Biophysical Society Bulletin | January 2022
Meet the NewBPS Ambassadors
What are your Ambassador Program goals? I hope to develop better connections between biophysics in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region with the North Amer- ican/European biophysical communities and to expand the international reach of BPS. I also want to provide better op- portunities for the next generation of biophysicists from our region to connect in with the international community and to strengthen my own connections with the BPS community. Tell us something fun about yourself I love to travel! This is a good thing when you live in Australia, as everything is so far away. I have really missed traveling during the pandemic to catch up with colleagues around the world to discuss biophysics. Donald C. Chang China What do you do professionally? During the 1970s and 1980s, I conducted research at the Baylor College of Medicine and the Marine Biological Labora- tory at Woods Hole. In 1991, I joined the Hong Kong Univer- sity of Science and Technology (HKUST) as a founding faculty member. Currently, I am Professor Emeritus at HKUST. My research interest is very broad, including biophysics, biotechnology, and quantum physics. I was involved in the pi- oneering works of magnetic resonance imaging development. My team discovered that NMR relaxation times (T1 and T2) of cellular water undergo a progressive change when the tissue transforms from the normal to pre-neoplastic and then to tumor state. This discovery enabled physicians to use NMR to detect the early stage of cancer development. More recently, my research was devoted to studies of signaling mechanisms in cell cycle and gene transfer technology. What led you to apply for the BPS Ambassador Program? By serving in the BPS Ambassador program, I hope to share my research experience with younger people, and to pro- mote international exchange more actively in the studies of biophysics. I have some working experience with international scientific organizations. I worked in the United States for more than 20 years and had joined many scholastic societies there, including BPS. I was a Council Member of the Asian Biophysical Association and served as the Hong Kong Rep- resentative in the International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics for more than 10 years. What are your Ambassador Program goals? I would like to promote more active collaboration between the physics and life science communities in my region. Also, Donald C. Chang I was trained in physics (B.A. from the Na- tional Taiwan University in 1965 and PhD from Rice University in Houston in 1970).
In 2019, the Council envisioned a new program within the Biophysical Society (BPS) focused exclusively on our inter- national members, the Ambassador Program. It was creat- ed both to enhance BPS inclusion of the global biophysics community and to provide new pathways into biophysics in Ambassadors’ home countries. Beginning in 2020, a cohort of four BPS Ambassadors per year has been selected to repre- sent biophysics in their countries, resulting in 3 cohorts and 12 Ambassadors to date. These Ambassadors, each repre- senting a different country, work in conjunction with BPS committees and staff to offer increased content, program- ming, and a voice for the international biophysics community. In January 2022, the last of the inaugural program cohorts will begin their term. Representing Australia, China, Kenya, and the Netherlands, they will join their fellow Ambassadors from Argentina, Canada, India, Malaysia, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. We look forward to work- ing with this new cohort of Ambassadors and the range and breadth of experience and knowledge these 12 individuals bring to BPS and biophysics. Renae Ryan Australia What do you do professionally? on amino acid and neurotransmitter transporters. Over my career, I have always had a love of biophysics and using bio- physical techniques to understand the molecular mechanism of transport proteins, which I think are the coolest proteins! I am currently the Secretary-General of the Asian Biophysics Association (ABA), which brings together seven Biophysical Societies in Asia (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan) to promote biophysics and collaboration in the Asia-Pacific region. We co-host a major meeting with one of the member societies every three years, and ABA is an Adhering Body of the International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics. What led you to apply for the BPS Ambassador Program? I am passionate about improving diversity and inclusion in biophysics and am committed to growing biophysics in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. There is so much great biophysics research in our region to be showcased. The BPS Ambassador Program seems a perfect way to achieve these goals. Renae Ryan I am a Professor at the University of Sydney, Australia. My group studies the structure and function of membrane proteins with a focus
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