gBSA 2023 Summer Seminar Series

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The 2023 Summer Seminar Series, organized by the Graduate Biochemistry Student Association (gBSA), showcases talks by alumni, faculty, and current graduate students.

Join us for the seminars every Friday afternoon from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Dongwon Yoo Seminar & Conference Hall – Young Hall 4222. Please note that there will be no seminar on September 1 due to the Labor Day holiday. You can find the series schedule in the provided PDF, and all are welcome to attend.

Our newest faculty members Professors Matthew Nava, Michael Lawson, and Danielle Schmitt will give research talks. Additionally, three Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology (BMSB) Ph.D. alumni will share their post-graduate school career experiences, while current BMSB graduate students will present their research talks.

The last seminar of the series will be a special “Amateur Hour” where incoming graduate students will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and present their research.

Here is this year’s schedule:

  • July 7 Hannah Bailey (current graduate student, Quinlan group)
  • July 14Alumnus Dr. Erick Velazquez (Ph.D. 21, Torres group), Sr. Machine Learning Scientist, Genentech, San Francisco, CA
  • July 21Dylan Valencia (current graduate student, Quinlan/Nakano groups)
  • July 28Professor Matthew Nava, Assistant Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • August 4Alumna Dr. Sabrina Benchaar (Ph.D. ’07, Loo group) Sr. Principal Scientist, Amgen, Thousand Oaks, CA
  • August 11Alumnus Dr. Alex Jacobitz (Ph.D. ’15, Clubb group), Former Sr. Data Scientists, Amgen, Thousand Oaks, CA
  • August 18 Professor Mike Lawson, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • August 25 Professor Danielle Schmitt, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • September 1No seminar – Labor Day Holiday week
  • September 8  Amateur Hour! A great opportunity to meet our incoming first-year students and learn about their research.  All are welcome to join! Mixer to follow.

The UCLA Graduate Biochemistry Student Association (gBSA) is a student-run organization whose goal is to “promote camaraderie between students, share knowledge, and offer opportunities to better prepare ourselves for future careers.” 

Interested in meeting the speaker? Looking to join gBSA? Contact Dylan Valencia,, or Alexandra Turmon,

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,