear picture of what's important and how it works.  This will take 3-4 hours so remember to choose an article that you are highly motivated to understand well.  Finally, make a 20-25 minute presentation (typically 5-9 discussion slides).  This task can be done while you read the paper thoroughly by marking down important points into the presentation.  Finally, take 1 hour to practise the presentation and make edits where necessary.

Why should I present at BPSMJC? -

  • Understanding - There is no better way to undersand an article that is important to oneself (for research purposes or otherwise) than to present it to your peers.
  • Ideas - As a researcher, BPSMJC offers a forum to bounce ideas off a diverse group of biophysics-oriented graduate students, post docs, and professors.  Imaginative ideas lead to new research, publication, and more innovative ideas.
  • Experience - For junior graduate students, BPSMJC is a place to learn how to prepare a research presentation.  Try out Beamer for the first time instead of Powerpoint, test out teaching aids on the group, or see what works well and what does not before a formal presentation at some outside conference.
  • Excitement - We all have really "cool" things that we want to share with the group.  BPSMJC is your chance to do that.  Talk about your own research, or choose a manuscript that you are really excited about and think everybody should see.
  • Up-to-Date - Stay current with the literature by keeping an eye out for outstanding manuscripts that you would want to present (or have presented) at BPSMJC.

Links to  candidate papers for presentation: