Biophysical Society Bulletin | October 2023

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October 2023


BPS Honors Eleven Outstanding Biophysicists The Biophysical Society is pleased to announce the 2024 Society Award recipients. These members will be honored during the 68th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in February 2024.

Steven G. Boxer Susan K. Buchanan

Nancy Carrasco Takanari Inoue

Christy F. Landes

Kandice and Ilya Levental

Julia Mahamid

M. Thomas Record, Jr.

Frances Separovic

Lu Wei

Steven G. Boxer , Stanford University, USA, will receive the Founders Award for his insightful and far-reaching contributions to biophys ics, using his invention of vibrational Stark spectroscopy coupled with mutational analysis and structure to provide deep mechanis tic understandings of photosynthetic reaction centers, fluorescent proteins, vesicle membrane fusion in self-assembling bilayers, and electric field effects in enzymes and proteins. Susan K. Buchanan , National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, USA, will receive the Anatrace Membrane Protein Award for her impactful contributions to the understanding of outer membrane protein folding and inser tion and for structural insights into small and large molecule active transport across the outer membrane. Nancy Carrasco , Vanderbilt University, USA, will receive the BPS Award in the Biophysics of Health and Disease for her seminal and elegant work using biophysical approaches to define and charac terize the sodium/iodide transporter that is essential for synthe sizing thyroid hormone and then translating these findings into important medical applications.

Takanari Inoue , Johns Hopkins University, USA, will receive the Carolyn Cohen Innovation Award for his distinguished contributions at the interfaces of cell biology, chemical and synthetic biology, and biophysics, particularly for technology development to enable actuation of native, as well as artificial, cell functions with biologi cal and biophysical implications. Christy F. Landes , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, will receive the Kazuhiko Kinosita Award in Single-Mole cule Biophysics for her exciting developments of single-molecule measurement techniques and their application to chemical and biological systems such as polymers and ion channels. Kandice Levental and Ilya Levental , University of Virginia, USA, will receive the Avanti Award in Lipids for their collaborative, innova tive, and creative science, which has made outstanding contribu tions to the understanding of lipid biophysics, putting them among the world leaders in the field of membrane biophysics.


Julia Mahamid , European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Germany, will receive the Michael and Kate Bárány Award for profound contributions, both technical and biological, to the field of cryo-electron tomography. M. Thomas Record, Jr. , University of Wis consin–Madison, USA, will receive the Ignacio Tinoco Award of the Biophysical Society for his pioneering research on the thermodynamics of protein-nucleic acid interactions and his dedication to mento ring and teaching biophysical chemistry to generations of students.

Frances Separovic , University of Melbourne, Australia, will receive the Rosalba Kampman Distinguished Service Award for her inspiring service to the Biophysical Society, her ambassadorship of biophysics internationally, and for working vigorously throughout her career to encourage greater participation of women at all levels in science and engineering. Lu Wei , California Institute of Technology, USA, will receive the Margaret Oakley Dayhoff Award for her impactful develop ment of new live-cell functional chemical imaging strategies for quantitative intracellular biophysical analysis.

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Biophysicist in Profile

Public Affairs Publications

BPS Conference Annual Meeting

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Career Development

Member Corner In Memoriam Important Dates

Biophysicist in Profile

Susy C. Kohout Area of Research Membrane proteins with a focus on the interface between the electrical and chemical signaling of the cell

Institution Cooper Medical School of Rowan University


Susy C. Kohout , Associate Professor in the Biomedical Science Department at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, began to love science starting in high school when she took her first chem istry class. Her passion for chemistry led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in organic chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, where she also discovered biophysics in her senior year. She continued her education, earning a PhD at the University of Colorado Boulder in biochemistry with a certificate in biophysics. She now specializes in understanding how electrical signaling is translated into chemical signals inside cells.

Susy C. Kohout

Susy C. Kohout grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, but was born in the Dominican Republic. Her family immigrated to the Unit ed States when she was 14 months old. Her father is from Argentina and her mother is from Germany. She and her sisters were all born in different countries. “My father got his PhD in Agricultural Economy,” she says, “but if he had had more choic es, he would have been an engineer. My oldest sister is also a scientist in biotech.” “My interest in combining electrical and chemical signaling started back in undergrad when I took an electrophysiology lab with Dr. Henry Lester . I already knew that I loved the chemistry side, but cell signaling, and membrane potential, were new and exciting,” she explains. “I did a short postdoc with my PhD advisor, Dr. Joe Falke , working on bacterial chemotaxis,” Kohout shares. “My main postdoc was in Dr. Udi Isacoff ’s lab working on a newly discovered voltage regulated protein, the voltage sens ing phosphatase (VSP). Before VSP, only channels were thought to be controlled by voltage sensing domains (VSDs). VSP proved that VSDs are truly modular and can even control an enzyme. Specifically, VSP has direct control over phosphatidyli nositol phosphate (PIP) signaling cascades by changing the PIP concentrations in a voltage-dependent manner.” She adds, “The discovery of VSP was perfect timing for me since VSP uses the type of signaling that interests me. During my postdoc, I identi fied a mechanism for VSD coupling to the enzyme and discov ered that this coupling is potentially regulated by substrate and modulates enzyme activity. These findings paved the way for a structural analysis where I worked with structural biologists, Dr. Lijun Liu and Dr. Dan Minor , who solved several different crystal structures of the cytosolic phosphatase domain of VSP.” Building on those discoveries, Kohout helped generate models of activity derived from those structures and then tested those models using activity assays in live cells. Those activity assays revealed that the VSP mechanism of coupling is analogous to channel gating. She also determined that VSP can function as a monomer with voltage changes inducing a series of conforma tional changes that affect enzymatic activity.

Kohout is currently an Associate Professor in the Biomedical Science Department at Cooper Medical School of Rowan Uni versity (CMSRU). Her lab is split into two main areas: biophysics and physiology. She explains, “On the biophysics side, there’s a lot we don’t understand about how VSP works. Our current focus is on how dimerization impacts function. While I showed that VSP functions as a monomer during my postdoc, once I started my own lab, we discovered that VSP can also dimerize in a concentration-dependent manner. Oligomerization is well known to change how enzymes function, and we believe VSP is no different. Understanding how VSP dimers versus VSP monomers function is critical for being able to follow up other open questions in the field, like how lipids modulate VSP and even how we can use parts of VSP to create new tools like genetically encoded voltage indicators.” The biggest challenge of Kohout’s career thus far has been when her department at her previous institution was dis solved while she was going up for tenure. Her department was moved into another without much notice. She recalls, “We were told less than five minutes before a campus-wide email was sent announcing the decision. We were all stunned. Nothing in my training had prepared me for such an event. My department had supported me from the beginning of my time there, patiently answering all my questions from how to order equipment to how to be a good mentor, to how to be a good teacher and engage students in the classroom. They mentored me, advised me, helped me do experiments, shared resources with me; I can’t emphasize enough how much they helped my career, including getting tenure. Having that network complete ly dissolved from one day to another, for reasons that did not make sense to any of us, was very challenging. Many of those colleagues left after we were dissolved.” Kohout recounts, “While our ‘new’ department welcomed us, the entire situa tion left me feeling unsupported…I tried to make things work anyway. I volunteered for new departmental service, continued my established service, kept research going, acquired funding, kept teaching…overall tried to be a good citizen. But the sense that I didn’t matter at my institution never went away. I finally

October 2023



Biophysicist in Profile

Officers President Taekjip Ha President-Elect Gabriela Popescu Past-President Gail Robertson Secretary Teresa Giraldez Treasurer Samantha Harris Council Patricia Bassereau Margaret Cheung Henry Colecraft Martin Gruebele Kumiko Hayashi Syma Khalid Susan Marqusee Emmanuel Margeat Elizabeth Rhoades

realized I couldn’t make myself matter. I could only control my own actions, not those of others. So, I looked for other faculty positions, even looking for non-academic positions. I love being a professor. I love research; I enjoy teaching. I did not want to give all that up, but at the end of the day, I had to feel like my actions could make a difference. In the end, I was lucky. The right faculty position opened up at CMSRU and now I’m back to feeling like what I do matters.” On the contrary, Kohout shares that her most rewarding aspect of her work is getting an experiment to work. “Seeing the data come alive is very satisfying. It’s also very satisfying to see someone else collect the data, to see their joy in the moment. Or when a student, who has been struggling to see how the pieces fall togeth er, figures out the whole picture. These are all deeply rewarding aspects of my work,” Kohout declares. She shares that her favorite thing about bio physics is the broad range of topics that fall under the category. She details, “I have changed topics a few times since my first BPS meet ing, but I still do biophysics because of how I address my scientific questions. Learning new techniques, being quantitative, being open to different interpretations of the same data: these are all the things I love about biophysics.” When asked to share her thoughts on how she sees biophysics going in the future and what she hopes to contribute to biophysics, Kohout stated: “Diversity. I am a member of the Socie dad de Biofisicos Latinoamericanos (SOBLA), where we highlight and celebrate science from all Latin Americans. I really enjoyed and support the Black in Biophysics Symposium and the JUST-B Poster sessions at the 2023 BPS Annual Meeting. I was part of a group that wrote a Max imizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) Institutionally Focused Research Education Award to Promote Diversity (UE5) grant for BPS with the goal to pair K99 awardees with professional societies to improve their professional development and networking opportunities while enhancing the diversity of the scientific workforce. While we did not get the grant, this is something I believe BPS should continue to focus on. I would like us to get to the point where separate symposiums, poster sessions, mentoring programs, and the like aren’t needed. We aren’t there yet, and I hope to help move us in that direction.”

When not doing science or working in her lab, Kohout loves to hike and wander around in the wilderness. If she were not a biophysicist, she would do something related to plants since gardening is a serious hobby. She proclaims, “I love growing plants—particularly edible plants, and ones with medicinal properties…I also like propagating plants…For example, I’ve been propagating the same African violet for a couple of decades now. I give away the progeny when I end up with too many pots, just to then start the whole cycle again. I often end up as a plant rescuer, reviving dying plants for others or taking over their care entirely.” Kohout has been a long-time member of the Biophysical Society and engages with the com munity through volunteering. She claims that BPS has supported her throughout her career: “I admit to not realizing how many resources were available to me as a graduate student, but I did discover them as a postdoc. Sessions on funding, how to handle interviews, panels with scientists just one or two steps ahead ready to give advice and suggestions…These have all been extremely helpful, particularly during my transition from postdoc to assistant professor.” She goes on to note, “I find the community created by the Biophysical Society to be both special and useful. The Annual Meeting has so many ‘beyond science’ sessions that it’s hard to make it to all the ones I’m interested in and see all the science I want to see. BPS is definitely my “home” society.” Her advice to those just starting their careers in biophysics is that everyone’s path is different. Kohout tells us, “Twists and turns always hap pen, and I almost changed careers several times. When I started down my path of studying chem istry, I wanted to do something I loved doing. That always felt like my primary motivation. Lat er, I realized that I needed to feel like I mattered. I only realized this when I lost that feeling. So, I had to make some choices on how to get it back. There were a lot of different paths that could get me there. None of them were ‘right’ and none of them were ‘wrong.’ The world is not so clear cut even if we want it to be…Identify what you want and then figure out how to get there. Ask for help if you are struggling with the decision or how to get there. No one can make those types of decisions for you, but understanding your options is critical. You might be surprised that some options are easier than you expect.”

Kandice Tanner Valeria Vasquez Jing Xu Biophysical Journal Vasanthi Jayaraman Editor-in-Chief The Biophysicist Padmini Rangamani 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 Ray Wolfe Meredith Zimmerman Proofreader/Copy Editor 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 © 2023 by the Biophysical Society. Darren Early Laura Phelan

Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved.

October 2023



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Applications Are Open for the Biophysical Society 2024–2025 Congressional Fellowship Interested in using your science skills to inform science policy? Does spending a year working on Capitol Hill in Wash ington, DC helping to develop policy sound exciting? The Biophysical Society’s Congressional Fellowship Program is your opportunity to participate directly in the process of lawmaking that impacts how research is funded and reg ulated. This year-long opportunity provides fellows a chance to utilize their science knowledge to inform the public policy process. Fellows will gain firsthand knowledge and experience on how Congress works and will participate in the esteemed American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Fellows program that provides ongoing training and networking opportunities during the fellowship year and beyond. Visit https:/www. for more details about the program or contact Leann Fox at or (240) 290-5606. The application deadline is December 8, 2023 .

Six-Month Extension to United States Science and Technology Agreement with China The United States has secured a six-month extension to the U.S.-China Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement (STA). On August 23, a mere four days before agreement was set to expire, the State Department indicated that it would seek the extension while continuing to negotiate new agreement terms. Republicans have made clear they believe the deal should be scrapped, citing concerns about industrial espionage, forced technology transfers, and other tactics that could fuel China’s military modernization. Three members of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party introduced legislation coinciding with the announcement that proposed that any science and technology agreements be tween the two countries be subject to Congressional review. The six-month extension leaves little time to resolve a host of thorny issues, including how to protect intellectual prop erty rights to any findings, share data among collaborators, and ensure that research outcomes are fully reported. The Biden administration also faces calls to block joint work on any technologies that could have both civilian and military applications. The landmark deal, signed when Beijing and Washington established diplomatic ties in 1979 and renewed about every five years since, has shown that the geopolitical rivals could cooperate across a range of scientific and technical fields. It enables government agencies, universities, companies, and other entities in each nation to pursue joint research, and the

United States has similar bilateral research agreements with some 60 countries. However, concerns about China’s growing military prowess and theft of U.S. scientific and commercial achievements have prompted questions about whether the STA should continue. The proposed bill would require the State Department to provide Congress with assessments of security risks, technology transfers, and the U.S.’s ability to monitor China’s commitments within a set number of days, or any agreement would be revoked. Proponents of renew ing the STA argue that, without it, the United States will lose valuable insight into China’s technical advances. In early August, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) an nounced that it will no longer oppose unionization efforts by early-career researchers. Paperwork was filed with the Na tional Labor Relations Board earlier this summer requesting permission to hold an election of the 4,800 non-permanent researchers working within NIH facilities on the formation of a union. The proposed group of researchers is comprised of postdocs, graduate students, and postbaccalaureate researchers. Initially, NIH contended that the cohort of researchers was appointed and therefore did not consist of employees with the right to unionize. The withdrawal of NIH’s opposition now leaves the door open for an election to be scheduled. If the ef fort succeeds, it will be the first union formed by early-career researchers within a federal agency. NIH Withdraws Objection to Early-Career Unionization Vote

October 2023



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Around the World Nicaragua Assumes Control of Private University

subjecting them to possible criminal prosecution for failing to report foreign funding of their work. As a result, many researchers stopped publishing and the university stopped hosting international meetings. It is unclear how many faculty will return to the university under its new structure and leadership and how many will choose to pursue research elsewhere. Uruguay’s Water Crisis Affects Biomedical Research The scientific community in Uruguay is dealing with an unexpected crisis in its laboratories: highly salinized water causing essential equipment to fail. In an effort to deal with a three-year-long drought, the government-run water utility has added brackish water from the La Plata River estuary into a regional water system supplying more than 2 million people. At Udelar’s Center for Biomedical Research, researchers have compiled a long list of broken devices and ruined experiments that have been in process for many years. The scientific com munity was unprepared for the severity and rapidity of the water-quality decline and has criticized the government for a lack of communication over the water crisis. Researchers are now working on preparedness plans to avoid a similar crisis in the future.

On August 15, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega seized the assets of the private Central American University (UCA) and closed its campuses, before reopening the newly renamed Casimiro Sotelo Montenegro National University under new leadership. The move deals a serious blow to academic free dom and scientific autonomy and is the latest in a years-long effort by Ortega to consolidate power and crack down on perceived political opponents, including academics. In recent years, he has closed two dozen other, mostly smaller, private universities and the nation’s National Academy of Sciences. Once considered one of Central America’s top private uni versities, UCA maintained a faculty of approximately 500 and a student enrollment of about 6,000 primarily under graduate students. It was known for housing a wide array of research efforts, including a center for molecular biology and an institute of natural sciences. Over the past decade, the university has faced increasing scrutiny from Ortega’s party, the Sandinista National Liberation Front. The government also tightly regulated faculty research efforts, barring researchers from accessing public records such as national statistics and

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October 2023




Know the Editor Hagen Hofmann

Editor’s Pick

Weizmann Institute of Science Associate Editor Biophysical Reports

Hagen Hofmann

What are you currently working on that excites you? We are working on a number of exciting topics. Our main goal is to understand a very special class of proteins called intrinsically disordered proteins. The vast number of biological functions these proteins perform is disproportionate to their inability to form structure. Why did evolution create these strange proteins? What advantage do they confer? And most importantly, how do they work? This is a fantastic playground for biophysicists. Biology, chemistry, and physics must go hand in hand to have any chance of understanding. Our advanced single-molecule technologies provide only a blurry window into the nanoworld of proteins. It is the combina tion with theory, simulations, and other methods that often makes the picture clearer. The greatest moments are when all the little pieces fall into place. What has been your most exciting discovery as a biophysicist? It is difficult to say, and I am naturally inclined to pick the most recent project, simply because it is the one I think about most often. The discovery that DNA can transmit molecular signals over long distances, like a wire, and that some bac teria use this transmission to switch phenotypes is certainly an exciting discovery, even if we do not yet understand how it works. But ask me again in a year’s time. The answer will probably be different.

Biophysical Journal Simulated dynamic cholesterol redistribution favors mem brane fusion pore constriction Andrew H. Beaven, Kayla Sapp, and Alexander J. Sodt “Using all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of com plex membrane fusion pores, the authors demonstrate that cholesterol is depleted in the pore neck because of the membrane thinning inherent to such pores. This observa tion directly addresses a contradiction of cholesterol: that it thickens bilayers yet favors the curvature of a leaflet that is thinned. The ramifications for membrane elasticity directly impact the mechanism for how sterols change the membrane forces that resist reshaping.”

Version of Record Published December 31, 2022 DOI: https:/

Ticket to Ride, Admit One: Graduate School Application Panel November 1, 2023, 1:00 pm USA Eastern Time Thinking of graduate school? Join us for a panel discussion with current graduate students and faculty administrators to answer questions about applying for graduate programs, interviews, and graduate life.

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October 2023



BPS Conference

Proton Reactions: From Basic Science to Biomedical Applications Tahoe, California, USA | August 20–24, 2023

The Biophysical Society Conference on Proton Reactions brought together outstanding experimental, computation al, and theoretical studies on proton reactions, from model systems to complex biochemistry and clinical applications. Colleagues came from all around the world—from North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. An overriding theme was the application of discoveries from basic sci ence to understanding and developing novel approaches to treat relevant diseases. The meeting included experimental scientists, theoreticians, computational modelers, clinicians, and trainees interested in the special and unique aspects of proton transport, pH regulation, proton chemistry, an en tire range of important molecules whose function relies on protons, the theory of proton transfer and electron-coupled proton transfer, and proton transfer reactions in the age of exascale computing. The 47 speakers ranged from early-ca reer scientists selected from the posters to invited seasoned investigators. Each talk was followed by questions and discussions, some of which were so vigorous they had to be truncated to preserve time for the next speaker. There were well-attended poster sessions each evening. The general consensus was that the conference was both scientifically intense and enjoyable, with prolific discussions during and after the formal sessions. The meeting was held surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Granlibakken Tahoe resort, where discussions from the sessions continued, sometimes late into the night. This exciting

conference had a difficult start. Initially planned for August 2021, it was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, in 2022, obtaining a conference site was complicated by wildfires in California. The organizers are most grateful to all the colleagues who supported the meeting over more than three years. That the meeting could finally take place in August 2023, is a testimony to the strong support from the community studying proton reactions, and it is hoped that the Tahoe meeting is only the first of its series. The meeting was organized by Ana-Nicoleta Bondar (Univer sity of Bucharest, Romania, and Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany) and Thomas E. DeCoursey (Rush University, USA). They would like to thank the sponsors of the conference for their generous support: the Chicago Center for Theoretical Chemistry, Böhringer Ingelheim, The Company of Biologists, and Journal of General Physiology . They are also most grateful to the meeting’s advisory board: Bernard Garcia-Moreno (Johns Hopkins University, USA), Marilyn Gunner (The City College of New York, USA), Jessica Swanson (University of Utah, USA), and Gregory Voth (University of Chicago, USA). Bondar and DeCoursey could not have organized the meeting without the support of the Biophysical Society and would like to express their gratitude to BPS Director of Meetings & Exhibits, Dorothy Chaconas , who guided and took care of all logistics together with her colleagues Maija Ibanez and Umi Zhou .

October 2023



Annual Meeting

Thank you to our sponsors: Bruker Carl Zeiss Microscopy LLC Chroma Technology Delmic HORIBA Scientific HÜBNER Photonics Leica Microsystems LUMICKS Mad City Labs Inc PicoQuant Photonics North America Inc. Sophion Bioscience A/S Sutter Instrument Thermo Fisher Scientific Worthington Biochemical Corp Are You Aware? Student members can take advantage of significantly reduced meeting registration and membership rates. Have your students submit an abstract and join the Biophysical Society today!

Student Opportunities Calling all students! What is in store for you at the BPS 2024 Annual Meeting? There are several sessions planned throughout the meeting to provide undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities to network with faculty members and other students from around the world and to explore a variety of career paths after graduation. Undergraduate Student “Pizza Breakfast” Sunday, February 11, 11:30 am –1:00 pm , USA Eastern Undergraduate students should plan to attend Graduate Student Breakfast Monday, February 12, 7:30 AM–8:30 AM, USA Eastern

Get inspired while eating breakfast! Graduate students should attend this breakfast for a chance to meet other students, discuss issues they face in their current career stage, and learn from others’ experiences. Limited to the first 100 attendees. Annual Meeting of the Student Chapters Monday, February 12, 11:00 AM–12:30 PM, USA Eastern Students and meeting attendees are invited to meet several BPS Student Chapters from around the world for an interactive workshop. Student Chapter officers and representatives will be onsite to share information about their Chapter and to learn about other Chapters. This session aims to establish Chapter interac tions, communications, and planning for future Student Chapter Annual Meeting sessions. If you are interested in learning about a Chapter near you, please plan to attend.

this session. It’s your chance to meet oth er students and network—not to mention pizza will be served! During this session, BPS Committee members and invited speakers will have a panel discussion with Q&A on academ ic and career paths in biophysics. This session is limited to the first 100 attendees. Education and Career Opportunities Fair Sunday, February 11, 1:00 PM–3:00 PM, USA Eastern Starting to look for a postdoc position? Or maybe you’re an undergraduate thinking about grad school? Check out the Educa tion and Career Opportunities Fair. Student attendees are invited to meet with represen tatives from educational institutions as well as industry and government agencies. Find out about open postdoc positions and laboratories seeking graduate students at universities with leading programs in biophysics. Stop by the fair to learn about the variety of opportunities available and to talk one-on-one with repre sentatives from participating institutions.

October 2023



Annual Meeting

Undergraduate Poster Award Competition (UPAC) Saturday, February 10, 3:00 PM–5:00 PM

Undergraduate Student Lounge Saturday, February 10 – Wednesday, February 14 Need to catch up on coursework? Or do you want to meet other undergraduate attendees? Stop by the Undergraduate Student Lounge throughout the meeting. Wi-Fi will be avail able. Student Housing Deadline: December 5, 2023 Affordable student housing is available for undergraduate and graduate student meeting attendees who are current Society members. To secure student housing, visit the Annual Meeting website. Student Volunteers Undergraduates and graduate students can volunteer their time at the Annual Meeting in exchange for complimentary meeting registration. Volunteers must be Society members with registration fully paid and must be willing to volunteer for six hours during the meeting. To apply, please send an email to by January 5, 2024, with the following information: full name, cell phone number, and complete list of dates/times available. Those selected will have their registration refunded after the meeting. Call for Future of Biophysics Symposium Speakers Do you know a young researcher doing cutting-edge research at the interface of the physical and life sciences? The Biophysical Society is seeking suggestions from you for speakers to be featured in the special Future of Biophysics Burroughs Wellcome Fund Symposium in Philadelphia. If you have a colleague who may be suitable for a nomina tion, visit https:/ and complete the required information fields by October 16, 2023.

UPAC gives undergraduate students a chance to present their research, to get recognition for the increasingly high quality of undergraduate research, and to encourage further partic ipation of undergraduates in the Biophysical Society and at the Annual Meeting. The Society awards and recognizes up to ten outstanding students who give the best overall poster presentations during the competition. Students are judged on the quality and scientific merit of their research, knowledge of the research problem, contribution to the project, and overall presentation of the poster. Judges look for students to present a clearly stated question, hypothesis, results, and conclusions. Registration deadline is January 4, 2024 . To learn more, go online at titions/poster-competitions. JUST-B Poster Session Monday, February 12, 3:00 PM–5:00 PM The JUST-B Poster Session highlights the achievements of underrepresented students, postdocs, and early career researchers. Present your work and network with BPS 2024 attendees. All are welcome to attend. To learn more and par ticipate, please visit just-b-poster-session. Student and Early Career Members are invited to apply to be paired with a mentor from among BPS Regular Members. Participants can meet with their mentor in person. Pairs are matched based on scientific interests from their member ship profiles, as well as the answers to a short questionnaire. Membership and meeting registration are required for partic ipation. In addition to being a great opportunity for Student and Early Career Members to have a mentor, mentors find this to be a valuable experience to meet with and encour age the next generation of biophysicists. Each mentor will only be paired with one person, on a first-come, first-served basis. You can sign up by going online at www.biophysics. org/2024meeting/program/professional-development-net working#mentor. Registration closes on January 4, 2024. One-on-One with a Mentor 2024meeting

October 2023



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October 2023



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How DMF improves SPR

Minimizes impacts of depletion and accumulation: by using 30X less surface area than conventional SPR platforms, rapid mixing rates, and multiple droplet cycles. Lowers signal artifacts: through DMF-based delivery of samples to sensors. Instead of buffer blank subtraction, Alto uses a detrend ing algorithm to correct for any baseline drift.

Increases precision and accuracy: through automated sample manipulation. Alto demon strated superior precision and accuracy against mechanical pipettes and liquid handlers. Decouples interaction time from sample volume: with droplet

oscillation that enables unlimited sample interaction time without any sample dispersion.

Interested in learning more about Alto digital SPR? Contact us today!

Reduces mass transport limitations: by lower ing the diffusion boundary layer to be equiva lent to fast flow rates and confining the detec tion range to use lower amounts of ligand.

October 2023




Subgroups Biological Fluorescence

Biopolymers in Vivo We are very excited to preview the program for the 2024 Biopolymers in Vivo (BIV) Symposium, “Unraveling biomolec ular function during growth, aging, and disease,” to be held on the first afternoon of the 2024 Biophysical Society Annual Meeting on Saturday, February 10, 2024, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Confirmed BIV speakers include: Katherine Mo relli , McGill University; Emma Carroll , San Jose State University; Steven Boeynaems , Baylor College of Medicine; Davit Potoyan , University of Iowa; Kristin Koutmu , University of Michigan; Minjoung Kyoung , University of Maryland; Randal Halfman , Stowers Institute for Medical Research; and Seung Yon Rhee , Michigan State University. The symposium will end with a talk by the recipient of the BIV Young Faculty Award (www., who receives a check for $500 and a commemorative plaque. If you are an early faculty member whose recent achievements focus on cutting-edge investigations of biomolecular process es in living organisms, we highly encourage you to apply. The deadline is December 1, 2023. Alternatively, please consider encouraging your eligible colleagues to do so! The Subgroup dinner will be held at Maggiano’s at 12th and Filbert Streets. Please remember to sign up for the dinner via the BPS website: egories=subgroups! And last, but not least, also don’t forget to sign up for or renew your BIV Subgroup membership when you register for the Annual Meeting. A healthy membership number is critical for BPS to continue to support the BIV Sub group. The BIV Subgroup Committee is looking forward to an exciting meeting—see you there! — Robert Best , Chair Intrinsically Disordered Proteins We are excited to announce the confirmed speakers for the 2024 Intrinsically Disordered Proteins (IDP) Symposium: Rebecca Berlow , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Peter Chung , University of Southern California; Dorothee Dor mann , Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz; Monika Fuxreiter , University of Padova; Jerelle Joseph , Princeton University; Hyun Lee , University of Toronto; and Kevin Solomon , University of Delaware. We will also have oral presentations from two selected Postdoctoral Award winners. Postdoctoral scientists working in the IDP field who are interested in this opportu nity to share their research accomplishments with us (and win a cash prize) can find instructions at www.biophysics. org/Awards-Funding/Subgroup-Awards. We would like to encourage women and other underrepresented scientists at the postdoctoral stage to consider applying. Plans for the Subgroup dinner are advancing, and details will be announced in a later BPS Bulletin .

The Biological Fluorescence Subgroup will have its annual meeting on February 10, 2024, from 1:00 PM to 5:30 PM, as part of the 68th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We have an exciting program this year with invited speakers Joerg Bewersdorf , Yale School of Medicine; Katrin Heinze , Würzburg University; Sudipta Maiti , TATA Institute; Victoria Bikerdal , Aarhus University; Melike Lakadamyali , University of Pennsylvania; and Fernando Stefani , University of Buenos Aires. Our invited speakers will present on a wide range of relevant topics for Biological Fluorescence. The session will also feature rapid-fire poster highlight talks by promising young researchers in the field. We will conclude the Subgroup session with the announce ments and presentations for the Young Fluorescence Inves tigator Award and the Gregorio Weber Award. For details on eligibility and nomination requirements for these awards, please visit the Subgroup website at subgroups/biological-fluorescence-1. The deadline for nominations for the Gregorio Weber Award is October 31, 2023, and for the Young Fluorescence Investigator Award it is December 30, 2023. We will conclude our celebration with a Subgroup dinner at Village Whiskey ( Tickets for dinner can be purchased through the registration portal at a cost of $65 for Members and $40 for Early Career and Student Members. Limited tickets are available. Lastly, we invite nominations for the officer positions of the Subgroup: treasurer and chair-elect for 2026. The Subgroup session is open to any member of the Biophysical Society registered for the Annual Meeting; however, we encourage you to join the Subgroup through the Biophysical Society website, as membership fees are essential for paying for the costs of the venue and associated audiovisual fees. The link for membership is, and remember to select membership in the Biological Fluo rescence Subgroup during the process. We look forward to seeing you for our exciting Saturday afternoon session at the 68th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. — Hugo Sanabria , Chair

— Nikkos Hatzakis , Treasurer — Claus A.M. Seidel , Chair-Elect

October 2023




California; Benoit Roux , University of Chicago; and Ming Zhou , Baylor College of Medicine. We invite passionate young scientists studying the molecular mechanisms of membrane transport to share their work and engage with the membrane transport community. Submit a short talk to be presented at the Membrane Trasnport Subgroup Symposium. Postdoctoral researchers and PhD stu dents are especially encouraged to apply. Selected presenters will have the opportunity to deliver a 10-minute talk followed by a 3- to 5-minute Q&A session. This concise format allows you to effectively convey your findings and stimulate discus sions with fellow attendees, both during and after the sympo sium. To apply, please send your abstract to Wei Lü (, Lyna Luo (, and Seok-Yong Lee ( by November 6, 2023. Please feel free to reach out if you need further information. Physical Cell Biology The Physical Cell Biology Subgroup is soliciting nominations for two awards, an Early Career Award for postdoctoral researchers or pre-tenure principal investigators and a Student Award for master’s or PhD students. The awardees will receive a cash prize and will present their work at the Subgroup Symposium on February 10, 2024, during the BPS Annual Meeting. Deadlines for both awards are January 12, 2024! Self-nominations are accepted. Please send nomina tions to the Subgroup Chair, Stefanie Redemann (sz5j@virginia. edu), and Program Chair, Jianhua Xing (, with the subject “Physical Cell Subgroup Award for Early Career Scientist” or “Physical Cell Subgroup Award Students.” More details regarding eligibility and the nomination packages can be found at group-awards. We look forward seeing you at the 2024 symposium in Phil adelphia themed “Interplay between theory and experiment in Physical Cell Biology.” Invited speakers include Fabrisia Am brisio , Harvard University; Timothy Elston , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Ming Guo , Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ao Ma , University of Illinois Chicago; and Arpita Upadhyaya , University of Maryland. We especially welcome contributions from early stage investigators. Abstracts not selected for a talk during the BPS Annual Meeting will have the chance to be selected for a presentation during our new Annual Virtual Networking Event in the fall (more information to be announced).

The committee is looking forward to what promises to be an exciting meeting and really hopes lots of you can join us in Philadelphia! Please do sign up or renew your IDP member ship when you register for the BPS Annual Meeting. — Sarah Shammas , Chair-Elect Mechanobiology The Mechanobiology Subgroup is very pleased to announce its symposium at the 2024 BPS Annual Meeting in Philadel phia on Saturday, February 10, with talks from Orion Weiner , University of California San Francisco; Viola Vogel , ETH Zürich; Rebecca Wells , University of Pennsylvania; Shamik Sen , IIT Bombay; Allen Ehrlicher , McGill University; Rafael Tapia Rojo , King’s College London; and Margaret Gardel , University of Chicago. In addition, for the first time, we will have the oppor tunity to extend this scientific event at a dinner organized by Dennis Discher at the University of Pennsylvania. You will need to register for the dinner when you register for the BPS Annu al Meeting. We have about 60 places available. Please support the Mechanobiology Subgroup by joining at www.biophysics. org/subgroups. We look forward to seeing you at the 2024 Mechanobiology symposium. The Mechanobiology Subgroup is pleased to call for nomina tions for its 2024 Early Career Award. This Early Investigator Award will recognize someone whose work has led to major advances in our understanding at the molecular, cellular, and/or organismal levels, in how mechanical forces influence cell behavior. The criteria for eligibility are detailed at www. The nom ination deadline is November 1, 2023. The award recipient will be granted an honorarium and will give a 30-minute talk at the Mechanobiology Subgroup Symposium. The Mechano biology Subgroup Committee is looking forward to receiving nominations with a CV and research statement at Mechano Do not hesitate to spread the word to talented young mechanobiologists! — Patricia Bassereau , Chair — Nils Gauthier , Secretary-Treasurer — Amit Pathak , Chair-Elect Membrane Transport The Membrane Transport Subgroup Symposium will take place on Saturday, February 10, 2024, during the BPS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This platform will bring together leading experts and emerging researchers to discuss the latest advancements in membrane transport. This year’s lineup of invited speakers includes: Fatemeh Khalili-Araghi , University of Illinois Chicago; Chia-Hsueh Lee , St. Jude Chil dren’s Research Hospital; Emily Liman , University of Southern

— Stefanie Redemann , Chair — Jianhua Xing , Program Chair

October 2023



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