Biophysical Newsletter - August 2014

Newsletter AUGUST 2014 BPS Networking Events for 2014 Since 2011, Society members have hosted networking events bringing together local scientists to discuss various topics in biophysics. This year, three BPS-sponsored networking events have already taken place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lexington, Kentucky, and Paris, France, and six more are planned for 2014 in the following locations:


59 th Annual Meeting

February 7-11, 2015 Baltimore, Maryland October 1 Abstract Submission October 3

Networking Events in the US: La Crosse, Wisconsin - October 18 Blacksburg, Virginia - November 6 Networking Events outside the US: Lisbon, Portugal - September 3-5 Leuven, Belgium - September 24 St. John’s, Canada - October 4 Juelich, Germany - November 6

Travel Award Application SRAA Poster Competition






Application January 7 Early Registration

Congressional Fellowship Application October 14 Application Submission

Do you have an idea for a networking event and want to host one in your area? BPS will be accepting 2015 networking event proposals from August 25 thru October 30. If selected, you can receive up to $500 through the Membership Committee’s mini-grant program to host your event. For more information about networking events and proposal requirements, visit the Meetings section of the Society website at


KlausSchulten National Lecturer Universityof IllinoisatUrbana-Champaign

Discoveries inBiophysicsThrough theComputationalMicroscope





Cardiomyopathies andContractile Proteins Leslie Leinwand ,Universityof Colorado,Chair LucieCarrier ,UniversityofHamburg, Germany JilTardiff ,UniversityofArizona Wolfgang Linke ,RuhrUniversity Bochum,Germany MolecularBasis forMitochondrial Signaling TatianaRostovtseva ,NIH,Chair RosarioRizzuto ,Universityof Padova, Italy FabianaPerocchi ,Universityof Munich,Germany GyorgyHajnoczky ,Thomas JeffersonUniversity SystemsBiologyApproaches in Neuroscience KristinBranson ,HHMI, Janelia Farm, Chair EveMarder ,BrandeisUniversity Jeff Litchtman ,HarvardUniversity Additional speaker tobeannounced Mechanosensors MarcosSotomayor ,Ohio State University,Chair PavelTolar ,MRC,UnitedKingdom AlexDunn , StanfordUniversity AnjaGeitmann ,Universityof Montreal,Canada Advances in ElectronMicroscopy YifanCheng ,UniversityofCalifornia, San Francisco,Chair IriniaSerysheva ,UniversityofTexas MedicalCenter BettinaBöttcher ,Universityof Edinburgh,UnitedKingdom HongweiWang ,TsinghuaUniversity, China Emergent PropertiesandCollectiveBe- haviorsofComplex Systems AaronDinner ,UniversityofChicago, Chair AngelaDePace ,HarvardUniversity SatoshiSawai ,UniversityofTokyo, Japan DanielBeard ,UniversityofMichigan Nanopores:Methods and Mechanistic Insights ZuzannaSiwy ,UniversityofCalifornia, Irvine,Chair AleksandraRadenovic , École Polytechnique Fédéral Lausanne, Switzerland HaganBayley ,OxfordUniversity, UnitedKingdom MichaelMayer ,UniversityofMichigan Bacterial SubcellularDynamics atSuper-Resolution: ThisBrings Super-Resolution to a Dynamic Sense JulieBiteen ,UniversityofMichigan, Chair DavidSherratt ,OxfordUniversity, UnitedKingdom Simon Foster , SheffieldUniversity, UnitedKingdom MikeHeilemann ,Universityof Frankfurt,Germany

Protein Evolution and AllostericNetworks CoreyWilson, YaleUniversity,Chair ElizabethKomives ,Universityof California, SanDiego JanetThornton ,European Bioinformatics Institute, UnitedKingdom JoeThornton ,UniversityofChicago CatherineRoyer ,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,Chair LornaDougan ,Universityof Leeds, UnitedKingdom DouglasBartlett ,Universityof California, SanDiego Georges Feller ,Universityof Liége, Belgium Epigenetics LeneOddershede ,Universityof Copenhagen,Denmark,Chair Michael Fried ,UniversityofKentucky AleksandraWalczak , ÉcoleNormale Supérieure, France Joan-RamonDaban ,Autonomous UniversityofBarcelona, Spain BiophysicsofRNA Processing: Degradation, Splicing,DEAD Box Proteins SunHur, HarvardUniversity,Chair AnnaMallam ,UniversityofTexas atAustin DagmarKlostermeier ,Universityof Münster,Germany SanjayTyagi ,RutgersUniversity NanoclusteringofMembranes and Membrane Proteins KaYee Lee, UniversityofChicago, Chair Martin Lohse ,Universityof Würzburg,Germany Adam Frost ,UniversityofUtah Siewert-JanMarrink ,Universityof Groningen,TheNetherlands Catalysis in theMembrane JochenZimmer ,UniversityofVirginia, Chair ElizabethCarpenter ,Oxford University,UnitedKingdom EdithHummler , LausanneUniversity, Switzerland YaHa, YaleUniversity Extremophiles: Testing the Physical Limitsof Living Systems

Regulated ProteinBridgesConnecting Membranes: STIM Proteins inCellular Signaling Richard Lewis , StanfordUniversity, Chair MuraliPrakriya, Northwestern University BarbaraNiemeyer , SaarlandUniversity, Germany PatrickHogan , La Jolla Institute forAllergy and Immunology Neurostransmitter Transporters OlgaBoudker ,WeillCornellMedical College,Chair ChristofGrewer , SUNYBinghamton SatinderKauerSingh ,YaleUniversity MichaelKavanaugh ,Universityof Montana Membrane Trafficking Kerney JebrellGlover , Lehigh University,Chair LoisWeisman ,Universityof Michigan JennyHinshaw ,NIH AlexanderKros , LeidenUniversity, TheNetherlands MoleculesofMemory:Glutamate ReceptorChannels MarkMayer ,NIH,Chair RobertOswald ,CornellUniversity GabrielaPopescu ,Universityof Buffalo PierrePaoletti ,CNRS, IBENS, France Probing IonChannel Structure/ FunctionUsingNovel Tools HenryColecraft ,Columbia University,Chair ChristopherAhern ,University of Iowa HeikeWulff ,UniversityofCalifornia, Davis DougTobias ,Universityof California, Irvine MechanismsofActin Filament Nucleation andMechanotransduction RobertoDominguez ,Universityof Pennsylvania,Chair MargotQuinlan ,UniversityofCalifornia, LosAngeles GuillaumeRomet-Lemonne ,CNRS, France BradNolen ,UniversityofOregon

Microfluidics Tools for StudyingMolecules andCells PetraDittrich ,ETHZurich, Switzerland,Chair DaniellaGoldfarb ,Weizmann Instituteof Science, Israel Stephen Jackson , Indiana University AydoganOzcan ,Universityof California, LosAngeles ManagingDataandStatistics in the InformaticsEra NathanBaker ,PacificNorthwest National Laboratory,Chair PatriceKoehl ,Universityof California,Davis MukundThattai ,National Center forBiological Sciences, India ArvindRamanthan ,Oakridge National Laboratory StabilizingMembrane Proteins LindaColumbus ,Universityof Virginia,Chair AndreasPlückthun ,University ofZurich, Switzerland JamesBowie ,Universityof California, LosAngeles Advances inComputing Large Systems EmadTajkhordshid ,University of IllinoisatUrbana-Champaign, Chair AngelGarcia ,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Wonpil Im ,UniversityofKansas MargaretCheung ,University ofHouston NMRofComplexSystems IsabelleMarcotte ,Universityof Quebec,Canada,Chair Jean-PierreSimorre , Instituteof Biological Structure, France LynetteCegelski , Stanford University GianluigiVeglia ,University ofMinnesota Margaret Johnson , Johns HopkinsUniversity,Chair ThomasGregor ,Princeton University TetsuyaYomo ,Osaka University, Japan Michael Jewett ,Northwestern University CheemengTan ,Universityof California,Davis ArtificialCells:Understanding and Engineering ChrisTate ,MRC, UnitedKingdom

Look Inside for a Copy of the Annual Meeting Poster.

Help spread the word by posting a copy in your lab. For extra copies, contact


Subgroupswillhold symposiaon Saturday.





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Message from the President

Biophysical Journal

Biophysicist in Profile

Grants & Opportunities Members in the News

Biophysical Society

Public Affairs Annual Meeting

15 16



Molly Cule

Upcoming Events






Message from the President It is time to make preparations for attending the 2015 Biophysical Society Annual Meeting! The call for papers, which includes the symposia and workshop titles and speakers, was recently mailed to all Society members. The Meeting, which will be held in Baltimore, Maryland, February 7-11, 2015, again features a program full of exciting science.

Officers President Dorothy Beckett President-Elect Edward Egelman Past-President Francisco Bezanilla Secretary Lukas Tamm Treasurer Paul Axelsen Council Olga Boudker Taekjip Ha Samantha Harris Kalina Hristova Juliette Lecomte Amy Lee Marcia Levitus Merritt Maduke Daniel Minor, Jr. Jeanne Nerbonne Antoine van Oijen Joseph D. Puglisi Michael Pusch Bonnie Wallace David Yue Biophysical Journal Leslie Loew Editor-in-Chief

Meeting co-chairs Enrique de la Cruz and Karen Fleming , along with their committee members, have been working since October 2013 to develop a program that not only addresses the breadth of areas represented by Society members, but also incorporates new and emerging areas in biophysics. Devel- oping such a program for a field as multidisciplinary and rapidly changing as biophysics is a daunting task. A glance through the abstract topic categories, which are updated annually, illustrates the rapid progress of biophysics. The breadth and diversity of the Annual Meeting reflects the active participation of many Society members in the program development. From the call for topics that goes out each year to our 9,000 members, to the selection of over 500 speakers for platform sessions from among the submitted abstracts, to the independently designed subgroup programs, the Annual Meeting program is developed by and consists of working biophysi- cists representing a rich diversity of demographics, perspectives, techniques, and research areas. • The National Lecture by Klaus Schulten will reveal the contributions of computation to seminal discover- ies in biophysics. • In keeping with 2015 designated by UNESCO as the Year of Light symposia, including Bacterial Subcel- lular Dynamics at Super Resolution, Membrane Trafficking , and Advances in Electron Microscopy, illustrate the central role of biophysicists in exploiting light to reveal fundamental features of biological structure and function. • The engagement of biophysics in the emerging areas of systems and bioengineering research is evidenced in Emergent Properties and Collective Behaviors of Complex System and Artificial Cells: Understanding and Engineering . • Attend the Systems Biology Approaches to Neuroscience to better appreciate the contributions that biophys- ics can make to the Brain Initiative. • The Cardiomyopathies and Contractile Proteins symposium provides an opportunity to learn about the basic research performed by the Society membership that is directed toward elucidating molecular mechanisms of disease. As biophysicists, we know that attendance at the Annual Meeting is crucial to remaining professionally cur- rent. As PIs, we know the role the Meeting has played in our own development and its importance to the students and postdocs in our labs. Many of us joined the Biophysical Society in order to present our first posters or platform talks. Many of us work in departments in which there are no other biophysicists. For us, each Meeting is like a homecoming where we reunite with and learn from old connections and friends and where we develop new collaborations. Included in this newsletter is a poster with the scientific program for you to post and distribute. Spread the word about the benefits of attending the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting with others. I look forward to seeing you in Baltimore! The symposia and workshop topics illustrate the breadth of both the meeting and the discipline of biophysics.

Society Office Ro Kampman Executive Officer Newsletter Ray Wolfe Production Laura Phelan Profile

Ellen Weiss Public Affairs

The Biophysical Society Newsletter (ISSN 0006-3495) is published twelve times per year, January- December, by the Biophysical Society, 11400 Rockville Pike, Suite 800, Rockville, Maryland 20852. Distributed to USA members and other countries at no cost. Canadian GST No. 898477062. Postmaster: Send address changes to Biophysical Society, 11400 Rockville Pike, Suite 800, Rockville, MD 20852. Copyright © 2014 by the Biophysical Society. Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved.

–Dorothy Beckett , President





Congressional Science & Technology Policy Fellowship

Interested in using your science skills to inform science policy? Interested in spending a year working on Capitol Hill in Washington helping develop policy?

Apply to be the first BPS Congressional Fellow!

Application deadline is October 14, 2014.

Visit for more details about the program.

Biophysical Journal Paper of the Year Award

Biophysical Journal (BJ) is pleased to announce the new Biophysical Journal Paper of the Year Award. The award will be presented to the corresponding author of an outstanding paper published in the Journal during the previous 12 months, beginning with Janu- ary 2014 submissions. The award is given for an original regular article in BJ and will spotlight the high-quality work of young investigators. The award recipient will:

• have received their PhD or MD within the past 12 years, • be selected by a committee of Associate Editors and the Editor-in-Chief, • receive $1,000, and • speak at the Society’s Annual Meeting.

For more information, go to





Biophysicist in Profile

GABRIELA AMODEO California redwoods first inspired Gabriela Amodeo ’s interest in plant science. The sheer size of the trees sparked her curiosity. “Since childhood,” she explains, “I was impressed with a photograph of the tallest trees in nature, and I was puzzled with the idea of how nature could deal with altitude and water transport to and from the tiny leaves on top of these trees: water, gravity, fluids, tension…inadvertently, I was looking at nature with biophysical eyes!” Amodeo’s parents were very encouraging of her curiosity and academic interests, and always had books available for her. Thus, she became a voracious reader. She says, “Reading was like breathing. I grew up with Encyclopedia Britannica , among many other books. I was taught to look at the books to find answers.” Given her interest in botanical questions, Amodeo decided to study biology. When she took her first plant physiology class, she knew that she had found the right course of study for her.

Amodeo completed her bachelor’s degree in biology at the National University of the South in Bahia Blanca, Argentina, the city where she grew up. She continued at the university for her graduate program, studying ion channels in plant cells. “The first time I was invited to a laboratory to watch an experiment in electrophysiology, "Amodeo remembers, “ I saw an oscilloscope trace signal. I was told that the signal was produced by a live ion channel opening and closing at regular intervals: ions moving through a cell membrane!” She began using electrophysiology techniques, specifically patch clamping isolated vacuoles, isolated from an algae ( Chara corallina ), and later in her work continued on ion channels in onion ( Allium cepa ) guard cells. Early on, Amodeo had great difficulty with this tech- nique. She explains, “Patch clamping plant cells is kind of tricky—not as easy as with animal cells. For some reason it is difficult to obtain good seals. I thought I would never see a nice and clean result out of my setup.” After this difficult start, she was able to move forward with her thesis work. It was during her time in graduate school that Amodeo met Ariel Escobar at a bio- physics meeting in Tigre, Argentina, and her research impressed him even then. “She was a real pioneer,” he remembers,

“ I was impressed with a photo- graph of the tallest trees in nature, and I was puzzled with the idea of how nature could deal with alti- tude and water transport to and from the tiny leaves ” – Gabriela Amodeo

Amodeo (left) with members of her lab.







“I think she was the first person to work in algae channels in Latin America.” In the early 1990s, Escobar worked in the Department of Physiol- ogy at the University of California, Los Angeles, while Amodeo was employed in its Department of Biology. The two collaborated on a project assessing the function of guard cells, which allow the exchange of gases in a leaf. These cells swallow when illuminated with blue light; the increase in cell volume is mediated by an influx of water and potassium ions. “These are some of the very few cells where potassium can influx the cell through

at the University of Buenos Aires. Her lab con- tinues to focus on water relations in plants, using biophysical and physiological approaches. “Our aim is to understand regulatory mechanisms that enhance water permeability. We have evidence that heterotetramerization and gating can jointly affect the water transport capacity of the mem- brane. We would like to integrate this information with plant-water relations, because there are still many open questions.” The excitement of being a biophysicist, for Amodeo is in the breadth of techniques consistently being developed. She says, “You always think and fear that you are facing an ex- perimental bottleneck, but, particularly in biophysics, there is always the possibil- ity of employing resourceful newly developed techniques to proceed on the quest for knowledge.” The exposure to new techniques and varied approaches typical of the Biophysical Society Annual Meet- ing has influenced Amodeo’s decision to attend. She adds, “The (Annual) Meetings provide a very broad perspective of different scientific approaches not only by demonstration of new techniques but also allowing interaction between people from many different fields. They give you a perspective you never thought about. It is very important for young people to have this unique opportunity to share and learn.” She has encouraged the young people she works with to apply for the Society’s travel awards so that they might benefit from that same broadened perspective. When she is not in the lab, Amodeo enjoys pho- tography and cooking. Escobar recalls a particu- larly exciting picnic during their days at UCLA, “Gabriela is a great cook. I remember trying to prepare a barbeque at Joshua Tree National Park during summer, for Eduardo Perozo . The meat —and us—were cooking with no fire due to the extreme heat.”

“ You always think and fear that you are facing an experimental bottleneck, but, particularly in biophysics, there is always the possibility of employing resourceful newly developed techniques ” – Gabriela Amodeo

Amodeo organizing imaging acquisition for stusdents in her Plant Physiology course.

ionic channels because the membrane potential is more negative than the potassium equilibrium potential,” Escobar explains. “Finally, water and potassium are accumulated inside an intracellular organelle, the tonoplast. Thus, we studied the potassium channels in the tonoplast membranes that allow potassium permeation.” The project went extremely well, resulting in a paper published in Plant Physiology . Amodeo continued to work on ion channels throughout her postdoc years, and then transi- tioned to plant-water relation, specifically plant aquaporins. “I wanted to continue my work in ion channels,” she explains, “but Mario Parisi’s group specializing in water transfers in epithelial cells seduced me into exploring the recently discovered water channels, not only in their systems but also in plant cells… [plant aquaporins] were discovered in the 1990s and nobody knew at that moment how wide their distribution was through all the kingdoms and their relevance in the plant field.” Currently, Amodeo is a professor in the Depart- ment of Biodiversity and Experimental Biology


Gabriela Amodeo Institution University of Buenos Aires, Argentina Research Area Plant aquaporins: Gating and translocation as key compo- nents to water permeation





Public Affairs

New NIH/NSF Program Strives to Move Biomedical Innova- tions to the Marketplace The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are collaborat- ing on an initiative, NIH Innovation Corps Team Training Pilot Program (I-Corps at NIH), to train NIH-funded researchers on how to evaluate their scientific discoveries for commercial potential, with the aim of accelerating biomedical innovations into applied health technologies. Researchers with Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I awards from participating NIH institutes are eligible to apply to participate in the training but must assemble a team that includes a corporate officer and an industry expert. The NIH institutes that will participate in the pilot program are the National Cancer Institute, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Teams selected for I-Corps at NIH will participate in a nine-week boot camp in which experienced business-savvy instructors with biomedical business experience work closely with teams of researchers to help them explore potential markets for their federally funded innovations. According to a press release issued by NIH and NSF, Michael Weingarten , director of the NCI SBIR Development Center, and his colleagues initially reached out to NSF about offering the program through NIH because they witnessed the difference I-Corps made for the graduates. To date, more than 300 three-person teams have completed the NSF I-Corps training. “I-Corps will help teach NIH-funded start-ups how to build scalable business models around new technologies they’re developing for the detection and treatment of disease. The program sheds new light on how companies can deal with important business risks such as protecting intellectual prop-

Congressional Appropriations Process Stalled What was supposed to be a somewhat smooth ap- propriations process compared to recent years has stalled over disagreements on policy issues rather than top line spending levels. The House and Sen- ate agreed on a top line budget number as part of a two year deal in December 2014, putting a budget resolution in place before the 2014 appropriations process even started. Even with that done, the two parties are having trouble finding common ground on the spending bills. A package of three FY 2015 appropriations bills that had been approved by the House stalled in the Senate after Senate Democrats and Republicans were unable to reach an agreement on the amend- ment process. The package included funding for NSF, and amendments were expected to decrease funding for the social sciences and/or geophysical research, to defund specific grants, and to challenge the peer review process. To help fend off those ef- forts, the Society called upon its members to write to their Senators and oppose any such amend- ments. In the two days before the bill was pulled from the floor, BPS members sent 291 letters. The Coalition for National Science Funding, of which the Biophysical Society is a member, also sent a let- ter opposing the potential amendments. After the bill was pulled from consideration, it was unclear when it would return to the Senate floor for con- sideration again. In light of the disagreement over the amendment process, the Senate Appropriations Committee also postponed consideration of the FY15 Energy and Water bill. The FY 2015 fiscal year begins on October 1, 2014. If the appropriations bills are not approved by Congress by the end of September, Congress must pass a continuing resolution funding the gov- ernment temporarily in order to prevent a govern- ment shutdown.





erty, and developing regulatory and reimbursement strategies,” Weingarten said in the release. The 24 teams selected for the program will receive supplemental funding from NIH to support entre- preneurial training, mentorship, and collaboration opportunities. The application deadline for the first cohort is August 7, 2014. More information can be found at 14-261.html. NIH Finds Focus for BRAIN Initiative The NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) endorsed a new report calling for $4.5 billion in funding for brain research beginning in 2016. The report, which was requested by NIH Director Francis Collins and prepared by a work- ing group subcommittee of the ACD, lays out the vision for NIH’s participation in the federal Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. NIH already announced an investment of $40 million in fiscal year 2014 and President Obama has made a request for $100 million for NIH’s component of the initiative in his fiscal year 2015 budget. The NIH efforts on the BRAIN Initiative will seek to map the circuits of the brain, measure the fluc- tuating patterns of electrical and chemical activity flowing within those circuits, and understand how their interplay creates our unique cognitive and behavioral capabilities. The following scientific goals were identified as high priorities for achieving this vision: • Identify and provide experimental access to the different brain cell types to determine their roles in health and disease. • Generate circuit diagrams that vary in resolu- tion from synapses to the whole brain. • Produce a dynamic picture of the functioning brain by developing and applying improved methods for large-scale monitoring of neural activity.

• Link brain activity to behavior with precise interventional tools that change neural circuit dynamics. • Produce conceptual foundations for under- standing the biological basis of mental pro- cesses through development of new theoretical and data analysis tools. • Develop innovative technologies to under- stand the human brain and treat its disorders; create and support integrated brain research networks. • Integrate new technological and conceptual approaches produced in the other goals to discover how dynamic patterns of neural activ- ity are transformed into cognition, emotion, perception, and action in health and disease. The Working Group proposes committing $400 million per year for fiscal years 2016-2020 to focus on technology development and validation and $500 million per year for years 2020-2025 to increasingly focus on the application of those technologies in an integrated fashion to make fundamental new discoveries about the brain. The working group emphasized that its cost estimates assume that the budget for the BRAIN Initiative will supplement, not supplant, NIH’s existing in- vestment in the broader spectrum of basic, transla- tional, and clinical neuroscience research. “While these estimates are provisional and subject to congressional appropriations, they represent a realistic estimate of what will be required for this moon shot initiative,” said Collins in a press release. “As the Human Genome Project did with precision medicine, the BRAIN Initiative promises to transform the way we prevent and treat devastat- ing brain diseases and disorders while also spurring economic development.” The BRAIN Initiative is jointly led by NIH, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the US Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and Food and Drug Administration.





59 th Annual Meeting February 7-11, 2015  Baltimore, Maryland

Workshops Workshops will be held in the evenings on Sunday and Tuesday, 7:30–9:30 pm. Workshops differ from symposia, which highlight current research and findings, in that they focus on biophysical tech- niques and their applications to research in different areas.

Microfluidics Tools for Studying Molecules and Cells Petra Dittrich , ETH Zurich, Switzerland, Chair Daniella Goldfarb , Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel Stephen Jackson , Indiana University Aydogan Ozcan , University of California, Los Angeles Managing Data & Statistics in the Informatics Era Nathan Baker , Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Chair Patrice Koehl , University of California, Davis Mukund Thattai , National Center for Biological Sciences, India Arvind Ramanthan , Oakridge National Laboratory Linda Columbus , University of Virginia, Chair Andreas Plückthun , University of Zurich, Switzerland James Bowie , University of California, Los Angeles Chris Tate , MRC, United Kingdom Stabilizing Membrane Proteins

Advances in Computing Large Systems

Emad Tajkhordshid , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Chair Angel Garcia , Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Wonpil Im , University of Kansas Margaret Cheung , University of Houston

NMR of Complex Systems

Isabelle Marcotte , University of Quebec, Canada, Chair Jean-Pierre Simorre , Institute of Biological Structure, France Lynette Cegelski , Stanford University Gianluigi Veglia , University of Minnesota

Artificial Cells: Understanding and Engineering

Margaret Johnson , Johns Hopkins University, Chair Thomas Gregor , Princeton University Tetsuya Yomo , Osaka University, Japan Michael Jewett , Northwestern University Cheemeng Tan , University of California, Davis






Abstract Categories The Society organizes the platform and poster sessions based on scientific areas. When you submit an abstract, you will be asked to choose the two categories under which your abstract best fits. The abstract categories for the 2015 meeting are listed below.

4G Cardiac, Smooth & Skeletal Muscle Electrophysiology 4H Muscle Regulation 4I Biopolymers in Vivo 4J Nucleo-Cytoplasmic Transport Channels 5A Voltage-gated Na Channels 5B Voltage-gated Ca Channels 5C Voltage-gated K Channels 5D Mechanisms of Voltage Sensing & Gating 5E TRP Channels 5F Ligand-gated Channels 5G Ion Channel Regulatory Mechanisms 5H Ion Channels, Pharmacology & Disease 5I Other Channels 6A Skeletal Muscle Mechanics, Structure & Regulation 6B Cardiac Muscle Mechanics & Structure 6C Cardiac Muscle Regulation 6D Smooth Muscle Mechanics, Structure & Regulation 6E Actin Structure, Dynamics & Associated Proteins 6F Microtubules, Structure, Dynamics & Associated Proteins 6G Kinesins, Dyneins & Other Microtubule-based Motors 6H Myosins 6I Cytoskeletal Assemblies & Dynamics 6J Cell Mechanics, Mechanosensing & Motility 6K Cytoskeletal-based Intracellular Transport 6L Bacterial Mechanics, Cytoskeleton & Motility Cytoskeleton, Motility & Motors

Proteins 1A Protein Structure & Conformation 1B Protein Stability, Folding & Chaperones 1C Protein-Small Molecule Interactions 1D Protein Assemblies 1E Protein Dynamics & Allostery 1F Membrane Protein Structure & Folding 1G Enzymes & Protein Folding 1F Intrinsically Disordered Proteins (IDP) & Aggregates Nucleic Acids 2A DNA Replication, Recombination & Repair 2B Transcription 2C Ribosomes & Translation 2G Chromatin & the Nucleoid Lipid Bilayers & Membranes 3A Membrane Physical Chemistry 3B Membrane Dynamics 3C Membrane Active Peptides & Toxins 3D Membrane Fusion 3E Membrane Structure 3F Protein-Lipid Interactions 4A Membrane Receptors & Signal Transduction 4B Mechanosensation 4C Exocytosis & Endocytosis 4D Calcium Signaling 4E Intracellular Calcium Channels & Calcium Sparks & Waves 4F Excitation-Contraction Coupling 2D DNA Structure & Dynamics 2E RNA Structure & Dynamics 2F Protein-Nucleic Acid Interactions Cell Physiology & Biophysics

(Continued on next page)





Bioenergetics 7A Membrane Pumps, Transporters & Exchangers 7B Energy Transducing Membrane Protein Complexes 7C Electron & Proton Transfer 7D Light Energy Harvesting, Trapping & Transfer 7E Mitochondria in Cell Life & Death Systems Biology 8A Gene & Epigenetic Regultory Systems 8B Synthetic Biology 8C Cellular Signaling & Metabolic Networks 8D Systems Biology & Disease 8E Emerging Techniques & Approaches New Developments in Biophysical Techniques 10A Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Imaging & EPR Spectroscopy 10B Electron Microscopy, Diffraction & Scattering Techniques 10C Molecular Dynamics 10D Computational Methods & Bioinformatics 10E Optical Microscopy & Super Resolution Imaging 10F Single-Molecule Spectroscopy 10G Optical Spectroscopy: CD, UV-VIS, Vibrational, Fluorescence 10H Force Spectroscopy & Scanning Probe Microscopy Biophysics of Neuroscience 9A Molecular, Cellular, & Systems Neuroscience: Experimental Approaches, Modeling & Tools

Biophysics Education 12A Biophysics Education Techniques

New this year: To allow attendees to search for abstracts based on specific techniques, during abstract submission you will be asked to select the techniques used in your research from among a list of broad topics. If you did not use any of the techniques listed, you will have the option to select “None/Other.” • Calorimetry • Cell/Tissue Imaging & Mechanics • Analytical Ultracentrifugation • Computation Chemistry • Molecular Modeling • Molecular Dynamics Simulations • Bioinformatics • Electrophysiology • Fluorescence • Atomic Force Spectroscopy • Vibrational Spectroscopy (Infrared & Raman) • Light Microscopy & Super Resolution Imaging • Microfluidics & Microfabrication • Nanotechnology • X-Ray & Neutron Resonance/EPR Spectroscopy • Single Molecule Methods • Optical Spectroscopy (CD & UV-VIS) • X-Ray Crystallography

Bioengineering & Biomaterials 11A Bioengineering 11B Biosensors 11C Engineered Biosurfaces 11D Biosurface Interactions 11E Micro and Nanotechnology 11F Biomaterials





Dear Molly Cule Professor Molly Cule is delighted to receive comments on her answers and (anonymized) questions at , or visit her on the BPS Blog.

and will be able to help you identify potential advisors. 3) Be aware of pitfalls when considering postdoc- toral locations and mentors. You want to choose an environment with a track record of produc- tive postdoctoral researchers who have moved on towards solid industry positions or independent academic faculty appointments. You will have to ask about the funding, space, and time that the postdoctoral mentor can provide you, making sure that you will have the appropriate resources to accomplish your work. Ask about his/her expecta- tions of you, in terms of what you can contribute, what you will be eager to learn, and how long you should expect to be in his/her laboratory. Think about what you need and want from your post- doctoral experience, and what you can provide to make it a win-win for both you and the post- doctoral advisor. Additionally, you may want to consider the institution’s location. Make sure you will be able to access your favorite leisure activities in your time outside of the lab. This process can take some time, and if you find a good fit early it may also provide you the opportu- nity to prepare a postdoctoral fellowship applica- tion to support your postdoctoral studies before you even arrive. Often it is easiest to approach faculty who you have known over the years, people you have met through meetings, or distant col- leagues of your PhD advisor. These personal con- nections help lessen the trepidation of asking for a postdoc. If you are not familiar with the professor, first write an email to him/her, explaining why you want to be a part of his/her research group. Let the professor know that you will call to follow up within a few days to discuss the possibilities, which will let him/her know you are serious about the position, rather than just searching for options. If you have done your homework on the process, you will have well thought out goals and solid ideas about why this postdoc will be the best fit for both of you. This will go a long way to starting the dia- logue that allows you to find a great postdoctoral research opporunity.

How do I approach a professor about a postdoctoral position in his/her lab? First off, congratulations on your impending completion of graduate school. Finishing your PhD is no small feat. If you are interested in pursuing a postdoctoral experience, the ball lies in your court to approach a professor, which can be intimidating. However, with appropriate planning, a bit of soul searching, and doing your homework, approaching a professor about a postdoctoral op- portunity in his/her laboratory will be much easier. Prior to approaching a professor about a postdoc- toral research opportunity, there are several things to consider: 1) Perhaps the most important item you need to learn about yourself is: What do you want from a postdoc and where do you want to be when you finish your postdoc? Consider whether you want to pursue a faculty position at a major research university; a teaching-faculty appointment at a research university or undergraduate college; or an industry position in molecular biophysics, engi- neered biofuels, or big-data algorithms at a Na- tional Laboratory or trading firm on Wall Street. Think about which new skills and techniques you want to learn from your postdoctoral position and what you can build upon given your strengths. Take advantage of your postdoctoral experience, as it can be the most opportune and productive time to learn new techniques and begin to develop inde- pendent research directions. Before you approach a professor, you want to be confident in what you hope to gain from the experience and be convinced that you have explored the opportunities that will best meet your needs. 2) Now that you have clarified your individual reasons for pursuing a postdoctoral position and considered the challenges associated with it, you will have an opportunity to learn about and iden- tify potential postdoctoral mentors who can help you meet your goals. This might be the most fun part of the process. Your search can take many forms, but you definitely should consider discuss- ing your thoughts with your PhD advisor, as he/ she probably has a broader network of colleagues





Biophysical Journal Corner

Know the Editors

the same laws as the propagation of excitation in neurons or of the front of a flame. However, in contrast to these well-studied excitation waves, the clotting waves can stop. This discovery has led to new thoughts about the pathway of blood clot- ting in general. Apparently, different blocks of the clotting reactions are responsible for different as- pects of clotting: the activation, propagation, and termination. For example, the intrinsic pathway of blood clotting has previously been viewed as a “metabolic atavism,” which plays no significant role in humans. Our work has revealed that the reactions of the intrinsic pathway are critical for the propagation of clotting in space. These results have also stimulated interest in the new type of active medium, represented by blood, which we call “double active.” Such an excitation medium can give rise to very unusual mechanisms of self-organization, which are likely to be involved in other biological phenomena, including cell dif- ferentiation and pattern formation. Mechanisms of chromosome segregation. One of the most crucial steps in cell division, equal segregation of duplicated chromosomes, is carried out by the mitotic spindle. A primary spindle component is tubulin, which polymer- izes to form dynamic microtubules. We have developed novel mathematical models to study the mechanics and dynamics of tubulin polymers, leading to the quantitative prediction and then experimental confirmation of the force generated by tubulin disassembly. Shortening microtubules can generate force that is sufficiently large to explain poleward chromosome motion in cells, but capturing this large force requires specialized coupling mechanisms. We are now investigating the operation of different protein complexes with the goal of attaching a chromosome to the tips of the disassembling microtubules.

Fazly Ataullakhanov National Research Center for Hematology Moscow, Russia Editor in Molecular Machine, Motors and Nanoscale Biophysics Section

What is your area of research?

My research focuses on the dynamics of biologi- cal systems. I have worked on a broad spectrum of projects including enzymatic reactions, such as the peroxidase-oxidase system, and complex metabolic pathways: their hierarchy, overall integration, and impact on cell physiology. I also study spatiotemporal dynamics of blood clotting system and mechanisms of chromosome segrega- tion during cell division. The goal of these differ- ent studies has been to define the basic principles and mechanisms of self-organization of complex biological systems to understand how they func- tion efficiently and intelligently. Work toward this goal has required the tandem use of theoreti- cal and experimental approaches, while seeking a consistency between mathematical models and experimental results. Progress in these directions cannot be achieved working alone, and I was for- tunate to have excellent colleagues and talented students. Two ongoing projects are described below. We have constructed different mathematical models of blood clotting pathways and developed novel experimental approaches to monitor and analyze the clotting reactions with high spatial and temporal resolution. This work has estab- lished that the propagation of clotting abides by Spatio-temporal dynamics of blood clotting.





ORCID: The One and Only You In the July newsletter we announced that the Bio- physical Journal was collecting ORCID identifiers through the manuscript submission system. But, what exactly is ORCID and why should you have an ORCID identifier? ORCID stands for Open Researcher and Contrib- utor ID and consists of a 16-digit unique digital identifier that distinguishes each researcher. It has been likened to a social security number and a bar code for investigators, both of which are apt de- scriptors. It is what an ISSN number is to journals or a DOI is to an online article. A primary aim of ORCID is to ensure that researchers are associated with and recognized for their work throughout their career. Imagine if your name is J. Smith, Y. Zhang, or J. Gonzalez. You are applying for grants and publishing papers along with many other people named J. Smith, Y. Zhang, or J. Gonzalez. Even if your name is not common, it can change (through marriage), have a unique name order (in certain cultures), or be scattered throughout the literature with inconsistent use of first-name abbreviations. The ORCID system attributes research outputs to their true author through the use of a unique identifier and supports linkages among all of a researcher’s professional activities. In addition to name recognition and attribution, ORCID supports integrated workflow systems

whereby instead of filling out personal details on electronic forms associated with submitting papers or applying for grants, a researcher could also simply type in his or her ORCID number. Various fields would be completed automatically by pulling in data from other authorized sources, such as databases of papers, citations, grants, and contact details. Right now, ORCID maintains the registry of unique identifiers and has been rolling out new features regularly since its launch in October 2012. For this to be effective, members of the research community need to participate, and BPS encour- ages all of you in the biophysics research commu- nity to obtain an ORCID identifier. It’s free and it takes only a short amount of time. To register, researchers can visit the ORCID web- site, There, you can create a complete online record of your research and publications. You can also register when submitting your next manuscript to Biophysical Journal or when pro- viding an article review (the system will walk you through the steps). ORCID can be used by edi- tors, funding agencies, publishers, and institutions as a linking identifier throughout the entire chain of the scholarly communication process to allow reliable attribution of research and all intellectual property outputs. By offering this service through the BJ submission system, we hope to make it easy for authors, editors, and reviewers to register for an ORCID identifier if they do not already have one.





Members in the News

Grants and Opportunities

Liang Fang , Stanford University and Soci- ety member since 2014, Christoph Hasel- wandter , University of Southern California and Society member since 2014, and Jeetain Mittal , Lehigh University and Soci- ety member since 2009, have been selected to be 2014 Sloan Research Fellows by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Senior Investigator Awards

Objective: To support exceptional, world-class researchers, who hold an established academic position. Who May Apply: Applicant must be based in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, or a low- or middle-income country, and should have an established academic post at an eligible higher education or research institution. Submission Deadline: November 14, 2014 Website: ing/Biomedical-science/Funding-schemes/ Investigator-Awards/WTX059285.htm ABRCMS Student Travel Awards Objective: To increase the number of students pursuing advanced training in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Who May Apply: Undergraduate and post- baccalaureate students who are 1) an under- represented/underserved ethnicity or race, 2) a community college or minority serving institution student, 3) first generation college student, or 4) non-traditional student Submission Deadline: September 5, 2014 Website: travel-awards/travelawards/46-2013/travel- awards/217-travel-awards-student-travel-award

Liang Fang Christoph

Jeetain Mittal


Lila Gierasch , University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Society member since 1981, has been appointed to the NIH Council of Councils. Her term will last through October 31, 2016.

Lila Gierasch

Suggest a Student or Postdoc to Spotlight

Do you have a spotlight-worthy student or postdoc in your lab? Let us know. Send his/her name to so that they can be featured in the newsletter.






ity this summer and fall? The Biopolymers in vivo (BIV) Subgroup is proud to announce a new Logo Contest. The purpose of the logo is to create a catchy design that relates, in a direct or abstract way, to the BIV subgroup core goals: understand- ing the structure and function of biomolecules in the context of the living cell and developing novel cutting-edge techniques to facilitate this aim. The designer of the winning logo will receive $350 in cash, along with a free t-shirt and dinner with the BIV Subgroup after the 2015 Balti- more symposium . Eligibility is extended to all members of the Biophysical Society who are early- career scientists, i.e., students and postdocs. The winning design will be selected by the current BIV officers and student representatives (see below). The BIV logo will appear in the BPS Newslet- ter, in presentation slides, and on tee shirts to be sold at the 2015 Annual Meeting. The deadline for submitting your logo design is November 30, 2014. Entries should be sent by email attach- ment to . Contest rules and further details are available on the BIV Subgroup webpage ( Subgroups/BIV-Logo-Contest-Rules-2015_v4.pdf ). Please be sure to share this opportunity with your creative colleagues! We are also excited to announce that the officers of the BIV Subgroup recently elected two early- career representatives to enhance the subgroup’s outreach and responsiveness to younger scientists. Our first representative, Anna Simon , is a gradu- ate student in the laboratory of Kevin Plaxco , UC Santa Barbara. Anna received her BS degree in bi- ological engineering from MIT. Maxim Prigozhin , our second representative, is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Steven Chu , Stanford Univer- sity. Max received his PhD in chemical physics under the direction of Martin Gruebele , University of Illinois. We welcome Max and Anna on board and we look forward to their contributions to shape the BIV subgroup and help us make future business decisions. — Daryl Eggers , BIV Member-at-Large

Mechanobiology The Mechanobiology Subgroup held its 2 nd an- nual meeting on the Saturday before the 2014 Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in San Francisco. It is truly an exciting time for mecha- nobiology, with all sorts of new ways to physically manipulate and measure biosystems in combina- tion (or not!) with many approaches from mo- lecular biology. Linda Kenney , founding Chair of the Mechanobiology Subgroup, energized the meeting by organizing an outstanding and diverse afternoon session. Talks ranged from the cell and molecular scale to large organisms, and focused on forces, stresses, and kinematics in both experi- mental and theoretical studies. Alex Dunn helped raise funds for refreshments from several sponsors – thanks! The Subgroup meeting concluded with a small quorum of subgroup members discussing plans for the 3 rd annual meeting on the Satur- day before the 2015 Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in Baltimore. Dennis Discher will serve as the Subgroup Chair for the 2015 Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in Baltimore. Suggestions for possible topics, speakers, and sponsors are all welcome (please email: G.V. ‘Shiva’ Shivashankar will serve as the Sub- group Chair for the 2016 Meeting. We encourage all Society members to come to these Mechano- biology Subgroup meetings, whether you work in the topic or not, and please mention the subgroup to colleagues who work on any aspect of mecha- nobiology. Come participate, be inquisitive, and consider joining the Biophysical Society’s latest dynamic Subgroup. — Dennis E. Discher , Subgroup Chair BIV Students and Postdocs: Put Your Artistic Skills to Good Use! Biopolymers In Vivo Logo Contest Looking for opportunities to express your creativ-

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