Biophysical Society Bulletin | January 2022

Public Affairs

I am a strong believer that a) the spirit of science is built on curiosity, innovation, and freedom of thought, and b) social responsibility should be an important part of science. Tell us something fun about yourself I enjoy working on very diverse topics, including biomedical physics, foundation of quantum physics, philosophy, and history. I have published four books, each of which are on very different topics, ranging from the origin of matter to the battle of morals. In my spare time, I enjoy sports. I was an enthusiastic player of tennis and badminton. Philip Amuyunzu Mang’are Kenya What do you do professionally? a Bachelor of Education (Science), Master of Science (Phys- ics), and PhD (Physics) from Egerton University, Kenya. My research has been on behavioral biophysics, establishing the phonotactic responses of the mated female Anopheles gambi- ae , which are malaria vectors. Out of this research, a mosqui- to-repellent device has been designed and constructed for use as an additional tool in malaria vector control. Besides being a Lecturer of Physics, I have taught physics and mathe- matics for more than 15 years in high school and am a Trainer of Teachers of Science under the Strengthening Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education (SMASSE) program in Vihiga County. In terms of community social responsibility, I have mounted anti-jigger campaigns since 2016. Due to these activities, I have been nominated for a Peace Award in 2021. I also engage in mentorship activities for promotion of education, good discipline, and science. My interest in biology since high school never diminished in my academic pursuits. Though I ventured into pursuing physical studies, I looked for a possi- bility of integrating physics and biology and the answer was in biophysics and bioacoustics. My graduate studies were basically biophysics—using physics concepts to explain bio- logical phenomena. What led you to apply for the BPS Ambassador Program? I found BPS, which has been of great help to my academic and professional work. The Society has provided me with an opportunity to showcase my research work through confer- ences and provision of grants. I have served as the President of the Biophysical Society Kenya Chapter, encouraging a number of students and scholars to pursue biophysical-relat- ed research. The activities of our chapter through network- ing events, Biophysics Week, and normal engagement with Philip Amuyunzu Mang’are I am a Lecturer of Physics at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kenya and an author of high school books. I received

students, scholars, and industrialists have yielded a positive impact. So far, a biophysics curriculum is being developed for adoption by member institutions. What are your Ambassador Program goals? As a BPS Ambassador, I look forward to establishing five BPS chapters per year at universities in Kenya, conducting an annual international biophysical conference, and ensuring all chapters participate in BPS activities. I will use this position to promote membership of the Society by all chapters. I will expand these activities to all East African countries, including Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Egypt, and Burundi. So far, the Uganda Chapter has been created. I will embrace teamwork and collegiality among chapter membership through online meetings with them, actual visitation to their institutions, and advocating for biophysics with the govern- ment. Tell us something fun about yourself I love traveling, making friends, and reading. Katarzyna “Kasia” Tych Netherlands What do you do professionally? research group in experimental single-molecule biophysics. We work on a broad range of projects primarily seeking to expand the tools available to study the relationships between structure, function, and dynamics of individual biological molecules. What led you to apply for the BPS Ambassador Program? I chose to apply to become a BPS Ambassador because I think that it will provide me with an excellent platform for raising awareness of how we can make biophysics more diverse and inclusive. The BPS network will connect me to like-minded individuals who share this goal and will enable me to share my ideas and to bring initiatives that have been successful in I am passionate about making science more accessible and welcoming to women and under-represented minorities. Throughout my career to date, I have organized and taken part in a number of initiatives with this in mind and becoming a BPS Ambassador is a great opportunity to continue to work towards this goal. Tell us something fun about yourself If I’m not in the lab or the office, I can usually be found hang- ing around on a bouldering wall (or a real rock if I’m lucky). other parts of the world to the Netherlands. What are your Ambassador Program goals? Katarzyna “Kasia” Tych I am a Rosalind Franklin Fellow and tenure track assistant professor at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, leading a

January 2022



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