Biophysical Society Bulletin | March 2021

March 2021

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Get ready to celebrate the sixth annual Biophysics Week, March 22–26, 2021! Biophysics Week is a global celebration and an opportunity to engage and inspire people of all ages with the significant contributions biophysics has made to science. Throughout the week, there will be many Affiliate Events, organized by members from all over the world! Check them out and plan to participate. BPS has also organized a week of special events dedicated to celebrating biophysics. Check them out and plan to participate. Celebrate BiophysicsWeek 2021 Monday, March 22 Fireside Chat with BPS Editors-in-Chief* 1:00 pm –2:30 pm USA Eastern Tuesday, March 23 Funding Opportunities for Faculty at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions* 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm USA Eastern Wednesday, March 24 Expert Insight into Crafting NIH Grants* 3:00 pm –4:30 pm USA Eastern Thursday, March 25 BPS Career Webinar: Network Your Society* 1:00 pm –2:00 pm USA Eastern Friday, March 26 Inside Perspectives and Opportunities: NSF Grants* 3:00 pm –4:30 pm USA Eastern Visit the Biophysics Week website biophysics.org/biophysicsweek to find events taking place throughout the week as well as new education and career resources. Follow along with the worldwide biophysics community on social media and share how you are celebrating using #BiophysicsWeek! *Registration is required. Visit biophysics.org/biophysicsweek to register.

President’s Message Biophysicist in Profile Inside

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Public Affairs Publications Member Corner

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Career Development

Communities

Grants and Opportunities

Upcoming Events

Connect with BPS

Thank you to our 2021 BiophysicsWeek Partners

Biophysical Society of Serbia

SOBLA

These Biophysics Week Partners have committed to supporting and promoting the public awareness of the importance of biophysics in science.

President’s Message

President’s Message

“I am honoured and excited,” University of Melbourne chemistry professor, Frances Separovic, says. “I look forward to working to make the BPS experience even better for our members.” Throughout my career, I’ve gained a lot from being involved in BPS, and I

and inclusion, and promoting career paths in biophysics. I am planning a “virtual tour” as President to listen and receive feedback from Student Chapters, Subgroups, and members from around the world. I intend to participate in more inter- national meetings, virtual and face-to-face, and continue the virtual interactions with our members. I look forward to engaging with BPS members and getting to know more about what you need and want for our Society. Over the years I have seen the Society leading the way, es- pecially in matters of diversity and inclusion. Other Societies have followed our lead, but we can also learn much from ob- serving their initiatives and by listening to feedback from our membership. For BPS to succeed, we must continue to take actions that realize our fundamental values and enhance our efforts to recruit and retain diverse members and volunteers. BPS is an international Society and diversity promotes cultur- al understanding and cooperation. International collaboration can help innovation by access to a bigger talent pool, increas- ing the speed of research and development, decreasing costs, and sharing risks. Together, diversity and inclusion enhance collaboration, improve problem solving and lead to greater innovation. I also want to continue to strengthen BPS’s connections around the world. I’m very much in favour of global collab- oration as it benefits our members and ultimately benefits science and the world. Over a third of our members are, like me, based outside the United States. BPS is a uniting force for biophysicists around the globe and I will continue to support and strengthen our relationship with IUPAB (International Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics), regional, and national biophysical societies. I welcome opportunities to work with our international sister societies and believe that collabo- ration is essential in a complex and rapidly changing world. According to Charles Darwin, “In the long history of human- kind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” As President, I intend to advocate, collaborate, and grow our Society. The major areas of focus include sustainability of BPS, innovation in publications and services, international collaboration, and advocacy. The overall aim is to continue to grow the discipline of biophysics. Although some areas have

Frances Separovic

want to give back to the Society. I would not have envisioned when I attended my first BPS meeting in 1986, the 30th An- nual Meeting of the Biophysical Society, held in San Francisco, that I would be President at the 66th Annual Meeting sched- uled for February 2022 in the very same city. I was attracted to BPS because of the wide range of biophys- ical topics presented and the spirit of inclusion that was evi- dent at the Annual Meeting. I enjoyed reading the Biophysical Journal and the BPS Bulletin and admired the Society’s efforts in outreach and publicizing biophysics to government and the general public. I learned a lot through my involvement with BPS; not only about scientific matters but also about leader- ship, the importance of communicating and interacting with others, and making a difference. I volunteered and joined BPS committees as a way to give back and was elected to Council (2007–2010) and then Secretary (2015–2019). It’s invigorat- ing to see the passion of BPS staff and volunteers and I thank all, especially Past President Cathy Royer , for the leadership and hard work in getting us through an unforgettable year. As President-Elect, I initially thought I would be talking to members in person, discussing and formulating plans with colleagues at Council and meetings, and representing BPS at conferences. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic the year turned out to be much different and our 2021 meeting became a virtual event, which required a remarkable effort for all involved. Despite the pandemic, the BPS has endeavoured to do the best, irrespective of the circumstances, and worked to deliver a range of exciting events throughout the year. These new initiatives will continue to benefit members, not only those who are unable to attend the Annual Meeting but also will give added value to members in the coming year. During my presidential year, I plan to focus on biophysics advocacy, communicating with the public, increasing diversity

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President’s Message

Officers President Frances Separovic President-Elect Gail Robertson Past-President Catherine A. Royer Secretary Erin Sheets Treasurer Kalina Hristova Council Henry Colecraft Michelle A. Digman Erin C. Dueber Marta Filizola Gilad Haran Kumiko Hayashi Francesca Marassi

become mature, there are many emerging and exciting areas in biophysics, as we can see with the growth in the number of BPS Subgroups. Biophysics can address many current needs, particularly in health and our response to fighting the pandemic. Collaboration between academic, government, and industry laborato- ries can enhance innovation and facilitate the translation of discovery to products. To this end, BPS is actively promoting our connections with industry researchers and we encourage advice from industry members and represen- tatives on Council. Finally, advocacy is important because we

need the support of governments and the public, not just to maintain and expand re- search funding but also to help shape public policies and educate, reiterating the impor- tance of science and critical thinking. I applaud our Public Affairs Committee for their excellent efforts, and I know that many of us will help when needed. I look forward to collaborating with our won- derful BPS staff and membership at large to achieve these objectives to benefit biophysics and enhance its growth. Members can reach me at fs@unimelb.edu.au. — Frances Separovic

Susan Marqusee Joseph A. Mindell Carolyn A. Moores Kandice Tanner Biophysical Journal Jane Dyson Editor-in-Chief The Biophysicist Sam Safran Editor-in-Chief Biophysical Reports

Use Your Expertise toMake a Difference!

Jörg Enderlein Editor-in-Chief

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,

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

science fair judge, or student chapter sponsor. The FaB (Find a Biophysicist) Network is free and accessible by mem- bers 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 biophysics.org/get-involved.

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.

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Biophysicist in Profile

César A. Ramírez-Sarmiento Areas of Research Folding, function and evolution of metamorphic proteins and plastic-degrading enzymes Institution

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and Millennium Institute for Integrative Biology

At-a-Glance

César A. Ramírez-Sarmiento grew up with an eye for visual and performing arts, which provided an outlet for his creativity through his high school years. One day in his advanced biology class, the teacher introduced him to protein evolution, and he was in awe. “I could not help to wonder if pro- tein evolution could also be a space for creativity and innovation, which led me to step away from my artistic preferences and pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology,” he shares.

César A. Ramírez-Sarmiento

Toward the end of his undergraduate studies at Universidad de Chile, César A. Ramírez-Sarmiento had the opportunity to present a poster at a scientific conference in Chile. It was there that he first found himself drawn to biophysics. “My classmate and friend Felipe Merino , now a senior scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Germa- ny, presented his work on the changes in substrate specificity and thermal stability of an enzyme family using phylogenetic analysis, molecular modeling, and simulations. At that time these computational studies were rare in our country and it blew my mind,” he explains. “Right after the conference was over, I contacted his master’s supervisor at Universidad de Chile, Victoria Guixé , who then became my PhD supervisor.” There were no PhD programs in biophysics in Chile at that time, so he pursued his PhD in molecular and cellular biology and neurosciences at Universidad de Chile. As a graduate stu- dent, he was able to attend several workshops on molecular dynamics organized by Fernando D. Gonzalez-Nilo from Uni- versidad Andrés Bello in Chile. He also received a scholarship to go to the University of California, San Diego, as a visiting graduate student under the supervision of Elizabeth Komives . “With Victoria as my PhD supervisor, I learned everything I could about enzyme catalysis and the evolution of substrate specificity in enzyme families, whereas Betsy taught me ev- erything about how to experimentally explore protein folding and oligomerization using many techniques with different degrees of detail,” he shares. “Also, both Victoria and Betsy encouraged me to learn as much as I could about computa- tional biology at the same time that I was doing all of these experiments in their laboratories.” During his time at the University of California, he also learned about protein folding simulations from Jeffrey Noel , who was then a PhD student in Jose Onuchic ’s lab and is now a scientist at Max Delbrück Center in Germany. Ramírez-Sarmiento continued at the Universidad de Chile for a postdoctoral position with Jorge Babul . “The work we devel-

oped was focused on the evolution of domain swapping in the P subfamily of FOX proteins, key transcription factors involved in the regulation of gene expression during crucial cellular processes and that are remarkable due to their ability to bind condensed chromatin,” he explains. “We still work together on FOXP proteins, alongside one of our former co-supervised PhD students, Exequiel Medina , using both computational and experimental approaches.” Medina, now a postdoctoral fellow at the Universidad de Chile, shares, “We determined different structural aspects FOXP proteins that allowed us to publish three articles. Currently we are interested in defining the energetics behind FOXP heterodimerization and DNA binding, considering more complex scenarios such as interdomain communication and intrinsic disorder. His expertise in protein biophysics and molecular dynamics simulations are extremely useful as a complementary vision to the experimental approaches that I use. […] As a scientist, I appreciate that Cesar tries to get the best out of you and push you to improve by going out of your comfort zone. As a person, I really appreciate his constant interest in all people, especially those who are close to him. He deserves all the great things that he has had so far in life, and those that are to come.” Ramírez-Sarmiento is now an assistant professor at the Institute for Biological and Medical Engineering at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and an adjunct researcher at the Millennium Institute for Integrative Biology. “Our research projects are focused on the biophysical and evolutionary characterization of metamorphic proteins involved in crucial cellular processes as exemplar cases of the evolution of novel folds in nature, the discovery and engineering of enzymes that can efficiently degrade the PET plastic at different tem- peratures, and the development of molecular kits based on public domain enzymes and reagents for the detection of viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2,” he explains.

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Biophysicist in Profile

The biggest challenge of his career has been his transition from student to supervisor. “I constantly feared my skill set and experience was insufficient to be a good leader for my research group, to live up to the experience I had during my PhD with Victoria Guixé in Chile and Elizabeth Komives in the United States as supervisors. I questioned not only my ability to train new students, but also to provide them with the confidence and encouragement that they needed in such crucial times of our paths as scientists. I also wondered if the research path I wanted to follow was interesting for the stu- dents and the research community,” he shares. “After being very secretive about my fears and concerns, I decided to be straightforward and make my students aware of the pros and cons of being a researcher, from the challenges we confront- ed when establishing a new experimental and computational laboratory from scratch to the struggles of submitting and resubmitting grant applications. It turned out to be an exer- cise of mutual support and trust in ourselves and our research that strengthened our group. In turn, our research has flour- ished, and we collectively have been recipients of recognition and awards.” One such award was the 2020 Biophysical Journal Paper of the Year Award, which Ramírez-Sarmiento won for his paper “Dif- ferential Local Stability Governs the Metamorphic Fold-switch of Bacterial Virulence Factor RfaH” written in collaboration with Pablo Galaz-Davison , José Alejandro Molina , Steve Silletti , Elizabeth A. Komives , Stefan H. Knauer , and Irina Artsimovitch . Komives, who has worked with Ramírez-Sarmiento since his graduate school days, shares, “César embodies what I like to refer to as the ‘no-fear’ approach to science. If a question can only be answered with a particular approach, he finds someone who can help him do the experiment and he learns how to do it, and how to interpret the data. The resources for science in Chile are sparse, so Chilean scientists need to travel to be able to do cutting-edge science. César is driven to understand how proteins work, and he stops at nothing to get the answers to his questions. He has built a research program that fully integrates theory, computation, and experiment and this has been a real bootstrap effort. I am most impressed with what he has been able to accomplish with limited resources. I am also impressed with his ability to recognize talent and the impact he is making through his educational efforts, both in the classroom and in the lab, to train the next generation of top Chilean scientists.” As for his plans for the future, he shares, “Since our incorpo- ration into the Millennium Institute of Integrative Biology in Chile, we are determining how we can contribute through our work on protein biophysics to other research areas, such as synthetic biology, systems biology, and functional genomics. We are also rethinking the way we do research in our labo- ratory to be able to continue our experimental and computa-

Ramirez-Sarmiento playing guitar in Chilean alternative rock band Libra.

tional work uninterrupted in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also hope to contribute to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic in underdeveloped regions through the development of low-cost and open-source methods for de- tecting viral infections.” Ramírez-Sarmiento tells students and trainees to keep an open mind: “Do not be afraid of exploring biophysics through different perspectives. If you are working on experimental biophysics, give computational biophysics a try. If your experi- ence is only in computational work, do not be afraid to consid- er joining a lab performing experimental work. The feeling of being able to freely converse with researchers from diverse backgrounds and to understand their vision is always satis- fying, especially in such an interdisciplinary world. Also, never forget that life is more than science and that science is meant to be enjoyed, so have fun!”

Profiles in Biophysics No two biophysicists have the same story. Read about the many paths that led each of them to become a biophysicist. www.biophysics.org/profiles-in-biophysics

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Public Affairs

Presidential Order on Scientific Integrity On January 27, President Joe Biden issued a Memorandum Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking. Biden seeks to establish an administration-wide standard establishing that scientific and technological information, data, and evidence are central to the development and iterative improvement of sound policies, and to the delivery of equitable programs, across every area of government. The Memorandum builds on initiatives established under the Obama administration to: • Direct that the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director shall ensure the highest level of integrity in all as- pects of executive branch involvement with scientific and technological processes; • Create a Task Force on Scientific Integrity to conduct a thorough review of the effectiveness of agency scientific integrity policies developed since the issuance of the Presidential Memorandum of March 9, 2009; • Establish agency scientific integrity policies to ensure all agency activities associated with scientific and technological pro- cesses are conducted in accordance with the six principles set forth in the Presidential Memorandum of March 9, 2009, and the four foundations of scientific integrity in government set forth in the Director’s Memorandum of December 17, 2010; • Publication of Scientific Integrity Policies and Ongoing Biennial Reporting via the OSTP website and social media, and • Integrate evidence-based policymaking into all agency plans for forming evidence-based policies and evidence-building plans.

Biden Opens Presidency with Science-Focused Executive Orders As part of his first official actions following the inauguration, President Biden signed 30 executive actions in January, many of which concern the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and other science-related matters: • Halt the US withdrawal from the World Health Organiza- tion and appoint Anthony Fauci as head of the US delega- tion to the organization. • Restore the National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense to focus on do- mestic and global biological threats. • Initiate the reentry of the United States into the Paris climate agreement.

• Direct all executive departments and agencies to immedi- ately review and take appropriate action to address fed- eral regulations and other executive actions unsupported by the best available science. • Implement COVID-19 response strategy aimed at ac- celerating vaccine delivery, improving testing and data collection, and promoting mask-wearing. • Reverse executive orders concerning federal regulation, including the 2019 order directing all federal agencies to eliminate “at least one-third” of their external advisory committees. • Reverse immigration restrictions, including ending the ban on entry to the United States from specified coun- tries, which significantly affected scientists.

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Public Affairs

Parting TrumpMemo on US Research Security Seen as RoadMap for Biden A memo by outgoing President Donald Trump on how to prevent China and other US adversaries from gaining improp- er access to research funded by the federal government is getting positive reviews from research advocates. Issued on January 14, National Security Presidential Memo- randum (NSPM)-33 offers a list of directives to federal agen- cies, universities, and individual scientists on how to protect national security without abandoning the hallmark open- ness of US science. Officially, the memo is now just another archived document from a former president. Some university officials say they wouldn’t mind seeing President Joe Biden draw from its recommendations in crafting his administra- tion’s broader approach to dealing with China. Observers say the memo is a tribute to the perseverance of Kelvin Droegemeier , director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under Trump. They praise his ability to stay under the radar of an administration many regarded as hostile to science and one that used economic and political sanctions to thwart what it saw as a no-holds- barred campaign by China to unseat the United States as the world’s leading scientific nation. Droegemeier also faced political pressure from hardliners in Congress seeking to curb or end most research collaborations with China in the name of protecting US interests. NSPM-33 deals with only one (national security) of four topics that Droegemeier asked the Joint Committee on the Research Environment (JCORE) to examine. The others relate to research integrity, ensuring a safe and productive research environment, and reducing the administrative burden on federal grantees. The fate of the memo’s recommendations rests with the Biden administration, which is still building up its science team. Eric Lander has been nominated as Droegemeier’s successor at the OSTP, but with the office being lifted to a Cabinet-level office, he must first be confirmed by the Senate. Congress can also play an important role through legislation. Must-pass bills providing guidance to the Department of Defense at the close of 2020 included language that dealt with aspects of the problem, specifically penalties for nondis- closure. But it is more likely legislators will defer to the new administration, at least initially. As President Biden continues to make science a priority for his administration, we will have a chance to see how much lasting influence Droegemeier’s effort will have on protecting national security without impinging on international collabo- rative efforts for scientific innovation.

The Value of Advocacy to Science The beginning of a new administration and Congress brings with it an opportunity to impact science policy in the United States. We have seen considerable divisiveness between our elected officials, negative policies put into place through executive order, and politics placed ahead of solid scientific evidence. The challenge becomes what can we, as BPS mem- bers and staff, do to advocate for good, solid science policy without partisanship and political bias? To understand what you can do, we need to understand the players involved. Out of the 535 members of Congress, only a mere handful hold STEM degrees. Members of Congress are reliant on their staff to be knowledgeable on a wide variety of issues to keep pace with the breadth of policies under each committee’s jurisdiction. In turn, staff look to organizations such as BPS and expert members of their constituency — you. Scientists can play an important role in educating the public and elected officials. Advocacy in Washington, DC, can be a complex art, where both sides can be “right” and truthful at the same time, delivering a compelling message is everything. Truthfully, the efficacy of advocacy efforts depends on a number of fac- tors — at least two of which you cannot control, the elected official you are trying to influence and the quality of the oppo- nent and their message. However, we cannot win if we don’t engage with our best resources, our members. Each elected official maintains a webpage outlining their position on key issues, particularly so called “hot button” issues. Your “target” legislator, and by extension their policy staff, have a voting record which will give you a blueprint for mapping out the type of message you need to deliver. Being armed with the issues and motivations of an elected official gives you the knowledge you need, however, you still need to develop a relationship with the office, specifically the staff covering science and appropriations. These staffers spend every day working on the issues that impact science and science funding. It all starts with building a relationship with those staff members so that when important bills start mov- ing through Congress, you can reach out with a message of support or objection. It starts as simply as reaching out to the office regularly to ask for support or opposition or to thank them for their stance on an issue. BPS has all the tools and resources available to help you reach out to your members of Congress through the BPS Take Action tool. With BPS advocacy tools you can track the science issues moving through Congress, send letters to your elected officials with just a few keystrokes, and request staff help in coordinating in-district meetings. It is imperative that science advocates on behalf of itself; if we don’t, who will?

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Public Affairs

Continued from page 7

Around theWorld Brexit Deal Offers Light at the End of the Tunnel for Science Researchers in the United Kingdom expressed a collective sigh of relief to the last-minute 2020 trade deal with the European Union (EU) ending more than four years of uncer- tainty over what their relationship after Brexit would look like. While the deal has wide-ranging impacts for scientists, the most important allows UK researchers to take part in Eu- rope’s €85-billion (US$106-billion) flagship research program, Horizon Europe. The agreement will also shape data regula- tions, student exchange, nuclear science, space research, and clinical trials. The trade deal means that the United Kingdom became an associate member of Horizon Europe, which formally start- ed in January, and which will begin issuing its first grants in March or April. This means UK-based researchers will be able to take part in the program in the same way as their EU colleagues, such as the European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions program. However, UK researchers

and firms will be excluded from Horizon Europe’s new Euro- pean Innovation Council Fund, which is designed to support start-up and university spin-off firms. The UK will pay into Horizon Europe a sum that is proportional to its gross domestic product, and this cash will boost the program’s overall budget, although the figure has yet to be announced. If, for two consecutive years, the country takes out more than it puts into the program, by an amount that exceeds eight percent of its contribution, it will have to reim- burse the EU to cover the difference. An agreement defining the fine details of the association must now be made, and UK researchers will not be able to participate in the program until this happens. A committee of UK and EU representatives will discuss and approve the terms of association. UK participation and funding from Horizon 2020, which pre- ceded Horizon Europe, fell significantly after the Brexit vote in 2016, despite UK scientists remaining eligible on the same terms as their EU colleagues. A challenge for the coming years will be to look at how much the United Kingdom has missed out and work on how to build back influence after years of uncertainty.

Get 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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Publications

Know the Editor Patricia Soto Creighton University The Biophysicst

Patricia Soto

What are you currently working on that excites you? I am excited for the pandemic-catalyzed opportunities in education. At a deep level, I had to re-think why, how, and what I teach, and re-prioritize learning outcomes. As a result, my blended learning pedagogy was re-energized. I have adopted digital technologies that help me connect with students. And, I have upgraded my in-class activities according to outcomes from cognitive science. I anticipate coming out of the pandemic with a re-invigorated teaching toolbox to reach out to students in their differences and scaffold their personalized growth. At the time of this writing, I am super excited to put to- gether the posters my undergraduate students and I will be presenting at the BPS Annual Meeting. Although we had to adjust our research projects and means of communication as a result of the pandemic, my students moved forward with their projects. The students presenting have experi- enced the delightfulness of scientific discovery; they have generated their own sound interpretation of data. Who would you like to sit next to at a dinner party? (Scientist or not) Since my high-school years, I have been fascinated with Ada Lovelace . I would love to ask her how she imagined the analytical engine (precursor of computers) would be used for purposes other than number crunching. How do you stay on top of all the latest developments in your field? One of the most positive outcomes of the pandemic is the series of free and virtual seminars organized by a number of groups. The seminars have helped me tremendously to be up to date with the developments in my disciplinary community. I feel I ammore informed on latest develop- ments than before the pandemic. Due to my teaching load (three courses per semester) and family logistics, attending frequent in-person scientific conferences is challenging.

BJ Editor’s Pick 2.5Å-resolution structure of human CDK-activating kinase bound to the clinical inhibitor ICEC0942 Basil J. Greber, Jonathan Remis, Simak Ali, Eva Nogales Version of Record Published February 16, 2021 DOI:https:/doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2020.12.030

Webinar Series

UpcomingWebinar: Evidence-Based Approaches to Improve Your Teaching – Designing Assessments Monday, April 12, 2021, 12:00 pm –1:30 pm USA Eastern

For more information and to register, visit www.biophysics.org/publications/the-biophysicist/webinars

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Cheers to Volunteers

Connie Jeffrey CPOW (Committee for Professional Opportunities for Women)

Connie Jeffrey

Is this your first volunteer position for BPS? If not, what other positions have you held? Yes, CPOW was my first volunteer position for BPS. Why do you volunteer? I joined CPOW when I was an assistant professor because I wanted to become more active in BPS and meet more leaders in science instead of just attending the Annual Meeting and sometimes giving a talk or presenting a poster, and I believe strongly in the mission of CPOW to help level the playing field for women and everyone else in science. In my over 30 years in science I’ve seen a lot of problems, including deficient men- toring, extra requirements of service, differences in start-up packages, having to “prove” repeatedly that one is capable of doing independent research, and sometimes outright hos- tility towards women in science. Too many smart, talented women who have been successful in publishing and receiving funding leave academic science or stay but might need to work longer hours (and sometimes for less pay) to meet extra requirements that take valuable time away from research, publishing, and grant writing. CPOW is one of the groups that is finding solutions and taking action to level the playing field and patch the leaky pipeline. What has been a highlight from your volunteer experience? I have met wonderful, hardworking, brilliant, creative people who come up with ideas and solutions and step up and make them happen. Each year I look forward to our two Committee meetings where I get to see old friends, hear about accom- plishments and new ideas, and help make plans for the next year.

Do you have advice for others who might be thinking about volunteering? Look on the BPS website for the descriptions of the Commit- tees and the rosters of volunteers. If you find a Committee that you might want to join, contact a member to learn more about what that Committee does. We are all very busy with our research, but I’ve found that volunteering with CPOW can have a big impact on an important issue with a small time commitment each year. When not volunteering for BPS, what do you work on? My lab is interested in the relationships among protein sequences, structures, and functions. Which similarities and differences in amino acid sequences lead to similarities in structures and functions, and which lead to differences in structure and/or function? For example, one protein super- family can contain enzymes with the same function as many of the proteins in the superfamily (a canonical activity), en- zymes with a different substrate or catalytic function (non ca- nonical activity), moonlighting proteins with another function in addition to the catalytic function, and pseudoenzymes that resemble enzymes but whose only function does not involve catalysis. We are also investigating how disease-causing amino acid substitutions affect protein structure, stability, folding and/or function. My research team uses biochemistry (enzyme assays, mutagenesis), biophysics (binding studies, X-ray crystallography), and bioinformatics to address these questions. With the pandemic this year, we’ve focused on and expanded some of the bioinformatics studies to create projects for undergraduate and high school students when other research opportunities were cancelled.

The Biophysical Society is grateful to its Industry Partners.

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Member Corner

Members in the News

Leonel Malacrida , Advanced Bioimaging Unit, Institute Pasteur of Montevideo-Universidad de la Republica-Uruguay and Society member since 2010, was named an Imaging Scientist Fellow by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Aviv Regev , Genentech and Society member since 2020, received the Inaugural James Prize in Science and Technology Integration.

Leonel Malacrida

Aviv Regev

Dorothy Beckett , University of Maryland and Society member since 1990, and former Society President, was named the direc- tor of the Division of Biophysics, Biomedical Technology, and Computational Biosciences for the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health.

Student Spotlight

Acacia Dishman Medical College of Wisconsin Biochemistry Department What has been the most exciting experience of your studies in biophysics?

It’s hard to choose one most exciting moment. Collecting a key piece of NMR data for my most recent manuscript on metamorphic proteins was so exciting that I actually said “Aha!” out loud upon seeing the result. There’s no better feeling than running an experiment and getting a clear result that contributes to a discovery. It has been equally exciting, however, to travel to various conferences and workshops around the country (like the 2020 Bio- physical Society Annual Meeting) and to meet other scientists who share my passion for biophysics.

Acacia Dishman

Important Dates Stockholm Early Registration Deadline Friday, April 30, 2021 Call for Student Chapter Applications Friday, April 30, 2021 Call for Networking Events Applications Friday, April 30, 2021

Society Awards Submission Ends Saturday, May 01, 2021 Society Election Voting Opens

Tuesday, June 01, 2021 Election Voting Closes Sunday, August 01, 2021

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Career Development

Getting Along with a Difficult Colleague in Academia Relationships exist in many different variations. Irrespective of the underlying

and not take constructive criticisms personally. This will require some degree of emotional intelligence. Furthermore, there are coping measures, including knowing when to walk away during a conflict and then trying to have a meaningful conversation with the difficult colleague when you both have had time to calm down. Every day is a new day, which means you may both have different perspectives after the fact. In fact, time tends to heal most relationships, especially if you can you learn more about each other and can develop mutual respect once you understand the boundaries of an academic relationship. Learning to work with difficult colleagues can start right when you join your first lab as a student. The principal investigator has an important role by making every effort to be involved in lab activities, both with the lab as well as with individual members. It is important to deal with conflicts immediately and not let them develop into something more. Most institutions have facilities or programs that allow individuals to share their emotions or deal with conflicts with an objective third party. These interactions are confidential, which is crucial for hon- est discussions and can be particularly helpful for minorities because they may feel they are not supported in an academic setting and therefore are not likely to discuss conflicts. Overall, it is important to remember that everyone in science has the same goal to advance the field and make discoveries that can help others. Therefore, it is important to see the sim- ilarities in the ones we work with instead of all the differences and that more can be accomplished when working together. — Molly Cule

circumstances, relationships are not easy and sometimes can be quite chal- lenging. Cultivating a long-lasting and meaningful relationship takes time, and if carefully managed can be rewarding. An important component of a successful academic career is the ability to interact

and work closely with colleagues in a respectful and collegial manner. Furthermore, a good relationship with mentors can be a building block for a successful academic career. Learning early on the skills to relate to others, especially mentors, can lead to success in future career endeavors where you need to cultivate relationships with collaborators, heads of departments, com- mittee members, and departmental colleagues. These skills or innate qualities include patience, empathy, and an ability to read body language. Research labs around the world are composed of academ- ics from different racial and cultural backgrounds. It is what makes science rich and exciting; different backgrounds means different ideas that could lead to exciting discoveries. There- fore, an effort to understand and tolerate different cultures is important in sustaining a good academic relationship among colleagues. There will always be conflicts due to competition for lab space, equipment, research projects, or the principal investigator’s attention. Science by nature is competitive. We are always trying to publish and get funding and make that novel discovery; therefore, we need to understand that we are all under the same pressure, and we must develop a thick skin

Find a Job. Post a Job. Visit the BPS Job Board today. https:/ biophysics-jobs.careerwebsite.com

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Open for infinite possibilities with a high-quality, forward-looking gold open access publishing option from the Biophysical Society

Biophysical Reports —the newest addition of the Biophysical Society family and a Cell Press partner journal—is a high-quality, forward-looking gold open access (OA) publishing option for the research community. We help you advance biophysics by making it easier for specialists and generalists to share new insights into experimental data or new technologies and methodologies. At Biophysical Reports , open means rigorous, accessible, concise, and fast.

Submit your paper.

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Communities

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

In 2020, the BPS Public Affairs Committee lent support to more than 40 letters to federal legislators and agency officials, and grassroots advocates sent more than 1,200 messages to Capitol Hill. BPS released 17 press statements and issued two policy platforms on research funding and investments in research to prevent future pandemics.

Numbers By the

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Communities

BPS Announces New Student Chapters

BPS is proud to announce eight new Student Chapters! These new Chapters join 28 established Chapters tomake 36 total Student Chapters from the following schools: • Alexandria University (Egypt) • AL-MS (University of Alabama/Mississippi State University) Student Chapter of the Biophysical Society (USA) • Amherst College Student Chapter of the Biophysical Society (USA) • Arizona Student Chapter (USA) • Biophysical Society San Diego (USA) • Biophysics Genoa Student Chapter (Italy) • Biophysics PashchimStudent Chapter (India) • Clemson University (USA) • CWU Biophysics Club at Central Washington University (USA) • Emory University (USA) • Florida State University (USA) • Gā ṅ geya Student Chapter at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata (India) • Irvine Student Chapter at the University of California, Irvine (USA) • Johns Hopkins University (USA) • Kent State University (USA) • Llano Estacado Young Biophysicists at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (USA) • Mustafa Kemal University (Turkey) • NY Capital District (USA) • Oregon State University Student Chapter at Oregon State University (USA) • Puerto Rico Biophysical Society Student Chapter (USA) • Sanyo-Onoda City University Student Chapter at Sanyo-Onoda City University (Japan) • SJU (St. John’s University) Student Chapter of BPS (USA)

• Structural Biology and Biophysics Clubat Purdue University (USA) • The City of New York (CUNY) Student Chapter (USA) • The University of NewMexico (USA) • UB (University of Buffalo) Biophysics Club (USA) • UMASS Lowell Biophysics Student Chapter (USA) • University of California Davis (USA) • University of Denver Biophysics Student Chapter of the Biophysical Society (USA) • University of Lethbridge & University of Montana (USA & Canada) • University of Maryland, Baltimore Student Chapter (USA) • University of Maryland - College Park (USA) • University of Michigan (USA) • University of Missouri (USA) • University of Toronto Student Chapter of the Biophysical Society (Canada) • York University (Canada)

For any Student Chapter related inquiries, please contact Margaret Mainguy at mmainguy@biophysics.org For more information on the BPS Student Chapters program, please visit www.biophysics.org/student-chapters.

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Communities

Subgroups Multiscale Genome Organization The Biophysical Society Council has approved the formation of the Multiscale Genome Organization Subgroup. If you are interested in the field of genome structure, dynamics, and function, please join our Subgroup when you renew your membership. With your membership, you can join one group for free and add any others for only $10 each. We are particularly excited about bringing together experimen- talists and theoreticians andmodelers and emphasizing the interplay between techniques and ideas concerning the complex multiscale features and properties of genomes, frombases to chromosomes. Suchmultiscale models and experimental strate- gies onmany spatial and temporal scales are needed to address

all components of the chromosome folding problem and the epigenomic regulation of gene expression. Last month at the BPS Annual Meeting, we held our Subgroup’s first mini symposium. Please visit the Society website at www.biophysics.org/subgroups/multiscale-genome-organiza- tion to see a list of the presentations and learnmore about the exciting talks on the latest genome discoveries. We are searching for volunteers to serve as future Chairs and Secretaries for the Subgroup. Please contact us if you are inter- ested, and please send ideas for future events and speakers, and

how to advance our field. — Tamar Schlick , Co-chair — Tom Connor Bishop , Co-chair

Grants & Opportunities The Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award This award seeks to provide career research support to early career scientists who demonstrate outstanding promise for making scientific and medical breakthroughs in the field of brain cancer research. Who can apply: Applicants must hold a doctoral degree and must have received their first independent faculty appointment no earlier than March 1, 2016, and no later than January 1, 2021, at a tax-exempt academic, re- search, or medical institution within the United States or an equivalent institution in Canada. Deadline: March 17 Website: http:/www.sontagfoundation.org/all-grants/ brain-cancer/dsa-application-info-requirements/

NIH – Better Defining Growth Medium to Improve Reproducibility of Cell Culture (SBIR) Fetal bovine serum is the most widely used growth sup- plement for cell culture because it cost-effectively sup- ports the survival and growth of many cell lines. Although serum is an effective growth promotor, it is highly variable in its composition, activity, and physiological effects on cells. This funding opportunity supports SBIR projects to develop novel, reliable, and cost-effective tools that will make it easier to standardize or replace serum in cell culture. Who can apply: United States small business concerns (SBCs) are eligible to submit applications for this opportu- nity. Deadline: April 5 Website: https:/grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/pa- 18-815.html

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