Biophysical Society Bulletin | April 2024

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April 2024


BPS Launches Committee on Sustainability At its fall meeting, BPS Council initiated a task force called the “Sustainable Future Task Force,” which was charged with 1) recommending steps that BPS should take to empower our members who would like to use their skills and expertise toward research related to a sustainable future and 2) rec ommending steps that BPS should take to align our activities with the goal of achieving a sustainable future.

Emmanuel Margeat , a member of BPS Council and the Task Force, was selected to chair the committee. “BPS and its members are already actively engaged with and make impactful contributions towards sustainable development goals, such as good health, quality education, and gender equality,” says Margeat. “Emerging areas of research, such as synthetic biology, biodegradable materials, biodegrading microorganisms, and renewable biomaterials and fuels, can address some other goals such as clean energy, access to clean water, responsible consumption, and climate action.” Margeat continues, “A deliberate effort to include research ers who are working in these emerging areas and to support our members to transition into these growing fields and into responsible research practices will add value to our members and help to maintain our status as leaders of the global community of biophysicists.” The Committee will be chaired by Margeat and includes Task Force members Popescu, Les Loew , Samrat Mukhopadhyay , Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede , and Lynmarie Thompson . BPS members who have particular experience or interest in sustainability are encouraged to volunteer for the Commit tee or to provide supplemental support. Please contact us at to get involved.

The Task Force produced a report and recommendation, based on which, on February 14, Council voted unanimous ly to launch a new standing committee, the Committee on Sustainability. The Committee will be responsible for develop ing strategies and coordinating activities to support member engagement with sustainability research, supporting member transition into sustainable research, and considering existing BPS polices through a sustainability lens. “The Biophysical Society is in an excellent position to contrib ute the actionable knowledge and skilled workforce necessary to transition humanity into a sustainable future,” notes BPS President Gabriela K. Popescu , who chaired the Task Force and presented the recommendation for a standing committee to Council. She adds, “Sustainability aligns well with our organi zational vision to harness the full potential of biophysics and seek knowledge to improve the human condition and pre serve the planet for future generations.”


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Council Update

Annual Meeting Communities

Biophysicist in Profile

Public Affairs Publications Member Corner

Career Development

Important Dates

Council Update

BPS Council Looks Ahead to Future Meetings, New Committees

This year’s committee will be chaired by Valeria Vasquez and includes members Syma Khalid , Kumiko Hayashi , Kresten Lin dorff-Larsen , Cheung, and ex officio member Ha. The Friday session concluded with recognition of outgoing Council members Hayashi, Henry Colecraft , Susan Marqusee (in absentia), Kandice Tanner , and Past-President Gail Robertson . Saturday Joint Council included a deep dive into the 2024 An nual Meeting with Program Chairs Ibrahim Cissé and Elizabeth Villa . They shared their experience creating the program and excitement to see how it would unfold in the following days. Dorothy Chaconas , BPS Director of Meetings & Exhibits, pro vided feedback about the implementation of the new Symp Select Talks, the Platform Flash Talks, and the opportunity for Platform speakers to also present a poster. While some adjustments will be made for BPS2025, the feedback to that point was very positive. Lukas Tamm , Thematic Meeting Committee Chair, presented two proposals for new Thematic Meetings, which Council ap proved, and shared that a third proposal may come to Council at their spring meeting pending some further development of the program. Council also reviewed reports from the two BPS Conferences that occurred in 2023, the Proton Reactions Conference in Tahoe, California and the Membrane Fusion and Budding Conference in Estes Park, Colorado, and approved both to reoccur in 2025. Other Saturday agenda items included a review of the 2025 Annual Meeting program, the addition of two new members to the Annual Meeting Program Committee for 2025–2027, a review of the Subgroup report card, and approval of the agenda for the annual BPS Business Meeting occurring the following Tuesday. When New Council convened on Wednesday morning, the lead topic was once again the ongoing 2024 Annual Meeting, where Cissé and Villa provided final insights and feedback they received over the previous few days. Overall, the pro gram changes were well received, and the goal of creating a diverse and inclusive program showcasing early career researchers was achieved. Christopher Yip , Program Co-Chair with Sudha Chakrapani for BPS2025, provided a revised program for the 2025 BPS An nual Meeting, which incorporated feedback received from the Subgroup Chairs at their meeting the day before and included a fifth workshop focused on techniques. Council discussed the

We joyfully wore ourselves out in Philadelphia at the 68th BPS An nual Meeting: between meeting with colleagues, attending back

to-back outstanding scientific sessions and great committee programs, and, of course, the ex uberant return to the dance floor after Monday night’s excellent awards ceremony and BPS Lecturer Carolyn Bertozzi ’s fantastic talk! Bookending the excitement, Council had three busy, produc tive meetings during the Annual Meeting. Joint Council was held Friday evening on February 9 and then again Saturday morning on February 10. New Council met on Wednesday morning, February 14. The Friday Joint Council meeting opened with a proposal from then-President Taekjip Ha for BPS to stand up a new com mittee to review nomination packages for the Outstanding Doctoral Research in Biophysics Award, which will be award ed to two recent PhD recipients. With the strong student population in BPS, we are hoping for a high number of nomi nations, and Council agreed that the current Awards Commit tee, chaired by Linda Columbus , would have its hands full with the other three new awards in addition to previously existing awards. The new committee will be called the Dissertation Award Review Committee and will be chaired by Ha for the first three years. The other members of the new committee will be Rommie Amaro , Kandice Levental , Takanari Inoue , Erdinc Sezgin , and Georg Pabst . Council then reviewed the Treasurer’s Report and received an update on BPS reserves from Director of Finance and Opera tions Harris Povich . He shared that, after an extensive request for proposals process, we contracted with Protech as part the strategic technology investment approved at Joint Council in San Diego at BPS2023. Protech is an association man agement software vendor whose system, once launched for BPS, will connect data, people, and processes with business applications to support all of our activities and programs, with room to grow. Margaret Cheung , Council member and Nominating Committee Chair, presented the slate for the 2024 election, which Council approved enthusiastically and unanimously. The election will open June 1 and includes candidates for President-Elect, Councilor, and Treasurer. Teresa Giraldez , BPS Secretary, facilitated selection of the 2024 Nominating Committee. Gabriela K. Popescu

April 2024



Council Update

Officers President Gabriela K. Popescu President-Elect Lynmarie K. Thompson Past-President Taekjip Ha Secretary Teresa Giraldez Treasurer Samantha Harris Council Patricia Bassereau Margaret Cheung Martin Gruebele Taviare Hawkins Anne Kenworthy Syma Khalid Emmanuel Margeat Anita Niedziela-Majka Elizabeth Rhoades Tamar Schlick Valeria Vasquez Jing Xu Biophysical Journal Vasanthi Jayaraman Editor-in-Chief The Biophysicist Padmini Rangamani Editor-in-Chief Biophysical Reports

importance of the two successive President’s Symposia Black in Biophysics, in 2023 and 2024, and voted unanimously for this event to continue in future years as an integral part of the program. BPS Editors-in-Chief Vasanthi Jayaraman , Pad mini Rangamani , and Jörg Enderlein attended Wednesday’s New Council meeting as well and provided updates on Biophysical Journal , The Biophysicist , and Biophysical Reports , respec tively. Biophysical Journal published several special issues recently with several more in the pipeline. Jayaraman invited participants from the JUST-B poster session and the Black in Biophysics mixer to contribute Research Highlights to the journal and encouraged members of Council to submit research articles and reviews. Rangamani shared that The Biophysicist will have a special issue on Effective Mentoring in Biophysics, and the ed itors are exploring an issue on AI in Biophysics Education. Enderlein noted that he was adding editors from India and China to the Biophysical Reports editorial board to broaden the geo graphical range of the editors. Kathleen Hall , Chair of the Publications Committee, was in attendance as well and echoed the sentiments of all the editors that it is important for leader ship and members to continue (and increase!) their submissions to all the BPS journals.

In December, we shared in this column that a Sustainable Future Task Force was initiated to explore steps we should take to empower members who would like to use their skills and expertise toward research related to a sustainable future and to explore steps that we should take to align Society activities with the goal of achieving a sustainable future. After initial research and two meetings, it was clear that a more permanent entity within BPS would be needed to pursue the mandate of sustainability. To that end, Council approved the recommendation to evolve the task force into a new committee. Details about the committee are included on the front page of this issue. Sustainability is such a critical issue that it may well be the focus of the President’s Symposium at BPS2025. We will keep you posted! As always, the discussions at Council were multi-faceted and the decisions made by Council reflect input from many voices and thoughtful consideration of different per spectives. We welcome your input, too, and invite you to reach out to us at any time at or jpesanelli@biophys — Gabriela K. Popescu , President — Jennifer Pesanelli , Executive Officer

Jörg Enderlein Editor-in-Chief

Society Office Jennifer Pesanelli Executive Officer Newsletter

Executive Editor Jennifer Pesanelli Managing Editor John Long Production Ray Wolfe Meredith Zimmerman Proofreader/Copy Editor The Biophysical Society Newsletter (ISSN 0006-3495) is published eleven times per year, January-December, by the Biophysical Society, 5515 Security Lane, Suite 1110, Rockville, Maryland 20852. Distributed to USA members and other countries at no cost. Cana dian GST No. 898477062. Postmaster: Send address changes to Biophysical Society, 5515 Security Lane, Suite 1110, Rockville, MD 20852. Copyright © 2024 by the Biophysical Society. Darren Early Laura Phelan

Nominate yourself or a colleague for a 2025 Society Award Explore Four New Awards: Klaus Schulten and Zaida Luthey-Schulten Computational Biophysics Lecture Award, Early Independent Career Award, Outstanding Doctoral Research in Biophysics Award, and PUI Faculty Award. To ensure a diverse candidate pool, we particularly encourage nominations of women, international members, and those from underrepresented groups. Learn more by visiting our website: Application Deadline: May 1, 2024

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April 2024



Biophysicist in Profile

Walter Chazin Areas of Research Integrative structural biology in genome maintenance, infec tious disease, and inflammation

Institution Vanderbilt University


Walter Chazin , Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry, the Chancellor’s Chair in Medicine, Director of the Chemical and Physical Biology PhD Program and the Molecular Biophysics Training Program, and the Founding Director of the Center for Structural Biology at Vanderbilt University, has had a prolific career as a researcher and teacher. Now almost 40 years after defending his thesis, Chazin reflects on his journey thus far, including leaving his first attempt at graduate school and swallowing his pride to start again to pursue his dream of becoming a professor.

Walter Chazin

Walter Chazin grew up in New York state, having been born in Lackawanna and moving to Buffalo in his early years and then to the New York City suburbs by the time he was in high school. The second half of his high school career was spent in northwestern Maine. His first serious interest in science be gan in high school, thanks to an engaging chemistry teacher. Chazin’s father had been a union organizer in a steel mill before outside forces pushed him to change careers. “After being called up by the McCarthy Commission, he went back to college to get a second degree and became an analytical chemist,” he shares. “After supporting our family by working in a factory while my father was out of work and reinventing himself as a scientist, my mother went back to college part time to complete her bachelor's of education degree and then worked as a grade-school teacher. Later, she went to grad school, obtained a master’s degree in special education, and worked with students with learning disabilities.” Chazin began his undergraduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University, transferring to McGill University after his freshman year. He completed his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and then took a gap year before beginning graduate studies in chemistry at the University of British Columbia. He left that program after two semesters and took some more time away from academia. “After two-plus more gap years, I returned to graduate school in the Department of Chemistry at Concor dia University in Montreal and obtained my PhD in physical organic chemistry,” he recalls. “I quit my first try at graduate school in the middle of finals in the second semester and received multiple "F" grades. This made it very difficult to get back into a graduate program. After working outside of sci ence for two and a half years, I decided I would do whatever it took to continue pursuing my dream of becoming a professor. To overcome the barrier, I swallowed my pride and accepted the one offer I was able to get, even though it came without a stipend at the start. Fortunately for me, I was married, and the support of my wife was instrumental in making this choice.”

Chazin explains, “My first postdoctoral studies were in Kurt Wuthrich ’s lab at the ETH-Honggerberg in Zurich, Switzer land, at the time that 2D protein NMR [nuclear magnetic resonance] was being developed and the very first protein structures were being determined by NMR. At its root, it was my first postdoc that converted me from NMR in chemistry to applying NMR to study proteins. My primary project in this postdoc eventually led to my research in infectious disease and inflammation; it involved a calcium-binding protein from a family that has several innate immune factors that function in the response to infection both through direct action and by activating inflammatory receptors. I had a short second postdoc with Peter E. Wright at The Scripps Research Institute, where my focus was on further developing practical aspects of protein NMR and applying it to specific proteins.” His transition to becoming an integrative structural biologist, as he now defines himself, began in 1999 when he spent time reflecting on the field as he worked on designing a structur al biology program at Vanderbilt University. “At that point it became apparent to me that to contribute in an impactful way to biomedical research, we had to shift from being defined by our technique to focusing on problems and using whatever tools are needed to solve the problem,” he says. Of his lab's current work, Chazin reveals, “One of our most exciting projects is a by-product of our years of studying the structural biology of the nucleotide excision pathway of DNA repair (NER). The National Cancer Institute has just funded our team to investigate the relationship between mutations in NER genes and the efficacy of standard-of-care treatment of cancer patients with Pt agents. Our team will test the hypothesis that mutations reducing NER sensitize cells to Pt, develop an active machine learning algorithm to predict the effect of NER mutations in tumors, and use structure/ fragment-based molecular discovery to generate a tool com pound for testing the therapeutic value of suppressing NER. A second exciting area of research involves determining the molecular mechanisms that underly the tug of war between

April 2024



Biophysicist in Profile

innate immune factors and invading pathogens for essential trace metals iron, zinc, and manganese at sites of infection and within the gut microbiome.” Many aspects of the research and his career as a scientist are rewarding to Chazin. He remarks, “At the scientific level, the most fulfilling thing is the moment when a new protein re veals its structure and when a group member obtains the first beautiful NMR spectrum or crystal or EM [electron microsco py] image. At the practical level, it is seeing a fundable score for a grant proposal. At the deepest and emotional level, it is mentoring trainees and the pride in the success of the past and present members of my research group.” In Chazin’s view, fully integrated multi-scale imaging rep resents a key aspect of the future of biophysics. He says, “As for me, nearly 40 years since defending my thesis, I am trying to provide leadership in tackling this challenge. My career has been a trajectory evolving from a physical chemist to a bio medical researcher, so besides continuing to contribute to the advancement of my field of science, I am highly motivated at this point to translate what we have learned, and continue to learn, into developing new therapeutic strategies for treating certain cancers and chronic inflammatory disorders. I feel that the field of biophysics is at the cusp of routinely turning our discoveries into impacts on society.”

Chazin shares his thoughts after many years in the field, advising, “For undergraduate students: take as much time as needed to be certain that you are really motivated to under take graduate studies. For graduate students: your goal is to prove (mostly to yourself!) that you have the ability to be an expert in a field and to learn what are your strengths and weaknesses as a researcher so that you can use this informa tion to direct the development of your career. For postdoctor al fellows: enjoy the ride and find out what aspect of biophys ics really motivates you; be patient to ensure you find a good fit for the next stage of your career. For new group leaders in academia: remember that you will be the most productive member of your lab for a number of years, so be sure to grow your laboratory in a measured way. This will ensure the lab oratory will generate the results needed to produce the first papers in a timely manner.” When he is not working, Chazin enjoys exercising daily. “When it is not playing my much beloved basketball, it is morning workouts at home, walking with my wife, or much-dreaded workouts in the gym to strengthen my knees so I can actually play basketball,” he jokes. “In addition, I treasure grandparent ing my 6-month-old and 4-year-old granddaughters, travel ing to places near and far, and cooking.”

Start a BPS Student Chapter at Your Institution!

The Spring Call for BPS Student Chapters is now open and accepting applications through May 1, 2024. Apply now to form a BPS Student Chapter at your institution and join a worldwide network of student leaders promoting the field of biophysics! BPS Student Chapters are led by students and provide members with opportunities for professional development to enhance their academic experience. Chapters may be formed within a single institution, or regional Chapters may be developed among multiple neighboring institutions anywhere in the world. Approved Chapters can also receive up to $200 in matching reimbursable expenses, along with the chance to apply for our Student Chapter Events Grant of $500 in additional funding.

Advisors, don’t miss this opportunity to help the next generation of biophysicists grow their educational and career opportuni ties. Share this exciting opportunity with students in your department and consider serving as a Chapter Sponsor. As a Chapter Sponsor, you will provide professional guidance, practical advice, and assistance to students. For more information, a complete list of instructions on forming a BPS Student Chapter, and a list of existing Chapters, visit https:/ Applications will be accepted through May 1, 2024. Have questions? Connect with us at

April 2024



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Call for BPS Ambassador Applications

Are you an advocate for biophysics education and knowledge sharing? Have you considered applying for the BPS Ambassador Program to put those skills into action? The BPS Ambassador Program was developed to help make bio physics a more dynamic, inclusive, and interdisciplinary community to better serve the needs of our international membership. Currently, BPS works with 12 Ambassadors—four-member cohorts serving three-year terms. For the next class of Ambassadors (2025–2027), we are accepting applica tions from all international members residing in countries outside of India, Japan, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Türkiye, United Arab Emirates, and Urugay.

Ambassador Program

Empowering Biophysics Globally

An ideal country Ambassador is actively engaged in biophysics research and committed to remaining in the field for the dura tion of the Ambassadorship, an active paid member of the Society in good standing, able to attend the Annual Meeting at the start of their term, has working proficiency in English, and has a demonstrated ability to contribute to organizations or scien tific societies outside of their normal job duties. To learn more about the program, Ambassador eligibility, and benefits, please visit Applications are due by July 19.

Senator Joni Ernst Takes Aim at U.S.-China Collaboration

International Panel Calls for Increased Oversight on Pathogens In a report issued on February 28, the Pathogens Project—an independent international task force—called on governments to increase oversight of research on microbes that could cause a future pandemic. The report acknowledges that re search on dangerous human pathogens is essential to protect people from epidemics and pandemics, but that safety rules for such work need to be tighter and more consistent. The project also addressed concerns about so-called gain-of function (GOF) studies. The recommendations included in the report endorse a proposal from the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity for reviewing rules for taxpayer-funded GOF studies to expand the definition of a potential pandem ic pathogen to include moderately virulent or transmissible viruses. The report also recommends that proposed studies on both natural and manipulated pandemic pathogens be done only if safer, alternative methods, such as studying the properties of a virus’ surface proteins, aren’t sufficient. But the panel stopped short of ruling out work with dangerous live viruses or even GOF studies on potential pandemic patho gens.

On January 14, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) sent a letter to the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regard ing collaborative research on avian flu being conducting by scientists at the United Kingdom’s Roslin Institute and China’s Institute of Microbiology. Using a $1 million grant issued in 2020, the research focused on understanding the evolution of newly emerged avian flu viruses. Ernst cited the use of “gain of-function” techniques allowing the virus to more easily jump from species to species. The lead researchers from U.S., United Kingdom, and Chi nese labs involved in the USDA grant allege that there is a significant amount of misinformation presented in the Ernst letter. They noted that there was no specific transmission of reagents or materials between the labs as part of the collab orative research. In addition, the USDA specifically noted that all funding for the grant was being used solely in the United States and that the allegations being made grossly mischar acterize the research being conducted. While the debate around what constitutes a gain-of-function study isn’t new within the scientific community, it and the po litical spotlight on research collaborations with China remain politically intense.

April 2024



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NSF Reevaluates Grant Criteria The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recently released recommendations on proposed changes to its grant process following an 18-month review of judging procedures. The NSF plans to recommend renaming one of its two long-standing criteria used to measure a project’s potential to help society. Since 1997, NSF has asked the outside scientists it recruits to rate both a proposal’s “intellectual merit”—the novelty and significance of the proposed research—and its “broader impacts,” or how the project could address societal needs. However, questions have been raised as to whether enough consideration is given to societal benefits such as improving public health, economic well-being, and national security as well as diversifying the scientific workforce and increasing societal equity and inclusion. In 2022, the National Science Board appointed a committee to reexamine the two metrics and, while a formal report is not due until May, one expected recommendation would clarify the intent of the broader impacts criterion by changing its name to “societal benefits.” The committee may also suggest that reviewers provide a separate score for that category. Around the World French Scientists Looking at Multi-Mil lion-Euro Cut to Research and Education At the end of February, French scientists were left stunned by an announcement by the French government that €904 million will be cut from the country’s research and higher edu cation budgets. The cut is part of a broader €10 billion savings package that the government says is necessary to limit the nation’s public deficit in the face of dwindling economic growth since the budget law was adopted in December 2023. The planned cut for science funding for national research organizations such as Centre National de la Recherche Sci entifique and Agence Nationale de la Recherche, which funds

competitive research, will be reduced by €383 million across all disciplines. Universities will lose €80 million for teaching and research, and financial support for students will be reduced by €125 million. This represents a 2.8% reduction for science and higher education. The cuts are in direct opposition to a 2020 law that commit ted to increasing public research spending by €25 billion over the next 10 years and comes less than three months follow ing the creation of a new Presidential Science Council. The Ministry of Higher Education and Research has publicly issued assurances that it will continue to fund routine operations at public institutions, preserve staff salaries for researchers, and honor existing commitments for student support. Science Reform Plans Abandoned in New Zealand New Zealand’s new government, led by Prime Minister Chris topher Luxon , is abandoning plans for a multi-year overhaul to research funding, a program launched by the previous government in 2022, called the Te Ara Paerangi Future Path ways reform program. The program aimed to increase science funding to 2% of the gross domestic product to align research priorities with the needs of the country. The plan also aimed to improve support for early- and mid-career researchers and to ensure “appropriate” representation of indigenous Māori researchers at all career levels. In addition, it earmarked NZ$450 million (US$275 million) to turn the capital Welling ton into a “science city” by bringing researchers together in three multi-institution research hubs, with one each focused on climate change and disaster resilience, pandemic readi ness, and technology and innovation. The decision, announced in a letter from Science Minister Judith Collins , has not been confirmed by the Prime Minis ter’s office officially, but is part of an overall spending cut of NZ$1.5 billion planned by Luxon’s government. The nation’s science ministry, along with its 23 other public agencies, has been asked to find savings of 6.7–7.5% before the release of the budget plan in May.

Numbers By the

The BPS 2024 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia drew 4,890 attendees from 53 countries across the globe.

April 2024




Biophysical Journal Launches New Computational Biophysics Section Biophysical Journal has introduced a new section to highlight research in Computational Biophysics. The Journal welcomes papers on the development of methods and algorithms rationalizing biological data with biophysical/bioinformatic modeling, simulation, and artificial intelligence. We encourage submissions on research from the single molecule to the cel lular level, even up to population levels representing biodiver sity, as well as on integrative modeling of complex biological systems that marry data from multiple experimental and computational techniques. The new section will be headed by Associate Editor Jeremy Smith of the University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Lab oratory Center for Molecular Biophysics along with Editorial Board Members Liang Hong (Shanghai Jiaotong University), Syma Khalid (University of Oxford), and Abhishek Singharoy (Arizona State University). Submissions are now being accepted. For more information or to submit your paper, go to

Know the Editor Howard Young University of Alberta Associate Editor Biophysical Reports

Howard Young

What are you currently working on that excites you? We are in the process of establishing a cryo-EM facility at the University of Alberta. By the end of the year, we will have a Titan Krios G4 and a Talos L120C installed and operational. This will be an exciting transition for us! My lab has a history of studying membrane transport proteins by using electron crystallography of large 2D crystals and helical crystals. We will combine these approaches with single-particle analysis to study membrane transport complexes. What has been your biggest “aha” moment in science? I believe that “aha!” or “eureka!” moments in science are rare. I often think of a quote attributed to Isaac Asimov : "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny.’” I have had many “That’s funny” moments in my research career, and it is always an exciting process to discover the origins of such moments.

Editor’s Pick Biophysical Journal

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Modeling thick filament activation suggests a molecular basis for force depression Shuyue Liu, Chris Marang, Mike Woodward, Venus Joumaa, Tim Leonard, Brent Scott, Edward Debold, Walter Herzog, and Sam Walcott “If, like some of the Biophysical Journal Editorial Board Members, you have been teaching muscle cross-bridge kinetics as a closed book whose final chapter was the Huxley-Za halak cross-bridging model, put down your chalk and check out this new paper on thick filament biophysics. In the March 5 issue of Biophysical Journal , Liu and co-workers present





Shortening duration (s)

beautiful multiscale models and experiments that look to be a central plot line of the next volume in this series. Remember that drop in isometric muscle force that we see following active shortening, or that rise following active stretching? Liu et al. provide strong evidence that it relates to memory stored in myosin itself, combined with resistance from more passive protein struc tures. The paper combines muscle fiber tests, isolated myosin test from these same muscle fibers, and multiscale modeling to show how increased force on the thick filament pulls myosin out of an inhibited state. Myosin as a protein that remembers its loading history is an exciting new concept, and this work shows how impactful it may be.

Version of Record Published January 29, 2024 DOI: https:/

April 2024



Member Corner

Members in the News Two Society members were named 2024 Cottrell Scholars:

Two Society members were named 2024 Sloan Research Fellows:

Stephen D. Fried , Johns Hopkins University and member since 2010, was named a Fellow in the Chemistry Section; and Theanne Griffith , University of California, Davis and member since 2016, was named a Fellow in the Neuroscience Section.

Denise Okafor , Pennsylvania State University and member since 2020; and Jessica M.J. Swanson , University of Utah and member since 2001.

Denise Okafor

Jessica M.J. Swanson

Stephen D. Fried Theanne Griffith

Grants & Opportunities

The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research—Emerging Leader Award This foundation supports grants of $750,000 over three years for innovative cancer research from the next gen eration of leaders. Who can apply: Applicants must have an MD, PhD, or equivalent degree; must be employed by a U.S. or Cana dian non-profit academic institution; and must be three to eight years from the start of an independent faculty appointment. Visit the website for full eligibility require ments. Deadline: Letter of intent due by April 29, 2024. Full applications will be accepted by invitation only. Website: https:/ er-award-2/

Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology The international Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neuro biology is awarded annually to one young scientist for the most outstanding neurobiological research based on methods of molecular and cell biology conducted by them during the past three years. Who can apply: This is an international research prize. Entrants must have an advanced degree received in the last 10 years and must not be older than 35 years of age. Deadline: June 15, 2024 Website: http:/ ter-eppendorf-science-prize-neurobiology

Give the Gift of Membership Looking for the perfect gift for a colleague or aspiring biophysicist?

To give the gift of BPS membership, visit

April 2024



Annual Meeting

Scientists from more than 50 countries joined the Biophysical Society at the 68th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 10–14, 2024, to learn, share their science, collaborate, advance their careers, make new acquaintances, and connect with colleagues. President Taekjip Ha recognized both Ibrahim Cissé , Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, and Elizabeth Villa , University of California, San Diego, at the Awards Ceremony on Monday evening for their efforts as Program Committee Co-Chairs.

Symposia & Workshops

There were sessions for every interest, beginning with 18 Saturday Subgroup symposia, 24 Annual Meeting symposia, 4 workshops, and 64 platforms, all highlighting the latest research topics and biophysical techniques.

BPS Annual Lecture

Carolyn Bertozzi, Stanford University, delivered her presentation, “Therapeutics Opportunities in Glycoscience,” at the BPS Lecture on Monday, February 12.

Monday Evening Reception

We were excited to welcome back one of attendees' favorite events, the Monday. evening reception, where they enjoyed socializing and dancing.

April 2024



Annual Meeting

Poster Presentations

The over 700 daily poster presentations were overflowing with scientists from around the globe wanting to hear about the latest research spanning the interdisciplinary field of biophysics. In addition, over 600 attendees presented their research in the daily platform sessions.

1 st Place I Heart Cats Shaina Weingart

2 nd Place Every Breath is Beautiful Benjamin Stottrup

3 rd Place Illuminating Immunity: Unveiling the Dance of Protective Antibodies Against Influenza Neur aminidase in Seasonal Vaccination Yiquan Wang

Image Contest

The Biophysical Society Art of Science Image Contest received more than 30 submissions. The 10 finalists were displayed at the Annual Meeting, where attendees voted on their top two images. Congratulations to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. A special thanks to Chroma Technology for sponsoring the contest and prizes. Visit the BPS website for the full descriptions.


Exhibitors had a full three days of interactions with attendees, giving product demonstrations to show the latest lab equipment, discussing scientific publications, and introducing new technologies. There were 14 one-on-one exhibitor presentations held to provide more in-depth information along with equipment demonstrations at the Annual Meeting.

April 2024



Annual Meeting

2024 Student Research Achievement Award Poster Competition Winners The 36 winners of the annual Student Research Achievement Awards (SRAA) were recognized at the 68th Biophysical Soci ety Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony on February 12, 2024. These students were selected by judges from the Society’s Subgroups for their outstanding presentations during the poster competition. A total of 157 students participated in the competition. The winners are: Bioenergetics, Mitochondria, and Metabolism Subgroup Kaitlin Abrantes , Weill Cornell Medicine, USA Measuring the Mitochondrial Outer Membrane Potential in Live Cells Bioengineering Subgroup Pedro J. del Rivero Morfin , Columbia University, USA A Genetically Encoded Actuator Selectively Boosts L-Type Calcium Channels in Diverse Physiological Settings Arup Mondal , University of Florida, USA Unraveling BET Proteins: A Multi-Modal Approach to Novel Binders Discovery and Inhibitors Design Biological Fluorescence Subgroup Nadia Sarfraz , Georgetown University, USA Advancing RNA Visualization: Riboglow-Flim Unveils Insights for Multicellular Systems Biopolymers in Vivo Subgroup Kara Hunter , University of California, Merced, USA Designing Disordered Proteins for Desiccation Protection Upasana L. Mallimadugula , Washington University in St. Louis, USA Do Differences in Cryptic Pocket Opening Control Functional Tradeoffs in Filovirus Immune Evasion? Channels, Receptors, and Transporters Subgroup Vladimir Bogdanov , The Ohio State University, USA Distinct Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Calmodulin Genes in Cardiac Myocytes under Beta-Adrenergic Stimulation Marion Pierre , Centre de Recherche CERVO, Canada Electrophysiological Aspects of Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 in Cardiomyocytes Derived from Patient Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Seung-Hyun B. Ko , University of Pennsylvania, USA Stochastic Model of Extracellular Vesicle-Mediated Immunosup pression Implicates Importance of Biophysical Parameters in T-Cell Signaling

Tala Amawi , The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel The Pain Receptor TRPA1 Displays Differential Binding Mechanisms to THC and CBD Cryo-EM Subgroup Irin Pottanani Tom , University of Illinois at Chicago, USA Deciphering the Structural Basis of Molecular Logic in Dual-Sensor Photoreceptor PPHK Jue Wang , California Institute of Technology, USA Tri-Coincident IFLM-CRYOFIB-SEM Platform for Sub-Diffraction Limited Targeted Milling Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Subgroup Jeffrey M. Lotthammer , Washington University in St. Louis, USA Direct Prediction of Intrinsically Disordered Protein Conformation al Properties from Sequence Matthew MacAinsh , University of Illinois at Chicago, USA NaCl Mediates the Phase Separation of the HNRNPA1 Low-Complexity Domain by Neutralizing Charges and Bridging Intermolecular Interaction Networks Greeshama Jain , University of Groningen, Netherlands Polyphenol Based Modulation of Structure and Toxicity of Huntingtin Protein Aggregates Macromolecular Machines and Assemblies Subgroup Kai Sheng , The Scripps Research Institute, USA Augmenting the Bacterial Ribosome Assembly Structurome using Anti-Sense Oligonucleotide Analogs Justin M. Van Riper , Baylor College of Medicine, USA Molecular Insight into the Mammalian SLFN14 Ribonuclease Mechanobiology Subgroup Gabriella A. Bertaccini , University of California, Irvine, USA PIEZO1-HALOTAG HISPC Lines: A New Tool to Assay PIEZO1 Localization and Activity from Single Cells to Tissue Organoids Membrane Fusion, Fission, and Traffic Subgroup Yu Xu , University of Minnesota, USA Extracting Structural and Dynamic Information of Vesicle-to-En dosome Maturation in Live Yeast with Motion-Corrected Palm Membrane Structure and Function Subgroup Taylor A. Devlin , Johns Hopkins University, USA FKPA Enhances Outer Membrane Protein Folding using an Extensive Interaction Interfac e Martin Yepes , Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, USA Molecular Basis of Processive Peptidoglycan Synthesis by FTSWI Sophie Rizzo , Lehigh University, USA Promoting Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase J Activity with a Transmembrane Peptide Agonist Inhibits Cancer-Associated Phenotypes

April 2024



Annual Meeting

Membrane Transport Subgroup Mae G. Weaver , University at Buffalo, State University of New York, USA Dynamic Calcium Selectivity of NMDA Receptors Is Controlled by the Amino-Terminal Domain Kerri Spontarelli , Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, USA Functional Evaluation of a CMT2DD-Causing ATP1A1 Variant Motility and Cytoskeleton Subgroup Pavlina Slikova , Czech Academy of Sciences Institute of Biotechnology, Czech Republic Anillin Promotes Actomyosin Contractility by Mechanical Tethering Allison E. Mancini , University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA Rhokar Sensor Reveals Calcium-Dependent Activation of RHO-Ki nase during Collective Cell Migration Multiscale Genome Organization Subgroup Maria Julia Maristany , University of Cambridge, United Kingdom Mechanical Properties of DNA Govern Nucleosome Unwrapping Nanoscale Approaches to Biology Subgroup Priyanka Jain , Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Germany Detection of Citrulline Modification in Histone Peptides using Biological Nanopore Physical Cell Biology Subgroup Justin H. Paek , Cornell University, USA The Cancer Mucin Barrier Plays a Multifunctional Role in Providing Sustained Physical Resistance to Natural Killer Cell Attack Single-Molecule Forces, Manipulation, and Visualization Subgroup Guoming Gao , University of Michigan, USA Heterogeneity in Condensates Regulates Intra-Condensate Diffu sion of RNA Single Molecules Theory and Computation Subgroup Abhilasha Batra , Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal (IISERB), India Decoding of Temperature Signals by Thermosensory Neurons in C. Elegans Ally K. Smith , University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA G enerating in Silico Protein Structural Ensembles That Agree with Solution-Based Experiments: An HDX-MS-Steered Adaptive Sam pling Approach for Molecular Dynamics Anna D. Gaffney , University of Chicago, USA Modeling Shear Banding Lipid Monolayer Collapse with Finite Element Analysis Constance Kraay , Harvard University, USA Myo-Inositol Suppresses γ D-Crystallin Aggregation by Interacting with a Non-Native State Reza Esmaeeli , University of Florida, USA Structural Predictions of RNA Conformations: MELDRNA

Yousuf O. Ramahi , University of Toronto, Canada The Binary-Switch Model of the Adenosine A2A Receptor: A Molecular Dynamics Study 2024 Undergraduate Poster Award Competition Winners The 10 winners of the annual Undergraduate Poster Award Competition (UPAC) were recognized at the 68th Biophysical Society Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony on February 12, 2024. After two rounds of judging, judges selected these students for their outstanding presentations during the poster competition. A total of 96 students participated in the competition. The winners are: Zharia Brandon , DePaul University, USA Analysis of Fluorophores for Peptide Substrates Used in Inflammatory Caspase Activity Assays Aya Abu-Alfa , Princeton University, USA Investigating the Function of the Multiphase Organization of the Nucleolus Holly Cheng , Princeton University, USA Probing the Material Properties of Nucleoli using Micropipette Aspiration Jai Dreher , Amherst College, USA Fixing the Bucket Angle on a Centrifugal Force Microscope Shira M. Freilich , Vassar College, USA Reproducibility of Atomic Force Microscopy Measurements on Tau Protein Kamrin D. Shultz , James Madison University, USA Understanding the Effect of Obscurin on Cellular Architecture and Dynamics Isabella He , Northwestern University, USA Stochastic Resonance Ensures Fail-Safe Operation of Cardiac Pacemaker at Low Rates Diangen Lin , University of Chicago, USA Single-Molecule Study of Disaggregation of Biomolecular Condensates by Heat Shock Proteins Yin-Tzu Chen , University of Missouri-Columbia, USA Nanopore Sensor to Detect Time Resolved, Label Free Interaction Between RNA and a Small Molecule Therapeutic at Single Molecule Resolution Laith Bahlouli , Columbia University Irving Medical Center, USA Cardiac Pathophysiology of COVID-19 Mediated by Ryanodine Receptor Type 2 SR Ca 2+ Leak

April 2024




BIV Subgroup speakers and officers from left to right: Emma Carroll (speaker), Robert Best (Subgroup Chair), Minjoung Kyoung (speaker), Steven Boeynaems (speaker), Thomas Boothby (Program Co-Chair), Katherine Morelli (speaker), Keren Lasker (speaker, Junior Faculty Awardee), Matthias Heyden (Program Co-Chair), Randal Halfmann (speaker), Cesar Cuevas-Velazquez (speaker), Kristin Koutmu (speaker), and Davit Potoyan (speaker).

Subgroups The 2024 Biopolymers in Vivo Subgroup Symposium: A Celebration of Biophysical Research The 2024 Biopolymers in Vivo (BIV) Subgroup symposium, held on February 10 at the Philadelphia Convention Center during the BPS Annual Meeting, was a vibrant forum for scientific exchange. An exceptional lineup of speakers, from seasoned researchers to rising stars, captivated the audience with their insights into the fascinating world of biopolymers within living cells. The symposium opened with a thought-provoking presenta tion by Cesar Cuevas-Velazquez (Universidad Nacional Autóno ma de México, Mexico City). He discussed his group's recent work on the late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) protein fami ly, highlighting how experiments using lactose dehydrogenase helped elucidate the protective effects of different LEA family members against desiccation in plants. Minjoung Kyoung (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) then presented stunning 3D images and tracking data, reveal ing the dynamics of glucosomes—condensates of enzymes associated with glucose metabolism—near mitochondria. Randal Halfmann (Stowers Institute for Medical Sciences) gave an inspiring lecture on how the supersaturation of death fold domains in cells can trigger rapid immune response, leading to programmed cell death via pyroptosis. Early career researchers also took center stage, showcas ing their groundbreaking work. Emma Carroll —who recently started her first independent position at San Jose State Uni versity—presented her postdoctoral research on the diverse isoforms of amyloid fibrils formed by the protein Tau, while

Katherine Morelli , a PhD student with Jackie Vogel at McGill University, shared her cutting-edge findings on microtubule dynamics and metaphase spindle formation during mitosis. While protein condensates dominated much of the discus sion, Kristin Koutmu (University of Michigan) shifted the focus to another crucial biopolymer: mRNA and uridine to pseudou ridine modifications by the enzyme PUS5, which increases its modification rate by translocating from the nucleus to the cytoplasm during cell stress. Steven Boeynaems (Bay lor College of Medicine) steered the conversation back to protein condensates, presenting his research on positively charged peptides, known for their antimicrobial properties and presence in potent venoms. He challenged the traditional view of their toxicity solely based on membrane disruption, presenting evidence that these peptides can also trigger protein condensate formation within cells. The final talk of the regular program ventured into the realm of computational simulations. Davit Potoyan (Iowa State University) delivered an impressive lecture on all-atom and coarse-grained simula tions in which he demonstrated how the simulated "jigglings and wigglings" of atoms or beads can be used to predict the viscoelastic properties of protein condensates. Continuing a cherished tradition, the symposium concluded with the announcement of the BIV Junior Faculty Award. This year's recipient, Keren Lasker (Scripps Institute), captivated the audience with her award lecture on the unique morphology of condensates formed by the polar organizing protein Z (PopZ). Unlike the typical disordered liquid, PopZ forms supramolecu lar fibrils that then assemble into the condensed liquid phase. The evening concluded with the BIV subgroup dinner at Mag giano's restaurant, where lively discussions and camaraderie continued over delicious food and drinks.

April 2024



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