Biophysical Society Bulletin | October 2020

October 2020

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Ten Outstanding Biophysicists Receive BPS Honors The Biophysical Society is pleased to recognize the following 2021 award recipients. These members will be honored during the 65th Annual Meeting in February.

Doug Barrick

Carlos Bustamante

Angela M. Gronenborn

Andrea Meredith

Tanja Mittag

Richard Pastor

Randy Stockbridge

Peter H. von Hippel

Gregory A. Voth

Nieng Yan

Doug Barrick , Johns Hopkins University, USA, will receive the Emily M. Gray Award for his masterpiece textbook on Biomolecular Ther- modynamics which is being widely adopted for teaching under- graduate Biophysical Chemistry. Carlos Bustamante , University of California, Berkeley, USA, will receive the Kazuhiko Kinosita Award in Single-Molecule Biophysics for his leadership in the field of single-molecule studies of DNA elasticity and molecular motors and for his generosity in outreach and collaboration. Angela M. Gronenborn , University of Pittsburgh, USA, will receive the Founders Award for her many contributions to the field of NMR protein structure determination with a particular emphasis on their functional dynamics.

Andrea Meredith , University of Maryland, USA, will receive the BPS Award in the Biophysics of Health and Disease for her biophysical discovery of BK channel behavior that has resulted in translational medicine advances in the treatment of epilepsy. Tanja Mittag , St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, USA, will receive the Michael and Kate Bárány Award for Young Investigators for her rigorous and foundational contributions to the field of macromo- lecular condensates and their biological relevance. Richard Pastor , National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, USA will receive the Avanti Award in Lipids for his pioneering MD Simu- lations of lipids and development of widely used lipid forcefields.

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Randy Stockbridge , University of Michigan, USA, will receive the Margaret Oakley Dayhoff Award for her pioneering and innovative contributions to our understanding of fundamental para- digms in ion channel and transporter biology. Peter H. von Hippel , University of Oregon, USA, will receive the Ignacio Tinoco Award for his long-standing contributions to our understanding of nucleic acids and their interactions.

Gregory A. Voth , University of Chicago, USA, will receive the Innovation Award for his theoretical and computational methodologies that enable understand- ing of the behavior of complex systems including membrane-protein interac- tions, transport, and self-assembly. Nieng Yan , Princeton University, USA, will receive the Anatrace Membrane Protein Award for her seminal contributions to our structural understanding of the molecular mechanisms of membrane protein function and modulation.

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President’s Message Biophysicist in Profile

Public Affairs Annual Meeting

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Publications

Career Development Communities Member Corner Upcoming Events

President’s Message

International and Inclusive The COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it has imposed on the way we do and communicate about

The Biophysical Society honors the accomplishments of its membership in numerous ways. First, and foremost, we high- light the work of our members via invitations to present at the Annual Meeting. We strive to make BPS an inclusive Society. Thus, in programming the Annual Meeting we make every effort to include speakers that reflect the Society membership. Having served as Program Committee Co-chair in 2017, and on Council, I can attest to the fact that the sausage-making we go through to produce the Annual Meeting involves promoting participa- tion from our international members, including leadership on the Program Committee. All Society members can help us to highlight the achievements of our international colleagues by sending symposium and speaker suggestions to the Program Committee for the 2022 meeting. Society Awards also showcase the excellent biophysics of our membership. These awards are highly competitive, as we have legions of eminent researchers and scholars in the BPS. One thing is certain: Too few international members are nominated for yearly awards. Nominations are due in the spring, so begin now by visiting the Society Awards webpage, https:/www. biophysics.org/awards-funding/society-awards, and thinking about making a nomination. Another area I have been thinking about is the promotion of biophysics to our governing bodies and to the general public. Biophysics underpins responses to many global challenges in human health, environment and climate change, and sustain- able development. It is paramount that policymakers and the public understand the importance of fundamental research in meeting these challenges. To highlight the contributions of biophysics to people’s everyday lives, an open online mini-sym- posium on the biophysics of SARS-CoV-2 is being planned for October 29. Moreover, to promote awareness among policy- makers, BPS has been engaged for several years in lobbying efforts in Washington. For example, we support the salary of Congressional Fellows in collaboration with the AAAS. These efforts aim to promote increased funding for biophysics (and science in general) in the United States. However, we have not taken this advocacy work to an international level. It would be useful to engage in discussions with our international members about advocacy for biophysics awareness and funding in dif- ferent parts of the world, and how BPS might collaborate with national and regional societies in such efforts. Our international membership brings a depth and richness to the Society that makes all our science better and strengthens our education and outreach. As international BPS members, your participation will help us to better serve you, and by doing so build a stronger, more inclusive and more impactful Society. — Catherine A. Royer , President

science have emphasized the inter- national nature of our community. Of course, for centuries, scientists have traveled the world to meet and discuss results, work together, and advocate for science. But before the current health disaster, we were

Catherine A. Royer

all immersed, day-to-day, in our local and national scientific cultures. With COVID-19, these local contacts have been greatly diminished, as we virtually Zoom around the world listening to and interacting with colleagues from everywhere. Californians with their morning coffee chat with Europeans having a glass of wine before dinner, while Australians chime in, sleepy-eyed in their PJs. In some strange way, COVID-19 has brought us closer together, even as it keeps us physically apart. The Biophysical Society is an international society; about one- third of our membership works outside the United States (the definition of international member). BPS international members are also generally members of their national or regional soci- eties as well. These dual or even multiple memberships do not represent competing interests. Rather, they serve to strengthen biophysics everywhere. BPS maintains partnerships with nu- merous international biophysics societies and associations. Recognizing the international nature of our Society member- ship, BPS leaders work towards ensuring that our international members reap the benefits of BPS member services and gain recognition from the Society to the same extent as the mem- bers working in the United States. One-third of the Society’s current elected Council members are international scientists, as is our next Society President, Frances Separovic . Most BPS Committees include international members. These Committees are the backbone of the Society. They work to enhance the careers of biophysicists, to promote funding for and recogni- tion of biophysics, to provide resources and ideas for attracting young people to biophysics through education and outreach, to support interaction among biophysicists throughout the world, to recognize eminent researchers among us, to plan our Annual Meetings, and to serve the organizational aspects of our Society and ensure its success. It is vital that the viewpoints of interna- tional members contribute to the work of these Committees. So if you are an international BPS member, please visit the Com- mittees page at the BPS website https:/www.biophysics.org/ About-BPS/Governance/Committees and look over the charges of the different Committees. If you see one that interests you, please fill out the volunteer form by clicking on the link.

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Officers President Catherine A. Royer President-Elect Frances Separovic Past-President David W. Piston Secretary Erin Sheets Treasurer Kalina Hristova Council Linda Columbus Michelle A. Digman

The BPS PUI Network The BPS PUI Network, sponsored by the Education Committee, was formed to bring PUI faculty and individuals aspiring to work at PUIs together. The goal of the network is to create an environment for current PUI faculty to share experiences with one another. Graduate students and postdocs interest- ed in obtaining academic positions at PUIs are encouraged to join. To kick off the new network, the PUI Network sponsored its very first webinar on August 11, 2020, titled “Challenges and Opportunities Teaching at a PUI During 2020.” Webinar registrants had the opportunity to express their topic(s) of interest for panelists to discuss. Some of the topics that were covered during the webinar included panelists’ individual experiences in conducting remote learning, technology advantages and barriers, as well as how their respective institutions are addressing the issue of racism and discrimination. The webinar also featured a Q&A session. The moderators and panelists were:

Erin C. Dueber Marta Filizola Gilad Haran

Francesca Marassi Joseph A. Mindell Carolyn A. Moores

Anna Moroni Jennifer Ross David Stokes Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede Biophysical Journal Jane Dyson Editor-in-Chief The Biophysicist Sam Safran Editor-in-Chief

Marc Edwards , Amherst College Afra Panahi , Emmanuel College Anu Seshan , University of California SanMarcos Mark Testori , Bay Path University Yadilette Rivera- Colón , Bay Path University, moderator Kambiz Hamadani , University of California SanMarcos, chat moderator To connect PUI Network members and continue the conversation from the webinar, a group was created within BPS Forums, which is BPS’ online communication platform. BPSmembers who have indicated their interest in the Network are automatically subscribed to the group where they can communicate with other Network members, and be part of a growing community. If you would like to be part of the PUI Network, sign up at https:/ www.surveymonkey.com/r/NGXJYS9. Questions regard- ing the PUI Network can also be directed to Joon Kwak at jkwak@biophysics.org.

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

View the webinar at www.biophysics.org/webinars

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 © 2020 by the Biophysical Society. Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved.

Mark your calendars and plan to participate in the 6th Annual BiophysicsWeek!

Celebrate and promote biophysics by planning a virtual event. Biophysics Week is a global campaign to increase public awareness and support for biophysics research. Every year, the Biophysical Society, along with Biophysics Week Partners and Affiliate Event Organiz- ers, hosts events and activities in communities around the world all week long. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all BPS Affiliate Events for 2021 will be virtual.

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Biophysicist in Profile

BradleyWebb Areas of Research Cell biology and biochemistry of metabolic enzymes

Institution West Virginia University

At-a-Glance

Bradley Webb , assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry at West Virginia University, says he “kind of fell into science as a career.” Growing up in Alberta, Canada, he gained a love of science and nature from his mom, and inherited analytical and mechanical skills from his dad. “My mom got me my first microscope when I was about seven, a small light microscope from Sears. I still have it and it sits in my office. The cell is beautiful and I’ve always loved imaging sessions,” he shares. “This, coupled with my desire to understand how the machines in our cells work on a molecular level, has driven my research to this day.

Bradley Webb

Chemistry and biology were Bradley Webb ’s best subjects in high school, so he decided to study biochemistry in university. He enrolled in the University of Calgary and studied there for a year before transferring to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. “When I entered university, I had no idea that people got paid to answer questions for a living. I originally intended to go to medical school and become an MD. However, I decided that being an MD wasn’t what I wanted out of my career,” he shares. “Part of the reason for my change of heart was that I was diagnosed with a high-frequency hearing loss in my third year of university and wanted to learn more about what causes diseases on a molecular level.” At that time, he was working on his undergraduate research project in the lab of Charlie Boone (now at the University of Toronto), and found that he really enjoyed doing research. He decided he wanted to pursue a research career. “I approached a faculty member, Alan Mak , whose lectures I really enjoyed and who had an entirely different way of seeing the world, and I convinced him to take me on as a graduate student. The rest is history,” he says. Mak was part of a group that established a protein function discovery center at Queen’s University that had an isother- mal titration calorimeter, an analytical ultracentrifuge, and a biacore, allowing students to biophysically characterize their proteins of interest. Another professor at Queen’s, Michael Nesheim , taught a biophysics graduate course that allowed students hands-on practice with biophysical techniques. “I was very fortunate to be able to get intellectual guidance from both Mak and Nesheim and hands-on access to expensive equip- ment to learn how to use it,” Webb shares. “My overwhelmingly positive experience sparked my interest in biophysics and made me realize the importance of building a ‘toolbox’ of techniques that I can use throughout my career.”

After earning his PhD in biochemistry in 2006, Webb took about nine months off to backpack around Australia and visit his family, then joined Diane Barber’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco, having met her at a conference where he was presenting his graduate research. “Dr. Barber is a pio- neer in developing the field studying how changes in intracellu- lar pH (pHi) impact cell physiology and pathology. Her research is multidisciplinary, highly collaborative research, which aims to achieve atomic-level mechanistic insight into how pHi regulates cell behaviors. I was drawn to the idea that a proton could act as a post-translational modification. My research in Barber’s lab focused on how pHi can regulate pH sensors, proteins with activity or ligand binding that are regulated by physiological changes in pHi. My postdoc career focused on identifying novel pH sensors and designing genetically encoded biosensors for measuring changes in pHi,” he explains. “For example, phos- phofrucokinase-1 (PFK1) can go from completely inhibited to completed activated by changing pH 0.2 units due to proton- ation of a single histidine residue. One of the limitations of studying protonation as a post-translational modification is that we need to have atomic level structures of the molecules to allow us to identify the mechanism of regulation. PFK1 at the time did not have a high resolution biologically relevant crystal structure.” Webb’s group was able to determine the first biologically relevant structure in collaboration with Liang Tong’s group at Columbia University and the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium. “Brad has two attributes that contribute to his past success and his future promise,” Barber shares. “First, he thinks broadly about cell biology, enabled by his interdisciplinary expertise from protein structure and biochemistry, to cell signaling, to cancer behaviors. Second, he is experimentally fearless, and tackles new approaches and methods without trepidation with the goal of how best to address a question.”

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Biophysicist in Profile

Bree Grillo-Hill , a postdoc coworker of Webb’s in Barber’s lab, shares, “Brad’s innate curiosity makes him stand out as a sci- entist. His broad interests across different fields of cell biology have led him to a really unique set of research objectives. He is always open to new ideas, and excited to use innovative techniques to address important problems. He challenges everyone around him by asking really tough, deep questions in the most friendly manner to really encourage conversations about science.” Webb’s lab at West Virginia University studies how metabolic enzymes are organized in the cell, how they are spatially and temporally regulated, and how they can be dysregulated in diseases. “We work on multiple scales — from structure and function analysis to obtain atomic level understanding of how these molecular machines work, to characterization of meta- bolic enzymes in vitro, and to determine their organization and regulation in cells. We are currently focusing on enzymes in the glycolytic pathway and are generating tools to determine the spatiotemporal regulation of glycolysis in the cells and how metabolic reprogramming contributes to diseases such as cancer,” he shares.

research,” he shares. “My postdoc mentor, Diane Barber, was an outstanding advocate and supported me significantly throughout the ordeal. I would not be where I am today without her financial, professional, and emotional support.” After the initial operation to insert his implant, he was essen- tially deaf for about four weeks until the implant was activated. Upon activation, he had to relearn how to hear. “It took me about six months before I was able to understand voices clear- ly, two years until I felt comfortable in seminar type situations, and about five years before I started to enjoy music again. My hearing is still an obstacle as I do not hear ‘normally.’ Loud noises and background noise, such as a busy restaurant, make it almost impossible for me to listen effectively,” he explains. “In my teaching, my first slide always describes my hearing loss so I can let students know how best to communicate with me. Wearing masks to slow the transmission of COVID-19 is also a challenge as it prevents speech reading, making communica- tion more difficult for those of us with hearing loss. One thing I have noticed is that there are not a lot of disabled people in leadership positions in academia. Looking back on my under- graduate and graduate training, I cannot remember taking a class from a single professor with a physical disability.” Like many others during the COVID-19 pandemic, Webb and his wife have lost childcare for their two-year-old. “It has been ex- traordinarily difficult to find a work-life balance and to maintain productivity,” he shares. “West Virginia University in general and my department specifically have been very supportive of junior faculty, which I am deeply appreciative of.” Rather than traveling farther afield, Webb and his family have been exploring West Virginia during this period of social dis- tancing. “We recently took my daughter, who is two, camping for the first time and she loved it!” he says. “We are looking forward to getting a chance to see more of this beautiful state. My daughter also makes sure that we take the opportunity to visit as many playgrounds as possible.” Webb offers three pieces of advice for early career biophysi- cists: “First is to ‘run your line,’” he says, offering a North Amer- ican football metaphor. “You need to run where you need to be to tackle the ball carrier, not to where the ball carrier is when you start. The line you need to take constantly changes, so you will always need to take in the new information and adapt.[…] Don’t fret if it takes you longer to get there than other peo- ple, due to personal choices, extenuating circumstances, or a personal setback. Just run your line and you will be successful. The second is to surround yourself with good people. No one is successful alone, having a good support network of people who will raise you up, fight for you, and challenge you to succeed is essential. The third is to be experimentally fearless. Fall in love with a question and then use whatever techniques you need to learn to answer it.”

Webb hiking with his family.

The biggest challenge of Webb’s career has been finding success in the face of his disability. After being diagnosed with high-frequency hearing loss in his third year of undergraduate studies, his grades improved—he was now receiving the help he needed. “If you think of how much of science is transmitted orally— lab meetings, seminars, classes — it was a major barrier to my ability to fully participate,” he says. By the time he was a postdoc, he had lost enough of his remaining hear- ing that he needed a cochlear implant. “Coming from Canada, where healthcare is universally celebrated as a human right, I had a very rude introduction to the American medical insurance system. As a postdoc I needed to fight to obtain insurance coverage to pay for the operation. I was denied coverage three times and was very close to leaving my postdoc to move back to Canada so I could get the help I needed. Without help from a lot of great people I am certain I would no longer be in

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Public Affairs

BPSSupportsNASEMStudyonRacisminAcademia   The Biophysical Society has joined together with other scientific organizations to thank and echo the call of Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, to confront inequities in the US scientific enterprise that have prevented full participation of racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in STEM. Johnson has called upon the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine to undertake a study to acknowledge and assess systemic racism in academia. Rally for Medical Research This year the Rally for Medical Research went virtual for its seminal White House Releases FY22 R&D Budget Priorities

advocacy event in support of medical research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 2020may be one of the most turbulent years some of us have experienced, but it focused a national spotlight on the value and need for science and research —not only in the United States, but around the globe. On September 18, more than 500 scientists, physicians, and health research advocates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia participated in over 340 virtual meetings with 100 Senators, 240 Representatives, and their policy staff. This year a record number of BPSmembers were able to participate in the virtual meetings from their labs, offices, and homes. We would like to recognize and thank the following members of BPS who participated in this year’s Rally and to those who sent advocacy letters in support of the contin-

The Office of Management and Budget and Office of Science and Technology Policy released a memo on August 14 detailing the administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2022 research and development priorities. The memo outlines the country’s role as “the unques- tioned global leader in science and technology research and innovation,” including in responding to COVID-19. The memo also outlines five priority areas for FY22 including: public health secu- rity and innovation as well as leadership in the industries of the future and related technologies such as AI, American security, energy and environmental leadership, and space leadership. NIH Ethics Advisory Board Releases Funding Recommendations The NIH Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board released a report on August 18, summarizing the group’s funding recommendations for 14 research proposals, which include the use of human fetal tissue, reviewed during the board’s first meeting on July 31. Of the 14 proposals, 13 were recommended to withhold funding. The proposals have already received ap- proval for funding following two rounds of peer review, and HHS Secretary Alex Azar will make the final funding determination. Included in the NIH report was a dissenting opinion of twomem- bers of the board, stating that the recommendation to withhold funds from certain projects “will paradoxically fail to reduce the use of human fetal tissue in the development of humanizedmice needed for therapy development including for COVID-19.”

ued, strong funding for scientific research. 2020 Rally for Medical Research Participants:

• Francisco Barrera • Subhadeep Dutta • Nejat Duzgunes • Kevin Gardner • Gradimir Georgevich

• Julia Koeppe • Chitaranjan Mahapatra • Bridget Milorey • Ishita Mukerji • Hoang Nguyen • Jane Richardson • Michael Rudokas • David Stokes • Stephanie Tristram-Nagle • Nipuna Weerasinghe

• Michael Green • Rachel Haake • Jo Holt • Kalina Hristova • Adam Husar

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Public Affairs

Lessons Learned on Capitol Hill (During a Pandemic)

Say yes to opportunities outside the job description. One of my favorite memories of my fellowship was the night I stayed late in the office to answer the phone during a telephone town hall, even though the job of answering phones is usually reserved for interns. It was a rapid-fire night, speaking to a new constituent every minute and entering their information into the system. Though stressful, this was a great opportunity to hear directly from the constituents what they were concerned about. I gained new perspective onmy job and felt an even greater connection to the people we were working for. Advocate locally. Many scientists think that advocacy means writing to your member of Congress and asking them to increase funding for NIH and other research institutions. This is critically important, but in a moment where Congress is very supportive of the research budget, think about what other policies you can advocate for and what audiences you want to reach. Through- out this pandemic we have seen the difference that strong local and state governments can have, and individuals can have a huge impact by getting involved at this level. Scientists have the opportunity to use their data analysis and critical thinking skills to advocate for data-driven policy change. For example, did your city pledge to uphold the commitments of the Paris Climate Accord? Ask your local representatives if they are still upholding that commitment. Are you looking to see social justice reform in your community? Research the policies that work, and advocate for their incorporation in your community or your department. Now, more than ever, it is essential that scientists make their voices heard in the public sphere. I hope the lessons I’ve learned during this tumultuous year on Capitol Hill can help guide you in

I think it is safe to say that any Congressional Fellowship year is full of unexpected surprises. But this year, even seasoned staffers had to admit that 2020 has been unlike any other on Capitol Hill. While I am, of course, disappointed that I didn’t get to finish out my fellowship year withmy colleagues inmy office, the experi- ence working on health policy during a global pandemic taught me some key lessons that I will never forget. Roll with the punches. The pandemic put a pause on almost every piece of legislation and project that I had been working on during my fellowship. Rather than being disappointed, I saw this as an opportunity to get a glimpse into policymaking beyond the traditional job description of a Congressional health policy staff member. I had regular phone calls with hospitals, nursing homes, food banks, and state government officials, and I communicated their needs directly to the Department of Agriculture, FEMA, and the Department of Defense. More than ever, it was our job to work in close coordination with stakeholders tomake sure that the needs of our constituents were being met in federal policy. This work gave me perspective into how local leaders and federal agencies operate that I could not have otherwise appreciated. Know how and when to deliver your message. Most scientists know that clear, effective communication is key when giving a re- search talk or submitting a grant proposal. In the policy world, this is evenmore essential, and you often have very little time to craft your message. While policymakers do have time to thoroughly research and write their proposed legislation, the end product must be distilled into a simple one-page summary, a single tweet, or a few sentences in an email to a key staffer. Knowing when to deploy each of these tactics makes a huge difference inmoving your policy forward.

your own work. — Leah Cairns

The Biophysical Society is grateful to its Industry Partners.

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Annual Meeting

What will be on your itinerary during the 2021 Annual Meeting? We expect this significant and groundbreaking five-day virtual meeting to bring together BPS members and attract thousands of leading scientists from around the world. What can you expect? • Live and on-demand sessions (Symposia, special symposia—including Futures of Biophysics, New and Notable, the first Biophysical Journal symposium, as well as the BPS Lecture, Platforms, Career and Funding panels and virtual exhibits.) • Live Q&A with speakers during sessions  • Active discussion with virtual poster presentations    How can you participate? • Chat and network with other attendees and keep the conversation going     • Connect with exhibitors in the Virtual Exhibit Hall to hear about the latest innovations & technologies  • Access an on-demand repository of talks and engage at your convenience  Our goal is to provide you with the opportunity for an educational, collaborative, and interactive experience. 

Thank you to our sponsors: Bruker Corporation Dynamic Biosensors GmbH Elements SRL Leica Microsystems Mad City Labs Molecular Devices Nanion Technologies NanoSurface Biomedical Sophion Bioscience A/S

Missed the October 1 Abstract Submission Deadline? No worries —you still have the opportunity to present your research to the global biophysics community during the virtual 2021 Annual Meeting. Submit a late abstract! Late abstracts will be programmed on each day of the meeting and grouped by poster presentation topic to correspond with the presentation topics of abstracts submitted by October 1. Deadline for late abstract submission: January 8, 2021.

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Annual Meeting

Student members can take advantage of reduced meeting registration and membership rates. Have your students submit an abstract and join the Biophysical Society today! ?

DID YOU KNOW

Join us for Subgroup Symposia The Biophysical Society has 16 Subgroups, small, topic-specific communities that hold symposia during the Annual Meeting. The 2021 Subgroup symposia will take place on Monday, February 22, 2021, with morning and afternoon programs allowing you to attend multiple sessions. Several Subgroup programs are announced in this issue of the Bulletin and more will be an- nounced in November. Check out the Subgroups below. Monday Morning Symposia Monday Afternoon Symposia Bioenergetics, Mitochondria and Metabolism Bioengineering Biopolymers in vivo Biological Fluorescence Channels, Receptors and Transporters Cryo-EM Mechanobiology Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Membrane Fussion, Fission and Traffic Macromolecular Machines and Assemblies Nanoscale Approaches to Biology Membrane Structure and Function Physical Cell Biology Membrane Transport Multiscale Genome Organization Motility and Cytoskeleton Call for Future of Biophysics SymposiumSpeakers Do you know a young researcher doing cutting-edge research at the interface of the physical and life sciences? The Biophysical Society is seeking nominations from Society members for speakers to be featured in the special Future of Biophysics Symposium during the 65th Annual Meeting. This prestigious symposium highlights the work of young investigators doing cutting-edge research at the interface of the physical and life sciences. Young investigators are defined as those who are transitioning from graduate and postdoctoral work through three or four years of faculty positions. If you have a colleague who may be suitable for a nomination or you would like to nominate yourself, visit https:/www.surveymonkey.com/r/LDWQWGG and complete the required information fields by October 19, 2020. All nominators will be notified in November 2020 of the final selections.

I found the Biophysical Society committed with giving opportunities to young people to participate and exchange ideas and projects. It is also particularly unique in promoting the encounter of young and experienced scientists, which at the end inspire and consolidate vocations. - Jesus Perez-Gil, Complutense University of Madrid

biophysics.org/ 2021meeting

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Publications

Know the Editor Susan Schroeder University of Oklahoma Editor, Nucleic Acids Biophysical Journal

BPS, in partnership with IOP, publishes textbooks, monographs, reviews, and handbooks covering all areas of biophysics research, applications, education, methods, computational tools, and techniques. In addition to the titles shown below, visit the IOP Bookstore at https:/store.ioppublishing.org/page/se- ries-results/Biophysical-Society-IOP-Series/series-22/. discover BIOPHYSICS

Susan Schroeder

What are you currently working on that excites you? I’m learning to do direct RNA sequencing with Oxford nanopore technology. This technique reads small changes in pH as a single RNA molecule is pulled through a pore in a membrane. It’s a totally different way to sequence RNA than Illumina sequencing and provides more information about RNA modifications. I’m really excited to apply it to studying the RNA folding problem. What have you read lately that you found really interesting or stimulating? I’ve enjoyed mentoring a diverse lab group and I try to keep aware of the current cultural issues. So this summer, I’ve been reading some of the literature related to issues of racism. The best book that I read on this topic this summer was Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. I found it at my favorite little bookshop in Oklahoma City, which does a great job of high- lighting Oklahoma authors. After growing up in New England and knowing nothing about Oklahoma culture when I moved here for my job at Oklahoma University, I’ve enjoyed reading books by native authors. Ralph Ellison is an African American Oklahoma native, and Invisible Man won the National Book Award in 1953. Although the book was written almost 60 years ago, it really provided some interesting insights into current racial issues.

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Career Development

Taking Care of your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic

More and more evidence suggests a mental health crisis exists among science graduate students (1,2). Compound that with collective trauma experienced during a global pandemic, and students feel buried in stress. This article discusses some techniques that may help mitigate the overwhelm- ing feelings that might occur while in school:

and personal time may blur. By having a clear daily schedule, with times that you can schedule breaks, shut down your computer, and meditate or exercise, you can be more produc- tive and find more time to relax. Take care of your physical health. Sleep. Drink water. Exercise. Eat well. I cannot overstate the importance of this. Talk to somebody. It is okay to not be okay. If you are strug- gling with some personal hardship or dealing with a mental illness such as depression or anxiety, remember that you are not alone, and you are cared for; then, talk to someone. If it’s a personal hardship, this can be a close friend, relative, your advisor, career counselor, or a mental health professional such as a school counselor or a therapist. If you are concerned about your mental health, see a mental health profession- al if you are able. How you choose to proceed depends on your comfort level and your state of emotional well-being. Tele-counseling services exist, so you can see a professional from the safety of your own place. Consult your university’s counseling center for information that pertains to you. Stay safe everyone. Take care of yourself, and if you can, check in on your peers and colleagues. Together, we will make it through. References: 1. Gewin, V. 2012. Mental health: Under a cloud. Nature 490(7419):299–301. 2. Evans, T. M., L. Bira, J. B. Gastelum, L. T. Weiss, and N. L. Vanderford. 2018. Evidence for a mental health crisis in grad- uate education. Nat Biotechnol 36(3):282–284. — Molly Cule

Be kind to yourself. It is okay to just be okay. Expectations should change for what you can accomplish during a pandem- ic. It is not a normal time; you should not expect normal re- sults.  Publishable (let alone groundbreaking) results are hard to collect even under the best circumstances. COVID-19-re- lated restrictions may shift timelines. Funding may become uncertain. Online teaching may take up more time. Interrup- tions to your research range from frustrating to demoralizing, and when disruptions occur, remind yourself that the strug- gles you face are not a reflection of you. Now, more than ever, show yourself a little kindness and accept that your best will be imperfect. Find a (new) stress sink. Hobbies can free our minds from the struggles of scientific research. If your normal hobbies are in some way disrupted by the pandemic, try something new. So- cially distant hobbies include running, biking, walking, paint- ing, video games, yoga, gardening, coding challenges, photog- raphy, cooking, reading, online board games with friends, or online trivia. Setting goals (e.g., selecting a date to run a 10K) or developing personal projects (e.g., creating a collage for a friend) can provide structure to your life and motivation to continue your new hobby. Schedule. Creating a schedule can help declutter your mind. If you have transitioned to working mostly from home, work Renew Your BPSMembership Online

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Career Development

Immigration Paths for Scientific Researchers in the United States Part Two

In Part 1 of this series, I gave an overview of the US immigra- tion process for scientific researchers. If you aren’t familiar with the F-1 student visa, Optional Practical Training (OPT, which provides you with three years of work authorization after graduation), or the PERM labor certification process (and why you should avoid it), please read that article (https:/ biophysics.cld.bz/Biophysical-Society-Bulletin-Septem- ber-2020). If you are an F-1 student who has graduated and are nearing the end of your three years of OPT work authorization, you should be planning on how to get an H-1B visa (which can give you up to six years of legal status or more) or a J-1 visa (up to five years). In this article, I will discuss these visas and the impact that each has on your personal immigration path. THE H-1B VISA The first question you have to ask yourself is whether you want to go into industry or do a postdoc. If you want to go into industry, or remain in industry if you are working for a pri- vate company during your OPT, then you should have entered the H-1B visa lottery each year giving you a total of three chances. There are a limited number of H-1B visas for private companies. For this reason, the United States runs a lottery every year around April 1 for private employers. Your potential employer has to file an H-1B petition for you and hope that you win the lottery. Under new rules introduced in 2020, the employer only needs to register to enter the lottery, then files the actual petition only if you win. Depending on the number of employer lottery registrations received by the Immigration Service each year, the odds of winning the lottery could be anywhere from one in two to one in four. If you graduated from a foreign PhD program, you may also use the H-1B visa lottery if you want to work for a private employer in the United States. If you win the lottery, you have up to six years of H-1B status as long as you continue your employment with your H-1B employer, or in a “same or similar” position with another private employer. There are also laws allowing you to extend your H-1B status beyond six years if you have an approved I-140 petition (this is the EB-1 or National Interest Waiver [NIW] petition that I mentioned in Part 1 and which I will discuss in the next article).

THE J-1 VISA It can be difficult to find an employer willing to file an H-1B petition for you, and as the odds of winning the H-1B lottery are usually less than 50 percent, you must have a backup plan. For most scientists, their backup plan will be a postdoc position that offers a J-1 visa. A J-1 visa gives you up to five years of legal status to work for your J-1 employer. Many universities offer the J-1 in one-year intervals and extend their postdocs’ status each year assuming there is sufficient funding for their research. If you enter the United States on a J-1 visa or change to J-1 status from F-1 student status, your university will give you a Form DS-2019 with an expiration date on it. That date is the date on which your J-1 status ex- pires in the United States, and you should ask your employer to extend it as early as possible. Some universities will extend your status well in advance of the expiration while others will wait until the last minute, especially if you are not proactive in raising the issue. An important thing to remember is that some of the J-1 visas are subject to the “two-year rule,” also known as the “two- year foreign residence requirement.” If the J-1 visa in your passport indicates “subject to section 212(e),” then you are re- quired to return to your home country (note: not just leave the United States, but actually return to your own home country)

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Career Development

and spend two years there before applying for a green card or changing your status in the United States. The idea behind the J-1 two-year rule is that you are learning skills in the United States that you can later use to help your home country. Although you cannot control the rules that determine wheth- er or not you will be subject to the two-year rule, you should be aware of it before you accept a J-1 visa. Most people with J-1 visas that are subject to the rule can avoid the two-year foreign residency requirement by filing for a “waiver.” While there are three ways to apply for the waiver, 99 percent of them are what is known as “no objection” waivers. To obtain a no objection waiver, your country must agree to a waiver of the two-year rule. If your country agrees, the United States will grant your waiver. If you are from a country that generally grants the no objec- tion waiver, the two-year rule can cause problems with the timing of your eventual green card application (which is made by filing a Form I-485). You should, however, still be happy to get a J-1 visa as there is always a way to work around this issue. The problems are caused by a law that states if you have applied for a green card, you can no longer extend your J-1 visa. This can be a problem as you must have valid J-1 status or a work authorization card (also known as an EAD or Employment Authorization Document) to work legally in the United States. When you submit a green card application, you always simultaneously submit an application for an EAD, as well as a travel document. However, the Immigration Service often takes anywhere from three to six months to issue an EAD and a travel document (also known as “Advance Parole”). Another law states that you automatically abandon your green card application if you travel outside of the United States before you receive your EAD and travel permit. This means that it is extremely important that you: (1) have more than six months left on your J-1 at the time you submit your green card application, and (2) have no travel plans for six months. Historically, it has taken about three to four months for the Immigration Service to issue an EAD and travel docu- ment, but there was a brief time in 2019 when it was taking up to eight months, so we prefer to file for clients with seven or more months left on their J-1 visas. Labor Certification In general, very few private companies will file a petition for you to get a green card unless you win the H-1B lottery and have worked for the company for at least one or two years. As I mentioned above, an H-1B visa can be valid for up to six years. However, if a company has filed a labor certification for you, more than one year before the expiration of your H-1B status, you may extend your H-1B status beyond six years.

This is necessary as it can take years from the filing of the labor certification until you are allowed to file a green card application due to visa backlogs. It should also be noted that if you have a tenure track teach- ing position, it is possible for a university to file a petition for a green card for you in the EB-1B category, and I will discuss that in a future article. Self-Petitioning for your Green Card Because it can be so difficult to get an H-1B visa to work for a private company, it is important that you understand how you can self-petition for a green card without any help from an employer. The EB-1A category, or “Extraordinary Ability,” has extremely high standards, but only people from China and India use this category due to visa backlogs. If you are from any other country, you will almost certainly file your self-pe- tition in the NIW category, which requires high qualifications, but far lower than those required in the EB-1A category. I will discuss how to self-petition in the EB-1A and NIW categories in next month’s issue. I will explain the importance of timing in more detail in future articles and we will look at some examples of common time- lines from some of our actual cases. There are many factors that determine when you should file a green card application including your career plans, when your current status expires, whether you have a new employer prepared to file an H-1B petition for you, what your qualifications are (such as citation level), whether you are married, and what your spouse’s im- migration status is. When we do individualized consultations, we always draw a timeline for our clients, which clarifies when each step should be taken depending on your personal situation. — Marco Pignone III , Getson and Schatz, P.C.

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Subgroups Bioenergetics, Mitochondria andMetabolism

infection. The symposiumwill feature a keynote talk from the esteemed Helen Saibil. Helen Saibil , Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom Sharon G. Wolf , Weizmann Institute, Israel Dimitry Tegunov , Max Planck Institute, Germany Gira Bhabha , Skirball Institute, USA Lori A. Passmore , MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, United Kingdom Nieng Yan , Princeton University, USA Radostin Danev , University of Tokyo, Japan Lexi Walls , University of Washington, USA Tristan Croll , University of Cambridge, United Kingdom Siew Siew Pang , Monash University, Australia — Charles Sindelar , Chair Membrane Fusion, Fission and Traffic The Membrane Fusion, Fission and Traffic Subgroup (MFFT) is pleased to announce the following speakers who will present their work on “SubgroupMonday” during the 2021 BPS Annual Meeting. Please join the MFFT Subgroup when you register for the BPSmeeting and join us for an exciting line-up of speakers on Monday, February 22, 2021, 10 am –2 pm EST. Elizabeth Chen , University of Texas, Southwestern, USA David DeGregorio , Institut Pasteur, France Adam Frost , University of California, San Francisco, USA Gregory Melikian , Emory University, USA Dragomir Milovanovic , German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Germany Carole Parent , University of Michigan, USA Simon Scheuring , Weill Cornell Medicine, USA 2021 Sir Bernard Katz Awardee Joshua Zimmerberg , National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, USA Looking forward to seeing everyone online at the meeting, — Jenny Hinshaw , Chair Membrane Transport Oliver Beckstein will give a talk at the 2021Membrane Transport Subgroup Symposium, “The Transport Cycle of a Sodium/Proton Antiporter.” Oliver Beckstein is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and the Center for Biological Physics at Arizona State University. His research group uses and develops computational methods to better understand the molecular mechanisms of biological processes, in particular, transmembrane transport by membrane proteins. He also has broad interests in computational method and software development, including the development of novel algorithms to sample and analyze molecular systems.

The Bioenergetics, Mitochondria andMetabolismSubgroup is announcing the 2021 Virtual Symposium: “Mitochondrial and Metabolic Mechanisms of Lifespan and Healthspan Extension,” chaired by Sonia Cortassa and Miguel A. Aon , onMonday, February 22, 2021, 10 am –2 pm EST, during the Virtual 65th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society. The symposium focuses on biology of aging, at the crossroad betweenmitochondrial metabolism, biophysics, and geroscience. In this broad landscape, mitochondria respond to stress, signaling the nucleus, protecting their DNA, modulating post-translational modifications of their ownmolecular machinery while carrying out central metabolic processes and gene expression through transcription and DNAmethylation. This symposiumwill explore many of these mechanisms through a select group of investiga- tors at the forefront of this research field. Deborah M. Muoio , Duke University Medical Center, USA Prospective topic: Mitochondrial bioenergetics response to acetylation post-translational modifications and impact on insulin resistance and redox stress. Ann Chiao , University of Washington, USA Prospective topic: Mitochondrial function andmTOR signaling in aging and healthspan. Rafael de Cabo , Translational Gerontology Branch, National Insti- tute on Aging, NIH, USA Prospective topic: The impact of NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreduc- tase 1 (NQO1) on health andmitochondrial, glucose and lipid metabolism John M. Denu , University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, USA Prospective topic: Mitochondrial metabolism and the epigenome Plácido Navas , University Pablo Olavide CSIC, Spain Prospective topic: Coenzyme Q at the hinge of mitochondrial health andmetabolic disease Cryo-EM Please join us for an outstanding program as we enter the next phase of the “resolution revolution.” In the midst of global tumult, we have amazing developments including a chain-traceable EM density map using sub-tomogram averaging from an intact bac- terium.  Speakers will describe surprising new findings on phase plates, new developments in heterogeneity analysis, and other advances and how these techniques have enabled discoveries in diverse, challenging biological processes including DNA repair, membrane pore formation, and of course, novel coronavirus

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