UW Graduate School

Biological Physics, Structure and Design

Biological Physics, Structure and Design (BPSD) scientists explore the frontiers and interactions between structural, computational and chemical biology. The primary focus of members of the program involves the use and determination of atomic-level structures of biologically important macromolecules, i.e. proteins, RNA and DNA. The area of research encompassed by BPSD is inherently interdisciplinary in nature: techniques used in this area are derived from chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology. The program is designed to facilitate cross-training among disciplines with the aim of preparing young scientists to enter this exciting and growing field of research, which is relevant for vaccine development, drug design, protein structure prediction, as well as for understanding the fundamentals of structure — function relationships in biomacromolecules.

Program website

Degree(s)/Certificate(s) offered

Entry program for a Ph.D. in: Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biological Structure, Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology and Physiology & Biophysics.

Program director/interdisciplinary group chair

  • Wendy Thomas, Associate Professor, Bioengineering
  • Charles Asbury, Associate Professor, Physiology & Biophysics

Primary Staff Contact

  • Erin Kirschner, Graduate Program Coordinator

Interdisciplinary Faculty Group Membership

The following are the core/voting Graduate Faculty members of the interdisciplinary group.  For a complete list of faculty active in the program, see the program website.

  • Wendy Thomas, Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering
  • Charles Asbury, Associate Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics
  • Wenqing Xu, Professor, Department of Biological Structure