In an intimate graduation reception on April 27th, the Biophysics department celebrated the academic achievements of 2023’s outstanding doctoral graduates, Ziyuan Chen and Logan Walker.

Ziyuan Chen, who was mentored by Julie Biteen, has made remarkable contributions to the field of biophysics. He developed a rigorous algorithm for analyzing anomalous diffusion in single-molecule tracks using nonparametric Bayesian inference and machine learning approaches. Additionally, his creative experiments have helped in understanding how HP1 proteins recognize H3K9 methylation in fission yeast on the molecular scale. However, those three papers do not fully indicate the immense productivity that he has had in his career. He has made significant contributions as a first author or co-author to five papers, with one more under review. He has taught nearly everyone in the Biteen lab some coding and analysis approaches, worked tirelessly on difficult collaborative experiments, and kept everyone up to date on the relevant literature. Ziyuan has given terrific seminars, including a big one at the BPS conference in 2022, after which he received numerous postdoc job offers almost immediately. This fall, he begins a new role as a postdoc at the University of California, Berkeley.

Logan Walker, who was mentored by Dawen Cai, has also left an indelible mark on biophysics. He has been highly productive in his research, as evidenced by being the author of 11 publications, including three first-author papers. His achievements have been recognized by multiple awards and fellowships. He has received the NIDIA Academic Research Computing Grant, NSF XSEDE Scholarship, UM CDB Patten Award for Excellence in Graduate Research, the UM Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, as well as best poster and travel grants from multiple international conferences. He has been an integral part of both the Cai research group and the Biophysics program with his service. For now, he plans to continue working in the Cai lab as a Bioinformatics Computing Biologist.

The Biophysics department wishes both Ziyuan and Logan all the best in their future endeavors.