Biophysical Society Bulletin | December 2023

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December 2023


Future of Biophysics Burroughs Wellcome Fund Symposium The 2024 Future of Biophysics Burroughs Wellcome Fund speakers will highlight the work of young researchers who are currently conducting cutting-edge research at the interface of the physical and life sciences. The speakers selected for 2024 are Moitrayee Bhattacha ryya , Yale University; Jerelle Joseph , Princeton University; Bronwyn Ayla Lucas , University of California, Berkeley; and Longzhi Tan , Stanford University. The Symposium in its 16th year will be held on Monday, February 12, 2024. Ibrahim Cissé and Elizabeth Villa , Program Co-Chairs for the 68th Annual Meeting will co-chair the symposium. “The Future of Biophysics Symposium is a major highlight of our Annual Meeting. We are eager to have these fantastic four as our speakers. They build on our commitment to make BPS2024 a platform for budding talents, including outstanding young speakers in virtually all symposia and workshops. These four incredible young biophysicists are selected from a broad and competitive pool of nominees. They, and many who couldn’t be selected, truly represent the promise and future of biophysics!” — Ibrahim Cissé and Elizabeth Villa Moitrayee Bhattacharyya Jerelle Joseph Bronwyn Ayla Lucas Longzhi Tan

We Invite You to Participate in Biophysics Week 2024 This event is all about shining a spotlight on the fascinating world of biophysics research and garnering support from the public. Join us for the 9th Annual Biophysics Week by hosting your very own Affiliate Event. Whether you're a student, researcher, or simply enthusiastic about science, this is your chance to contribute. Discover how you can be an Affiliate Event Organizer and receive the support you need to make your event a success. #BiophysicsWeek


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President’s Message Biophysicist in Profile

Annual Meeting Communities

Stay Connected with BPS

Public Affairs Publications Member Corner

Career Development


Important Dates

President’s Message

Updates from Fall Council As is currently our annual practice, Fall Council met virtually November 8–10 to address a packed agenda. We began with an update from the 2024 Annual Meeting Program

ing a deficit for 2023, it will be much smaller due to positive returns from the 2023 Annual Meeting. Revenue from mem bership is recovering more slowly, but we are optimistic. We put forth a negative budget again for 2024 but continue to see opportunities for improvement without adversely impact ing any programs. We remain heavily dependent on revenues from Biophysical Journal , which continue to be strong. After approving the 2024 budget, Council considered a pro posal from Cell Press to continue publishing Biophysical Journal and Biophysical Reports in partnership with BPS. Council found the proposal favorable as it offered some financial stability for our largest revenue stream while allowing for potential growth and the opportunity to focus on increasing the quality and impact of the journals. A roster of new editorial board appointments for Biophysical Journal sparked a discussion about the need to keep improving diversity by including international members. One-third of BPS members live and work outside of the United States, and we’ve been very diligent about ensuring that representation is reflected in leadership, across Annual Meeting speakers, on editorial boards, etc. However, Council requested more de tailed information be provided to ensure that we are consid ering members from all countries where BPS members reside every time there is an opportunity to create a roster, update a slate, invite new speakers, and so forth. This conversation flowed into a discussion led by Nominating Committee Chair Margaret Cheung . The 2023 Nominating Committee is still working on the slate for the 2024 election and sought Council feedback on axes of diversity and slate composition. One of the highlights of Fall Council was reviewing a proposal from the New Awards Task Force. The Task Force, comprised of Villa, Taekjip Ha , Patricia Bassereau , Linda Columbus , Susan Marqusee , David Piston , and Gail Robertson , put forth four new awards aimed at honoring BPS members who are doing outstanding work in computational biophysics, who are ex celling as faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions, who are making noteworthy contributions in early independent careers, and who have shown excellence in PhD dissertation work. Council approved the proposal, and we look forward to sharing the details with you in the next newsletter and invit ing nominations for these new awards beginning in January 2024. After some final updates on BPS activities, a call for additional business prompted the initiation of a Sustainable Future Task Force. The mandate of this group will include exploring steps that we should take to empower our members who would like to use their skills and expertise toward research related to a sustainable future and exploring steps that we should

Co-Chairs, Elizabeth Villa and Ibrahim Cissé , who are very excited about the changes for the 2024 meeting. Of the more than 400 submissions for the new Symp Select talks, they were able to program 19 speakers

Taekjip Ha

in the symposia and 4 additional speakers to give Workshop Select talks. Other changes included scheduling 192 flash talks into the 64 platform sessions, and approximately 240 of the 450 platform presenters accepted the invitation to also present a poster. Cissé, Villa, and BPS staff will share lessons learned from the implementation of these changes to improve the processes for 2025, but everyone is eager to see the initial outcomes in Philadelphia. Sudha Chakrapani also joined the call to report that she and her 2025 Annual Meeting Program Co-Chair Christopher Yip have program development for the next meeting well under way and that many of their symposium topics resulted from the call for member suggestions. President-Elect Gabriela Popescu shared that Eric Gouaux of the Vollum Institute and Oregon Health Science University will be the BPS Lecturer in 2025. President-Elect-Elect Lynmarie Thompson announced that Ariane Briegel of Leiden University and Ilya Levental of the University of Virgina will be the 2026 Annual Meeting Pro gram Chairs. A vital component of the Annual Meeting and indeed BPS itself, Subgroups, were the next discussion item for Council. Council reviewed the Subgroup report card detailing perfor mance in areas such as programming, finances, and member ship. Secretary Teresa Giraldez explained the updated rubric behind the scoring, and Council suggested some adjustments. It was noted that programming for Subgroup Saturday is coming together very well for most Subgroups and 12 of 18 are planning dinners after their symposia in Philadelphia. Treasurer Samantha Harris gave an overview of Society finances and Director of Finance and Operations Harris Povich walked Council through the 2023 projections and the 2024 budget. As has been shared with membership in previous columns, BPS depends on three main sources of revenue for financing our programs and operations: the Annual Meeting, membership dues, and Biophysical Journal . The Annual Meet ing was held at a loss in 2021 and 2022 due to the pandemic, and revenue from membership dues was down over the same period, resulting in a deficit both years. While we are project

December 2023



President’s Message

Officers President Taekjip Ha President-Elect Gabriela Popescu Past-President Gail Robertson Secretary Teresa Giraldez Treasurer Samantha Harris Council Patricia Bassereau Margaret Cheung Henry Colecraft Martin Gruebele Kumiko Hayashi Syma Khalid Susan Marqusee Emmanuel Margeat Elizabeth Rhoades

take to align our Society activities with the goal of achieving a sustainable future. This charge aligns with our vision to harness the full potential of biophysics to seek knowledge, improve the human condition, and preserve the planet for future generations. We look forward to beginning this work as there is much to do!

As always, we welcome your comments and questions. Please reach out to us at Taekjip. and jpesanelli@ — Taekjip Ha , President — Jennifer Pesanelli , Executive Officer


Kandice Tanner Valeria Vasquez Jing Xu Biophysical Journal Vasanthi Jayaraman Editor-in-Chief The Biophysicist Padmini Rangamani Editor-in-Chief Biophysical Reports

Molecular Biophysics of Membranes Tahoe, California | Granlibakken | June 2–4, 2024

This meeting focuses on the topic of membrane biophysics and brings together scientists with a diverse range of perspectives, approaches, and disciplines including (but not limited to) physiology, engineering, cell biology, chemistry, and physics. The program seeks to bring together scientists working in different areas of membrane biology to catalyze cross-fertil ization that spurs frontier research advances.

Jörg Enderlein Editor-in-Chief

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE Linda Columbus , University of Virginia, USA Syma Khalid , University of Oxford, United Kingdom SPEAKERS Noam Agmon , Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel Barbara Baird , Cornell University, USA Francisco Barrera , University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA Itay Budin , University of California, San Diego, USA Bil Clemons , California Institute of Technology, USA Linda Columbus , University of Virginia, USA Alba Diz-Munoz , EMBL, Spain Nir Fluman , Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel Brian Fulestad , Virginia Commonwealth University, USA Alemayehu Gorfe , University of Texas Medical School, Houston, USA Heedeok Hong , Michigan State University, USA Mei Hong , MIT, USA Syma Khalid , University of Oxford, United Kingdom Kandice Levental , University of Virginia, USA

Shalini Low-Nam , Purdue University, USA Maria Makarova , University of Birmingham, United Kingdom Filippo Mancia , Columbia University Medical Center, USA Marcos Pires , University of Virginia, USA Janice Robertson , Washington University in St. Louis, USA Alison Rodger , Macquarie University, Australia Sarah Rouse , Imperial College of London, United Kingdom Sarah Shelby , University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA Chrystal Starbird , UNC School of Medicine, USA Peter Tieleman , University of Calgary, Canada M.H. (Marcus) Weingarth , Utrecht University, The Netherlands Wade Zeno , University of Southern California, USA

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 © 2023 by the Biophysical Society. Darren Early Laura Phelan

Abstract Submission Deadline: February 29, 2024 Early Registration Deadline: March 22, 2024

For more information, visit

Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved.

December 2023



Biophysicist in Profile

Christian Jorgensen Area of Research Computational studies of transport across complex membranes

Institution Aarhus University


Christian Jorgensen is a 2022 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Fellow at Aarhus University. His current research focuses on computational modeling of the human brain lipidome.

Christian Jorgensen

Christian Jorgensen 's childhood included living in Copenhagen, Denmark, until the age of 11 years, followed by a move to Mexico, where he attended a rural school and participated in the Mexican Academic Decathlon. At 16 years of age, he returned to Denmark for further studies and later joined his family in Sweden for high school. With the guidance of a British head teacher and coordinator in Sweden, he decided to pursue a Master of Chemistry at Merton College, University of Oxford. In his family, he is the only scientist, while his siblings have diverse careers in fields ranging from art to journalism. Jorgensen's academic journey began at the University of Oxford under Tim Softley and Veronique Gouverneur . While studying there, he did a lot of teaching on the side to supplement his studies. He also worked for an education technology company, teaching high school chemistry across Europe, which sparked his interest in teaching. In his final year of the MChem program, he embarked on a Part II project in computational chemistry in the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, and that sparked his interest in computational work. After the MChem program, Jorgensen spent two years at the University of Lorraine, working in biophysics. He later embarked on a PhD in Chemistry at King’s College London, where he was a full-time graduate teaching assistant in chemistry, supporting mainly physical chemistry. During his PhD program, he con tinued his specialization in computational chemistry, focusing on the binding and diffusion of ligands to membrane proteins. During that time, he was also a Royal Society Mobility Fellow at the School of Pharmacy of the University of Maryland and won Best Talk at the EU COST action workshop on monoamine oxi dases. Towards the end of his PhD program, the King’s College London Chemistry Department recruited a new professor, Mar tin Ulmschneider , whose teaching he was tasked with helping. Ulmschneider had come from being an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University and offered Jorgensen the opportu nity to go to the United States as a postdoctoral fellow to work on Ulmschneider’s pre-existing grant on developing strategies against nerve agents crossing the blood-brain barrier.

Jorgensen's postdoc at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore focused on creating a computational model of the blood-brain barrier and efflux pumps. He also served as the President of the Johns Hopkins Postdoctoral Association. During this time, he underwent open-heart surgery, receiving generous sup port from his advisor and parents. He ascribes good mentors to helping overcome this difficult time: “I encourage people to share difficulties with supportive mentors.” After his post doc, he joined Georgetown University at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to work on transdermal delivery and com plex skin membranes in collaboration with L’Oréal Research in Paris. He also served on the Early Careers Committee of the

Biophysical Society. Living in Washington, DC during the COVID-19 pandemic was challenging, with a large swathe of U.S. federal work ers leaving DC empty while they worked from home, as well as the arrival of political violence, in particular the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. He notes, “Living only five blocks from the White House, I had soldiers sta tioned on my street corner.” He observed significant animosity toward non-U.S. citizens and joined the Board of Directors at the non-profit

Jorgensen enjoying his postdoc experience in Washington, DC.

Future of Research, where he authored a whitepaper on foreign postdocs in the United States. More recently, Jorgensen ob tained a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Individual Fel lowship and moved to Denmark for the first time in 20 years. He is an MSCA Fellow at Aarhus University in Denmark on the project “Computational modelling of the human brain lipidome,” working on studies of the blood-brain barrier. During his time in Denmark, he also has been serving as organizer for the confer ence “Advanced Methods in MD” to be held in December 2023 at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences in Copenhagen.

December 2023



Biophysicist in Profile

When asked what the biggest challenge of his career was, Jorgensen replied, “As with most PhD students, the relationship with the advisor is the most crucial and at times challenging. I see good supervisors as an essential component to research. Where supervisors do not engage in good practices, this can cause a huge set of obstacles for the student.” Jorgensen’s favorite thing about biophysics is all the aspects of complex membranes. He says, “Has nature selected for the exquisite compositional differences between different types of membranes? We still do not fully understand the role of cholesterol in different types of membranes, and I see col leagues uncovering new details using large-scale computation al resources or novel biophysical experiments.” Describing the most rewarding aspect of his work, he says, “I enjoy interacting with students, and I enjoy the scientific meetings and collab orations. I have especially enjoyed working on committees at the Biophysical Society.” Jorgensen explains what he values in the Biophysical Society: “I find the format and inclusivity very special. The Annual Meeting is always a highlight for me, with the possibility to network with colleagues. I have really enjoyed working with the Early Careers Committee across two terms.

I find the projects are very useful.” When Jorgensen is not work ing, he enjoys traveling: “Google says I was in over 10 countries last year.” His advice to young people just starting their careers in biophysics is to seek out good mentors who are generous with their time. He also encourages people to seek out peers at their same career stage. This will help deal with the highs and lows of research. And, finally: Have fun!

Jorgensen as part of the delegation welcoming the Head of Merton College, University of Oxford, to Denmark for the first time on an official visit.

Get Involved. The Biophysical Society provides many opportunities for members to get involved and give back to the biophysics community. To learn more about the different opportunities, please visit

Use Your Expertise to Make a Difference!

Be an inspiration to your community and help change the lives of those interested in or studying science. Sign up to be a mentor, K-12 classroom visitor, speaker, science fair judge, or student chapter sponsor. The FaB (Find a Biophysicist) Network is free and accessi ble by members and nonmembers, but only BPS members may join the network. To join FaB, login to your myBPS account and get involved. Help build this network by signing up today. For more information, visit

December 2023



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BPS Congressional Fellow Joins Office of Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)

Joseph Long , the BPS Congressional Fellow for 2023–2024, accepted a placement in the office of Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) in October to work on the Senator’s economic policy team. Long has a degree in biomedical engineering from Cornell University. When asked what his goals for the fellowship year were, Long said, "During my fellowship, I hope to learn more about how de cision-makers interface with experts to write impactful policy for the scientific workforce and technological innovation. My goal is to support economic policy in areas such as biotechnology development, small business growth, and scientific workforce training. I was drawn to this path by my desire to promote equity and ethics in biotechnology development, and an increas ing awareness of the need for evidence-based policy to build public trust in our institutions in addressing national and global challenges." Joseph will join outgoing BPS Fellow Elmer Zapata-Mercado , who works on Coons’s appropriations team, for a few weeks before he transitions to his Executive Office Fellowship at the Department of State. Luyi Cheng , also an outgoing BPS Congressio nal Fellow, has also accepted a position at the Department of State through the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Executive Office Fellowship Program. You can learn more about the BPS Congressional Fellowship Program at https:/

Around the World Not Convincing Enough: Bridging the Gap in Science Communication For someone who first started seeing the world outside of Malaysia at 19 years of age and comfortably reading En glish-language story books as a hobby at 24 years of age, I find that there are a lot of things we can learn from others and from the past. Emotional responses override cognitive processes. But at the same time, as someone who has been trained in science-stream education since 15 years of age, I had tunnel vison. I thought that scientific evidence was the only way to go. It was not until I joined the American Academy

Senate HELP Committee Advances Bertagnolli to Lead NIH In May, President Joe Biden nominated Monica Bertagnolli , head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute, to become the new Director of NIH, replac ing Acting Director Frances Collins . After months of delays by Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the committee held a hearing on Bertag nolli’s nomination on October 18 and held a vote affirming her confirmation by a bipartisan majority of 15-6 a few days later. On November 7, the full Senate voted to affirm her nomination with a bipartisan vote of 62-36. Bertagnolli now will be the second woman to lead the nation’s largest health research agency.

Numbers By the

BPS boasts a social media following of 36,745 across various platforms.

December 2023



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for the Advancement of Science and The World Academy of Sciences Science Diplomacy program in 2020 that I learned that data and scientific proof alone are not enough to get buy in during international diplomatic negotiations and elections. For example, a moderately left-wing political candidate in Ma laysia lost her government seat, despite putting in significant work locally on an environmental and climate change agenda, to a right-wing party candidate who is simply more accessible around town. Human sentiment and belief systems outweigh scientific evidence, and scenarios such as this could have the effect of slowing down the progress of science that benefits both human and planetary health. The COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of when science communication faced significant challenges. In Malaysia, where there is a population of 34 million, with a minimum of four different languages spoken not including regional dialects and an array of religious beliefs, scientific illustra tions and infographics were extremely helpful in overcoming considerable barriers to the science of combatting the virus. Still further, Islamic-majority nations, such as Indonesia, have gone so far as to craft new regulations to ensure that vac cine applications must be halal-certified to be sold within the country, to gain support from religious communities. Through a combination of efforts by the government, ~28.1 million Malaysians have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with at least one dose (https:/ navirus-country-profiles). At a recent International Science Council (ISC) Global Knowl edge Dialogue event in Kuala Lumpur, Sir Peter Gluckman , the ISC president, and Frances Separovic , the Foreign Secretary of the Australian Academy of Science and a former BPS Pres ident, spoke extensively on the need to secure buy-in from community and religious leaders to help secure public trust in science. Public reception of science can depend heavily on lo cal perception, and by gaining buy-in from leaders within the community, you can translate that into broader acceptance of science.

In listening to Gluckman and Separovic, I was brought back to the tunnel vision I had as a teenager regarding science. I understand now that learning to communicate about science is the same lifelong endeavor that scientific discovery is. We need to learn how to best convey science to the public and policymakers in ways that they understand, not just in the technical tone in which we are used to conversing with our colleagues. I, and perhaps many of us, find it challenging to be as convincing as politicians, diplomats, and religious leaders. At 39 years old, I just learned how to write simple science content for a local newspaper and a popular science article for the public earlier this year. I also need to learn how to make my social media engaging so that prospective students, col laborators, and the public appreciate science and its related careers. I will also need to learn how to better draw medical and science illustrations for public consumption. As members of the scientific community, we need to be pro active in learning to better communicate science to the public. At a recent high school visit, I asked a few of the 800 local high school students who visited our biomedical booth if they were aware of the differences between medicine, life scienc es, and biomedical sciences—they were not. All they knew was that they wanted to be physicians one day. To me, that means we must work even harder to highlight the various aspects of science and how important a role they play in so ciety. We should be promoting not only scientific writing and publishing, but public-facing communications such as news papers, popular science publications, and graphical content. We need to engage in conversations and communications with politicians and religious leaders and, via social media, we need to reach new audiences. Just as we continue to devel op new research areas, tools, and techniques, we must also develop new and evolving skill sets in communication—now more than ever. — Siti Ngalim , BPS Ambassador, Malaysia

The Biophysical Society is grateful to its Industry Partners.

For Industry Partner Membership information, contact SILVER GOLD


December 2023




Know the Editor Manu Ben-Johny Columbia University

Editor’s Pick

Editor, Channels, Transporters, and Receptors Biophysical Journal

Manu Ben-Johny

What are you currently working on that excites you? Trained as an engineer, I have always been fascinated by computational protein design. The notion that computers could generate protein sequences that are functional almost sounds like science fiction. Recently, when I learned about some of the new algorithms that have been developed, we wanted to try it for some ion channels that were close to our heart. To our surprise, when we experimentally tested some of the very first designs, they seemed to have worked! This is very exciting to me. I feel there is immense potential for this technology. It may open new avenues to unravel the physiol ogy of ion channels or perhaps even develop new therapies. How do you stay on top of all the latest developments in your field? It used to be that I would scour various journals (including Biophysical Journal ) or search PubMed to learn about the latest publications. Funnily enough, increasingly I find that social media apps like X (formerly Twitter) or LinkedIn are also pretty good avenues to stay up to date. This is particularly true as scientists are increasingly depositing preprints on BioRxiv and other repositories and posting about them on social media. I feel that I have not only learned about studies in my field, but also read a lot of fascinating stories outside of my field that I probably would have missed otherwise.

Biophysical Journal Vesicle budding caused by lysolipid-induced asymmetry stress Lisa Hua, Michael Kaiser, Iulia Carabadjac, Annette Meister, Gerd Hause, and Heiko Heerklotz “The asymmetric incorporation of compounds into the lipid membrane causes asymmetry stress, which is involved in membrane remodeling processes and is discussed as a mode of action of antimicrobial peptides. The authors studied ves icle budding and fission as one out of several mechanisms of asymmetry stress relaxation. They quantify, for what they be lieve to be the first time, three key parameters of additive-in duced budding: threshold asymmetry, budding activity/power, and budding limit. This offers an answer to the question of which relaxation mechanism actually takes place: budding has a lower threshold than other mechanisms and keeps asym metry stress very low, but reaches its limit as the excess area of the liposomes is ‘used up.’ Then, other mechanisms have to kick in.”

Version of Record Published August 29, 2023 DOI: https:/

Give the Gift of Membership Looking for the perfect gift for a colleague or aspiring biophysicist? To give the gift of BPS membership, visit

December 2023



Member Corner

Members in the News

Jacqueline Barton , California Institute of Technology and Society member since 2012, received the 2023 Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry.

Three Society members received a National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award:

Jacqueline Barton

Elizabeth Draganova

Ariel Furst

Alex Holehouse

Grants & Opportunities The Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry The purpose of this award is to foster and encourage basic chemical research and to recognize the value of chemical research contributions for the benefit of hu mankind. Who can apply: Any person can submit a nomination, but no self-nominations are allowed. Deadline: January 31, 2024 Website: https:/ chemistry/welch-award-guidelines Alex Holehouse , Washington University in St. Louis and member since 2013; Elizabeth Draganova , Emory University and member since 2023; and Ariel Furst , Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member since 2022.

The James Corones Award in Leadership, Community Building, and Communication This award was established to recognize the impact of mid-career scientists and engineers in their chosen fields. The recipient will be someone who encourages and men tors young people to be active in the science community, to communicate their work effectively, and to make a difference in their scientific area. Who can apply: Mid-career is defined as those having earned a PhD within the past 10–20 years. Deadline: December 31, 2023 Website: https:/ ones-award

Student Spotlight

Cuauhtemoc Ulises Gonzalez The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, UTHealth Houston What inspired you to study biophysics?

My interest lies in understanding memory formation and consolidation, and channels are key players in this process. Therefore, I wanted to understand the structure-function of the ionotropic glutamate receptors to connect how their individual gating properties change synapse formation.

Cuauhtemoc Ulises Gonzalez

December 2023



Annual Meeting

Thank you to our sponsors: ACS Publications Bruker Carl Zeiss Microscopy LLC Chroma Technology Delmic HORIBA Scientific HÜBNER Photonics Leica Microsystems LUMICKS Mad City Labs Inc Nanion Technologies PicoQuant Photonics North America Inc. Physical Review Journals Published by APS RCSB Protein Data Bank Sophion Bioscience A/S Sutter Instrument Thermo Fisher Scientific Worthington Biochemical Corp

Share Your Late-Breaking Research and Make an Impact!

Did You Receive Your Programming Notice? Programming notices were sent the week of November 20 to those who submitted abstracts by the October 1 deadline. Check your email and contact the Society Office if you did not receive notification.

Late Abstract Deadline: January 4, 2024 Did you miss the early abstracts submission deadline but have research findings you are ready to share? Submit your late abstract to receive valuable feedback and be included along with the abstracts that were submitted by the October 1 deadline.

Abstracts Programmed Program Committee members along with Council reviewed and sorted submitted abstracts, which were programmed during the virtual programming meeting into 64 platforms and 121 poster sessions. Over 600 posters will be presented each day of the meeting. This year there will also be 19 “Symp Select” talks as well as 192 platform flash talks. BPS members finalized programming of platform and poster sessions for the 2024 Annual Meeting.

BPS members and staff meeting to finalize programming of platform and poster sessions. Left to right starting with top row: Joseph Mindell, Umi Zhou, Ally Levine, Ibrahim Cissé, Erica Bellavia, Janice Robertson, Anne Kenworthy, Elizabeth Villa, William Kobertz, Christopher Yip, Jim Sellers, Sudha Chakrapani, Dorothy Chaconas, and Baron Chanda.

Don’t Wait— Reserve Your Hotel Room Today! Deadline: January 26, 2024

The Society thanks the Program Committee, Council, and members who participated in the planning, reviewing, sorting, and programming this year. Their work ensures that the final program reflects the breadth of research areas in biophysics with as few programming conflicts as possible. The 2024 Program Committee members are Ibrahim Cissé , Elizabeth Villa , Baron Chanda , Gilad Haran , Kumika Hayashi , Syma Khalid , Francesca Marassi , Joseph Mindell , and Janice Robertson . The other Society members who participated are Elizabeth Komives , Arthur Palmer , David Piston , Catherine L. Royer , and Erin Sheets .

December 2023



Annual Meeting

Public Affairs Sessions Inside NIH: Using Technological Developments for Solving Biological Problems Tuesday, February 13, 2:30 pm –3:30 pm , USA Eastern The National Institutes of Health, with its 27 Institutes and Centers, can cause researchers moments of pause as they navigate where their research is best applied. Join the Public Affairs Committee as we welcome Program Directors from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and a Branch Chief from the Center for Sci entific Review to talk through the intricacies of roles they play in the grant process, the broad array of opportunities that are available for biophysicists, and the technology development opportunities available to researchers. Inside Perspectives and Opportunities: NSF Grants Tuesday, February 13, 3:30 pm –5:00 pm , USA Eastern The National Science Foundation (NSF) is one of the largest federal funders of biophysical research each year alongside the National Institutes of Health. Through the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, scientists continue to advance basic and biomedical research. Join us for an insider’s perspective on the various divisions offering grant funding within NSF and learn how to put together a strong grant application.

Student Volunteers Deadline: January 5, 2024

Did you know that undergraduate and graduate students can reduce their registration fees? Volunteer six hours at the Annual Meeting in exchange for complimentary meeting reg istration. You must be a member of the Society with registra tion fully paid. To apply, please send an email to meetings@ by January 5, 2024. For more information, visit https:/ dent-volunteers. Meet the Editors - Biophysical Journal , Biophysical Reports , and The Biophysicist Monday, February 12, 10:00 am –11:15 am Take this opportunity to meet editors of all three of the Soci ety's prestigious journals! The Editors-in-Chief, members of the Editorial Boards, and BPS staff will be available to answer your questions about what areas of research the journals cov er, how to give your paper the best chance of being accepted, the submission process, special issues, and anything else related to BPS journals. AI and Its Implications for Scholarly Publishing Monday, February 12, 2:15 pm –3:45 pm ChatGPT wrote this summary: "AI is expected to have a significant impact on scholarly publishing. It will enhance the speed and accuracy of research processes, automate certain tasks like data analysis and manuscript editing, and enable the discovery of novel patterns and insights in large data sets. However, it may also raise concerns about issues such as bias, data privacy, and the role of human judgment in the peer-review process. Overall, AI holds the potential to revolu tionize scholarly publishing by accelerating scientific progress and transforming traditional publishing models." This panel, organized by the BPS Publications Committee, will discuss these issues and more, including the potential for the misuse of AI in writing papers and creating figures. (The ChatGPT summary was in response to the prompt: "Predict AI's effect on scholarly publishing in a few sentences.")

Calling All Bloggers! Application Deadline: January 12, 2024

Interested in sharing your thoughts about the scientific sessions, career development work shops, hot spots in Philadelphia, or anything else Annual Meeting-related with the biophysics community? Apply to serve as a guest blogger for BPS! You can enhance the experience of your fellow attendees by sharing your perspective, while also adding blogging to your list of accomplishments! https:/ 2024meeting

December 2023




Esmael Haddadian Education Committee

Esmael Haddadian

Do you have advice for others who might be thinking about volunteering? Consider what causes or issues you are passionate about; think about your skills and strengths. Volunteering is most satisfying when it aligns with your interests and utilizes your abilities. Remember that volunteering is a two-way street. While you're contributing your time and skills, you can also gain valuable experiences, skills, and a sense of purpose. En joy the journey and the positive impact you're making in your community or in the lives of others. When not volunteering for BPS, what do you work on? I teach quantitative biology courses and engage in compu tational biology research. In my spare time I enjoy reading science fiction books and jogging.

Subgroups Bioenergetics, Mitochondria, and Metabolism The Bioenergetics, Mitochondria and Metabolism Subgroup calls for nominations for the Young Bioenergeticist (YBA) and Student Bioenergeticist (SBA) awards. The winners will have the opportunity to present their work at the 2024 Biophysi cal Society Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, and receive a cash prize. Award nominations will be accepted until Janu ary 10, 2024. Please contact the Subgroup Co-Chairs, Nelli Mnatsakanyan ( and Ildiko Szabo ( for more information Is this your first volunteer position for BPS? If not, what other positions have you held? Yes, I have volunteered on the BPS Education Committee since 2016. Why do you volunteer? Volunteering provides an opportunity to contribute to the scientific community. By dedicating time and effort to the Biophysical Society, I aim to support the progress of biophys ics, cultivate a sense of community, and assist the Society in reaching its objectives. In my role as an instructional professor at the University of Chicago, where my primary responsibility is teaching undergraduate students, active participation in the BPS Education Committee enables me to stay informed of the latest developments, research trends, and advancements in biophysics. This ongoing learning experience provides person al growth and a sense of fulfillment. What has been a highlight from your volunteer experience? A highlight has been establishing and helping to judge the Undergraduate Poster Award Competition (UPAC).

Membrane Structure & Function We are excited to host a dinner open to all Membrane Struc ture and & Function Subgroup members on Saturday, Feb ruary 10th at Iron Hill Brewery ( in Philadelphia. Tickets can be purchased through the registra tion portal and cost $40 for Regular Members and $25 for Student Members. We hope to see you all there! — Liz Kelley , Chair — Milka Doktorova , Secretary-Treasurer

— Adam Smith , Chair-Elect — Ingela Parmryd , Past Chair

about the nomination procedures. — Nelli Mnatsakanyan , Co-Chair — Ildiko Szabo , Co-Chair

December 2023



Career Development

How to Approach Your First Invitation to Peer Review a Manuscript

So you’ve received your first invitation to peer review a manuscript. You’re nervous and wondering if you should accept the assignment? How do you provide a useful and fair review? First, congrat

Distinct from scrutiny of scientific rigor and soundness, reviews that prove useful to editorial decisions offer a justified perspec tive of how important an advance the study makes to the field. This is not simply an opinion; it requires the reviewer first to place the study within a broader context. What is the current state of the field? What are the open questions? Which of these areas carry greatest potential? An experienced author skillfully can navigate readers through the manuscript’s Discussion, end ing at their conclusions. An effective reviewer can detect (and offer) alternative interpretations, justified by their command of the topic as well as knowledge within the current literature. This task understandably can be harder for a beginning investigator and likely involves additional literature mining. One might feel the need to consult a more experienced colleague, perhaps a scientific mentor. If you choose to consult, note it is always imperative to maintain confidentiality. As you read the manuscript, keep a running list of notes to your self. They need not be extensive, but ideally function as a series of prompts to help you compose your assessments. Draw on this material to organize your outline, which then serves as the framework for a more formal draft. Ideally, start with a section presenting a general summary of the topic and the question(s) addressed. Divide feedback into distinct sections to provide major and minor points of concern requiring the authors’ further consideration or clarification. With respect to the tenor of your review, use the following questions to guide you while composing. If this were your manuscript, what sort of feedback would you find most helpful? How would you like challenges to your own work delivered? In the review, you effectively establish a scientific dialog with the authors. Be constructive. If a point is unclear, ask. If it is incorrect, politely and justifiably correct it, and ask the authors to address this in their revision, if necessary. Treat this as an opportunity to establish a scientific rapport with individuals who likely will be reviewing your future manuscripts. Remember these take-home points: know when it is appropri ate to accept an invitation to review; your expert scientific input informs editorial decisions, so thoroughness is valued highly; and participating in peer review is a great opportunity not only to increase the depth of your knowledge and analytical skills, but also to refine your skills in collegial discourse. Reviewer feedback, offered constructively and in a collaborative spirit, has the potential to shape the literature and ultimately the direction of your discipline. By participating conscientiously, you make an important contribution. — Molly Cule

ulations on the invitation! Looks like your work has attracted attention and your expertise is now firmly established. This is an important milestone. Peer review experience is an essential and important credential expected in an academic setting. Review ing manuscripts is in itself a great opportunity to broaden your knowledge base and assessment skills. When performed well, it can elevate your professional reach over time, regardless of what career path you choose. Beware, however—you need to approach this important task systematically for maximum benefit to all. First things first: should you accept the assignment? Start by reading the abstract and asking yourself whether you have suf ficient interest and expertise to evaluate the study. Yes? Great! Next, consider whether you are able to review the manuscript without bias. As a rule, avoid accepting assignments to review manuscripts from direct competitors. Be aware that reviewing manuscripts from groups with whom you have a close associa tion can present bias as well. Next, consider whether you can meet the stated deadline. Avoid the common and regrettable tendency to accept with the “I’ll just fit it in” mindset. If your calendar is tight, consider contact ing the commissioning editor to ask for a modest extension up front. Editors would rather work with an insightful review than one lacking specific detail, a predictable result of a last-minute rush. Such pieces can come across as dismissive, and ultimately reflect poorly on the reviewer. Regardless of whether an up front extension is required, make this a hard deadline on your calendar. By being punctual, you signal respect for not only the authors’ time, but also the editor’s and other reviewers’. Now comes the fun part. As a reviewer, you assume the respon sibility of evaluating the study’s scientific rigor, as presented in the manuscript. Does the Methods section provide sufficient details for independent replication? Did the authors perform statistical tests appropriate for the comparisons presented? Do answers unfold logically within the Results narrative? Do experimental outcomes justify the conclusions drawn from each set, or are the conclusions at best a conceptual stretch? Does the abstract encapsulate the study effectively? Typically, a junior investigator finds this aspect of the reviewer role to be most straightforward, as these are points likely emphasized during their training period and indeed implemented when composing their own publications.

December 2023




Thank You for Donating! The Biophysical Society extends its sincere appreciation to the individuals who generously contributed to Society programs from November 1, 2022, to October 31, 2023. These donations support the annual expansion of travel awards, Student Chap ters, public affairs initiatives, Society awards, and various outreach activities that would be challenging to pursue without this vital financial support. Please find the list of our valued donors below. $1,000 and above Jean Chin Jefferson Knight Charles M. Knobler

Carlos Alberto Z. Bassetto, Jr. Sergey M. Bezrukov Andrew P. Braun Sandra Byju Jubilee Cabellon DaVante Cain Patrik R. Callis Jamie H. Cate Hernan Chaimovich Krishna Chinthalapudi David E. Clapham Henry M. Colecraft Julio F. Cordero-Morales Debapriya Das Rodrigo F. M. De Almeida Elena N. Dedkova Laurent M. Dejean Lucie Delemotte Michelle A. Digman Yiwei Ding Umidahan Djakbarova Barrett Downing Jingyi Fei Ilayda Firlar Arash Firouzbakht Lucy R. Forrest Craig Gatto Andrew Geiger

$100-$199 Rommie E. Amaro Paul S. Blank James P. Dilger Paul Dreizen Jeff Gelles

Alla Korepanova Edward R. Lyman

Peter S. Coleman Sue K. Donaldson Andrea Soranno Jeanne C. Stachowiak $200-$999 Mordecai P. Blaustein Walter J. Chazin

Yuichiro Maeda Rudra Maharajh Jean-Jacques Meister

Miriam B. Goodman Peter W. Holloway Ryota Iino Elizabeth A. Jonas Robert S. Kass Sherwin S. Lehrer Barry R. Lentz James A. McCammon John S. Olson George D. Rose Tatiana K. Rostovtseva Asher R. Sheppard Shey-Shing Sheu $50-$99 Hans-Juergen Apell

Cynthia A. Palmer R. Daniel Peluffo Gabriele Pfitzer Sally C. Pias Taras V. Pogorelov Hugo Sanabria Alfons F. Schulte Reinhard Schweitzer-Stenner

Caitlin Davis Jane Dyson Michael Edidin Sharyn A. Endow Scott E. Fraser

Frances Separovic Michael J. Smerdon Frank D. Sönnichsen Alison Sweeney Pratyush Tiwary Yuichi Togashi Francesco Tombola Mark J. Uline Peter H. von Hippel Huan-Xiang Zhou Under $50 Amnah Aalalmaie Souparno Adhikary Bogdan P. Amuzescu Aaron Au Walter A. Baase Ashwin Balakrishnan

Louise M. Garone Martin Gruebele Sarah E. Hitchcock-DeGregori

Alex S. Holehouse John J. Lemasters Chris Lingle Joseph A. Mindell Gary J. Pielak David W. Piston Thomas D. Pollard

Maciej Baginski Dorothy Beckett James H. Davis Elliot L. Elson Joseph J. Falke Stephen D. Fried Craig A. Gough Matthias Heyden Blake Hill Ronald W. Holz Skyler L. Jackman

George A. Porter Gail A. Robertson Neal Shepherd Cynthia V. Stauffacher Da-Neng Wang Yin Yeh E. Lynn Zechiedrich

Elka R. Georgieva Anne Gershenson Sanju Ghimire Ranajeet Ghose Arindam Ghosh Félix M. Goñi

December 2023




Gopika Gopan Stephan L. Grage Michael E. Green Seong-won Han Vinayak Harihar Kumiko Hayashi James B. Hayes Micca Hecht Alejandro P. Heuck Brian E. Hingerty Samuel Hoff Jimmy Ching-Cheng Hsu Guobin Hu Zhijian Hu Yao-Te Huang Hiroyuki Iwamoto Bruce L. Kagan Timothy J. Kamp Revansiddha H. Katte Fiona L. Kearns Anne K. Kenworthy Syma Khalid Jeffery B. Klauda Jay R. Knutson

Abhay Kotecha Nicholas Koylass Sushant Kumar Gianmarco Lazzeri

Jennyfer Pastor Amun C. Patel Camillo Peracchia Ursula A. Perez-Salas Eduardo Perozo Horia I. Petrache Steven S. Plotkin Tatyana E. Polenova Carol B. Post Megha Rajendran Cynthia S. Randall Gert Rapp Aniket Ravan M. Thomas Record Kimberly A. Reynolds Jane S. Richardson Alice Romagnoli Yassine Sabek Sonja Schmid Diwakar Shukla David P. Siegel Tomasz Skóra Iker F. Soto Santarriaga Robert A. Spangler

Justin M. Spiriti Norio Suda

Jianyuan Sun Hiroaki Takagi Dongyan Tan Hedieh Torabifard Stephanie A. Tristram-Nagle Chu-Hsien Tsai

Juyong Lee Sun Joo Lee

Jing Li Jin Liu Timothy Lynagh Eduardo N. Maldonado Andrew H. Marcus Leslie C. McKinney Merna M. M. Melad Bojan Milic Nelli Mnatsakanyan Ishita Mukerji Etsuko Muto Hyuntae Na Amrinder S. Nain Vincent M. Nicholson

Mahima Unnikrishnan Steven R. Van Doren Valeria Vásquez Viksita Vijayvergiya Josh Wand

Yuhan Wang Ryan L. Woltz Sun-Hee Woo Ernest M. Wright Mingming Wu Heike Wulff Christian A. Wurm Yanru Xu Yoshiaki Yano Ziyang Yu

Martina Nicoletti Riccardo Olcese Jocelyn G. Olvera Garegin A. Papoian

Support Biophysics • Big or Small • Your Donation Makes a Difference Your tax-deductible donation will help make a difference to the biophysics community. Your donation will help support travel awards, student chapters, public affairs activities, and resources and programs for biophysicists. To donate, please visit

December 2023



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