Biophysical Society Bulletin | January 2022
Stephen Jett Committee for Inclusion and Diversity (CID)
Why do you volunteer? Volunteering is an extended “thank you” to those who have helped me along my journey, and a chance to serve others. CID membership is a way to help BPS to be a society that mirrors not only the diversity of disciplines within biophysics, but also the rich diversity of the United States. What has been a highlight from your volunteer experience? I have really enjoyed participating in judging abstracts for the BPS Annual Meeting travel awards. It is so cool and inspiring to learn about the individual projects and to see the breadth of the students’ work! Helping BPS provide assistance to students so that they may take advantage of the professional development opportunities present at the meeting is also a highlight.
Do you have advice for others who might be thinking about volunteering? For younger members, volunteer participation is great for professional development. It shows initiative and provides the opportunity to work with different groups. For more estab- lished members, volunteering is an opportunity to give back to the biophysics community and to share your expertise and experiences with others. When not volunteering for BPS, what do you work on? I currently serve as a Program Manager for the Chan Zucker- berg Initiative, where I oversee several grant programs that fund innovative imaging projects. Outside of the office, I work on finding the perfect barrel-aged sour beer, running/cycling enough to offset the search for the perfect barrel-aged sour beer, and trying to convince my cat that I have some say in her activities. pandemic. The Biophysical Society sponsored a SACNAS scientific session led and organized by Silvia Cavagnero . This event, titled “Human Aging and Deadly Disease: Understand- ing and Curing Proteinopathies,” featured cutting-edge de- velopments in protein aggregation in the cell, with emphasis on deadly proteinopathies and neurodegenerative maladies. The session started with introductory remarks explaining to young “SACNistas” the meaning of the word biophysics and the key role played by the Biophysical Society over the years, fostering new ideas and technologies in basic and biomedi- cal sciences. Three female leaders in the proteinopathy field presented their latest findings during the session. The first speaker was Jennifer Lee , a Senior Investigator at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National In- stitutes of Health (NIH). Lee presented recent data on the role of the N terminus of α -synuclein ( α -syn) and its ability to slow down aggregation. It is well known that the self-association of α -syn is related to the pathology of a variety of deadly brain disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. Next, Priyanka Narayan , a Tenure-Track Investigator at NIH-National Institute
Understanding and Curing Deadly Proteinopathies by Harnessing the Power of Biophysics
As many of you know, the Society for Advancing Chicanos/ Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) is a society devoted to the encouragement and scientific ad- vancement of Chicanos, Latinos, and Native Americans. Many universities throughout the United States have SACNAS local chapters, which consistently serve as nucleation sites for the encouragement and professional development of generations of young underrepresented scientists. In addition to fostering diversity and inclusivity at all levels, SACNAS holds a yearly national conference that includes a variety of scientific ses- sions on a variety of topics that span mathematics, physics, chemistry, environmental sciences, and biomedical research. The SACNAS National Conference provides young underrepre- sented scholars with the opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of recent scientific discoveries. In addition, SACNAS attendees learn about graduate school programs as well as industrial, postdoctoral, and academic jobs available across the United States. In October 2021, the SACNAS National Conference was held virtually for the second year in a row, due to the COVID-19
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