Biophysical Society Bulletin | January 2021

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BPS will soon launch its new fully open access journal Biophysical Reports . The journal, headed by Editor-in-Chief Joerg Enderlein (see below) will publish short Letters and Reports as well as Research Articles and Reviews in all disciplines encompassed by biophysics, with a particular emphasis on methods and techniques for biophysical research, as well as concepts and ideas that present major con- ceptual advances or represent new views on existing data and results. It is committed to rapid publication of articles that are written for specialists as well as those written for the broader biophysics community. Biophysical Reports provides a venue for authors looking for a fully open access journal in which to publish their latest work. Watch for the Call for Papers soon! Jörg Enderlein Named Editor-in-Chief of Biophysical Reports

Jörg Enderlein has been confirmed as the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of Biophysical Reports , the new open access journal from the Biophysical Society. His appointment was confirmed during a meeting of the Council on November 7, 2020. Enderlein is a physics professor and is Executive Director of the Third Institute of Physics (Biophysics) of the Georg-August-Universität at Göttingen. For the last three decades he has worked on developing advanced single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging methods and their application in physical chemistry, biophysics, and life sciences. He received his PhD in physical chemistry, from Humboldt University in Berlin and has been a longtime panel member and reviewer for the Human Frontier Science Program and the European Research Council.

Jörg Enderlein

Inside

Enderlein said he is “extremely honored to be selected Editor-in-Chief. I see a signifi- cant potential for the new journal, which should offer transparent and rapid reviewing and editorial decisions with a specific understanding of the peculiarities and importance of biophysical research.” Biophysical Reports will launch in the first half of 2021. It will be a fully open access journal that will feature short contributions (Letters and Reports) with rapid turnaround in addition to full research articles. This new journal provides another option for BPS members and others to publish their work, particularly those who are mandated to publish in open access journals. “We are excited to have Jörg join the BPS editorial community and believe his exper- tise, energy, and vision are ideal to launch this new enterprise,” said Cathy Royer , BPS President. Enderlein’s term will officially begin January 1, 2021, although work on planning his Editorial Board is well underway.

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President’s Message

Society Awards

Biophysicist in Profile

Public Affairs Member Corner

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Publications

Annual Meeting

Career Development

Communities

Obituary

Upcoming Events

President’s Message

President’s Message The COVID-19 pandemic has had the effect of laying bare the under- lying classism and structural racism in our societies, particularly, al-

four prominent scientists, some of whom are biophysicists and BPS members, and all of whom work in different contexts to promote minority participation in science. David Asai – Senior Director for Science Education, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Bil Clemons – Professor of Biochemistry, California Institute of Technology; Member of the President’s Diversity Council at Caltech Yadilette Rivera-Colon – Assistant Professor of Biology and Undergraduate Research Program Coordinator, Bay Path University; Chair, BPS Education Committee Billy Williams – Senior Vice President for Ethics, Diversity and Inclusion at the American Geophysical Union As noted, the causes of the lack of diversity in BPS and in science in general are varied and complex. The forum, which will take the form of a discussion around a series of questions prompted by the BPS Committee on Inclusion and Diversity, will focus on what we can do as a scientific Society to in- crease diversity and minority participation. We will begin by defining to the best of our ability the current situation in BPS regarding inclusion and diversity. Then the discussion will focus on what actions we can take to make BPS a welcoming place for minority scientists, a place where they feel comfort- able and valued as they trade ideas and build their networks and their careers. We will touch on what types of programs we can sponsor to encourage minority students to consider or remain in STEM (and biophysics) pathways. If time permits, we will address questions from the attendees. The forum on “Building an Inclusive BPS” will take place on Friday morning, February 26, 2021, from 10 am to 11 am EST, just prior to the awards ceremony and the Biophysical Society Lecture. The entire morning session will be free of charge and open to anyone who wishes to attend, the goal being to broadly inspire interest in biophysics. The link will be available on the BPS website prior to the opening of the meeting. We certainly hope you will attend, and that you will share the link with anyone you feel might be interested. Clearly, this session is not designed to be a solution to the lack of diversity in BPS. Rather, we hope it will serve as the beginning of a conversa- tion and movement within the Society. Please join us. — Catherine A. Royer

though not exclusively, in the United States. Given the enduring legacy of slavery, attitudes toward race in the United States are more central

Catherine A. Royer

to the social order. Moreover, the stresses to that order from the current crisis are clearly not felt equally by all citizens. The ongoing worldwide pandemic also provides us with an oppor- tunity to reflect on how science is perceived and practiced in this context. Like other scientific societies, the Biophysical Society, with the goal of promoting and supporting biophys- ics, can contribute to changing both the perception of science and its practice. Working towards this goal requires that we take a hard look at minority inclusion and diversity within the Society and in the outreach programs supported by BPS. While the BPS cannot require that members divulge their race or ethnicity, it is clear to anyone attending an in-person BPS Annual Meeting (remember those?) that our Society is sorely lacking in diversity. We count very few minority bio- physicists among our members. Given that the BPS exists in the context of international science and society, this is not a surprising observation. However, just because the situation is not surprising does not make it acceptable. While the roots of the problem run deep, and include both structural racism and poverty, sometimes in combination, I believe there are measures that we can take as a scientific society to promote change. I am no expert on the topic of inclusion and diversity, but I truly feel that the issue needs to be placed front and center in BPS. We know that the very best science comes from diverse groups in which individuals from all backgrounds contribute unique insight. Clearly, biophysics would be stronger if our So- ciety were diverse. Moreover, seeking justice requires that we strive towards a world in which all individuals be granted the same opportunities to thrive. We, as biophysicists, know what exciting and fulfilling (if not always incredibly lucrative) ca- reers we enjoy. It is inherently unfair that such opportunities be denied to whole groups of our populations. Therefore, the President’s forum at this years’ virtual BPS Annual Meeting will address “Building an Inclusive BPS.” The forum will include

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Society Awards

Officers President Catherine A. Royer President-Elect Frances Separovic Past-President David W. Piston Secretary Erin Sheets Treasurer Kalina Hristova Council Linda Columbus Michelle A. Digman

Nominations NowOpen for 2022 Society Awards  The Biophysical Society is accepting nominations for

its 2022 awards, now through May 1, 2021.   Awards to be bestowed in this cycle include: 

Erin C. Dueber Marta Filizola Gilad Haran

The Anatrace Membrane Protein Award , which recognizes an outstanding investigator who has made a significant contribution to the field of membrane protein research;  The Avanti Award in Lipids , given to an investigator for outstanding contributions to our understanding of lipid biophysics;  The Michael and Kate Bárány Award for young investigators, which recognizes an outstanding contribution to biophysics by a person who has not achieved the rank of full professor at the time of nomination;  The BPS Award in the Biophysics of Health and Disease , honoring a significant contribution to understanding the fundamental cause or pathogenesis of disease, or to enabling the treatment or prevention of a disease;  The BPS Innovation Award , recognizing a BPS member who advances our fundamental understanding of biological systems through the development of novel theory, models, concepts, techniques, or applications;  The Rosalba Kampman Distinguished Service Award , which honors service in the field of biophysics and contributions beyond achievements in research;  The Margaret Oakley Dayhoff Award , given to a woman who holds very high promise or has achieved prominence while developing the early stages of a career in biophysical research within the purview and interest of the Biophysical Society;  The Kazuhiko Kinosita Award in Single-Molecule Biophysics , recognizing outstanding researchers for their exceptional contributions in advancing the field of single-molecule biophysics;  The  Ignacio Tinoco Award , which honors the scientific contributions, work, and life of an outstanding biophysical chemist, educator, and mentor;  The Founders Award , given to scientists for outstanding achievement in any area of  biophysics;  And the 2022 Fellows of the Biophysical Society , honoring distinguished members who have demonstrated sustained scientific excellence.  Awards will be presented at the 2022 Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in San Francisco,

Francesca Marassi Joseph A. Mindell Carolyn A. Moores

Anna Moroni Jennifer Ross David Stokes Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede Biophysical Journal Jane Dyson Editor-in-Chief The Biophysicist Sam Safran Editor-in-Chief Biophysical Reports

Jörg Enderlein Editor-in-Chief

Society Office Jennifer Pesanelli Executive Officer Newsletter Executive Editor Jennifer Pesanelli Managing Editor Beth Staehle

Production Catie Curry Ray Wolfe Proofreader/Copy Editor Laura Phelan 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 © 2021 by the Biophysical Society. Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved.

California.  For information and to submit a nomination, visit  www.biophysics.org/awards-funding/society-awards.  

Numbers By the BPS Virtual Networking Events, organized by members throughout 2020, have attracted over 1,400 registered attendees from 44 countries.

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Biophysicist in Profile

Alan Grossfield Areas of Research Using simulations to understand how physics determines biological function

Institution University of Rochester Medical Center

At-a-Glance

Alan Grossfield grew up interested in math and science, with parents who worked in quantitative fields, as a math teacher and a structural engineer. “When I was about five or six years old, I heard my parents mention pi,” he shares. “To deflect my disappointment that we weren’t discussing dessert, my dad got a bunch of cans out of the cupboard, along with a piece of string and a ruler, and we measured pi. I remember the shock and glee I felt when the same number came up, over and over.”

Alan Grossfield

As a high school student, Alan Grossfield started asking big questions in his advanced biology class. “We were studying how ribosomes worked, and I got really frustrated with the teacher. He was explaining that the tRNA did this, then the ri- bosome does that, and then the protein chain gets longer, and it kept sounding like the ribosome knew what it was trying to accomplish. I kept asking how it did it, since the molecules don’t have intent, and I got mad the teacher didn’t know,” he explains. “Of course, it wasn’t his fault — the first ribosome crystal structure wasn’t published until eight years later — but I came away convinced that I wanted to understand why molecules do stuff. I’ve never gotten past that — realizing that a bunch of molecules that only communicate by direct collisions manage to create function across nine orders of magnitude in length scale still blows my mind.” He started at Cornell University in 1990 as a biology major. “I was already interested in biophysics, but I didn’t know the word,” he says. “I was very lucky that my assigned freshman advisor was Jerry Feigenson . Although that relationship is only official for freshmen, I went back to him for advice in the middle of my sophomore year. I was getting frustrated with my classes; I wasn’t learning what I wanted to know, and I was sick of all the memorizing I had to do in my bio classes. Jerry listened, and after a while he suggested I’d be happier switching to a physics major.” Grossfield did change majors at the end of his sophomore year and finished his degree in physics with a concentration in biology in 1994. He then entered a graduate program at Johns Hopkins University which was then called the Intercampus Program in Molecular Biophysics. He was the first student in the lab of Thomas Woolf , using molecular dynamics simulations to study membrane-protein interactions, focusing mostly on the interactions between analogs of tryptophan side chains and the membrane-water interface. In the late 1990s, Daniel Zuckerman , now a professor at Ore- gon Health & Science University, joined Tom Woolf’s group at

Johns Hopkins as a postdoc late in Grossfield’s time there as a grad student. “Although nominally I was senior to Alan, in fact he was a mentor to me in terms of learning structural biology, membrane biophysics, and good computational practices,” Zuckerman shares. “Alan is very astute in his physical think- ing and his ability to spot problems in data, which are really critical skills in our field.” Following the completion of his PhD program in 2000, he started a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis with Jay Ponder in the Depart- ment of Biochemistry and Biophysics. He had been struggling with computational limitations on the quality of statistical sampling, so he decided to change lanes to do modeling where statistical sampling was not a major problem. “I went to Jay’s lab to work on some protein structure prediction work involving potential energy smoothing, but once there I switched gears to study the solvation thermodynamics of simple ions using the AMOEBA polarizable force field, which was being developed at that time by Jay and another postdoc in the lab, Pengyu Ren ,” he explains. “It was a very exciting time to be a computationalist at the med school. From Jay, I learned a huge amount about simulation methods, as well as how to design code to be clear and maintainable. The Center for Computational Biology had hired several outstanding new faculty members, including Rohit Pappu , Nathan Baker , and David Sept . I knew Rohit from my grad school days — he had a lot to do with my choosing to go work for Jay — but I found the volume and diversity of work going on in all of their labs inspiring, and watching them navigate the new professor experience informed my choices when I got my own lab years later.” In 2004, he moved back to Yorktown, New York, where he grew up and began a second postdoc at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center. An informal mentor of Grossfield’s since graduate school, Scott Feller , had been collaborating there with Michael Pitman on simulations of lipid membranes, and

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Biophysicist in Profile

recommended him for the position. “The team there had been developing a custom molecular dynamics code specifically designed to take advantage of the new Blue Gene supercom- puting architecture. My timing was exceptionally lucky — I arrived shortly after the code was functional, and roughly six months before the Blue Gene/L supercomputer at Watson debuted at number 2 on the list of Top 500 Supercomputers (number 1 was another Blue Gene),” he says. “The projects Mike, Scott, and I worked on were allocated roughly one- fourth of the machine, letting us run simulations far longer than was generally possible at that time. We used this oppor- tunity to study the mammalian dim-light receptor rhodopsin, looking at its lipid-protein interactions, the role of polyunsat- urated fatty acids in controlling function, and the early stages of activation. We also worked on better methods to quantify the quality of statistical sampling.” Grossfield was offered a faculty position at the University of Rochester Medical Center while at IBM Research, where he now works. He is an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. “We have several estab- lished project areas, including simulating the early events in rhodopsin activation and comparing them to time-resolved X-ray scattering experiments, as well as developing methods to compute and interpret terahertz spectroscopy experi- ments on protein crystals,” he shares. “We’re also moving into new areas, including understanding the mechanisms of new potential drugs to treat opioid overdoses, using the experi- mental fibril structures of alpha-synuclein to think about the origins of Parkinson’s disease, and developing a new frame- work to think about the thermodynamics of phase separation in lipid membranes. We also put a lot of effort into developing LOOS, our suite for the analysis of molecular dynamics simu- lations.”

Grossfield with his dogs.

past year, I wrote nearly a dozen grant proposals, several on new topics for my group. Three of them were funded — two with collaborators, one just for my group, all in relatively new research areas for me —which is positioning me to rebuild my group and apply for tenure,” he shares. James Seckler , Case Western Reserve University, was one of Grossfield’s unofficial mentees, and the two continue to collaborate. “At present, we are working together on devel- oping a drug to reverse opioid induced respiratory depression (the cause of death in heroin and fentanyl overdoses) without affecting the ability of opioids to stop pain,” Seckler says. The most valuable thing he has learned from Grossfield over the years comes in the form of a saying he frequently shares in the lab: “There is always a faster way to get the wrong answer.” It’s his way of reminding everyone around him to slow down and be careful. He always stressed choosing techniques based on reliability rather than the time investment. This is something I took to heart working with him and continue to use to this day.” Grossfield believes that his most important contributions to biophysics will be the students and postdocs he helps train. He offers this advice for young biophysicists as they build thieir own careers: “Invest early on to build a network of good mentors. When you’re picking a lab for your thesis or postdoc, pay attention to what kind of mentor the PI is likely to be. Seek out other mentors as well — there doesn’t have to be a formal relationship, just a recognition that this is a person you can go to for advice, and who is invested in your suc- cess. Some of my most influential mentors are people I never worked for,” he says. “On the flip side, look for opportunities to provide mentoring for others. You don’t have to be very far along your career path to do so; a second- or third-year graduate student can be an influential mentor to an under- grad or first-year graduate student. However, before you give advice, be sure you understand what they want. Your role as a mentor isn’t to push them along your path, but to help them identify their own goals, and then reach them.”

Grossfield and his lab

The most challenging period of Grossfield’s career has been over the last four years, during which time the National Insti- tutes of Health (NIH) grant he had was not renewed and new applications to NIH and the National Science Foundation were not funded. He asked his department to pay his graduate stu- dents and postdoc, and was unable to take on new students, let alone upgrade lab equipment or pay to attend conferences. He petitioned his dean to extend his tenure clock, eventu- ally obtaining a three-year extension. “Happily, things have finally turned around over the last few months. During the

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Public Affairs

Biden Transition Brings Questions. Will Answers Follow?  

At the time of writing, we are beginning to see the early stages of the Biden Administration transition. The elections left a few unanswered questions, such as how long would we wait for certified results and legal fights, and of course, control of the Sen- ate. While we wait for the January 5 runoff elections in Georgia, more seats in the House and Senate could move back into play as a result of the Biden transition. Although only a handful of names have been announced so far, a number of sitting House and Senate members are prime targets for posts within the Administration. How quickly will the Senate confirm these positions to allow us to get to the job at hand? How quickly will the Biden Administration be able to roll back some of policies put in place over the past four years? This is by no means a new or unusual situation, but it leaves us with more questions waiting to be answered. Congress Faces Busy Lame Duck Session Around theWorld Meet the NewBPS Ambassadors

On Wednesday, December 9, the House passed a tempo- rary extension to the continuing resolution (CR) keeping the federal government funded at current levels until December 18, with the Senate expected to follow suit. Standing in the way of the fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget is a wide difference in vision on overall spending. Republicans believe in a more spe- cific approach, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell making it clear his Republican majority would be comfortable with a stimulus bill in the neighborhood of $500 billion and no more than $1 trillion. Democratic leaders, however, have made it clear that they want something closer to $2 trillion. As part of the FY21 negotiations, the House and Senate have been able to advance discussions on another, much needed, stimulus package. Leadership from both chambers are hope- ful they can agree on a combined stimulus package in one of the largest workloads for a Lame Duck session in recent memory Also on the agenda? Congress has to finish the National Defense Authorization Act, a massive bipartisan bill that sets defense policy for the country. It is currently in limbo be- cause of veto threat by President Trump. Hopefully, Congress will use the time remaining to take action and complete the much-needed work of the 116th Congress.

In January of 2020, the Biophysical Society launched the inaugural class of the BPS Ambassador Program. Members from around the globe are selected to represent biophysics, scientific research, and information in their home countries for a three-year term. Joining Ambassadors John Baenzinger of Canada, Olwyn Byron of the United Kingdom, Nuno Santos of Portugal and Samrat Mukhopadhyay of India are BPS members from Argentina, Malaysia, Norway and Turkey. Canan Atilgan Turkey What do you do professionally?

I am a professor at Sabanci University and an elected member of the Science Academy, Istanbul. We develop efficient computation-

Canan Atilgan

al methods for navigating protein landscapes; we strive to advance the understanding on long-range communication in molecular machines. Locally, I advocate for science communi- cation by serving on the editorial board of the Turkish lan- guage popular science website sarkac.org, and by making

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Public Affairs

What led you to apply for the BPS Ambassador Program? I always sensed that our biophysicists in this country, in- cluding myself, are somehow disconnected from the Bio- physical Society as the nucleating component. This hampers collaborations and networking; it is my hope that by being an Ambassador I can work to better align the international biophysics community with the Biophysical Society. What are your Ambassador Program goals? As implied in my reasons for applying for the BPS Ambassa- dor Program, my goal is to build bridges between Argentine biophysics and BPS, expand BPS’s international reach and resources, and identify opportunities of mutual benefit. Tell us something fun about yourself? If not a scientist, I would have been a musician or a cook; I was clearly not cut out for real jobs! Irep Gozen Norway What do you do professionally? of the Soft Materials Laboratory at the Center for Molecular Medicine in Norway. My research area is bionanoscience, with a special focus on surfactant membranes. What led you to apply for the BPS Ambassador Program? I became a member of the Biophysical Society in 2010 during my PhD studies, and have been attending the annual BPS meetings since then. At the meetings I receive encourage- ment and critical feedback, and build a network with bio- physics experts from all over the world. I want to strengthen biophysics in the Nordic Region, bring researchers closer together, and visibly promote science in the interest of the biophysics community worldwide. What are your Ambassador Program goals? With support of the BPS Ambassador program I will work towards strengthening the connections between the biophys- ics communities in the United States and the Scandinavian region. I am planning activities and organizing workshops, especially encouraging female scientists in STEM, and on evaluating and commenting on research trends, publishing regularly for audiences of various backgrounds, and establish- ing links to administrative and funding bodies in Norway. Irep Gozen I am a group leader and associate professor at the University of Oslo, and currently head

appearances on various media outlets and school programs to promote science careers. What led you to apply for the BPS Ambassador Program? Being a first-generation PhD and the very first woman college graduate in my family, it took time to discover my destiny in academia. I stumbled upon and was immediately fascinated by biophysical problems in the last year of my PhD studies, while doing polymer physics research in a chemical engineer- ing department. Fast forward 25 years, and now I wish to use my visibility to leverage biophysics as a career path for aspir- ing scientists, and to put biophysical understanding within the reach of science enthusiasts. What are your Ambassador Program goals? I will design advocacy events to channel underrepresented groups interested in biophysics into related career paths; I will promote mentorship activities for the professional devel- opment of those who have already taken these paths. I will initiate organization of thematic meetings focused on phys- ics-based approaches and trans-disciplinary advancements in the field. Expanding on my current outreach efforts, I will engage in development of science curricula using biophysics as a unifying theme. Tell us something fun about yourself? I do some yoga every day, take long walks in the cat-populous streets of Istanbul, and occasional treats of seafood mezes set my mood right. Gonzalo de Prat Gay Argentina What do you do professionally? enzymes. I trained in basic protein science at Cambridge University, UK, which allowed me to tackle my long-term interest. I have long sought to understand viruses from their protein components, interactions, and assembly, and at the same time address fundamental problems of protein science such as folding, intrinsic disorder, nucleic acid recognition, antibody-antigen, and more recently biomolecular conden- sates, in a multidisciplinary manner, going from biophysics to cell culture and infection.  I have been working throughout the years in two important pathogens representative of RNA (syncytial respiratory virus) and DNA (papillomavirus) viruses. I am a career researcher at the Argentine National Science Council, lead a lab at Instituto Leloir, and devote most of my time to research.  Gonzalo de Prat Gay I got a degree in biochemistry at the Univer- sity of Buenos Aires and did my PhD at the same university working on photosynthetic

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Public Affairs

Tell us something fun about yourself? I enjoy combining high resolution optical micrographs with collage art. Images from my group have been showcased on journal covers, and recently in an exhibition in a contemporary art gallery in Oslo. Siti Ngalim Malaysia What do you do professionally? I am a senior lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Bertam Campus in Penang, Malay- sia. I do research and teaching on biointerface science (micro- and nanopatterning) and cell adhesion. What led you to apply for the BPS Ambassador Program? In late 2018, a few colleagues and I started a local chapter of the Biophysical Society (Pertubuhan Biofizik Malaysia). Siti Ngalim

We would like to make biophysics, especially mechanobiol- ogy, known and interesting for local STEM communities and students. I am also currently a member of the organizing committee for the BPS Thematic Meeting, Cell Adhesion Net- works, which will be held, for the first time, in Miri Sarawak (Borneo) in late 2022. What are your Ambassador Program goals? I am thankful to the BPS for the opportunity. My aim as a BPS Ambassador is to create more biophysics-related activities and awareness in Malaysia. I will share these activities with

the international BPS community soon. Tell us something fun about yourself?

In my spare time, I am developing fun side projects using artificial intelligence technologies to increase accessibility, knowledge, and communication within STEM for the local blind and visually impaired community and the public. Yes, I can read braille too.

Be Involved. The Biophysical Society (BPS) provides many opportunities for members to get involved and give back to the biophysics community.

To learn more about the different opportunities, please visit www.biophysics.org/get-involved.

Gain Leadership Experience. Make a Difference. Expand Your Network.

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Member Corner

Waldemar Kulig Department of Physics University of Helsinki Member: Publications Committee

Waldemar Kulig

Is this your first volunteer position for BPS? If not, what other positions have you held? Yes, this is my first volunteer position for BPS. Why do you volunteer? As a member of BPS, I felt that I should give back to the Society by being more involved. What has been a highlight from your volunteer experience?

I joined the Publications Committee in a very exciting moment, when the Society decided to launch a new open access journal and the Committee was tasked with brainstorming the details of this endeavor, including finding the Editor-in-Chief. It was very interesting experience, and I learnt a lot in a process. It also gave me an opportunity to affect the editorial policies of Society journals. Do you have advice for others who might be thinking about volunteering? You should do this ASAP! It is a great experience; you will learn a lot and meet many interesting people. When not volunteering for BPS, what do you work on? I try to understand molecular mechanisms of various biological processes using computer simulations. I am interested in key processes connected with biological membranes, such as cellular signaling and trafficking, the effect of the oxidative stress, protein-lipid interactions, and drug delivery.

Student Spotlight Natsuki Mizutani Osaka University

Department of Integrative Physiology What has been the most exciting experience of your studies in biophysics?

I started studying biophysics in the first year of my PhD program. As a young student, I dreamed that one day I would make a great discovery and contribute my work to the field. I began studying a unique membrane protein, voltage-sensing phosphatase (VSP). VSP comprises a voltage sensor domain capable of controlling enzyme activity. Surprisingly, despite its simple concept, no one has clearly elucidated the molecular mechanism. After a long period of working hard, I finally found the amino acid residues that play a critical role in the molecular mechanism of Ciona intestinalis VSP. This finding provides a clue for solving the unprecedented mechanism of VSP. In the beginning of 2020, I attended the BPS Annual Meeting in San Diego, where I got the opportunity to present my work internationally. I also participated in the poster competition and was awarded the Student Research Achievement Award (SRAA) for my work. In the future, I hope to discover a breakthrough in my research field, which will surely be the most exciting experience in my studies.

Natsuki Mizutani

Members in the News

Have you or a fellow BPS member recently received an award, recognition, a promotion, or tenure? If you have something that you would like to share, let us know! Email society@biophysics.org

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Publications

Know the BJ Editor Merritt Maduke Stanford University

What’s Happening in Biophysical Journal Sample of Upcoming Articles The Emergence of Phase Separation as an Organizing Principle in Bacteria Christopher Azaldegui , Anthony Vecchiarelli , Julie Biteen Vol. 120, Issue 4 The authors outline the framework to evaluate liquid-liquid phase separation in vivo in bacteria and describe the bac- terial systems with proposed LLPS activity in the context of these criteria. From Examining the Relationship between (Corona)Viral Adhesions and Galectins to Glyco-Perspectives Antonio Romero , Herbert Kaltner , Virgil Percec , Hans Gabius , Fold similarity between virus attachment proteins (adhesins) and mammalian galectins led authors to calculate similarity scores systematically then describe perspectives to counter viral threats such as therapeutics that inhibit contact be- tween viral adhesins and their cellular counterreceptors. Most Read Articles (In November 2020) Reflections on the Pandemic Jane Dyson Vol. 119, Issue 5 Research Highlights: Biophysics of Calcium Henry Colecraft Vol. 119, Issue 8 Microrheology for Hi-C Data Reveals the Spectrum of the Dynamic 3D Genome Organization Michael Klein Online Now Vol. 120, Issue 7

Biophysical Journal Editor, Channels, Transporters, and Receptors

Merritt Maduke

What are you currently working on that excites you? In general, I love it when a student or postdoc discovers something I had not envisioned. This happened with Anna Koster , a recently graduated chemistry PhD student who wanted to develop small-molecule tools for studying the CLC-2 voltage-gated chloride channel. CLC-2 is expressed broadly in the central nervous system, but in contrast to the potassium, sodium, and calcium-selective voltage-gated channels, little is known about how it contributes to brain function. I told Anna that while it would be great to have a specific small-molecule CLC-2 inhibitor, it wouldn’t be a good thesis project because I didn’t have any good ideas on how to succeed. Fortunately, Anna persisted. Starting with a low-micromolar “hit” compound identified in a small screen, Anna conducted a methodical study of structure-function relationships and developed a novel compound with 17 nM potency against CLC-2 and >1000-fold selectivity over other chloride channels. This project, initiated and driven by Anna, has been a rewarding collaboration between colleagues in chemistry, neurology, and computer science ( Justin Du Bois , John Huguenard , and Ron Dror laboratories). We are current- ly following up on Anna’s work by performing biophysical studies to understand the molecular basis for the inhibitor specificity and physiological studies to investigate CLC-2 function in the brain. At a cocktail party of non-scientists, how would you explain what you do? My postdoc mentor used to joke that the science we are interested in is so nerdy that its main benefit to society is that it keeps us off the street. While I am a proud card-car- rying nerd, I am also passionate about the value to society of the nerdy details illuminated by our research. At a cocktail party (when invited), I like to proclaim that every biomedical breakthrough of the past century was made possible by the hard work of nerdy scientists who just wanted to under- stand how the world works. When I explain that I am inter- ested in how humans and other animals generate electrical signals, I find that most people are also truly curious about these things. It is so energizing!

Soya Shinkai et al. Vol. 118, Issue 9 Open Access

Reminder When submitting your work to BJ , don’t forget to submit potential cover images! Images should be portrait orientation, have a resolution of 600 dpi, and be a pdf or tif.

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Publications

Biophysical Journal Announces New 2021 Editorial BoardMembers The Biophysical Journal is pleased to welcome the following new members to the journal’s Editorial Board: Antje Almeida , Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of North Carolina Wilmington, USA

Alex Mogilner , Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, USA Carolyn Moores , Department of Biological Sciences, Birkbeck University of London, UK Lars Nordenskiöld , School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Gabriela Popescu , Department of Biochemistry, University at Buffalo, USA Berndt Reif , Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Munich, Germany Helmut Schiessel , Instituut-Lorentz for Theoretical Physics, Leiden University, The Netherlands Jie Yan , Department of Physics, National University of Singapore, Singapore Two of the new members are joining as Associate Editors: Heiko Heerklotz , University of Freiburg, for the Membranes Section, and Alex Mogilner , New York University, for the Sys- tems Biophysics Section. Although not new to the Editorial Board, after having served two terms as an Associate Editor, Stanislav Shvartsman , Princeton University, remains on the board as an Editorial Board Member for the Systems Biophys- ics Section.

Robert Best , Laboratory of Chemical Physics, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH, USA Timo Betz , Third Institute of Physics (Biophysics), Georg-Au- gust-Universität Göttingen, Germany Jianhan Chen , Department of Chemistry, The University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA Kris Dahl , Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, USA Lucie Delemotte , Department of Applied Physics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden Alberto Diaspro , Department of Physics, University of Genoa, Italy Diego Ferreiro , Biological Chemistry Department, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Yiqin Gao , College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, China Frauke Gräter , Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS), Germany Ramon Grima , Computational Biology, University of Edinburgh, UK Will Hancock , Bioengineering Department, Pennsylvania State University, USA Heiko Heerklotz , Centre for Biological Signalling Studies, University of Freiburg, Germany Andreas Janshoff , Georg-August-Universität at Göttingen, Institute for Physical Chemistry, Germany Baohua Ji , School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Zheijang University Hangzhou, China Sudipta Maiti , Department of Chemical Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India Siewert-Jan Marrink , Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Meet the Editors Friday, February 26, 2021, 12:00 PM–1:30 PM USA Eastern This year, during the Virtual Annual Meeting, there will be an opportunity for you to meet editors of the Society’s three Journals: Biophysical Journal, Biophysical Reports, and The Biophysicist . Whether you are working on your first paper or you have published before, this is your chance to meet the esteemed editors of the BPS journals. Breakout rooms will enable you to talk with editors of each journal about where you should submit your work, what will help to get your work published, and what you can expect when you submit to these Society journals.

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Annual Meeting

Public Affairs Sessions Global Pandemic Response: Charting a Path Forward Using Guides from the Past and Present Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 12:00 pm –1:30 pm USA Eastern A candid look at the global challenges facing a successful pandemic strategy. Can the lessons from other pandemics provide a framework for international cooperation? Can a strategy be developed that addresses both public health concerns and doubts in the general populace about the safety and efficacy of new interventions? Hear from global experts in science and policy as they weigh in on the challenge ahead. Ranajeet Ghose , The City College of New York, USA, Chair Speakers to be announced. Responding to the Coronavirus Threat through Investments in Fundamental Biomedical Research Friday, February 26, 2021, 12:00 pm –1:30 pm USA Eastern Effectively containing and limiting the spread of COVID-19, as well as responding to future pandemics by emerging, as yet unknown, infectious diseases, will require sub- stantial increases in our knowledge of how this virus and other pathogens infect hu- mans, how the human immune system responds to infection, and how to leverage this understanding to develop new vaccines and drugs. These needs can only be addressed by substantial increased funding for fundamental biomedical research, as supported through congressional appropriations to federal agencies such as the National Insti- tutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Department of Energy. Eric Sundberg , Emory University, USA, Chair Speakers to be announced.

Thank you to our sponsors: Andor Technology Bruker Corporation Carl Zeiss Microscopy, LLC Chroma Technology Curi Bio Horiba Scientific Hubner Photonics - Cobolt Leica Microsystems Inc LUMICKS Mad City Labs Molecular Devices Nanion Technologies Nano Analysis Nikon Instruments Inc Sutter Instrument

Did You Submit a Late Abstract by the January 8, 2021 Deadline? Look to receive your programming notice the week of January 24. Please contact the Society Office if you do not receive notification.

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Annual Meeting

Career Sessions BPS Virtual Education and Career Fair Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 1:00 pm –4:00 pm , USA Eastern Register to attend the BPS Virtual Education and Career Fair. Whether you’re looking for a graduate school, beginning your career, or seeking advancement opportunities, this event is for you! You will get a chance to speak directly with graduate school representatives and recruiters through private, one- on-one online chats. It only takes a few minutes to register and it’s free to attend. Log in to the event from anywhere — home or office — all you need is an internet-connected device. Browse schools, programs, positions, employer profiles, and company bene- fits. Register today! Live Q&A: Careers in Industry Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 2:00 pm –3:30 pm , USA Eastern Have you wondered what your scientific career options are if you don’t go into academia? BPS invites you to attend an exclusive career session exploring science careers outside of academia. The session will feature several industry panel- ists who will answer questions and share their experiences including the steps they took and the decisions they made throughout their careers. This is a great opportunity for at- tendees to hear from industry professionals and get tangible advice for identifying and pursuing various careers outside of academic research. Join us for this interactive session. Erin Dueber , Genentech, San Francisco, CA, USA, Chair Speakers Muneera Beach , Malvern Panalytical, San Diego, CA, USA Aysegul Ozen , Blueprint Medicines, Boston, MA, USA Jeremy Wilbur , Relay Therapeutics, Boston, MA, USA Jeff Hirsch , Confluence Discovery Technologies, St. Louis, MO, USA

Exhibitor Presentations Exhibitor presentations will be held throughout the week of the virtual Annual Meeting by companies that have exciting products, tools, and technologies to showcase. All meeting attendees are welcome at these presentations. Tuesday, February 23, 2021 11:30 am –12:00 pm Mad City Labs 1:30 pm –2:00 pm Bruker Corporation 3:30 pm –4:00 pm Nikon Instruments Inc 4:00 pm –4:30 pm Horiba Scientific Wednesday, February 24, 2021 11:30 am –12:00 pm Bruker Corporation 1:30 pm –2:00 pm Leica Microsystems 3:30 pm –4:00 pm Lumicks 4:00 pm –4:30 pm Carl Zeiss Microscopy LLC Thursday, February 25, 2021 11:30 am –12:00 pm Nanion Technologies 1:30 pm –2:00 pm Andor Technology 3:30 pm –4:00 pm Nano Analysis 4:00 pm –4:30 pm Molecular Devices Friday, February 26, 2021 1:30 pm –2:00 pm Curi Bio View the 2021 Exhibitor Presentation summaries at https:/www.biophysics.org/2021meeting/program.

The Annual Meeting and the Subgroups are an amazing way to learn about the latest research. It is impossible to not get excited about science after hearing all of the amazing science being done. —Bradley Webb, West Virginia University

biophysics.org/ 2021meeting

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Career Development

Dealing with Failure and Rejection “Science is hard…” is my conversation stopper in taxis (as I gaze pensively into the distance), but this was once countered by the driver’s reply: “If we were happy, we would still be swinging in the trees.” Indeed, humans— including scientists

not care what we think, it just is.” This is definitely humbling and puts us into our place in the universe. But thinking and emotions are important determinants of our perspective and attitude. So the experiment that failed—the bacteria that did not grow on a contaminated petri dish—may in fact lead you to a break- through finding (e.g., Fleming’s discovery of Penicillin). A mentor of mine had a particular talent: Although by objective criteria the experiment, the grant application, or manuscript submission was a dismal failure, he was able to convince you that this was the most intriguing set of data or an actually thoughtful and useful review he had seen in a long time and you just needed to do another experiment or revise the proposal. Flexibility of mind means being able to regroup, refocus, and reframe. Being able to wholeheartedly believe the opposite to your previous hypothesis is a beautiful thing. The ego can badly get in the way, but at the same time emotions can be a powerful driving force to succeed the next time. Third, ask yourself, Does this particular instance of failure or rejectionmatter tome as a person? Mindfulness experts urge us to have an internal locus of control, in part by “not taking things personally.” If anything, this is what I learned from rejection: They don’t knowme as a person, so a rejection should not be [inter- preted as] a personal attack or dismissal. Granted, many failures are uncomfortable, as some relate closely to personal weakness- es and typically failure has consequences. Many scientific and technological giants have written about how catastrophic failures enabled a most stellar breakthrough later. So failure and rejection are opportunities for change, but in the process, please be kind to others (and yourself). Finally, it’s good to celebrate even your small successes and to include everyone who helped. 1. “On Death and Dying” book by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, 1969 2. https:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locus_of_control 3. https:/www.sciencehistory.org/historical-profile/alexander-fleming — Molly Cule NSF Funding Opportunity: Designing Synthetic Cells Beyond the Bounds of Evolution Because of the recent technological advances in synthetic biology and bioengineering, researchers are now able to tailor cells and cell-like systems for a variety of basic and applied research purposes. Highest funding priority is giv- en to proposals that have outstanding intellectual merit and broader impacts. Deadline: February 16, 2021 Website: https:/www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ. jsp?pims_id=505851

—are an emotional species and we all remember the anticipation of joy or trepidation when clicking on the results of a paper review, an interview outcome, a

fellowship or grant application. Within split seconds our expec- tation of recognition, perhaps even validation, is turned into a feeling of utter disappointment and dejection. “I have been there somany times…,” one personmentioned, that she carefully times these “reveals”—only click on Sunday nights, after the next paper or grant is submitted, and so forth. Indeed, the timing of some events can be controlled: Schrödinger’s cat is both alive and dead until you open the box! But eventually one must face the outcome, which is sometimes bitter. Most of us experience some or all of the five stages of grieving with varying intensity: Denial/ Bewilderment, Anger/Scapegoating, Bargaining (aka writing an appeal or rebuttal even if only to oneself), Depression/Despair, and finally Acceptance (of reality). First, the facts. Quite a few future Nobel Laureates had their— eventually prize winning—results rejectedmany times, and I don’t know any scientist who regularly gets all their pet hypoth- eses applauded and their papers and proposals accepted. “If I can get x%, where x is usually much smaller than 50, I’d be very happy.” Using others for comparison (e.g., but he has Y and I only have Z) is not productive; nobody knows all the circumstances of another person’s life. Second, scientists, like few other professionals, are usually hardened by many years of failures and rejections. Persistence is a key quality, but this makes it difficult to decide when to give up. Some people live by mantras andmy favorite one is “Nature does 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 humankind. Who can apply: No self-nominations are allowed. Deadline: January 31, 2021 Website: https:/www.welch1.org/awards/welch-award- in-chemistry/welch-award-guidelines

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