Biophysical Society Bulletin | September 2023

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September 2023


2023 Election Results The Biophysical Society members elected Lynmarie K. Thompson , University of Massachusetts Amherst, to the office of President-Elect in this year’s elections. She will assume that office during the 2024 Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in February 2024. She will begin her term as President in February 2025. Members elected to Council are Taviare L. Hawkins , Wagner College, USA; Anne K. Kenworthy , University of Virginia, USA; Anita Niedziela-Majka , Gilead Sciences, Inc., USA; and Tamar Schlick , New York University, USA. Each will serve a three-year term beginning in February 2024. The Society is indebted to all the excellent candidates who agreed to run for these positions. Thank you to all members who participated in the election by voting.

Lynmarie K. Thompson

Taviare L. Hawkins

Anne K. Kenworthy

Anita Niedziela-Majka

Tamar Schlick

Renew Your Membership for 2024 Make connections. Share your science. Stay in-the-know. Get involved.


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Biophysicist in Profile

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Biophysicist in Profile

Chrystal Starbird Area of Research Structural biology with specialization in x-ray crystallography

Institution University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Chrystal Starbird was first captivated by science as a second grader, starting a nature club at her school because she was fascinated by learning about animals and the environment. “I think that was really where it all started,” she shares. “However, in between that nature club and my life as a research scientist today there was a lot of uncertainty about what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a professional basketball player, a lawyer, a writer, and, at one point, I was certain I wanted to be President—because why not? But when I look back, it’s clear that science was the subject that most greatly matched both my interests and my talents.”

Chrystal Starbird

Chrystal Starbird , Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Car olina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, was born in Tacoma, Washington but grew up in Boston, Massachusetts with her brother and mother, who raised the children as a single parent. “She didn’t finish high school or have a stable profession as I was growing up,” Starbird says, “but my mom has the curiosity that I think is a trademark of all scientists. We were quite poor, but she would do things like take my brother and me to a park and pick up snakes and scoop up tadpoles. I think that’s part of why I always felt so free to explore and excited to learn more.” Starbird received her bachelor’s degree from UNC Chapel Hill after completing some of her undergraduate studies at UNC Charlotte and a North Carolina community college. “I worked in many different fields from undergrad until graduate school, including time off from school working in academic core facilities and industry, but it was in a postbaccalaureate program at UNC that my true love of studying protein struc ture began, in a lab that studied the molecular machinery that controls bacterial chemotaxis,” she explains. “As part of my postbaccalaureate project, I determined eight structures of a chemotaxis protein, some to 1-angstrom resolution, and I was fascinated at the idea that I could visualize density for individual atoms of a protein.” After completion of her undergraduate studies, Starbird entered Vanderbilt University, where she earned her PhD in Chemical and Physical Biology. The biggest challenges of her career took place during these early years, as she dealt with life circumstances beyond what many of her peers were balancing. “I am a first-generation student from an impoverished background. I also had two children before I started graduate school, and my husband and I welcomed another child when I was in my second year at Vanderbilt. Sometimes it felt as if everything was difficult

and that achieving my dream of running my own lab was impossible. There were days when I had to take several buses, for example, to get to the lab because we couldn’t af ford to fix our car. On some of those days, I didn’t have money for the bus and my personal lunch, so I just went without eating, while always ensuring my kids had what they needed,” she recounts. “It was tough, but I was determined not to give up. No matter what you study in science, you learn to become a better problem solver, and I used all those skills to find solutions whenever they could be found. I asked questions, investigated, and learned to be my best advocate. Because of this, I was often very knowledgeable about resources avail able to my peers, so I was able to share this information with them on things like local food pantries, what childcare centers offered the best care for a reasonable price, special summer programs for kids, and mental health resources in the com munity.” After her PhD, she completed a postdoctoral position in the lab of Kathryn Ferguson at Yale University, where she worked on a new project investigating the structural basis of TAM receptor kinase activation. Starbird is now a new Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UNC Chapel Hill. “I am expanding on some of the work from my postdoc to build a clearer picture of how TAM receptors are activated, including their interactions with potential co-receptors,” she explains. “I hope that by using a combination of structural and cel lular studies, my lab can help us to get a clearer picture of how TAM receptors form bridging complexes between two cells and interact with co-receptors to promote downstream signaling. Because TAM receptors play a crucial role in the development of various diseases, including cancer, I am also working in collaboration with other labs at UNC with struc ture-based drug-design projects to develop therapies target ed to TAM receptors.”

September 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

As a new principal investigator, she has used lessons learned from her earlier challenges to inform how she supports her own trainees. “I feel like for some of us, when we are young, we dream of running our own labs not only to do cool science, but also to create the envi ronments we wish we had seen (or did see!) when we were training. For me, I felt there were several places my journey to faculty could have been less challenging if the support I received was different,” Starbird shares. “For example, I often speak on social media about the difficul ties I encountered with reimbursement culture in academia. As someone from a low-socioeconomic-status background and with children, I went to only one major confer ence in graduate school despite having inde pendent funding to support it, because I could not afford to wait two months for reimburse ment. Not only do I love interacting with stu dents because of their excitement and curiosity for science, but because I can work with them to create a scientific environment that is less about competition and more about enjoying the process of scientific discovery without unrea sonable hurdles.” Starbird believes that going forward, as bio physical methods become more approachable with technological advances, the average biophysicist will become less specialized. “We are seeing this now, with people like me who were trained in one major method (i.e., crystal lography) who are now employing other major techniques, such as cryo-electron microsco py and single-molecule tracking. I think the

biophysics field will continue to advance such that the average biophysicist feels increas ingly capable of using various techniques to answer their biophysical questions,” she says. “I also hope biophysics continues to become increasingly diverse. I remember my first major biophysical conference and being struck by how few people within a very large and thriving community looked like me. Now, when you go to the Biophysical Society meetings, there are several diverse interest groups, and you can go to special sessions such as the JUST-B poster session. Outside of research, helping to inspire increased diversity is what I hope to contribute to science. In my wildest dream, my future re search wins me lots of notice and awards such that my picture is in future textbooks and helps to redefine what a scientist looks like.” Her advice to those just starting their careers in biophysics is to have fun. “I think many of us are aware that biophysics can sometimes seem daunting and a bit ‘old school’ at first, but there really is so much that biophysicists do, and there are constantly new advances being made. I’m always amazed at the conferences and when reading journals to see so many of my peers pushing the boundaries of what we considered possible,” Starbird tells BPS Bulletin . “In vivo crystallography, atomic resolution elec tron microscopy, and highly accurate protein structure prediction: these were considered nearly impossible dreams just 20 years ago. Imagine what we can accomplish going forward if we give ourselves the license to have fun, to be creative, and to push boundaries!”

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

JUST-B Seminar Series Presentation! September 12, 2:00 pm USA Eastern Speakers: Raquel Short , UCSD and Juliet Obi , UMBC Pivot Power: How to Change Fields, Careers, Organizations, or Labs October 17, 2:00 pm USA Eastern Presented by Alaina G. Levine

Register Today at

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September 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 Washington, DC, helping to develop policy sound exciting? The Biophysical Society’s Congressional Fellowship program is your opportu nity to participate directly in the process of lawmaking that impacts how research is funded and regulated. 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 AAAS Science & Technology Fellows Program that provides ongoing training and networking opportunities during the fellowship year and beyond. Visit https:/ for more details about the program or contact Leann Fox at or (240) 290-5606. The application deadline is December 8, 2023.

Senate Adjourns with NIH Director Nomination Still in Limbo Nearly three months after President Joe Biden nominated National Cancer Institute Director Monica Bertagnoli to be the next Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), her nomination continues to languish under an objection from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Sanders, as Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, has vowed to stall all health nominee confirmations until he receives a commitment from Biden to negotiate over Medicare drug pricing. With Congress now in recess until after the Labor Day holiday, NIH is without formal leadership in place during a critical time in the appropriations process that has the House of Representatives looking to cut the NIH’s budget by 6%. NIH Bans the Use of AI for Peer Review On June 23, the NIH issued a formal notice (NOT-OD-23-149; https:/ OD-23-149.html) prohibiting NIH scientific peer reviewers from using natural language processors, large language models, or other generative AI technologies for analyzing and formulating peer review critiques for grant applications and research and development contract proposals. Meanwhile, the National Science Foundation has formed an internal working group to look at whether there might be appropriate uses of AI as part of the merit review process, and if so, what “guardrails” may be needed. For the funding agencies, confi dentiality tops the list of concerns, alongside the tendency for AI-generated content to be error prone.

University of Washington Postdocs and Staff Scientists Ratify New Contract Agreement Postdocs and staff scientists at the University of Washington voted overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying the agreement reached in early June with university administrators. The postdoc contract, which runs through January 2025, guar antees that most postdocs will be paid at least $65,508 this year and $68,456 in 2024, amounts that should exceed the state minimum for overtime-exempt salaried employees. However, postdocs who receive fellowships from external or ganizations and are paid directly by those organizations won’t see the same increases, though they will receive a $6,000 annual supplement from the university. The contract for staff scientists will cover three years and stipulates that the lowest-paid staff scientists will receive a 33% increase in the minimum salary by the end of the con tract. The contract will also provide access to a harassment prevention program, protection against layoffs, and the ability to achieve principal investigator status, which would mean they can be listed as a principal investigator on grant applica tions.

September 2023



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Around the World Mexican Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Challenge to Controversial Science Funding Law The controversial science funding law backed by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador , known as the General Law on Humanities, Science, Technology, and Innovation, now faces a legal challenge in the Mexican Supreme Court. The law creates a new national agency to oversee research and seeks to steer funds to fields judged critical to Mexico’s future, including health, agriculture, and environmental protection. Many scientists opposed the sweeping measure, saying it gives the government too much control over research and will make it difficult, if not impossible, for researchers and students at private universities to receive funding. Two groups—Connecting Paths Mexico, a human rights group, and CienciaPluralMx, a network of researchers—have helped more than 400 researchers file 41 individual and collective legal challenges. Courts have so far agreed to hear 37 of these challenges. On July 7, a judge evaluating one of the 37 cases issued a provisional suspension order. On July 13, the Supreme Court announced it would hear a challenge filed in June by federal legislators opposed to the law. The legislators argue that the measure’s passage was marred by numerous procedural violations. Last month, more than 500

academics and others working at 68 research institutions and universities signed a letter urging the court to accept the lawsuit. No date has been scheduled for the Supreme Court to take up the case, but it is expected to take months for the lower courts to consider the existing legal challenges. Australian Research Council Follows Suit on Ban of AI in Peer Review On July 7, the Australian Research Council (ARC) issued a pol icy banning the use of generative AI tools by grant assessors, following allegations that some assessor reports were being written by publicly available AI engines. The policy outlines potential risks including IT security, intellectual integrity and property protection, and the loss of confidential information. When information is entered into generative AI tools, it enters the public domain and can be accessed by unspecified third parties. The content, therefore, is not reliable and can lead to disputes about its true author. Elsewhere, the policy states: “Release of material into gener ative AI tools constitutes a breach of confidentiality and peer reviewers, including all detailed and general assessors, must not use generative AI as part of their assessment activities.” The full ARC policy can be found at: https:/ sites/default/files/2023-07/Policy%20on%20Use%20of%20 Generative%20Artificial%20Intelligence%20in%20the%20 ARCs%20grants%20programs%202023.pdf.

Mark Your Calendars and Plan to Participate in Biophysics Week 2024 Biophysics Week aims to increase public awareness and support for biophysics research. Join the 9th Annual Biophysics Week by planning an Affiliate Event. For details about support and planning your event, please visit biophysicsweek

September 2023




Know the Editor Alexandra Ros Arizona State University Associate Editor Biophysical Reports

BPS Believes in the Power of Peer Review BPS joins the scholarly publishing community in its annual celebra

tion of Peer Review Week from September 25–29. This year’s theme is “Peer Review and the Future of Publishing.” Technol ogy over time has changed the process of submitting research for consideration in a scholarly journal, but the principal of rigor

Alexandra Ros

What are you currently working on that excites you? All aspects of my work excite me, but currently I am especially passionate about developing microfluidic tools for protein crystallography applications with x-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs). Lately, we have been focusing on applying these methods to compact XFELs and synchrotrons. While the scientific applications of these powerful x-ray sources are still being explored, it is already evident that the amount of protein needed is a serious limitation. I am excited to collabo rate with researchers from other disciplines to overcome this limitation with novel approaches. I am also excited about con necting fundamental work on dielectrophoresis in microfluidic devices with current environmental challenges our planet faces. I believe that dielectrophoretic methods will be able to help us diagnose how much animals and human beings are exposed to micro- and nanoplastics, creating new insights into potential health impacts. What have you read lately that you found really interesting or stimulating (a paper, a book, science or not science)? I recently read about the Gilgo Beach murder cases in New York and how a suspect was found. I was intrigued by the initiative of a new female police chief in the associated county where the victims’ remains were discovered and how new methods in forensic science were used to identify victims and potential suspects. It was also intriguing to learn how cell phone data can be used to pinpoint a suspect’s residence (even with “burner” phones). On the other hand, it also made me a bit uneasy, as that successful application shows the possibility of tracking devices and future scenarios where each and every step one takes can be precisely followed.

ous peer review by one’s peers to refine a paper and ensure it is ready for publication has remained. BPS is proud of the work of its authors, editors, and peer reviewers in making this process successful for more than 60 years for Biophysical Journal and, more recently, for The Biophysicist and Biophysical Reports . Looking forward, continuing changes in the scientific and publishing communities will influence where peer review goes from here. “Open” peer review models, consideration of non-article outputs such as data and code, open access mandates, and increasing demands on the time of peer re viewers are some of the factors that could mold and change the process. In addition to increased use of AI for analyzing large data sets, the availability of AI writing tools such as ChatGPT raises challenges concerning their use in the writing and review process: when their use is appropriate and, if not, how it can be detected and what the consequences should be for inappropriate use. The scholarly publishing community is always looking for ways to improve and streamline the peer review process. Technology, the shifting preferences of new generations of researchers, and other factors will continue to influence the future form of peer review; however, the scientific commu nity will continue working together to build on our collective knowledge. More information about webinars and other activities during Peer Review Week can be found at www.peerreviewweek.

Numbers By the

The BPS Student Chapters Program started in 2018, and there are currently 56 chapters—39 in the United States and 17 international.

September 2023



Call for Papers

Deadline for submission: November 30, 2023

Editors: Tamar Schlick (New York University) and Guowei Wei (Michigan State University) Special Issue: Machine Learning in Biophysics

With the pervasive usage of artificial intelligence tools in all aspects of our lives, biophysicists can certainly feel ahead of the curve from having developed and applied such tools for over a decade for important problems in biophysics. As the application scope has increased, machine learning algorithms have undoubt edly improved in sophistication, efficiency, and utility. It is impres sive today to realize how much can be deduced or predicted on the basis of large datasets without explicit programming. Yet, like every tool, caveats apply, and the best applications require a good understanding of the methods and their limitations. For a special volume dedicated to machine learning, Biophysical Journal invites contributions that address both algorithms and applications for a wide range of problems in biophysics. Article categories accepted include computational tools and research articles. If you are interested in writing a perspective or review article, please contact the editors, Tamar Schlick ( and Guowei Wei (, for pre-approval.

For more information, visit

Editor’s Pick Biophysical Reports Time-resolved burst variance analysis Ivan Terterov, Daniel Nettels, Dmitrii E. Makarov, Hagen Hofmann

“Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, particularly in combination with Förster resonance energy transfer, has been extremely successful in quantifying

the dynamics of biomolecules. A toolbox of different methods is available to date that extracts dynamic information from the stream of photons emitted from donor and acceptor dyes. Yet, some of these methods require long integration times. In others, the presence or absence of dynamics is difficult to judge by eye and only fits with kinetic models providing this informa tion. Therefore, we extended the popular method of burst variance analysis (BVA) to overcome some of these limitations. The new method, termed time-resolved BVA, quantifies dynamics from 5 μs to 5 ms at high accuracy with as little as 5,000 bursts. Static and dynamic heterogeneity can be distinguished from each other, and even dynamics slower than the diffusion time can be quantified. Time-resolved BVA is a natural extension of classical BVA and therefore is easy to implement by researchers in the field of single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer.” Version of Record Published July 6, 2023 DOI: https:/

September 2023



Annual Meeting

Thank you to our sponsors: Bruker Carl Zeiss Microscopy LLC Chroma Technology Delmic HORIBA Scientific Leica Microsystems LUMICKS Mad City Labs Inc PicoQuant Photonics North America Inc. Sophion Bioscience A/S Sutter Instrument Worthington Biochemical Corp

Present Your Research! Submitting your abstract not only benefits you, but your institution and the biophysics community. Be considered for a “Symp Select” speaker in one of the 20 symposia, as one of the more than 500 oral presentations in platform sessions, or as one of nearly 600 poster presenta tions held each day of the meeting. You will be reaching more than 5,000 researchers in bio physics from around the world. Benefits to you: Professional Development. Enhance your CV as a presenting author. Benefits to your lab or institution: Increased Visibility. Gain exposure for your

organization and funding institutions. Shared Knowledge. Bring the ideas and methods you learn back to your home institution, along with valuable, constructive feedback on your presented research. New Collaboration. Find opportunities to collaborate with other labs and leading researchers. Benefits to the biophysics community: Idea Contribution. Enrich the experience of attendees and contribute by sharing ideas. Industry Knowledge. Continue to build a growing body of useful, practical solutions to problems and research questions.

A Visible Platform. Submitting your abstract by the October 1 deadline grants you the op portunity to be considered for a “Symp Select” speaker, or one of the more than more than 500 oral presentation slots in platform ses sions where you could present your research to meeting attendees. Publication Credit. Have your accepted abstracts published and included in a supple ment to Biophysical Journal . Constructive Feedback. Get insightful re actions to the ideas and approaches in your research methods from peers and colleagues. Strategic Connections. Increase your visibility and leadership potential by meeting contacts and colleagues in this interdisciplinary com munity.

Don’t Forget... abstracts submitted to the Biophysics Education category will also be reviewed in an appropriate scientific abstract category for platform presentation consideration.

Attending the Annual Meetings of the Biophysical Society has been invaluable in facilitating connections with fellow researchers in the field and providing a platform to present my work. These gatherings offer a unique opportunity to engage in scientific discussions, exchange ideas, and establish collaborations with peers who share a common interest in biophysics. — Arne Gennerich, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

September 2023



Annual Meeting

Apply for a Poster or Travel Award Student Research Achievement Awards The Student Research Achievement Award (SRAA) competi tion provides graduate students (PhD and Master level) the opportunity to present their poster to senior researchers in their field. This is an excellent opportunity for graduate students to hone their presentation skills. If you are a facul ty member, please encourage your students attending the Annual Meeting to register for the competition.

Travel Awards Looking for funding to present your research at the Annual Meeting? BPS provides Travel Awards for members who are students, postdoctoral researchers, and scientists of all career levels to recognize excellence in biophysics and promote greater interaction among biophysicists throughout the world. Awards range in size, depending on travel distance to the Annual Meeting, up to a maximum of $750. Members from all over the world may apply, including those living in the Philadelphia area. Applicants must submit their abstract by the October 1 deadline and apply for Travel Awards by October 4, 2023. For more information and to apply online for the Student Research Achievement Awards, Travel Awards, and Under graduate Poster Award Competition, visit www.biophysics. org/2024meeting/awards-competitions. Plan Ahead and Reserve You Hotel Today! Students can secure special hotel rates. Student Housing Deadline: December 5, 2023 Regular Attendee Housing Deadline: January 26, 2024 Reserve Today at

In order to participate, students must submit their abstract by the October 1 deadline and apply for the SRAA Competition by October 4, 2023. Undergraduate Poster Award Competition The Undergraduate Poster Award Competition provides un dergraduate students the opportunity to grow as a presenter by presenting to a diverse group of incisive judges searching for high-quality undergraduate research. 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.

Applicants must apply by January 4, 2024.

JUST-B Poster Session For the third year, the JUST-B (Justice for Underrepresented Scholars Training in Biophysics) Poster Session will celebrate the achievements of underrepresented and underserved students, postdocs, and early career researchers in the field of biophysics. To present your poster during this event, you must submit an abstract for the Annual Meeting and submit an application by January 4, 2024. For specific application requirements, please visit 2024meeting

September 2023



Special Issue Call for Papers: Effective Mentoring of Biophysicists Deadline for submissions: January 31, 2024

Mentoring is a major responsibility of biophysicists and biophysics educators in which nearly all members of the biophysics community engage. Although we have a robust research community that focuses on best practices for mentoring, relatively few biophysicists present their work in this area to our community in publications. We therefore wish to make this work more visible within the Biophysical Society and international biophysics community, to disseminate the lessons learned, and thus enhance the mentoring of biophysicists, particularly those at early stages of their careers. Toward that end, the Editorial Board of The Biophysicist invites articles documenting effective practices for the mentoring of early career scientists and trainees at all levels, for this special issue. Submissions can be structured as Articles or Reports and may, respectively, be part of formal curricular elements in a program or center or may be about informal practices used by individuals who advise early career scientists or trainees. Articles should provide more than anecdotal evidence of the impact of these prac tices by including appropriate formative and/or summative assessments documenting developmental growth that is the result of their mentoring activities. In addition, we invite students and trainees to describe unique aspects of their mentoring experiences (as both mentees and as near-peer mentors of more junior students), in short contributions to our Student Forum. Areas of interest might include but are not limited to:

• Transition into laboratory research • Running an effective journal club

• Pedagogical training of teaching assistants, graduate students, and/or post-doctoral trainees through formal or informal programs • Efforts toward diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect in departments or research centers • Evidence-based efforts (e.g., as included in grants award ed to middle- and senior-level biophysicists) that support mentoring

• Developing mentoring and lab management skills • Career training and guidance of graduate students and post-doctoral scientists • Maintaining work-life balance

This is an excellent opportunity for team leaders who run training programs or centers to document and publish on the impactful mentoring work they are doing within their units. Such publications may be highly beneficial as evidence of your work in this area at the time of your grant renewal and will help disseminate effective practices across our community, making your work visible to your colleagues. In conjunction with this call, the Editorial Board of The Biophysicist and the BPS Education Committee will be co-hosting a webinar and discussion, Mentoring the Next Generation of Biophysicists, later in 2023. These conversations will be a valuable opportunity to hear about some of the work being done in this space and to discuss with editors and colleagues potential manuscripts. Infor mation about the webinar will be announced soon. Prospective authors should read the Information for Authors on the journal Web page and submit via the journal submission site. Pre-submission inquiries can be addressed to

To submit, visit https:/

September 2023



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Members in the News

William Catterall , University of Washington and member since 1990, received a Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR).

Justus Gabriel , The United States Military Academy and member since 2022, was named a 2023 Goldwater Scholar.

William Catterall

Justus Gabriel

Grants & Opportunities Sloan Research Fellowships The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation seeks nominations of out standing early career researchers for the Sloan Research Fellowships in the fields of chemistry, computer science, Earth system science, economics, mathematics, neurosci ence, physics, or a related field. Who can apply: Candidates must hold a PhD and be a tenure-track member of the faculty of a degree-granting institution of the United States or Canada, with a regular teaching obligation. Deadline: September 15, 2023 Website: https:/

National Science Foundation: Alan T. Waterman Award The Alan T. Waterman Award is the highest honor award ed by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). This award was established to recognize outstanding young researchers in any field of science or engineering support ed by the NSF. Each awardee receives a medal and a grant of $1,000,000 over five years for scientific research or advanced study at the institution of the recipient’s choice. Who can apply: Nominees must be U.S. citizens or per manent residents and must be 40 years of age or younger or not be more than 10 years beyond receipt of their PhD. Deadline: September 15, 2023 Website: https:/ waterman#nominations-251

Student Spotlight

Aarion Romany University of Maryland, Baltimore What skill have you learned in your studies that you find useful in other aspects of your life? I would say time management. Learning to balance research, teaching, extracurricular activities, and self-care is a very difficult skill, one that I am still improving on today. Even within research, knowing which projects to prioritize is something that I learned over time.

Aarion Romany

September 2023



Thematic Meeting

Towards a More Perfect Union: Multi-Scale Models of Muscle and Their Experimental Validation Canterbury, UK, July 17–20, 2023

Attendees from Europe, North America, and Asia met at the University of Kent in Canterbury, United Kingdom to present their research and discuss ways for experimentalists and computational modelers to work more closely together. The meeting included 88 scientists, clinicians, and trainees interested in cardiac and skeletal muscle structure and function, how these are altered in disease, and how this information can be used to develop novel approaches to treat diseases. Each day featured a keynote speaker, whose talk introduced the subjects for talks of the day, and each session had multiple invited speakers and one selected by an ear ly-stage investigator committee from the abstracts submit ted for the meeting. There were also two panel discussions

to stimulate further discussion of ways to combine computa tional models and experimentation to gain new insights into muscle. Attendees agreed that the meeting was timely, given recent advances in experimental technologies and computa tional tools. For example, new high-resolution structures of sarcomere thin and thick proteins were reported alongside protein molecular dynamics models based on the structur al data. These new higher-resolution models were used to predict the mechanisms of therapeutic small molecules. Another theme was focused on the integration of new, struc ture-based computational models of muscle over multiple scales and experiments designed to validate these models.

September 2023



Thematic Meeting

In addition to speakers, 33 posters were presented during the three active poster sessions, which allowed for vigorous discussions and the generation of new ideas. Biophysical Journal sponsored four awards for outstanding poster presentations by graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Congratulations to the four awardees! In addition to science, there was time for social interactions and sightseeing in the medieval town of Canterbury, such as the historic Canterbury Cathedral, and the ocean-side town of Whitstable. The meeting was organized by Michael Regnier (University of Washington, USA) and Michael Geeves (University of Kent, United Kingdom), with Neil Kad (University of Kent, United Kingdom) as the local organizer. The organizing committee also consisted of Silvia Blemker (University of Virginia, USA), William Lehman (Boston University, USA), Andrew McCulloch (University of California San Diego, USA), Jil Tardiff (University of Arizona, USA), and Jolanda Vander Veldon (Amsterdam University Medical Center, The Netherlands).

Congratulations to the Winners of the Biophysical Journal Poster Competition Student Winners and Poster Titles: Saffie Mohran , University of Washington, USA Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Mutation R403Q Develops Ac tin-Mediated Mechanical and Structural Dysfunction in Porcine Ventricle Tissue Ateeqa Naim , University of Kent, United Kingdom Investigating the Spatial Distribution of SRX in Cardiac Myofibrils Using Single Molecule Imaging Abigail Teitgen , University of California San Diego, USA 2-Deoxy-ATP Improves Systolic Ventricular Function in a Multi scale Computational Model of Heart Failure

Poster Award Winners with Judging Panel Co-Chair Sam Harris (right)

Postdoc Winner and Poster Title: Divya Pathak , Stanford University, USA HCM-Causing Mutations G256E and G768R in B-Cardiac Myosin Cause Hypercontractility by Opening Myosin Heads

BPS 2024 IUPAB Lecturer

The IUPAB-sponsored invited speaker at BPS 2024 will be Tamara Rosenbaum of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City. Rosenbaum will speak at the symposium “New Insights into Ion

Channel Regulation.” She is currently a full-time professor and Chair of the Department of Cogni tive Neurosciences at the Institute for Cellular Physiology of UNAM, where she works on several aspects of the structure of TRP channels and their roles in physiology. Rosenbaum is a member of the Biophysical Society, the Mexican Society for Neurosciences, the Mexican Society for Physiolog ical Sciences, the advisory editorial board of the Journal of General Physiology , and editorial board of Cell Calcium . She is also an elected member of the Academies of Sciences of Latin America and an elected fellow of the Academy of Physiology of the International Union of Physiological Sciences. She has received several awards for her work including the award for the Best Young Investigator in Natural Sciences by the Mexican Academy of Sciences, the award for Best Young Investigator in Natural Sciences by the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the Glaxo-Smith-Klein Na tional Prize for Biomedical Research, two special grants by the Miguel Aleman Foundation, and the Marcos Moshinky Fellowship, among others.

Tamara Rosenbaum

September 2023




BPS Presents Student Poster Awards at EBSA Conference

The Biophysical Society was pleased to sponsor student poster awards at the recent 14th European Biophysical Societies Association (EBSA) Conference in Stockholm, Sweden that took place from July 31 through August 4. This was also the eighth EBSA meeting at which BPS held this competition. There were 129 students who participated, and 13 winners were selected to receive a $500 poster award, complimentary membership to BPS, and meeting registration to the 68th BPS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in February 2024. The winners, along with their home institutions and poster titles, are listed below.

Matilde Accorsi , Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Germany Calcium as a Protein-Free Fusogen in GUVs: An Elusive Effect Elena Ackermann , Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany Stay Viscoelastic: Mechanical Properties of Minimal Actin Cortices Accessed by Atomic Force Microscopy Nicoletta Braidotti , Università Degli Studi Di Trieste, Italy Piezo1 Channel Investigation in Cardiac Fibrosis Precursor Cells Mechano-physiology Debanjana Das , Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), India Metal-Binding and Circular Permutation-Dependent Thermody namic and Kinetic Stability of Azurin Eduarda Fernandes , Centre of Physics from Universities of Minho and Porto, University of Minho, Portugal Biophysical Insights of an Innovative Lipid-Engineered Stratum Corneum Model for Compound Permeation Studies Cenk Gurdap , Karolinska Institutet, Sweden High-Throughput Biophysical Mapping in Health and Disease Julia Valderas Gutiérrez , Lund University, Sweden Optical Biosensing and Single-Molecule Detection Enhanced with Aerotaxy Lightguiding Nanowires

Vilmantas Pupkis , Vilniaus Universitetas, Lithuania Electrical Excitability-Enhancing Action of Inositol 1,4,5 Trisphos phate (IP3) on Macroalgae Nitellopsis obtusa Ellen Sjule , Karolinska Institutet, Sweden A Guideline for Quantitative Characterization and Application of Environment-Sensitive Probes Anna Stoib , Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Austria Investigating the pH Dependent Solute Permeabilities of Helico bacter pyloris Urea Channel UreI Ana-Maria Udrea , National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics, Romania Laser Irradiated Chlorpromazine—Application in Breast Cancer Treatment Yagmur Balim Urem , Karolinska Institutet, Sweden A Guideline for Quantitative Characterization and Application of Environment-Sensitive Probes Jip Wulffele , Institut de Biologie Structurale, France Single Particle Tracking PALM Provides Insight into Nucleoid Re modeling in Deinococcus radiodurans

September 2023




Bill Wimley Publications Committee

Bill Wimley

selves to me at an Annual Meeting and thanked me because I was the editor for their very first paper, which was published in Biophysical Journal . Also, as a member of the Publications Committee, I participated in the interview process for select ing the Editors-in-Chief of the Society journals. It was inspir ing to interact with scientists, such as our current editors, who have such great passion for scientific publishing and clear visions for the future of BPS publications. Do you have advice for others who might be thinking about volunteering? Do it! Go to the Society’s “Get Involved” website for ideas and opportunities (https:/ Or ganize a local chapter. Participate in Subgroup activities. Apply to join a committee that you find interesting or useful. How did I become a member of the Publications Committee? I ap plied. Volunteering is satisfying. In these volunteer activities, you will meet colleagues who will be part of your professional network far into the future. When not volunteering for BPS, what do you work on? I find great inspiration in the beauty of the original world wide web—the natural world. In my spare time, I take my cam era out into the forests and marshes and swamps of South Louisiana and photograph the wildlife, small and large. I learn about my subjects and then share the photos on social media (Instagram: @bill_wimley). Because I am an educator, it is satisfying to share the interesting or insightful information I discover.

Is this your first volunteer position for BPS? If not, what other positions have you held? Over my long career, I have enjoyed serving the Biophysical Society in many ways. In addition to my current two terms of service on the Publications Committee, I was also an Editorial Board Member for Biophysical Journal . I was Chair of the Mem brane Structure and Function Subgroup, which enabled me to organize a stimulating Saturday Subgroup Symposium for the Annual Meeting. I have also judged student posters many times for the Student Research Achievement Award compe tition. This is an activity that I especially enjoy because it lets me interact with the next generation of scientists. Why do you volunteer? Academic science is not an easy enterprise. Professional and scientific societies, such as BPS, are critical sources of sup port. By organizing conferences, publishing Society journals, and creating outreach activities, BPS supports the exchange of ideas and provides opportunities for networking, collab oration, and growth. BPS has been my scientific home for three decades. So, I volunteer because it enables me to give something back to the Society and to participate in the many Society activities that support scientists at all career stages. What has been a highlight from your volunteer experience? An Editorial Board Member for Biophysical Journal must make difficult decisions. This is not always easy, but there are also rewards. Once, an early career scientist introduced them

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For Industry Partner Membership information, contact SILVER GOLD


September 2023



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September 2023


BPS Important Dates

BPS2024 Satellite Meeting Proposal Deadline September 18, 2023

BPS2024 Abstract Submission Deadline October 1, 2023

BPS2024 SRAA Poster Competition Application Deadline October 4, 2023

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BPS2024 Travel Awards Application Deadline October 4, 2023

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