Biophysical Society Bulletin | May 2021

May 2021

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Biophysics Week, held annually since 2016, is a global effort to increase the awareness of the field of biophysics. The goal is to raise the visibility of biophysicists around the world, both members of BPS and non-members, and to connect them with the global bio- physics community. It is important that researchers stay connected and remain on the forefront of the latest developments and break- throughs in biophysics. The importance of collaboration across boundaries is critical in science, especially in a highly interdisciplinary field such as biophysics. The sixth annual event took place March 22–26, 2021, and was mostly virtual due to the ongoing global health crisis. The broader impacts and disruptions of COVID-19 have shown that there has never been a more important time in science than right now to work together and share information. BPS would like to thank members and communities all over the world who hosted events and who supported and participated in Biophysics Week. BPS offered resources such as webinars, profiles, lesson plans and experiments, and more throughout the week. Resources are still available at www.biophysics.org/biophysics-week. BPS would like to recognize our 2021 Biophysics Week Partners—British Biophysical Society, Biophysical Society of Serbia, Inter- national Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB), Latin American Biophysical Society (SOBLA), and Italian Society of Pure and Applied Biophysics (SIBPA)—for their efforts in making this event a success around the world. Together, we advance the role of bio- physics in science.

BPS Innovation Award Renamed in Honor of Carolyn Cohen

Inclusion and Diversity Biophysicist in Profile Inside

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Public Affairs

In recognition of her outstanding contributions to biophysics, the BPS Innovation Award has been renamed the Carolyn Cohen Award for Biophysical Innovation. The award, established in 2019,

Carolyn Cohen

Cheers to Volunteers Career Development

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recognizes a BPS member who advances our fundamental understanding of biological systems through the development of novel theory, models, concepts, techniques, or applications. The major objective of Carolyn Cohen ’s work was to determine the precise molecular archi- tecture of certain a-proteins that have dynamic as well as structural roles in the cell using X-ray crystallography together with molecular biology and biochemistry. Muscle proteins were a central focus that she used as a background for studying related systems. Her group visualized myosin in atomic detail in different stages of muscle contraction.

Grants and Opportunities

Member Corner Communities Upcoming Events

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Inclusion and Diversity

Moving the Needle on Inclusion In response to a recent poll, Biophysical Society members who are also members of underrepresented minority groups offered sage advice (edited here for brevity and clarity) to their younger selves about how to thrive in the workplace: “Be more active in getting credit for all the work you do. I did an endless amount of work without recognition.” “Ask for everything said during job negotiation in writ- ing, particularly regarding salary and teaching commit- ments.” “Research should come first and not last; and it’s okay to say no to some things.” “Find out how funding agencies work and choose your projects accordingly.” “Grant reviews are somewhat arbitrary, so submitting as many as possible is the best strategy.” “Ask to be nominated for awards, use your contacts, and ask for input. Call editors and funding agencies. Get a clear tenure track contract.” When asked, overwhelmingly, young BPS members want evaluations that are fair and transparent. They want to learn how better to advocate for themselves, to navigate the job market, and to build a supportive mentoring network. BPS is listening! The newly formed BlackInBiophysics network (@BlackInBiophys), founded by BPS student member Whitney Stevens-Sostre , University of Wisconsin–Madison, held their first event at the 2021 Annual Meeting. The Black in Biophysics Happy Hour was a great success, and BPS is encouraging participation in the upcoming Black in Biophys- ics Week, May 10–16. Allies are very important and warmly welcomed! The 2021 President’s Symposium “Building an Inclusive Biophysical Society” featured David Asai , HHMI, Senior Di- rector of Science Education; Bil Clemons , Cal Tech, Professor of Biochemistry; Yadilette Riviera-Colón , Bay Path University, Assistant Professor of Biology; and Billy Williams , American Geophysical Union, Senior Vice President, Ethics, Diversity, and Inclusion. Highlights included:

What are the greatest challenges to inclusion? Williams: “Awareness and commitment to be dissatisfied with the status quo and the commitment to make change by using resources to understand the issues and to sup- port and advance for the long term.” How do you respond to the idea that increasing diversity is antithetical to excellence? Asai: “From game theory, there is a zero sum game and a positive sum game. Science is a positive sum game. Every time a new discovery is made, we add to that new discovery without throwing away the old discovery. Di- versity leads to creativity and innovation. Inclusion is key to keeping these excellent people. By embracing diversity, we are adding knowledge by bringing people into science.” Williams and Rivera-Colón: “We had advocates who told us to apply to graduate school when we didn’t think this was a viable career path.” How do we promote diversity without giving the impression that we are reducing merit? Williams: “Our current criteria for ‘merit’ are very narrow. Being a well-rounded person or overcoming barriers and still succeeding are not being considered in judging merit. We need to get better at judging what merit really means.” What are the best ways to overcome racism, classism, sexism, etc.? Rivera-Colón: “Position yourself to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Look for mentors, including those who are very different from you—for example, those who are a little bit ahead of you.” Often left out of marginalized awareness discussions are our disabled community. BPS reached out to Peg Nosek , Baylor College of Medicine, who made recommendations for imme- diate, no-cost/low-cost accommodations such as training in slide and poster presentations that can be understood and followed by people who are colorblind, and inclusion of auto- matic closed captioning. Dr. Nosek passed away shortly after and in her honor, BPS is beginning to apply these improve- ments to BPS activities.

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Inclusion and Diversity

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

Christopher Bassey , Walter J. Chazin , Samuel S. Cho , Stephen D. Jett , Nagarajan Vaidehi , Carlos A. Villalba-Galea , and Lynn Zechiedrich , represent- ing the Committee for Inclusion and Diversity and the Committee for Professional Opportu-

Just acknowledging bias helps to blunt it (Régner et al. 2019). We must keep talking and writing about bias. If you do not speak up, or do not report bias, you are inadvertent- ly condoning, sustaining, and amplifying it (Merrill 2017). If you need suggestions on how to speak up, there are excellent tools avail- able online, including Willoughby et al. (2018). Be aware of the extent of harassment and discrimination our marginalized communities may have already endured (Moss-Racusin et al. 2012; Pickett 2019). The importance of diversity and inclusion extends beyond ensuring fair and equal repre- sentation; diverse teams are better performing teams. The positive performance effects are seen in terms of both financial and innovation gain. For example, companies with racially and ethnically diverse employees see increased financial performance, pre-tax and interest earnings increase linearly for organizations with increased senior management diversity, and companies with at least one woman board member enjoy higher net income growth than those with no women board members (Hunt et al. 2015). Increased diversity also leads to in- creased innovation (Hofstra 2020). Companies that have teams with more women members and more racially diverse members bring more innovations to market (Díaz-García 2013; Lee 2015). Consequently, revenue from new inno- vations is also higher for diverse companies (Lorenzo et al. 2018). Keep making it clear to everyone that bias is pervasive (Iverson 2013; Moss-Racusin et al. 2012; NAS Report 2018; Oliveira et al. 2019). Bias holds back innovation, and society loses out. If you are not part of a marginalized group, use your authority to open doors for others. If you are part of a marginalized group, you can relate to others and find common ground for lifting them up, too. Together, let’s strive to allow individuals, no matter their gender, sex, race, color, culture, sexual orientation, disability, country of origin, state in which they live, or institution in which they work, to be free to do do their best work for the best of our society. As summarized by a poll respondent, “Don’t be discouraged, don’t quit, and don’t let others get you down.”

nities for Women References Cited

Díaz-García, C., A. González-Moreno, and F. J. Sáez-Martínez. 2013. Gender diversity within R&D teams: its impact on radicalness of innovation. Innovation 15:149–160. Hofstra, B., V. V. Kulkarni, S. Munoz-Najar Galvez, B. He, D. Jurafsky, and D. A. McFarland. 2020. The diversity-innovation paradox in science. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci . USA 117:9284–9291. Hunt, V., D. Layton, and S. Prince. 2015. Why diversity matters, https:/www. mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversi- ty-matters#, April 9, 2021. Lee, N. 2015. Migrant and ethnic diversity, cities and innovation: firm effects or city effects? J. Econ. Geogr . 15:769–796. Lorenzo, R., N. Voigt, M. Tsusaka, M. Krentz, and K. Abouzahr. 2018. How diverse leadership teams boost innovation, https:/www.bcg.com/publica- tions/2018/how-diverse-leadership-teams-boost-innovation, April 9, 2021. Merrill, D. G. 2017. Speak up. JAMA 317:2373–2374. Moss-Racusin, C. A., J. F. Dovidio, V. L. Brescoll, M. J. Graham, and J. Handels- man. 2012. Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109:16474–16479. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Policy and Global Affairs, Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and Committee on the Impacts of Sexual Harassment in Academia. 2018. Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The National Academies Press, Wash- ington, DC. Oliveira, D. F. M., Y. Ma, T. K. Woodruff, and B. Uzzi. 2019. Comparison of National Institutes of Health grant amounts to first-time male and female principal investigators. JAMA 321:898–900. Pickett, M. 2019. I want what my male colleague has, and that will cost a few million dollars. The New York Times Magazine , April 18, 2019. https:/www. nytimes.com/2019/04/18/magazine/salk-institute-discrimination-science. html. Régner, I., C. Thinus-Blanc, A. Netter, T. Schmader, and P. Huguet. 2019. Com- mittees with implicit biases promote fewer women when they do not believe gender bias exists. Nat. Hum. Behav. 3:1171–1179. Willoughby, B., N. Brakke, and V. D’Egidio. 2018. Speak up at school: how to respond to everyday prejudice, bias, and stereotypes (A Teaching Tolerance Publication, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center), https:/www. learningforjustice.org/sites/default/files/2019-04/TT-Speak-Up-Guide.pdf, April 9, 2021.

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

Jörg Enderlein Editor-in-Chief

Society Office Jennifer Pesanelli Executive Officer Newsletter Executive Editor Jennifer Pesanelli Managing Editor John Long

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

Aaron Frank Areas of Research Biophysics with a focus on RNA structure, dynamics, and function

Institution University of Michigan

At-a-Glance

Aaron Frank has been interested in science since his early days growing up in Grenada, an island nation in the Caribbean. He is now an Assistant Professor of Biophysics and Chemistry at the University of Michigan and finds himself eager to explore a variety of projects as he continues in his career as a biophysicist.

Aaron Frank

Aaron Frank , Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, grew up in Grenada, a small island in the southern Caribbean with a population of about 100,000. His father Terrence Frank was a teacher and school principal, and his mother Alice Frank was self-employed. His first memory of his interest in science was around age seven, flipping through the pages of a tattered biology text- book passed down to him from his uncle via his older siblings. In high school, he had a biology teacher who encouraged him to enter local and Caribbean-wide regional science competi- tions, elevating science to a prominent place in his life. In 2001, he moved to the United States and pursued his undergraduate degree at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. After taking an organic chemistry class, he was invited by Alexander Greer to do research in his group. During his undergraduate years, he carried out research in the groups of Greer, Charlene Forest , and Shaneen Singh . His experience working in these research labs inspired him to pursue a career in science.

In Frank’s junior year, he took advantage of an opportunity to do summer research at the University of Michigan with Ioan Andricioaei . It was then that he became interested in biophys- ics and decided to pursue a PhD at the University of Michigan in Andricioaei’s lab. “My PhD advisor, Ioan Andricioaei, intro- duced me to atomistic modeling and simulations. My spe- cific interest in RNA started after a stimulating conversation with Prof. Hashim Al-Hashimi ,” he shares. During his graduate studies, Frank moved with Andricioaei to the University of California, Irvine in 2008, and completed his PhD in chemistry in 2011. Frank then undertook postdoctoral work centered around developing fast empirical methods for computing chemical shifts from 3D structures of RNA. “The motivation for this work, which was carried out at a small biotech company, Nymirum Inc., and then later at the University of Michigan un- der the mentorship of Prof. Charles L. Brooks III , was the need to acquire structural descriptions of therapeutically relevant RNA,” he explains. Following his postdoctoral fellowship, he took a position as an Assistant Professor of Biophysics and Chemistry at the Uni- versity of Michigan. Research projects in his lab fall under two categories, he says: “One, my group is developing integrative methods to model the 2D and 3D structures of RNA. Specif- ically, we develop novel predictive models that enable us to use experimental data to guide computational algorithms. In a nutshell, we develop and apply methods that allow us to compare experimental and simulated measurements. This comparison allows us to identify the conformational states an RNA is likely to sample in solution. And two, we merge atomistic modeling tools and machine learning to generate methodologies to aid in structure-based virtual screening of RNA. In the context of RNA drug discovery, our development of these methods is motivated by a need to predict the likely ligand binding sites in RNA, to predict the 3D structure and binding energies of RNA-ligand complexes, and to design from scratch RNA-targeting small molecules.”

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, science fair judge, or student chapter sponsor. The FaB (Find a Biophysicist) Network is free and accessible by members and nonmem- bers, but only BPS members may join the network. For more information, visit biophysics.org/get-involved.

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Biophysicist in Profile

His biggest challenge has been maintaining focus. “By that, I mean that I have a penchant for wanting to explore new and exciting areas of research, and as someone in the computa- tional space, the barriers to doing so are lower than those for an experimentalist. As such, I have found myself exploring working on mini-projects that, though interesting, do not align with the two areas my group focuses on,” he shares. “Of course, this penchant for exploration is not inherently a bad thing, but given the pressures on early-career researchers like myself, there is not a lot of incentive to freely explore project-space. I am not sure I have overcome this challenge completely, but what I have found helpful is actively talking about my research interests and plans with senior mentors both within and outside of the University of Michigan.” When he is not working, Frank is spending time with his fam- ily. He also enjoys playing video games, though it is now hard to find the time to do so. He also has an interest in history, saying that he would want a career as a historian if he were not a biophysicist.

Frank has organized a Biophysical Society-sponsored virtual networking event taking place on May 21 called “Biophysics in the Age of Machine Learning,” bringing together a slate of speakers to discuss opportunities and challenges in leverag- ing machine learning to enhance the molecular modeling of biophysical systems. He shares, “Being able to organize bio- physics symposia and virtual networking events as a member of the Biophysical Society has been helpful, especially as it relates to making new connections and also getting a better sense of who’s in my field and what are they doing.”

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

Continued from Front Page

BPS Innovation Award Renamed in Honor of Carolyn Cohen This motor is switched “on” and “off” by calcium ions which bind to regulatory proteins such as tropomyosin/troponin and—in certain cases—to myosin itself. Atomic structures of these switches showed how the motor activity is controlled. She also worked on the protein folding problem, with a focus on the alpha-helical coiled-coil mo- tif that occurs in a diverse range of proteins, including those in muscle (myosin rod, tropomyosin, paramyosin), membranes, and transcription factors (leucine zipper). The fact that this motif can be recognized easily and directly from the amino acid sequence of a protein gives it special significance. By making as many connections as possible among apparently diverse protein classes, her research yielded insights into the physical principles underlying protein folding.

Carolyn Cohen

Cohen was a member of the Biophysical Society from 1979 until she passed away in 2017. She received BPS’s 2000 Founders Award for outstanding achievement in Biophysics and was a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Carolyn Cohen Award for Biophysical Innovation will be presented next at the BPS 2022 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, on February 21.

Numbers By the

BPS has 178 volunteer members represented on 14 committees.

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Public Affairs

Congress Proposes toMore Than Double NSF Funding Through the years there have been ongoing discussions among the scientific community and Congressional staff about a dou- bling of the National Science Foundation (NSF) budget, similar to what was achieved with NIH back in the early 2000s. On Friday, March 26, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology introduced a bipartisan bill outlining plans to more than double the NSF budget over the next five years and to create a new technology directorate. In 2021, the NSF received $8.5 billion to fund its seven directorates. The new legislation would increase the agency’s annual budget to $18.3 billion by 2026, part of which would go toward a new initiative called Science and Engineering Solutions. With a focus on turning basic research into new technologies and commercial products that would address societal issues and drive economic growth, the new directorate would receive $1 billion in 2022, growing to $5 billion per year by 2026. In some ways, the new bill is similar to the Endless Frontier Act introduced in June of last year, which sought to quadruple the NSF’s budget and redirect the agency toward “industries of the future” such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing. While the National Science Foundation for the Future Act introduced by Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) supports innovation in these industries through the proposed technology directorate, it also proposes to boost funding for all scientific disciplines that the agency supports and outlines measures to prevent funding tradeoffs between the new directorate and other NSF divisions, which is a concern of researchers who rely on NSF funding.

Public Affairs Committee Sessions at the 65th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society Global Pandemic Response: Charting a Path Forward Using Guides from the Past and Present The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) organized a session fo- cusing on global pandemic response entitled “Global Pandem- ic Response: Charting a Path Forward Using Guides from the Past and Present” as part of the BPS 2021 Annual Meeting. This online session brought together an international panel of scientists from academia and industry for a discussion that ranged from the atomic to the societal and covered the structural biology of viruses, the deployment of diverse antiviral therapies, and socio-economic hinderances to the development of consistent global strategies targeting current and future pandemics.

True to the “global” title of the event, the expert panelists joined the session from three continents: Europe, Africa, and North America. Félix Rey of the Institut Pasteur, Paris, spoke about the structures and interactions of coronavirus spike proteins and the possible effects of emerging mutations on vaccine development. Thurka Sangaramoorthy of the Uni- versity of Maryland called in from Addis Ababa to discuss the effects of income disparities, political instabilities, and societal challenges on providing universal access to thera- pies. Patrick McTamney of AstraZeneca and Arturo Casadevall of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University highlighted two distinct, yet related, approaches for targeting COVID-19 through the use of broad neutralizing antibodies and convalescent plasma-based therapies. The formal presentations were followed by robust discussion sparked by audience questions on topics including the role of partnerships between academia and industry in facing the current crisis and in providing lessons to prepare for future challenges, the importance of supporting fundamental re-

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Public Affairs

Annual Meeting Press The 2021 Biophysical Society Annual Meeting garnered a lot of media interest, particularly for the ten promoted research presentations we highlighted this year. Not surprisingly, a significant portion of the research focused on various pan- demic research efforts including, but not limited to, COVID-19. We fielded nine reporter inquiries on some of the featured research presentations with nearly all resulting in original articles being written in news outlets around the globe. In fact, one researcher garnered a small piece in an online outlet of The Economist . In addition, BPS registered four reporters in advance of the conference to participate in general and scien- tific sessions to hear about the latest research efforts. Around theWorld Hackers Bring Dutch Research Funding Agency to Standstill On February 8, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) was subject to a ransomware attack that left the country’s largest scientific research funding agency unable to review or receive grant applications or to communi- cate with applicants and grantees. According to a statement, NWO has refused to pay the ransom demanded by the DoppelPaymer hacker group “on fundamental grounds,” opting instead to rebuild its network, a process that could take weeks. With its ransom demands unmet, the hacker group leaked NWO documents, including personal information about staff members, to the dark web on February 24. The security breach is the latest in a series of cyberattacks on research and funding institutes. In the last month, there have been similar attacks on the University of Amsterdam, the Am- sterdam University of Applied Sciences, and the UK Research and Innovation funding agency. In 2019, Maastricht University in the Netherlands paid the bitcoin equivalent of €200,000 (US$237,000) to hackers.

search in biomedicine, and educating the general public about best practices, including the importance of vaccination. The panelists agreed that the ongoing pandemic has highlighted that collaborations across disciplines, agencies, and borders is key to containing the current outbreak and preventing future ones. Responding to the Coronavirus Threat through Investments in Fundamental Biomedical Research PAC also put together a panel discussion to explore invest- ments needed in fundamental biomedical research to better prepare ourselves for future pandemics. PAC Chair Eric Sund- berg was joined on the panel by Michael Lauer of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Victoria McGovern of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and Jennifer Cama , Majority Staff for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services. Cama walked the audience through the steps of the appro- priations process and expressed appreciation for advocacy groups, such as BPS, for supporting NIH funding efforts over the years. She explained the various ways in which the scientific community could get involved in the process and to help shape future efforts to be better prepared for future outbreaks. McGovern talked about the breakdown of basic and biomed- ical research funding and the long-term impact of the COVID crisis on research funding from academic institutions, founda- tions, and charitable organizations that have seen donations significantly reduced as a result of the pandemic. She shared some recommendations for collaborations and shared infra- structure in order to make the most of the research efforts being funded from various quarters. Lauer continued one of McGovern’s key points: when government, industry, and academia work together on science, we can achieve amazing results. Science that normally would take years to coordi- nate, test, and replicate was made a joint priority among the various players and estimations quickly turned from years into months. Although this joint coordination of efforts is not without precedent, it is unlikely to be achievable on a wide array of research; however, there are a lot of valuable lessons to be learned from what was achieved that can be used to re- spond to future crises. Lauer discussed the results of several studies and surveys on the disproportional impact the COVID crisis has had on researchers by race and gender, as well as the impact on career development for young researchers and PhD students.

Connect with BPS

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Publications Cheers for Volu teers

Seda Kocaman Membership Committee

Seda Kocaman

Is this your first volunteer position for BPS? If not, what other positions have you held?

all over the world. These networking events help to build a stronger biophysics community by establishing a platform for education, diversity, and networking. In 2020, we also worked on organizing and structuring the mentoring program of BPS for early career members, which will offer scientific and career guidance to early career scientists from the experts in their particular field. We also do some fun little assignments sometimes such as selecting the best T-shirt design for Bio- physics Week! What has been a highlight from your volunteer experience? The highlight of my volunteer experience for BPS is that I get to review and evaluate travel award and networking event applications, which creates a platform to build stronger biophysics communities all around the world. Travel awards are presenting an opportunity for a trainee or an expert with limited funding to continue promoting their research and establishing new collaborations, while the networking events emphasize organizing trainee and diversity-focused events that highlight different concepts from research presentations to discussing ways to promote biophysics funding. I believe these efforts are contributing to the bright future of biophys- ics and I am very happy to be a small part of it. Do you have advice for others who might be thinking about volunteering? I would say: “Go for it!” Volunteering for BPS will give you a solid opportunity to contribute to the growth of the Biophys- ical Society all over the world. During your volunteering expe- rience, you will be working with the wonderful, experienced BPS members from whom you will learn a lot about how to plan and organize BPS events and you will realize that, even though you might be an early career member, your ideas and contributions will be highly appreciated. I must say volunteer- ing for BPS will also help your own career and your profes- sional growth. For example, when I was interviewing for my postdoc, one of the first questions I was asked was “How did you become involved in so many BPS events?” Volunteering for BPS makes you stand out and shows that you can take ini- tiative and make use of the opportunities and resources that are presented to you, that you can work as part of a team and use your time effectively, which will help you in your job appli- cations. Volunteering for BPS led me to be more active and do things such as blog writing, which I was always interested in

Serving on the BPS Membership Committee from 2018 to 2021 has been my first volunteer position for BPS. I really enjoyed this volunteering experience, which led me to also volunteer to be a guest blogger for the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in 2019. Recently, I have been reappointed to the BPS Membership Committee for a second term from 2021 to 2024. I am very happy and honored to volunteer for BPS! Why do you volunteer? The 2017 Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in New Orleans was the first big scientific conference that I had attended. At this meeting, I had the chance to present my research poster, listen to amazing scientific talks and career panels, and net- work with professionals in the biophysics field. Soon after this meeting, one day just like all the BPS members, I received an email from BPS stating that BPS was looking for volunteers to serve on BPS committees such as Membership Committee, Education Committee, Inclusion and Diversity Committee, and many other committees. I was very excited about this opportunity to play an active role in contributing to BPS, so I volunteered and was selected for my appointment on the BPS Membership Committee. I volunteer for BPS because I am very impressed with the scientific, networking, and career op- portunities that BPS offers to its members and I wanted to be a part of BPS in creating this wonderful platform of opportu- nities for its members and to biophysicists around the world. Can you tell us about something your committee is working on? BPS Membership Committee works on increasing the num- ber of BPS members by striving to enable the scientists and students who have limited funding sources to also have the opportunity of being BPS members. To achieve this, our committee reviews and evaluates the Undergraduate Travel Awards and Bridging Travel Awards. Undergraduate Travel Awards grant travel awards to undergraduates, while Bridg- ing Travel Awards grant travel awards for professors with limited funding to attend to the BPS Annual Meeting, where they can present their research and collaborate and network with other BPS members. Our committee also reviews and evaluates networking event applications in which BPS funds the networking events of scientists with limited funding from

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Career Development he rs for Volunt ers

but never did it. For example, as I volunteered for BPS, I real- ized that I really enjoy talking to people and organizing events, which has led me to interview a STEM career consultant, Alaina Levine, who I had also met at the BPS Annual Meeting, and our interview on “Learn how to network to boost your career” was published in BPS Bulletin. Now, I am also actively participating in organizing a career symposium. Volunteering for BPS made me discover that I like organizing events and writing blogs and helped my professional development. So, I would encourage you to volunteer for BPS. It will not take much of your time at all, but it will help you to contribute to the biophysics community around the world while it also helps your professional and career development as well. When not volunteering for BPS, what do you work on? I am a second-year postdoc at NIH. I work on understand- ing the catalytic mechanism of the proteins in the ribosome biogenesis pathway using biochemical, molecular biology, and cryo-EM techniques. I really enjoy my research projects. Volunteering for BPS has sparked the volunteer spirit in me, which led me to actively participate in several NIH trainee groups where we organize networking events and career sym- posia and discuss science policy, which I love being a part of!

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Career Development

Careers in Industry: An Excerpt from the Live Q&A At the Careers in Industry: Live Q&A Session at the 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting, a panel of industry scientists answered audience questions about their careers.

co and University of California, Berkeley that had gone into industry, I was able to get some information there and learn a little bit. I looked online to see what looked interesting to me. The day I went on one particular site was the day they posted the job I have now, so I didn’t actually get a huge survey of what all was out there, but I did learn that there are things out there that are interesting to me and people with my back- ground, and I guess the biggest hurdle, biggest difference, is that it is very much team-oriented work. Even if you’ve done a lot of collaborations in academia, it is a very different process. Drug discovery in particular, it’s very teamwork driven, you cannot do it all yourself within your lab. You need pieces from very disparate groups. The ability to succeed or fail as a team, that is different. Depending on where you are and your func- tion in the company, how much control you have over what you work on can vary. For me, I have a lot of control over what I work on, like professors, but it really can be very different, depending on what your role in the company is. Hirsch: One challenge I had was: in academics, you could do things at your own pace, but in the drug discovery field, there is a timeline you have to meet. There have been a lot of experiments I have wanted to do, kind of off the record, or academic experiments, but sometimes management would prefer that you don’t do that. It’s something that might be nice to know but not important because the ultimate goal in industry is to get a drug. It was a hurdle for me to understand to go from kind of playing with stuff to keep focused on the goal.

The session was moderated by Melanie Cocco of the University of California, Irvine and incoming chair of the Membership Committee. It was chaired and organized by Erin Dueber of Genentech and member of BPS Council. The speakers were Muneera Beach (Malvern Panalytical), Jeff Hirsch (Confluence Discovery Technologies), Aysegul Ozen (Scorpion Therapeu- tics), and Jeremy Wilbur (Relay Therapeutics). Below are the panelists’ answers to one of the questions from the session. Additional questions and answers will be shared in BPS Bulletin in the coming months. Question: What drew you to industry, and what were the challenges in transitioning from the academic environment to industry? What general advice would you give? Dueber: I always give the advice that I didn’t know anything about industry, and how I ended up here was a process of elimination. I really found it useful to get experience and then weed out things I didn’t like. In my postdoc, it didn’t look like a lot of fun writing grants, it didn’t look like a lot of fun with a lot of the things my boss was doing, so I started thinking about what else was out there. I hadn’t really heard anything about industry. Luckily, being in the Bay Area and having a network of alumni at University of California San Francis-

Clockwise from top left: Muneera Beach, Melanie Cocco, Jeremy Wilbur, Aysegul Ozen, Jeff Hirsch, and Erin Dueber

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Career Development

Grants & Opportunities Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science The Vilcek Foundation will award three Creative Promise Prizes of $50,000 each to young, immigrant biomedical scientists who demonstrate outstanding early achieve- ment. Who can apply: Requirements include that the applicant was born outside of the United States to non-American parents, is not more than 38 years old as of December 31, 2021, and has lived in the United States for at least four years. Additional requirements can be found on the website. Deadline: June 11 Website: https:/ vilcek.org/prizes/vilcek-prizes-for-cre- ative-promise/creative-promise-prizes-biomedical-sci- ence/ Ozen: Perhaps when you say industry, it is good to keep in mind that there is not just one industry—it’s a spectrum and there are all different kinds of companies. Even larger com- panies differ within themselves in terms of thinking about innovation and innovative science. There’s always a way to try to meet the deadlines but also think of the more innova- tive ideas. There is some creativity and extra effort required, and making a case to management is important; you have to make the case for why it is good for them to support you with money and your time, which then couldn’t be used for other experiments. It is a lot about thinking and presentation. In terms of deciding to go do industry, when I was graduating with my PhD I had no idea. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. All I was hearing from academic advisors was that you Wilbur: That’s an interesting point because I feel like my com- pany tries to balance those things and be right on the edge of both. There is great value to doing that kind of academic-style research to our drug discovery programs. Yet, we do have timelines and we have to advance things quickly, both for business purposes and because there are patients out there that need the drugs that we’re making. So I think finding that balance, that interesting, fun science—that is really import- ant to the drug discovery project—that is where I spend a lot of my time thinking. That feels both very academic at times and very practical.

can only do “cool science” in academia, in industry there is no “cool science,” which is absolutely not true. I actually got an offer for a scientist position from a company, but it felt scary, because you don’t know what you’re signing. I was never exposed to what industry and drug discovery science is. I got this postdoc opportunity at Genentech, and looking at previous Genentech alumni it was clear that some peo- ple went to industry and took scientist positions, and some people went back to really good faculty positions in academia. It sounded like a really good opportunity to be exposed to industry settings a little bit but also maintain my chances at getting high-profile publications so if I decided to go back to academia it would still be an option. Beach: That sounds really smart. For me, I always knew I was going into industry. I was a non-traditional student, I started in the military, then worked my way through undergrad and got a scholarship to graduate school. I knew it wasn’t the path for me to go into academia, but I didn’t know my job existed. I went a conference and saw the ad for my position, went to their booth and presented my resume, got the interview, and got the job! Sometimes being in the right place at the right time, keeping your eyes open for opportunities, and having your 2-minute speech, your 1-minute speech, your 15-sec- ond presentation of yourself, it just works wonders.

Cottrell Scholar Award This award honors and helps to develop outstanding teacher-scholars who are recognized by their scientif- ic communities for the quality and innovation of their research programs and their academic leadership skills. This award provides entry into a national community of outstanding scholar-educators who produce significant research and educational outcomes. Who can apply: Early career tenure-track faculty at US and Canadian research universities and primarily under- graduate institutions. Deadline: July 1 Website: https:/ rescorp.org/cottrell-scholars/ cottrell-scholar-award

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Career Development

The Importance of Establishing Connections Outside of Academia We live in a society with frequent

multifaceted. You just have to ask and you could find a new connection! In other words, talk with your friend in a casual setting and just ask what they do outside of the lab or for fun. You might hear something that is of interest to you. A crucial benefit of outside-academia connections is learning a new technique or tool that can be used in the lab! After all, work is part of life and we all could use a little bit of a differ- ent perspective. So, venturing outside our comfort zone and making connections can be an advantage. Something you learn might help you unlock a difficult problem when carrying out an experiment! — Molly Cule

interactions, either in person or online. If we analyze these interactions, we can see that many of us have distinct social circles with little or no overlap among them. Google used this concept to launch a social media platform a few years ago. Working in science and in an academic setting, a major chunk of our personal interactions are within

our labs and with our academic colleagues. Outside academia, many of us establish connections. One of the common ways is through a hobby or activity that allows us to unwind. In due course, we end up making friends and connections with people from other facets of life. These connections are more important than just for the social aspects of our lives. Some- times, a periodic reminder is helpful that we need to take advantage of these connections. It can be helpful when we communicate science to non-scientists. For example, I used to go for piano classes three times a week. Sometimes, a casual conversation would veer into how the day went and I would explain the challenging part of my current experiment to them. Here is where I found I could use my science communication skills to convey in easy-to-under- stand language what I did for a living. In other cases, it is the other way around, where I am the listener and get a peek into someone else’s work world. Listening is just as important a skill as being able to communicate science to those outside science. For another example, a friend of mine enjoyed dancing, and they were also a full-time researcher. Like in the ABBA song “Nina, Pretty Ballerina,” Friday nights were a transformation. As a dancer, they were involved in planning events, getting the word out, and basically running the show. The skills they sharpened through these experiences were useful for or- ganizing academic events. Most importantly, they learned interpersonal skills. Many of us working in academic labs take time to learn these social skills and we look to our colleagues as examples and follow their lead. In my view, the learning curve for acquiring such skills is less steep when we have connections outside academia. Of course, for some of us who know ourselves to be shy or reticent, establishing new connections is hard and takes time. Many of you might wonder where to start? I would suggest looking at the people you already know. You might only recognize them from one perspective, but they are surely

Join the BPS PUI Network Are you looking to connect with other Primarily Undergraduate Institution (PUI) faculties or interested in obtaining an academic position at a PUI? The Biophysical Society (BPS) invites you to join the BPS PUI Network, recently formed by the BPS Education Committee. The goal of the Network is to create an environment for current PUI faculty to network and share experiences with one another. Members of the Network can exchange tips and ideas such as teaching strategies, latest trends in education technology, online teaching, and more. Graduate students and postdocs interested in obtaining academic positions at PUIs are also welcome to join. Questions can be directed to Margaret Mainguy at mmainguy@biophysics.org. Join today at biophysics.org/PUI-Network

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Member Corner

Members in the News

Two Society members were awarded Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science: Ibrahim Cissé , Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Society member since 2007. Silvi Rouskin , Whitehead Institute and Society member since 2020.

Ibrahim Cissé

Silvi Rouskin

Katsumi Matsuzaki , Kyoto University and Society member since 1993, received The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan Award for his study on “Elucidation of complex dynamic intermolecular interactions in membranes.”

Katsumi Matsuzaki

Student Spotlight

Whitney A. Stevens-Sostre University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Neuroscience What has been the most exciting experience of your studies in biophysics?

My study of the structure-function relationships of the KCNH family of voltage-gated ion channels has rewarded me with exciting real-time discoveries. By using structural, biochemical, and electrophysiological approaches, I’ve wit- nessed how single-residue substitutions can dramatically change the gating properties of ion channels. These expe- riences inspired me to found the Black In Biophysics organization/movement, which aims to recognize and celebrate Black biophysicists who continue to make the discoveries that drive our field forward. I hope to continue using my platform as a Hispanic Afro-Puerto Rican woman to show other underrepresented minorities in STEM that studying biophysics is rewarding and that our communities are welcome.

Whitney A. Stevens-Sostre

Important Dates Student Chapter Application Deadline Friday, May 14, 2021 Society Election Voting Opens Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Ambassador Program Application Deadline Friday, July 16, 2021 Election Voting Closes Sunday, August 01, 2021

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Communities

Start a BPS Student Chapter at Your Institution

APPLICATION DEADLINE: MAY 14, 2021

The 2021 Spring Call for Student Chapters is currently open! Participation in the Student Chapter Program allows students to sharpen their leadership skills and be part of a worldwide network that helps to promote the field of biophysics within their local communities. Apply for the BPS Student Chapter Program and join the community of 36 active Chapters around the world! Chapters may be formed within a single institution, or regional Chapters may be developed among multiple, neighboring institutions anywhere in the world. Approved Chapters will receive up to $200 USD inmatching reimbursable expenses to assist with getting started and have access to special opportunities for Chapter officers andmembers at Biophysical Society meetings.

All Student Chapters must have a sponsor who is a member of the Society. If you are a mentor to biophysics students with leadership potential, please share this opportunity and encourage their participation. Chapter sponsors are responsible for providing profession- al guidance, practical advice, and needed assistance to students through face-to-face meetings, email, online video conferencing, or phone. The BPS Student Chapter application requires: • Signed endorsement and petition forms from the Chapter sponsor and student members • Complete Chapter bylaws (example available within the application) • Questionnaire responses regarding Chapter membership and institution information • Current student membership for all Chapter Officers For more information and a complete list of instructions on forming an official BPS Student Chapter visit www.biophysics.org/StudentChapters. Questions can be directed to Margaret Mainguy at mmainguy@biophysics.org.

Call for BPS Ambassadors Program APPLICATION DEADLINE: JULY 15, 2021 Represent the Biophysical Society and biophysics in your home country or region. It is more important now than ever to maintain the lines of communication in research. As the world health crisis starts down the road to recovery, it can be a reminder that scientific research is a community effort, and to optimize our opportunities for success, it is vital that we share information. Join your BPS colleagues from Argentina, Canada, India, Malaysia, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, and the United Kingdom in helping the Society to better represent the international biophysics community and to establish stronger bonds around the world.

Ambassador Program

Empowering Biophysics Globally

The program is open to all mid- to senior-career BPS members who live outside the United States. Strong candidates would be regional science leaders who are interested in representing biophysics and the Society in their local areas and serving as a key point of contact for the Society and our members. BPS members outside of the United States are welcome to apply to the Ambassador Program. However, we do not recommend that applicants in countries already represented by current Ambassadors submit applications until the current Ambassador’s term is due to expire. To learn more about the program, Ambassador eligibility and benefits, please visit www.biophysics.org/ambassadors.

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