Biophysical Newsletter - September 2014

Newsletter SEPTEMBER 2014


59 th Annual Meeting

BPS Election Results Scarlata Voted President-Elect; Separovic Elected Secretary; Four Society Members Elected to Council

February 7-11, 2015 Baltimore, Maryland October 1 Abstract Submission October 3 Travel Award Application SRAA Competition January 7 Early Registration Congressional Fellowship Application October 14 Application Submission Networking Event Proposals October 30

Suzanne Scarlata of Stony Brook University was elected President-Elect of the Biophysical Society in the 2014 Society elections. She will assume that office at the 2015 Annual Business Meeting in Baltimore, Mary- land. Her term as president will begin at the 2016 Annual Business Meeting in Los Angeles, California. Frances Separovic of the University of Melbourne was elected Society Secretary. Her four-year term will begin July 1, 2015.

Suzanne Scarlata, Stony Brook University

Frances Separovic, University of Melbourne

Four Society members were elected to Council, each for a three-year term that will begin at the 2015 Annual Meeting. They are,

Ruth Heidelberger, University of Texas Health Science Center

Robert K. Nakamoto, University of Virginia

Gabriela Popescu, University at Buffalo, SUNY

Erin Sheets, University of Minnesota, Duluth

The Society is indebted to all of the candidates who agreed to run in these elections and to the over 20% of eligible Society members who participated in the election by casting their votes.


2 4 6 8

12 12 14 14 16

Biophysicists in Profile



Members in the News International Affairs Grants and Opportunities

Biophysical Society

Biophysical Journal

Annual Meeting


Public Affairs

Upcoming Events






Biophysicists in Profile Sean Decatur , biophysicist and President of Kenyon College, uses his posi- tion to advocate for undergraduate science education, something he benefit- ted from during his time as a student at Swarthmore College. His career in biophysics began when he worked with Robert Pasternak and Alison Williams on an undergraduate research project involving liposome-encapsulation of porphyrin aggregates. He recalls, “The project was an introduction to a range of biophysical techniques, and I was very excited about the application of physical techniques to biological systems.” Upon graduating from Swarthmore, Decatur went on to earn his PhD in chemistry from Stanford University. He joined Steven Boxer’s group, work- ing on developing a novel myoglobin mutant first created by Doug Barrick in Buzz Baldwin’s lab, with which Boxer’s group had monthly joint group meet- ings. Decatur made an impression on Boxer early on with both his science and his personality. Boxer remembers, “There was a conflict between two people in the lab during the time Sean was a graduate student. To my amaze- ment and relief, he personally stepped in and managed this conflict largely without my knowing that there even was a problem. It was clear then that he possessed both great talent as a scientist and as a human being and leader.” Decatur then proceeded to a faculty position at Mount Holyoke College. He was able to set up his own lab and obtain external funding to develop an undergraduate research program at Mt. Holyoke. He says, “I found that I could work on interesting problems, mentor undergrads and use research as a way to introduce them to scientific thinking, and keep my hands active at the bench…I would encourage any grad students or postdocs with interests in this area to investigate this as a career direction. There is a good network of PUI [primarily undergraduate institution] faculty within the Biophysical Society.” When he started this research program, he aimed to explore protein struc- ture and dynamics with a technique that undergraduate students without a research background could grasp. Decatur explains, “FTIR proved to be a valuable tool for this work. Undergraduates could be involved in sample preparation (via peptide synthesis or molecular biology techniques), the col- lection of spectra, or the interpretation or modeling of data.” Working with undergraduates and helping them to evolve into independent scientists has been the most rewarding aspect of Decatur’s career. Sarah Petty , a former postdoc in his lab, saw his dedication and the effectiveness of his methods firsthand during her years working with him. At undergraduate institutions, Petty says, “The students have much less time to work in the lab and do not have the same background in course material or lab skills that gradu- ate students and postdocs have, so entrusting large projects to them is not always the best approach.” Sean’s students all had ownership of their own projects, but their result often contributed to a bigger, overarching goal in the lab. Decatur also encouraged his students to attend the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, where he first presented his work as a graduate student. He explains, “They were the first places where I presented my work and discov- ered the wide range of biophysics research out there. The connections I have made over the years are invaluable. As a faculty mentor, my students have had SEAN DECATUR

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

Society Office Ro Kampman Executive Officer Newsletter Ray Wolfe Alisha Yocum 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.





their first presentation experiences at Biophysi- cal Society meetings.” Many of his students have gone on to pursue PhDs in scientific fields, but not only undergrads have benefitted from Deca- tur’s mentorship. Petty shares, “Working in Sean’s lab was the single most important experience in my life. He gave me the freedom to plan my own experiments and make my own decisions, while always being there with suggestions and guidance. He allowed me to grow as a teacher as well, which is something not many people are able to do as a postdoctoral researcher.” Given his dedication to undergraduate students, Decatur has enjoyed the transition to administra- tion. He served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oberlin College for five years before accepting the presidency of Kenyon College in July 2013. In many ways, his work as a dean and then college president has been a departure from his career in teaching and research, but his back- ground in biophysics has been beneficial in this new endeavor. Decatur explains, “The fundamen- tal activities in biophysics—collaborating across and connecting with different disciplines, integrat- ing different types of data and information to ad- dress a complex question, and experimenting with new approaches or ideas—have all served me well in my work in academic administration.” His new position has also given him the opportunity to advocate for science as an essential part of a liberal arts education. He says, “Too often, the phrase ‘liberal arts’ becomes shorthand for humanities. Two essential components to a liberal education are developing an understanding of the natural and physical world and practicing experimental/ scientific methods for gathering information and constructing knowledge systems. The study of biophysics helps with both of these.” Decatur has created for himself a supportive com- munity of biophysicists. Many years after men- toring Decatur at Stanford, Boxer is still there to cheer him on. Boxer says, “Sean is a remarkable scientist and human being. He is thoughtful, en- gaged in everything, tireless, and has a big picture view of science and human activities. It was a great thrill to attend his inauguration as the President of Kenyon College.” Decatur has carried on this tradition of encouragement with his own protégés. Petty recounts, “He would always make time to talk to me and his students about our future plans and dreams and would help us to make them a re-

ality. And, in spite of his incredibly busy schedule, he continues to make time to celebrate our suc- cesses: in 2012, he made the long trip from Ohio to give a celebratory seminar at Holy Cross when I was awarded tenure.” Decatur says, “I am enjoying life as a college president. I want to focus on leading Kenyon, advocat[ing] for undergraduate science educa- tion, improving access to science careers to groups historically underrepresented in the sciences, and bolstering the public understanding of science; I

“ Too often, the phrase ‘liberal arts’ becomes shorthand for humanities. Two essential components to a liberal education are developing an under- standing of the natural and physical world and practicing experimental/ scientific methods for gathering infor- mation and constructing knowledge systems. “ – Sean Decatur

hope that my position as a college president will continue to provide platforms for this advocacy and opportunities to advance the national dialogue on these issues.” When Decatur is away from his post at Kenyon, he spends as much time as possible with his fam- ily, and also enjoys running, cycling, and watching sports. He says, “I grew up in Cleveland, which means that sports teams are typically disappoint- ments. But I am eternally optimistic about every- thing. This could be the season!” Biophysicists just starting out in their careers, De- catur says, should “choose problems that you find interesting; take advantage of any opportunities to learn new techniques; be willing to take risks on ambitious projects; enjoy the work; and take time to think about how cool some of the experiments and results are.”

Profilee at-a Glance

Sean Decatur Institution

Kenyon College Course of Study Biophysical Chemistry





Careers The Early Careers Committee hosted a panel discussion at the 58 th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, focusing on PhD careers beyond the bench. The panel consisted of Prithwish Pal , InVivo- scribe Technologies, Inc., Walter Ausserer , ForteBio, and Peter Aldhous , a freelance science journalist. Below are some of the highlights from the session.

Do I need to complete a postdoc before pursuing jobs away from the bench? Do I need writing samples when applying? Typically, a postdoc is valued for the new skills you learn, but is not required. Most companies do not ask for writing samples, but do not underesti- mate the importance of being a good writer in any position away from the bench — especially science communication. How will I know if a resume or CV is more appropriate for a job listing? For industry jobs, a resume is standard. Any resume over four pages will not be read, so make sure you are succinct. Rewrite your resume for each position you apply for, highlighting what is relevant to the job. Include keywords, which larger companies often electronically scan for before your resume is reviewed by a hiring manager. Are industry employers concerned with my publication record? Industry is far less concerned with an applicant’s publication record than is academia, but a good publication record reflects well on you, as it dem- onstrates your productivity and writing skills. How can I figure out if a company will be the right fit for me? Search online to see what is written about the company you are interested in. If you can, contact someone who works there already, so that you

What can I do to prepare for a career beyond the bench while I am in graduate school? When you are working on your PhD, you do not have much time to volunteer or get an internship. Writing a blog or writing for your university’s publications will set you apart and show potential employers that you can write well and communi- cate ideas effectively. Do not just do your work—consciously expand your network and encourage the success of others. Explore all of the options available to PhD scien- tists to figure out where your interests lie. Some areas you can look into are publishing, consulting companies, product management, sales, market- ing, science policy, IT, and science communica- tion. Make contact with someone who has a career you’re interested in, and find out what his/her job is really like. If that is not possible, become famil- iar with the work of someone who you admire, so that you can make a personal connection when you do start applying for jobs. Target your cover letter to the company to which you are applying. For jobs within large companies, especially bioin- formatics companies, having a business degree can be very helpful. If you are looking for a job within a small company, having a business degree can work against you. Is earning a business degree helpful?





can get an idea of the company culture. If it is a publicly traded company, look at how they are performing in the stock market. Would you recommend a bench job in industry before moving away from the bench? Experience working a bench job in industry is helpful. In some cases, it may be easier to move into a position away from the bench once you are already working within the company. For in- stance, you could transition from a job in Research & Development to one in Marketing.

How can I show that I am good at market- ing with experience only in bench science? Those who are hired for technical marketing posi- tions are chosen for their technical expertise. Of- ten, companies hire their own customers. Spend time on a machine produced by the company you want to work for, so that you become familiar with their products. Then you will be qualified for entry level jobs in field technical support. You can also talk to exhibitors of companies you are interested in while you are attending conferences. Ask the scientists staffing the booths how they got jobs within the company.

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 Corner

Know the Editors Jochen Guck

New & Notables The following articles are noteworthy articles from the September 2 issue of Biophysical Journal (107[5]). Let’s Twist (the S4) Again by Teresa Giraldez, which high- lights the paper Probing Al- pha-310 Transitions in a Voltage Sensing S4 Helix by Ana Correa, Tomoya Kubota, Jerome Lacroix, and Francisco Bezanilla. Mechanism of Collapse of Heterogeneous Lipid Monolayers by Peter Tieleman, Svetlana Baoukina, Dmitri Rozmanov, and Eduardo Mendez-Villu- endas. Bootstrapping New Protein Folds by Robert Best, which highlights Smooth Functional Transition along a Mutational Pathway with an Abrupt Protein Fold Switch by Stefan Wallin and Christian Holzgräfe. New Insights into Lipid Mono- layers from Coarse-grained Simulation Techniques by Mark Santer, which highlights The

Biotechnology Center Technische Universität Dresden Editor for Cell Biophysics Section

Jochen Guck

Q: What is your area of research? We are interested in the mechanical properties of entire cells and tissues. We develop photonic, mi- crofluidic, and scanning-probe tools to measure mechanical properties and then test their bio- logical importance. Our research shows that cell mechanics is intricately linked with cell functions such as cell migration, division, or phagocytosis. A stiff cell has a harder time migrating through tight spaces than a soft cell. Cancer cells, for example, are softer than normal cells, especially when they are metastatic and migrate through the body. Thus, we try to diagnose cancer by the increased deformability of cells and try to find novel ways to treat the disease. Mechanical phenotyping can generally be used to characterize cells, to monitor physiological changes (such as stem cell differentiation), and to diagnose patho- logical alterations (such as metastatic progression or inflammation). Currently, we are establishing a microfluidic method to measure cell mechanics at the throughput of flow cytometers (hundreds of cells per second), in order to translate our ideas for widespread application. Recently, we have also started to investigate whether and how cells respond to mechanical properties of their sur- roundings. We are especially interested in assess- ing the importance of this “mechanosensing” in pathological conditions of the central nervous system, such as spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis. Our ultimate goal is the transfer of our findings to medical application for improved diagnoses of diseases and novel approaches in regenerative medicine.

Submit Your Computational Tools Article Today Visit for more information.





Frequently Asked Questions Q: BJ is a Society journal but has a partnership with Cell Press. How does that work? Our partnership with Cell Press provides us with resources, economies of scale, and outreach that we would not have otherwise. Economical print- ing and distribution, copyediting, a robust website, licensing and permissions management, marketing, and media relations are just some of the services that we benefit from through our partnership. Q: BJ publishes a broad range of papers. How do I know if my article is right for BJ? The Guidelines for Authors ( pb/assets/raw/journals/society/biophysj/PDFs/ Instructions_to_Authors.pdf) outlines in detail the types of articles acceptable for BJ . You should also feel free to contact the Editorial office, the Editor- in-Chief, or any member of the Editorial Board if you are not sure if your research is appropriate for BJ . You can view the current Editorial Board roster at board. Q: What should I expect in the way of reviews? Manuscripts submitted to Biophysical Journal are reviewed by working scientists from around the world who are experts in their field. Most research articles receive three reviews. You can expect com- prehensive, insightful, and helpful evaluations.

script is accepted, you will be asked to submit final files. It will be 30 days from receipt of those files until publication. Q: Do I have to be a member of BPS to publish in BJ ? No, membership in the Society is not required to publish in BJ . As a member, however, you do receive reduced rates for publishing in the Journal. Members pay about two-thirds the cost of page charges, receive free color for online figures, and save $100 per figure on print figures. (Note: the corresponding author must be a member at the time of submission to qualify.)

Q: What is the embargo policy of BJ ?

In keeping with most agency and institutional guidelines, BJ makes its full content available after 12 months. We deposit all articles into PubMed Central after 12 months.

Q: Is BJ an open access journal?

BJ offers an immediate open access option for authors who do not want to wait for the 12-month embargo. For a fee of $1,800 your article will be open to the world on the BJ website as soon as it is published. If your funding body requires immedi- ate open access (e.g., Wellcome Trust), the article will then be delivered to PubMed Central upon publication; it will also be freely available on the BJ website. Q: What if I have other questions about the journal? Visit or contact with additional questions.

Q: How long will it take to get my article published?

Most authors receive an initial decision on their paper within 30 days of submission. If your manu-





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

Year of Light

Abstract Submission

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly 68 th Session has proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015). In doing so, the UN has recognized the impor- tance of raising global awareness about how light- based technologies promote sustainable develop- ment and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture, and health. In honor of IYL 2015, the Biophysical Society 59th Annual Meeting will include symposia that focus on the importance of light and light-based technologies: Advances in Electron Microscopy Yifan Cheng , University of California, San Francisco, Chair Irina Serysheva , University of Texas Medical Center Bettina Böttcher , University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom Hongwei Wang , Tsinghua University, China Bacterial Subcelluar Dynamics at Super-Resolution Julie Biteen , University of Michigan, Chair David Sherratt , Oxford University, United Kingdom Simon Foster , Sheffield University, United Kingdom Mike Heilemann , University of Frankfurt, Germany Membrane Trafficking Kerney Jebrell Glover , Lehigh University, Chair Lois Weisman , University of Michigan Jenny Hinshaw , NIH Alexander Kros , Leiden University, The Netherlands

Top Reasons to Submit an Abstract before the October 1 Deadline: Present Be considered for one of the 500 oral platform session speaking slots; Publish Have your accepted abstracts published in an online, full searchable supplement to Biophysical Journal ; Enhance Research Enrich the experience of attendees and contribute to the sharing of ideas that is the basis of the biophysics community; Network Increase confidence and personal development while enhancing your CV; and Collaborate

IYL2015 Image by Sebastian Lemp, Offenburg University

Collaborate and network in this interdisciplinary environment.






Student Research Achievement Awards (SRAA)

Industry/Agency Opportunities Fair Tuesday, February 10, 1-3 pm In response to requests for more informa- tion on careers in the private sector, the Society is hosting its first ever industry/agency op- portunities fair. Exhibitors, companies, and agen- cies will be participating and talking about career opportunities at their organizations. Whether you are currently seeking your next opportunity, considering future options, or just curious, plan to attend and learn more about working outside academia.

Sunday, February 8, 6-9 pm

The Student Research Achievement Award (SRAA) competition gives students the opportunity to present their poster to senior researchers in their field. Monetary awards will be granted to winners in each category. Encour- age your students attending the Annual Meeting to register for the competition. The deadline for registration is October 3, 2014. Travel Awards Are you in need of supplemental funding so that you or your students can attend the Annual Meeting? The Biophysical Society provides travel awards to the Annual Meeting for students, postdoctoral fellows, and senior scientists to recognize excellence in biophysics and promote greater interaction among biophysicists throughout the world. The deadline to apply is October 3, 2014.

Extend Your Stay Visit these top attractions while visiting Baltimore! • Maryland Science Center

• Port Discovery Children's Museum

• Baltimore Aquarium

• American Visionary Art Museum

• Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum





Public Affairs

leaders of the US House of Representatives and the Senate’s Environmental and Public Works Committee on a piece of legislation passed June 24 by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee entitled the Secret Science Reform Act. In late July eight Senators, including Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-WY), introduced a companion bill to the House bill. If it were to become law, the Secret Science Reform Act would prohibit the EPA from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating regu- lations or assessments unless all underlying data were made publicly available and reproducible. While the bill targets an agency not directly tied to biophysical research, the Society’s public affairs committee was concerned about the impact the legislation would have on individual scientists whose work may become drawn into the midst of political/legal battles and the precedent it would set for research conducted at other federal agencies. To read the letters go to http://www.biophysics. org/AboutUs/NewsRoom/tabid/2243/Default. aspx. America Competes Act Reauthorization Just before the Senate recessed for the month of August, Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller, IV , Chairman of the Senate Committee on Com- merce, Science, and Transportation, along with Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Ed Markey (D-MA), introduced the America COM- PETES Reauthorization Act of 2014. Rockefeller, a long- time supporter of research and develop- ment, STEM, and innovation related issues, is retiring at the end of the year. The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014 would authorize stable and sustained increas- es in federal research and development (R&D) funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and

Biophysics: Changing Our World


In an effort to collect new stories showcasing how fundamental biophysics research can result in out- comes that make a positive impact on the world, the Biophysical Society solicited the community to submit one minute videos or one page essays highlighting one such advancement. Judges from the Society’s public affairs committee, which sponsored the contest, reviewed the entries and selected 4 winners. They are: Daniela Dalm , a member and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas, Medical Branch at Galveston, for her video on fighting cancer; Ryan Hoffman , Scripps Research Institute, for his video on fighting the flu; Rishabh Kumar , Carmel High School, working in the lab of BPS member Horia. Petrache, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, for his Keir Neuman , NHLBI, NIH, for his essay on a new treatment for toe nail fungus infections. View the winning entries by going to and clicking 'Awards & Funding' and then 'Society Contests'. BPS Raises Concern over the Secret Science Reform Act The Biophysical Society joined 43 other science- minded organizations in sending a letter to the essay entitled Galvani’s Powerful Discovery; and





Technology (NIST). The bill would also promote the economic benefits of promising R&D and address agency efforts, including at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to increase participation in STEM fields, including among women and minorities. As in the original bill, the America COMPETES Act of 2007, the Reauthorization’s goal is to increase investments in key federal R&D activities; to advance STEM education; and to support the innovation necessary for economic growth. “Our bill makes it clear that the US is committed not only to investing in research, but also to getting our students excited about STEM so that America can continue to lead the world in innovation,” Rockefeller said in a press release. With only September left before Congress adjourns for the year (with the exception of a lame ducks session that will probably occur to finish necessary business, such as appropriations), it is unlikely the reauthorization bill will become law this year. It does lay the groundwork for 2015, though. Ask Your Candidates Voter Initiative issues of importance to them. To help the public learn where candidates stand on issues related to medical progress, such as federal funding for re- search, Research!America has launched an initiative called Ask Your Candidates . The purpose of the initiative is to get those running for Congress to publicly share their positions on these issues. As of August 1, candidates from 32 states had responded to requests to comment on the importance of medical progress. Individuals can ask the candidates running in their districts to participate using Research!America’s prepared letter available at http://www.cap- With midterm Congressional elections around the corner, many voters are reading about the candidates and trying to determine where they stand on If your candidate has already provided a statement on his/her position, you can use the link to thank them. Both asking candidates to answer and thank- ing those that already have helps raise awareness of the importance of medical progress and voters’ interest in the issue. You can read submitted statements submitted by candidates at Landis to Step Down at NINDS Story Landis , Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), NIH, announced that she will step down from that role in September. Landis has served as director since 2003 and prior to that as Scientific Director since 2005. Walter Koroshetz , who is currently the NINDS deputy director, will serve as Acting Di- rector as a national search is conducted for Landis’ replacement. Koroshetz’s research has spanned the spectrum from basic electrophysiology studies to clinical research focused on identifying treatments for stroke and Huntington’s disease.

Get Involved! On September 18, representatives from the Biophysical Society will join individuals from dozens of other research, health, and patient advocacy organizations to advocate for federal funding for medical research on Capitol Hill. Society members are encouraged to participate in the advocacy efforts on the 18th by calling, tweeting, or writing their Congressmen. Information on how to participate is available on the front page of the Biophysical Society website.






Membrane Biophysics FINAL Call for nominations for the 2015 Kenneth S. Cole Award The Membrane Biophysics subgroup is now solic- iting nominations for the Kenneth S. Cole Award. This is an annual award, given to an investiga- tor who has made a substantial contribution to the understanding of membrane biophysics. The award will be presented at the subgroup dinner directly following the Saturday afternoon sympo- sium at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Baltimore. This year’s dinner will be held in conjunction with the Permeation and Transport subgroup. Pre- registration for the dinner is encouraged and can be completed along with the meeting registration. Any member of the Membrane Biophysics sub- group may be a nominator. Additional details and a list of previous awardees can be found on the society website at From the main page, click 'Subgroups' and then 'Membrane Biophysics'. The recipient will be determined by the selection committee, consisting of the Subgroup Chair, the Chair-elect, the past Chair, the past past Chair and the Secretary-Treasurer. Nominations should contain a brief statement summarizing the qualifi- cations of the nominee and a CV. The deadline for nominations is October 17th, 2014. Please email nominations to the subgroup Secretary-Treasurer, Chris Ahern (christopher- Announcement of the 2015 Cole Awardee and additional details about the dinner will be posted on the website, announced by email, and included in the newsletter when available. — Christopher A. Ahern , Secretary/Treasurer, Membrane Biophysics subgroup

IDP In July, the biennial IDP Gordon Research Conference (GRC) was held at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. Preceding this six-day event was the inaugural IDP Gordon Research Seminar (GRS), Fundamental Characteristics and Approaches to Understand the Biological Functions of IDPs , organized by UCSF’s Aurelia Ball and Charles Ravarani , Cambridge. The GRS is open only to graduate students and postdocs, and allows junior researchers to present their work directly to their peers, meet each other, and socialize. Over the course of the two days, attendees heard about a range of different tools and approaches for studying IDPs, as well as many specific examples of how the behavior and properties of IDPs link directly to phenotype. In addition to the talks, poster sessions provided a more interactive stage for presenters to garner feedback, and to prepare themselves for further discussion with the incred- ible group of world experts who attended the GRC. A career panel rounded off the seminar, where more senior researchers at various stages in their career provided honest and insightful advice regarding career development, types of academic roles, and the kinds of opportunities available for those in the IDP field. As with the IDP subgroup meeting at the Biophysical Society conference in February, one thing that really struck me about the IDP community was the openness to new ideas and willingness to share data, theories, and resources. The constantly overheard exclamation of “I didn’t really think of myself as an IDP person but…” provides an impression of the pervasive- ness of disordered proteins in biology and gave rise to an incredible diversity of approaches, back- grounds, and systems. The GRS and the GRC were hits with both established players and fresh- faced newcomers alike. — Alex Holehouse , Washington University, Graduate Student Representative, IDP subgroup






Students: When you submit your poster abstract for the 2015 Annual Meeting, be sure to also ap- ply for a travel award by October 3 and to apply for the Student Research Achievement Award (SRAA) poster competition by October 1. Learn more about the SRAA competition at http:// tabid/4845/Default.aspx. Note that Biopolymers in Vivo, is one of the featured SRAA categories. Finally, keep up with the latest BIV subgroup news and announcements by following us on twit- ter (username: vivo) or by liking us on facebook (https://www. See you in Baltimore next February! — Anna Simon , graduated student representative, BIV subgroup — Max Prigozhin , postdoc representative, BIV subgroup

Anna Simon

Max Prigozhin

Get ready for the upcoming Annual Meeting and BIV Symposium

Hello and fall greetings from the new Biopolymers in Vivo subgroup graduate student and postdoc representatives! We have several exciting subgroup events planned for the 2014-15 academic year. Coming up first is the BIV subgroup logo contest. Students and postdocs: Be sure to enter the contest to get a chance to create the new face of the BIV subgroup and win a $350 award as well as a free logo t-shirt! Entries are due November 30, 2014. Next, be sure to renew your Biophysical Society membership and to register for the Bio- physical Society 59th Annual Meeting, which will take place in Baltimore, Maryland, on February 7-11, 2015. We have several BIV-specific events planned at the meeting, including an exciting BIV subgroup symposium on Saturday February 7 focusing on the theme Interaction Networks in Living System s, followed by a BIV dinner. To secure a seat at the dinner, sign up for it when you renew your BIV membership. The BIV symposium promises to be a lot of fun and will include Xiaowei Zhuang , Har- vard University, and Jamie Williamson , Scripps Research Institute, as keynote speakers, as well as Ivet Bahar, University of Pittsburgh, Gerhard Hummer , Max Planck Institute, Frankfurt, Robert Singer , Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Jin Zhang , Johns Hopkins University. Two ad- ditional speakers will be chosen from the abstracts submitted by postdocs/junior faculty.

Members in the News

Sandra Schmid , University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and So- ciety member since 2008, has recently been awarded the WICB Senior Lead- ership Award from the American Society for Cell Biology. Michael Sheetz , Columbia University and Society member since 1984, is the most recent recipient of the Keith R. Porter Lecture Award from the American Society for Cell Biology.





International Affairs

African Countries Form Partnership for STEM

Grants and Opportunities 2015 Vannevar Bush Award Objective: To honor truly exceptional life- long leaders in science and technology who have made substantial contributions to the welfare of the Nation through public service activities in science, technology, and public policy. Nomination Deadline: October 1, 2014 Website: bush.jsp Collaborative Research in Computation- al Neuroscience (CRCNS) Objective: To support collaborative activities that will advance the understanding of ner- vous system structure and function, mecha- nisms underlying nervous system disorders, and computational strategies used by the nervous system. Who Can Apply: Scientists, engineers, or educators in the United States and United States citizens, universities, colleges, non- profits, for-profits, and state and local govern- ments in the United States. Deadline: October 28, 2014 Website: nsf14504/nsf14504.htm

Less than 25 percent of students attending univer- sity in Africa are enrolled in science, engineering, and technology programs, an issue that several Af- rican governments are coming together to address, in hopes of boosting economic development on the continent. In June, representatives from twelve African countries participated in a forum call- ing for greater government investment in applied sciences, engineering, and technology. Representa- tives from Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethio- pia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia attended the forum, which also in- cluded representatives from institutions in Brazil, China, and Korea, nations whose economies have been improved in recent years due to an increased investment in science and math education. The forum was part of a new World Bank-sup- ported partnership called the Partnership for Skills in the Applied Sciences, Engineering, and Tech- nology (PASET). PASET will help to establish postgraduate scholarship programs and to support the creation of regional technical and vocational education centers, in hopes of creating a more competitive workforce. The hope is that PASET will also enable systematic knowledge sharing amongst the involved nations, in order to assess and further develop the program.

Submit Your Networking Event Proposal Do you have an idea for a networking event and want to host one in your area? BPS will be ac- cepting 2015 networking event proposals until October 30. If selected, you can receive up to $500 through the Membership Committee’s mini-grant program to host your event. For more informa- tion about networking events and proposal requirements, visit the Meetings section of the Society website at





Because there is so much going on in biophysics today...

Biophysical Journal offers a variety of ways you can advance the science:

• Research Articles original research in molecular, cellular, and systems biophysics including experimental studies with a theoretical or mechanistic focus or that describe significant methodological or technological advances • Biophysical Letters unusually important and timely short articles in diverse areas of biophysics • Biophysical Reviews general overview articles about recent research topics of current interest in biophysics • Computational Tools

describe software for analysis of experimental data, modeling/simulation software, or database services

• Comments to the Editor

short commentaries on a paper published earlier in BJ

Presorted First Class Mail U.S. Postage PAID Claysburg, PA Permit #6

Biophysical Society

11400 Rockville Pike, Suite 800 Rockville, Maryland 20852







November 6-7 15th EMBL|EMBO Science and Society Conference Heidelberg, Germany events/2014/SNS14-01/ November 12-15 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) San Antonio, TX

December 3-5 NIMBioS Investigative Workshop: Heart Rhythm Disorders Dubai, UAE shops/WS_cardiac

January 5-6 International Intellectual Property Law Association (IIPLA) Annual Congress Dubai, UAE January 11-16 The Biological Code of Cell Signal- ing: A Tribute to Tony Pawson (F1) Steamboat Springs, Colorado https://www.keystonesymposia. org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting. Program&meetingid=1365

February 7-8 Chemical Reactions at Surfaces (GRS) Ventura, CA aspx?id=15541

February 8-12 Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology Nelson, New Zealand

Please visit for a complete list of upcoming events.

Made with