Biophysical Society - July 2014 Newsletter

Newsletter JULY 2014


Klaus Schulten Named 2015 National Lecturer

Thematic Meetings

Disordered Motifs and Domains in Cell Control October 11–15, 2014 Dublin, Ireland July 11 Early Registration

Klaus Schulten , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been selected to present the 2015 National Lecture at the Biophysical Society 59th Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, February 7-11, 2015. The Lecture, Discoveries in Biophysics Through the Computational Microscope , will take place on Monday, February 9.

59 th Annual Meeting

February 7-11, 2015 Baltimore, Maryland October 1 Abstract Submission October 3 Travel Award Application SRAA Competition Congressional Fellowship Application October 14 Application Submission

Biophysical Congressional Science Fellowship Apply Now! Interested in a using your science skills to inform science policy? Apply to be the first BPS Congressional Fellow. All members who have received their terminal degree are eligible to apply for this year long fellowship, which begins September 2015. Applicants may be fresh out of school or senior investigators.The application deadline is October 14. Learn more by going to and clicking 'Awards' and then 'Grants & Opportunites'.

Annual Meeting Call for Papers The 59 th Annual Meeting website is now open for abstract submission and registration. Look for the Call for Papers, which is being mailed this month or go to www.biophysics. org/2015meeting for all information.


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International Affairs Grants & Opportunites

Biophysicists in Profile

Summer Course

Biophysical Society

Science Fairs Subgroups


Biophysical Journal Annual Meeting

Student Spotlight Upcoming Events



Public Affairs






Biophysicists in Profile Jaime Campbell , Patrick McCarter , and Lior Vered , all of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, currently serve as Teaching Assistants for the 2014 Biophysical Society Summer Research Program in Biophysics, held on the campus. This 11-week scholarship program introduces undergraduate minority students, disadvantaged students, and students with disabilities to the field of biophysics. The program, designed to give students graduate-level research experience, includes lectures, seminars, lab work, team-building activities, and field trips. JAIME CAMPBELL Though neither of Jaime Campbell’s parents attended college, nor are they involved in science, their three children have all chosen to pursue scientifi- cally-oriented careers: Jaime recently earned her PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her sister is a cardiac nurse, and her brother is an environmental scientist. Jaime first became interested in a career in science when she attended the Central Virginia Governor’s School for Science & Technology as a high school student. One of the first classes students take at the school is a re- search course driven by individual hypotheses, which drew Jaime in imme- diately. She says, “I was able to design an experiment from start to finish and ended the year by writing a paper and presenting our work at a competition at UVA. This was my first experience with developing my own ideas into a testable hypothesis and I loved it!”

Officers President Dorothy Beckett President-Elect Edward Egelman Past-President Francisco Bezanilla Secretary Lukas Tamm Treasurer Paul Axelsen Council Olga Boudker Taekjip Ha Samantha Harris Kalina Hristova Juliette Lecomte Amy Lee Marcia Levitus Merritt Maduke Daniel Minor, Jr. Jeanne Nerbonne Antoine van Oijen Joseph D. Puglisi Michael Pusch Bonnie Wallace David Yue Biophysical Journal Leslie Loew Editor-in-Chief

Society Office Ro Kampman Executive Officer Newsletter Alisha Yocum Production Laura Phelan Profile

“ I love the interaction with the students and observing their growth both scientifically and professionally throughout the course ” – Jaime Campbell

During her sophomore year at James Madi- son University, Jaime started working in Gina MacDonald’s lab, where she was first exposed to biophysics. Jaime explains, “Working in her lab exposed me to many biophysical methods and I was able to present my work at the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in 2007.” Jaime went on to receive a BS in Biology and Biotechnolo- gy at JMU before beginning her PhD program at UNC.

Ellen Weiss Public Affairs

The Biophysical Society Newsletter (ISSN 0006-3495) is published twelve times per year, January- December, by the Biophysical Society, 11400 Rockville Pike, Suite 800, Rockville, Maryland 20852. Distributed to USA members and other countries at no cost. Canadian GST No. 898477062. Postmaster: Send address changes to Biophysical Society, 11400 Rockville Pike, Suite 800, Rockville, MD 20852. Copyright © 2014 by the Biophysical Society. Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved.

Currently, she is in the process of procuring an academic post doctoral posi- tion, and simultaneously is working as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for the BPS Summer Research Program for the second year. Jaime found the TA experi- ence rewarding the first summer, and so, she says, “I didn’t hesitate at the chance to help out again! I love the interaction with the students and observ- ing their growth both scientifically and professionally throughout the course.”





PATRICK MCCARTER Patrick McCarter became

LIOR VERED Lior Vered did not grow up with a particular inter- est in science. She did not have any family members in scientific fields; her father served in the Israeli Air Force and later worked in finance, and her mother had a career as a print and

interested in science during his time as an

undergraduate at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State Univer- sity. He spent a summer working with Dave Mack at the Thomas Jefferson

television journalist. Lior herself studied sociology and philosophy for a year at Tel Aviv University before deciding to change career paths. When she began her undergraduate studies at Fayetteville State University, Lior planned to become a medical doctor. In a pre-med chemistry class, Lior says, “I was fascinated by the magical world of orbitals and electron transfers hidden beneath the surface. My professor noticed my curiosity and offered me a position in his lab computationally simulating the orbitals of a single molecule transistor.” Throughout her undergrad- uate career, Lior increasingly became interested in physics, but was still passionate about studying living systems. Biophysics seemed like the obvious choice for her graduate program. She is currently a third year PhD student in Timothy Elston’s and Beverly Errede’s labs at UNC. When Lior learned about the BPS Summer Research Program, it seemed like a great opportu- nity to support budding scientists. She explains, “I feel very passionate about STEM education generally speaking, and specifically for minorities and women. The support and encouragement I received from my faculty as an undergrad were crucial to my decision to become a part of the scientific community. I strive to play a similar role in the lives of other scientists.” Thus far, Lior has enjoyed her experience with the Summer Program students, saying, “My fa- vorite aspect of the course is the ability to witness and play a role in the personal growth of the stu- dents. The transition between an undergraduate to a graduate research environment is a challeng- ing one. Supporting my students as they navigate these challenges is a privilege.”

National Accelerator Facility, where he had the opportunity to conduct research and present it to other scientists. The experience was a valu- able one, and also helped Patrick realize that he wanted to work in a field more closely related to human health. After graduating with his BS in Physics, Patrick pursued an MS in Computational Science and Engineering, during which time he was able to explore a more health-oriented career path via the BPS Summer Research Program. He says, “The BPS Summer Research Program was paramount to my development as I finished my MS…I found that biophysics is my niche. The program gave me the opportunity to really see what a PhD program was designed to do.” He entered a program at UNC after completing his MS, and is currently pursuing his PhD in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology with a certificate in the Program for Molecular and Cellular Biophysics. It was his own experience in the BPS Summer Re- search Program that made Patrick eager to work as a TA this year. He explains, “I definitely ma- tured a lot as a Summer Course student. I felt that because I once sat in their seats, I would be able to help the current students make the most out of their summer here at UNC.” Patrick hopes one day to hold a tenured faculty position from which he could design courses that would benefit from his varied experiences. His goal as a professor will be to help students see “that problems in nature are often not isolated to one discipline, and that the solution to those problems can benefit from all of our combined knowledge,” he explains.

Profilees at a Glance

Jaime Campbell Institution University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Course of Study Biochemistry Patrick McCarter Institution University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Course of Study Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Lior Vered Institution University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Course of Study Chemistry





2014 Summer Research Program in Biophysics Begins

The schedule for the summer, created by Program Co-Directors and Society members Mike Jarstfer and Barry Lentz , also includes professional devel- opment sessions on topics such as writing a per- sonal statement and applying to graduate school, a day at the UNC Outdoor Challenge Course, and a tour of the Hamner Institute in nearby Research Triangle Park. Jaime Campbell , Patrick McCarter (a Summer Course alumnus) , and Lior Vered , all graduate students at UNC, are the teaching as- sistants for the program this summer.

Twelve students from diverse academic, cultural, and geographic backgrounds are spending their summer at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill (UNC) studying biophysics. The NIGMS-funded Biophysical Society Summer Course: Case Studies in the Physics of Life , in its sev- enth year, began on May 13. During the 11-week course, students immerse themselves in biophys- ics-related research projects in the labs of mentors they have selected. In addition to the many hours spent on lab research, students attend lectures and seminars by UNC faculty and visiting speakers from biophysics programs around the country.

Jessicca Abron Alabama State University; Chemistry Major; Mathe- matics & Biology Minors

Marisa Aikins Oberlin College; Physics Major

Maria Banda University of South Florida; Chemical Engi- neering Major; Biomedical Engineering Minor

Davia Blake Virginia Tech; Biological Sciences Major; Psychology Minor

Olivia Dickens Howard University; Physics Major; Biology Minor

Christopher Holmes

Zun Zar Chi (Snow) Naing Simmons College; Biochemistry & Physics Major

Amanie Power Cosumnes River College; Chemis-

Cecilia Read University of Arizona; Bio- medical Engineering Major

Alina Yanovich University of Colorado- Den- ver; Chemistry & Biology Major; Leadership Minor

Mohamed Dumbuya

University of Mount Union; Biochemistry & Neuroscience Major

University of the District of Columbia; Biology Major

try Major; Biomedical Engineering Minor





CPOW: Addressing the Needs of Women Biophysicists for More than 40 Years

In the aftermath of the Second World War, rapid technological advances initiated a vast diversifica- tion in biomedical research. Physiologists devoted to biophysical approaches recognized the need for a professional society that would cater to their specific interests and would labor to “ encourage the development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics.” The first meeting of what today is the Biophysical Society was held in 1957, with about 500 scientists in attendance. In keeping with social and political mores, only a small fraction of attendees were women, and of these, none were in leadership positions.

their advancement to leadership positions within the Society and at research institutions across the country. Despite these strides however, women continue to face gender-specific barriers in profes- sional and leadership spheres. The Biophysical Society recognizes the sustained need to encourage science education for girls and women, to promote the retention and advance- ment of women in science, to recognize contribu- tions by women biophysicists, to ensure fair and equitable treatment for all, and to improve the climate for women in biophysics at all stages of their careers. To address these goals, the CPOW

sponsors travel awards for junior biophysicists and organizes educa- tional, networking, and career development activities at the An- nual Meeting. These activities are open to all attendees, and have addressed such top- ics as: transition from postdoctoral fellow to faculty, how to expand your influence beyond the bench, getting a grant renewed, net- working, advocating for a promotion, work- ing in a start-up com- pany, and opportuni- ties for non-academic research careers. The Committee’s ini- tiatives now, while still

It wasn’t until 15 years later that the Society elected its first woman officer in Margaret Oak- ley Dayhoff , a pioneer in the field of bioinformatics. She served as Secretary from 1971 to 1979. It is unlikely a mere coincidence that also in 1972, the Council chartered a new committee dedicated to “ increasing recogni-


The Biophysical Society recognizes the sustained need to encourage science educa- tion for girls and women, to promote the retention and advancement of women in science, to recognize contributions by women biophysicists, to ensure fair and equitable treatment for all, and to improve the climate for women in biophysics at all stages of their careers.

Margaret Oakley Dayhoff

tion and opportunities for women biophysicists, ” the Committee for Professional Opportunities for Women (CPOW). In 1973, Rita Guttman , who five years earlier had been the first woman elected to Council, served as chair of the newly formed CPOW. The Society elected Jane K. Setlow to serve as its first female President four years later. Over the past 40 years, the number and percent- age of women working and leading in the field of biophysics has risen dramatically. Today, the Biophysical Society recognizes with pride the contributions of women in advancing knowledge and education in biophysics. Women are playing a leadership role in the Society as officers, coun- cil members, committee chairs, symposia and workshop chairs, and speakers. Although difficult to measure, CPOW’s timely founding and its continued service have had an important role in the marked increase in women biophysicists and


focused on helping women advance their careers in science, serve Society members of both genders seeking career guidance. — Gabriela Popescu and Ryan Hoffman , CPOW Committee Members





Biophysical Journal Corner

Know the Editors

nosensitivity. Much of our research depends on interdisciplinary collaboration, including an ongoing relationship with the Stanford Micro- systems Laboratory, led by Beth Pruitt. Working together, we created feedback-controlled piezore- sistive cantilevers and used them to measure body mechanics and how it affects touch sensation. Our accomplishments, both past and future, rely on many other collaborators who help to make the research fun as well as productive.

Miriam Goodman Stanford University Editor for Channels and Transporters Section

Miriam Goodman

Q: What is your area of research?

Our sense of touch is the first sense to develop, the last to fade, and the least well understood. Work in the Goodman lab exploits the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans , to explore the mechanisms of touch, nociception, and proprioception. These sensory pathways depend on the activation of modality--and sensory neuron-specific ion chan- nels and downstream signals. We use genetics paired with behavioral assays to identify proteins responsible for sensory transduction, including DEG/ENaC sodium and TRP channels, as well as components of the cytoskeleton and plasma membrane. We explore the cellular roles of these proteins by in vivo whole-cell patch clamp record- ing, and uncover structure–function relation- ships in channel physiology using single-channel recordings of wild type and mutant channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Several of the mol- ecules we have placed into sensory pathways have evolutionarily conserved roles and known links to human disease. In addition to deconstructing molecular pathways, we exploit the tractability of C. elegans for behavioral studies and circuit dis- section to describe the neural pathways mediating sensorimotor behaviors. For these studies, we have developed a number of behavioral assays and our Worm Tracker, which traces the locomotion of multiple worms in parallel. Recently, we devel- oped a genetically encoded molecular strain sensor and used it to probe and visualize the interplay between neuronal cell mechanics and mecha-

The Biophysics of Drug Development A New Collection from BJ

This collection of 12 articles highlights recent advances in the biophysics of drug development and delivery—areas of central importance to bio- medical research. The collection includes a mix of computational and experimental research articles, which provide detailed biophysical insight into the development of new therapeutic approaches to disease. BJ Associate Editor Nathan Baker curated this collection, which can be accessed through the BJ webpage without subscription until July 24. Please share this link with your colleagues who work in drug develop- ment. BJ Welcomes New Editorial Board Members As of June 30, we said goodbye to 19 members of the Editorial Board who served the Biophysical Journal tirelessly. We welcomed 20 new Editorial Board Members, said welcome back to 17 mem- bers who renewed for a second three-year term, and congratulated three Editorial Board Members who were “promoted” to Associate Editors.





The Associate Editors of the seven Journal sections are: Section 1, Protein & Nucleic Acids Nathan Baker Section II, Channels and Transporters Michael Pusch Section III, Cell Biophysics Dave Piston Section IV, Membranes Claudia Steinem Section V, Systems Biophysics Stanislav Shvartsman Section VI, Molecular Machines, Motors, and Nanoscale Biophysics E. Michael Ostap Section VII, Biophysical Reviews Brian Salzburg For a complete list of Editorial Board members, please visit editorial-board. Thank you to all past and cur- rent Editorial Board Members who give countless hours of their time and expertise to the Journal .

resource and what it does. Authors should describe how the computational tool can be applied to a biophysical problem, preferably with an example. Any new algorithms implemented in the software should also be described. All tools being described in the article must be freely accessible to the research community. User guides, together with any requisite download instructions, should be available on the authors’ website. Questions? Contact the BJ Editorial Office at Biophysical Journal will now accept papers longer than the current 10-page limit, allowing authors more space to tell their story when necessary. Because the Journal will continue to encourage papers that do not exceed 12 pages (10 of text and 2 of references), authors wanting more space in the Journal must submit a justification for the ad- ditional length, and will be assessed a higher page charge for pages 13 and over. The Journal provides a page estimation link and instructions at http:// BJ is now collecting ORCID identifiers through the manuscript submission site. ORCID provides a unique digital identifier that distinguishes each researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submis- sion, supports automated linkages between re- searchers and their professional activities ensuring that their work is recognized. The BJ manuscript submission site now invites authors to supply their ORCID, and also makes it easy for authors to register for an ORCID identi- fier if they do not already have one. For more information, visit Do You Have More to Say? Everything is Coming up ORCIDs

New BJ Features Effective July 1 Sharing Tools for Data Analysis and Interpretation

BJ invites submissions of Computational Tools, which are short articles describing software and da- tabases. Papers are limited to five pages in length, including references, and describe software for analysis of experimental data, modeling/simulation software, or database services. These papers should describe a new tool or a sig- nificant new feature in an existing computational





59 th Annual Meeting February 7-11, 2015  Baltimore, Maryland

The 2015 Annual Meeting program highlights computational advances, scientific discoveries, methodological breakthroughs, and emerging technologies in the many diverse areas of biophysics. In particular, our program naturally celebrates the 2015 UN International Year of Light with symposia showing spectacular advances in imaging spanning molecular and cellular length scales. — Enrique De La Cruz and Karen Fleming , Program Co-Chairs


Adam Frost , University of Utah Siewert-Jan Marrink , University of Groningen, The Netherlands Catalysis in the Membrane Jochen Zimmer , University of Virginia, Chair Elizabeth Carpenter , Oxford University, United Kingdom Jochen Zimmer , University of Virginia Edith Hummler , Lausanne University, Switzerland Ya Ha , Yale University Regulated Protein Bridges Connecting Membranes: STIM Proteins in Cellular Signaling Richard Lewis , Stanford University, Chair Murali Prakriya , Northwestern University Barbara Niemeyer , Saarland University, Germany Patrick Hogan , La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology Neurostransmitter Transporters Olga Boudker , Weill Cornell Medical College, Chair Chirstof Grewer , SUNY Binghamton Satinder Kauer Singh , Yale University Michael Kavanaugh , University of Montana Membrane Trafficking Kerney Jebrell Glover , Lehigh University, Chair Lois Weisman , University of Michigan Jenny Hinshaw , NIH Alexander Kros , Leiden University, The Netherlands

Protein Evolution and Allosteric Networks Corey Wilson , Yale University, Chair Elizabeth Komives , University of California, San Diego Janet Thornton , European Bioinformatics Institute, United Kingdom Joe Thornton , University of Oregon Extremophiles: Testing the Physical Limits of Living Systems Catherine Royer , Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Chair Lorna Dougan , University of Leeds, United Kingdom Douglas Bartlett , University of California, San Diego Georges Feller , University of Liège, Belgium Epigenetics Lene Oddershede , University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Chair Michael Fried , University of Kentucky Aleksandra Walczak , École Normale Supérieure, France Joan-Ramon Daban , Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain Biophysics of RNA Processing: Degradation, Splicing, DEAD Box Proteins Sun Hur , Harvard University, Chair Anna Mallam , University of Texas at Austin Dagmar Klostermeier , University of Münster, Germany Sanjay Tyagi , Rutgers University Nanoclustering of Membranes and Membrane Proteins Ka Yee Lee , University of Chicago, Chair Martin Lohse , University of Würzburg, Germany

Molecules of Memory: Glutamate Receptor Channels Mark Mayer , NIH, Chair Robert Oswald , Cornell University Gabriella Popescu , University of Buffalo Pierre Paoletti , CNRS, IBENS, France






Alex Dunn , Stanford University Anja Geitmann , University of Montreal, Canada Advances in Electron Microscopy Yifan Cheng , University of California, San Francisco, Chair Irinia Serysheva , University of Texas Medical Center Bettina Böttcher , University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom Hongwei Wang , Tsinghua University, China Emergent Properties and Collective Behaviors of Complex Systems Aaron Dinner , University of Chicago, Chair Angela DePace , Harvard University Satoshi Sawai , University of Tokyo, Japan Daniel Beard , University of Michigan Nanopores: Methods and Mechanistics Insights Zuzanna Siwy , University of California, Irvine, Chair Aleksandra Radenovic , École Polytechnique Fédéral Lausanne, Switzerland Hagan Bayley , Oxford University, United Kingdom Michael Mayer , University of Michigan Bacterial Subcellular Dynamics at Super-Resolution: This Brings Super-Resolution to a Dynamic Sense Julie Biteen , University of Michigan, Chair David Sherratt , Oxford University, United Kingdom| Simon Foster , Sheffield University, United Kingdom Mike Heilemann , University of Frankfurt, Germany For more information about the meeting, to view the latest program, or to submit an abstract visit

Probing Ion Channel Structure/Function Using Novel Tools Henry Colecraft , Columbia University, Chair Christopher Ahern , University of Iowa Heike Wulff , University of California, Davis Doug Tobias , University of California, Irvine Mechanisms of Actin Filament Nucleation and Mechanotransduction Roberto Dominguez , University of Pennsylvania, Chair Margot Quinlan , University of California, Los Angeles Guillaume Romet-Lemonne , CNRS, France Brad Nolen , University of Oregon Cardiomyopathies and Contractile Proteins Leslie Leinwand , University of Colorado, Chair Lucie Carrier , University of Hamburg, Germany Jil Tardiff , University of Arizona Wolfgang Linke , Ruhr University Bochum, Germany Molecular Basis for Mitochondrial Signaling Tatiana Rostovtseva , NIH, Chair Rosario Rizzuto , University of Padova, Italy Fabiana Perocchi , University of Munich, Germany Gyorgy Hajnoczky , Thomas Jefferson University Systems Biology Approaches in Neuroscience Kristin Branson , HHMI Janelia Farm, Chair

Eve Marder , Brandeis University Jeff Litchtman , Harvard University Additional speaker to be announced Mechanosensors Marcos Sotomayor , Ohio State University, Chair Pavel Tolar, MRC, United Kingdom





Public Affairs Controversial FIRST Bill Approved by Committee

be in a reauthorization, including authorization levels that allow for growth and language that al- lows scientists to choose the best science to fund rather than mandating changes to peer review or spending levels by directorate. There is no timetable set for bringing the FIRST Act to the House floor for consideration. NRC Report Calls for Coordination of Convergent Research Convergent research,

On May 29, the full House Science, Space, and Technology Committee approved the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technol- ogy (FIRST) Act with a party line vote. The bill authorizes National Science Foundation (NSF) funding for FY 2015 at a level slightly higher than the amount requested by the President and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at a level less than the President’s request. The purpose of this authorization bill, which the committee had been working on since the fall of 2013, is to not only set funding targets, but also policy for the NSF and the NIST for 2014 and 2015. Unlike previous authorizations for these agencies included in the America COMPETES Act, the FIRST bill has been controversial and partisan since it was first introduced. Chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Lamar Smith (R-TX), has been an outspoken critic of the NSF’s grant making process and of funding for the Social, Behavioral and Economic (SBE) Directorate of the Foundation. The bill requires NSF to “publish a justification of each grant’s scientific merits and relevance to broad national interest.” Based on his opening remarks, Smith strongly believes research funded by the SBE Directorate does not have broad national interest. The bill also sets spending targets for each of NSF’s directorates, rather than for NSF as whole as has been done in the past. By setting funding levels for each Directorate, Smith was able to slash fund- ing for SBE by 28% but still authorize increased spending for the agency overall by moving the money to other directorates. The bill also proposes cutting funding for international and integrative activities, which include funding for graduate research fellowships. Prior to the vote, the Biophysical Society joined with other members of the Coalition for National Science Funding to express principles that should

defined as research that crosses tradi- tional disciplinary boundaries and integrates tools and knowledge from the life sciences, physical sciences, engineer- ing, and other fields, has the potential to spur innovation, but

needs greater national coordination, according to a May 2014 report from the National Research Council. The committee that prepared the report also found that partnerships are necessary to sup- port boundary-crossing research and to translate advances into new products. “Some of our most difficult real-world problems do not respect disci- plinary boundaries, and convergent science, which brings together insights and approaches from many fields, can help us find solutions,” said commit- tee chair Joseph DeSimone , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, in a press release. “It is time for a sys- tematic effort to highlight the value of convergence as an approach to R&D, and to address lingering challenges to its effective practice.” The report identifies strategies that institutions have successfully used to support convergence ef- forts, such as creating research institutes or pro- grams around a common theme, problem, or sci- entific challenge; hiring faculty in transdisciplinary clusters; and embedding support for convergence





involved in collaborations, it will allow the investi- gator to describe their specific role in the described work. Each of these descriptions can be supported by listing up to four relevant peer-reviewed pub- lications. In addition to the descriptions of their contributions, researchers will be able to include a link to a full list of their published work in a pub- licly available digital database. NIH will survey both the applicants that respond to the pilot RFAs as well as those who participate in the review of responsive applications to collect feedback on the modified biosketch. NIH plans to roll out a modified Biosketch for all applications in FY 2016.

in the promotion and tenure process. The report also concluded that convergence efforts can also be informed by economic, social, and behavioral science and humanities research on establishing interdisciplinary cultures, supporting team-based science, and revising STEM education and training. At the national level, the report calls on experts, funding agencies, foundations, and other partners to identify key problems whose solution requires convergence approaches, to address barriers to convergence as they arise, to expand mechanisms for funding convergence efforts, and to coordinate efforts of federal agencies. At the local level, leaders and practitioners who have fostered a convergence culture in their organizations and laboratories should develop partnerships with other institu- tions, helping to nurture their convergence efforts. While using different language, the report echoes the calls of the Society’s Bridging the Sciences Initiative that called for funding at the interface of the life, physical, computational, and mathematical sciences. The initiative resulted in a demonstration program created at the NIH and NSF in 2005 for research at this interface. To read the full report, go to openbook.php?record_id=18722. In an effort to allow researchers to highlight ac- complishments and not just list publications, the NIH is piloting a modified Biographical Sketch (Biosketch). The new Biosketch format being pi- loted on a limited number of RFAs will extend the page limit from four to five pages and it will allow researchers to describe up to five of their most sig- nificant contributions to science along with the his- torical background that framed their research. This description can outline the central findings of their work, the influence of those findings on their field, and how those findings may have contributed to improvements in health or technology. For those NIH Piloting Alternative Biosketch

Wiki-Edit Contest Expert in your area? Share that knowledge with the world! The Biophysical Society is sponsoring the second annual Wiki-Edit Contest with the aim of improving Wikipe- dia content on biophysical topics. Choose a topic and create or edit an article by July 15. Six winners will receive a $100 cash prize, membership and registration for 2015 BPS meeting in Baltimore, a “Barnstar” award fromWikiProject Biophysics, and a dinner with other BPS wikipedians at the Annual Meeting. Visit and click 'Awards' then 'Contests.'





International Affairs

Australia Cutting Back on Research

India’s Prime Minister Names Science Advisors India’s newly elected prime minister, Narendra Modi , appointed Jitendra Singh , a physician and diabetes specialist, and Harsh Vardhan , an ear, nose, and throat specialist, to his Cabinet. A champion of the oral polio vaccine in India in the 1990s who coined the phrase “two drops of life,” Vardhan is credited with having helped India achieve polio-free status earlier this year. The Indian science community reacted positively to the appointments. Objective: To support faculty and postdocs who are active researchers and first -time attendees willing to serve as judges for all poster and oral presentations throughout the conference. Who can apply: A first-time ABRCMS Judge who is a postdoc scientist or faculty member ands is an active researcher in one of the twelve scientific disciplines represented at the conference. Application Deadline: September 26, 2014 Website: travel-awards/travelawards/46-2013/travel- awards/218-travel-awards-judges-travel- subsidy Grants and Opportunities ABRCMS Judges Travel Subsidy

ScienceInsider reported in late May that Austra- lia’s national research body, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), plans to close eight research facilities in order to save money. The information comes from an internal planning document, the CSIRO Di- rections Statement 2014. Facilities of interest to biophysics slated for closure are a Queensland site housing the Australian e-Health Research Centre; Victoria’s Highett Laboratories, home to advanced processing, materials and infrastructure research, and sustainable ecosystems; and the Victorian Sci- ence Education Centre. According to the article, Ian Chubb , Australia’s chief scientist, was not consulted about the cuts and is worried that they will harm Australia’s sci- entific capacity and international reputation. Chinese Academy of Sciences Calls for Better Peer Review and Open Access At the Global Research Council meeting held in Beijing in May, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) committed to more rigorous evaluation and peer review for science conducted in the country. Following in the footsteps of other countries, CAS, along with the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), also announced in May that all scientific papers resulting from publicly funded research must be deposited in an open-access repository. The repository will make papers funded by the Chinese government acces- sible to the public after an embargo period.





Science Fairs

In the sixth consecutive year of the Biophysical Society’s science fairs program, the Society funded awards for 27 students at science fairs in 14 states and in one Canadian province. These awards are given for outstanding biophysics-related projects, as determined by local Society members who vol- unteered as judges at the events, state and regional high school science fairs. This initiative, spon- sored by the Public Affairs Committee, encourages the teaching and learning of STEM subjects, and raises awareness of biophysics among high school students and teachers. Thank you to the Society members, listed below, who volunteered to judge at their local science fairs this year! Didn’t get a chance to volunteer? Visit teer/ScienceFairs/tabid/2284/Default.aspx for information on how to give a Biophysics Award at a fair in your area in 2015. Questions? Email 2014 Science Fair Volunteers

Jacob Miner Ishita Mukerji Jeffrey Nivala Paul Pape Caleen Ramsook Peter Salamon Taner Sen Mariola Szenk

Sofya Borinskaya Vladimir Brezina Tanya Dahms James Dilger Tone Guia Whitney Kellett Edgar Kooijman Jeffry Madura

Read some of the thank you letters from students who participated in the BPS Science Fairs. Chris Kim, pictured above, received the Biophysics Award at the STEM Project Fair at Kent State University.






selectivity filter of nucleoporins and may play a role in the formation of nucleoporin gels. Mike Rosen , University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, described liquid demixing of proteins regulating actin polymerization. A protein with repeats of a folded interaction domain and a binding partner with repeats of appropriate binding motifs are able to demix even at low protein concentrations, giv- ing rise to an on-/off-switch. In all of these examples, disordered protein regions mediate assembly and are likely essential for the dynamic, liquid-like character. A biophysical investigation of the molecular basis and meso- scale properties of the aggregated states and the spectrum of functional outcomes promises to substantially improve our understanding of spatial organization and biochemical regulation in cell biology. —Tanja Mittag , Secretary-Treasurer

IDP Liquid Protein Assemblies in Spatial Organization and Ultrasensitive Signaling in Cells Liquid-like cellular “bodies” are light-microscop- ically detectable structures in cells that have a distinct composition from the surrounding cyto- or nucleoplasm but are not enclosed by mem- branes, e.g., P-bodies and nucleoli. The underlying biophysical mechanism for the formation of such bodies may be a liquid demixing phase separa- tion. The interaction of protein molecules with each other can under some conditions be more favorable than with solvent, effectively concentrat- ing the protein in a separate liquid phase, which appears as droplets in a protein-lean solution. It is becoming increasingly clear that some intrinsically disordered proteins are exquisitely tuned to medi- ate liquid demixing, reminiscent of the behavior of synthetic polymers. The symposium with the above title at the 2014 Annual Biophysical Society Meeting in San Francisco, chaired by Tanja Mittag , St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, and Julie Forman-Kay , Hospital for Sick Children, To- ronto, highlighted the role of liquid and gel-like protein states in the cytoplasm, the nucleus, and the extracellular matrix. Forman-Kay discussed microscopy and NMR studies of the liquid demix- ing behavior of a helicase and the relationship of this phenomenon to the formation of germ granules. Regis Pomes’s , Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, simulations provided insight into the biophysical basis of elastin’s intrinsic ability to self-associate and showed that combined pro- line and glycine content was essential for elastin’s dynamic, disordered assemblies. Edward Lemke , EMBL, Heidelberg, and his group used single molecule fluorescence techniques to demonstrate the highly dynamic nature of the interactions of a FG-nucleoporin with karyopherin. Such weak multivalent interactions may also underlie the

Members in the News

Stefan Hell , Max Planck Institute and Society mem- ber since 1998, has been awarded the Kavli Prize in Nanoscience given by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Michael Summers , Univer- sity of Maryland, Balti- more County and Society member since 2000, has received the Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in

Science Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).





Student Spotlight

LAURA K. GUNTHER Wayne State University Takeshi Sakamoto Lab

Q: What initially attracted you to biophysics? When I was an undergraduate student in the bio- medical physics program at my university, I was excited to participate in the interdisciplinary re- search offered, such as in vitro studies and studies of the mechanical function of skeletal and cardiac muscle. Since I am very interested in both physics and biology, I was excited to be able to bridge the two subjects that I loved. Q: What specific areas are you studying? My doctoral studies have focused on studying the effect of the N-terminal of cardiac troponin I on the actomyosin ATPase cycle. I am also study- ing an intrinsically disordered protein known as TRIOBP as well as the mechanism by which the nonprocessive molecular motor, myosin 5c, becomes processive. Q: What is your current research project? Currently, I am measuring the detailed steps of the actomyosin ATPase cycle (ATP binding, phosphate dissociation, ADP dissociation, etc.) in myofibrils obtained from transgenic mouse hearts

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting their undergraduate science career, what would it be? Don’t be afraid of hard work and don’t ever hesi- tate to ask for help if you need it. Your professors have a passion for the subject matter they teach, and want nothing more than to see you succeed. Q: Why did you join the Biophysical Society? I joined the Biophysical Society to stay connected with the most recent developments in the bio- physics world. In addition, BPS offers multiple opportunities to reach out to other biophysicists at the Annual Meeting and to share our scientific research through its publications. Q: What (or who) inspires you scientifically? My unquenched curiosity and love for learning is what inspires me scientifically. As a physicist, I al- ways ask ‘why?’ and always have an urge to answer the question at mind. Takeshi Sakamoto, Laura’s PI says: Laura is a student in my lab who is extremely passionate about her work and her projects. Her determination and self-motivation allows for her to persevere through anything she sets her mind to. She has a first author paper that just came out in "Nature Scientific Reports" and is third and fourth author on two others. I think she is a very good role model and is always willing to explore something new.

by using stopped flowmetry. Q: What do you hope to do after graduation?

Suggest a Student or Postdoc to Spotlight Do you have a spotlight-worthy

I plan to pursue a postdoctoral position. I believe it is incredibly important to undertake a postdoc- toral position in order to gain additional expertise, experience, and productivity before commencing a career as an independent investigator. After suf- ficient years as a postdoctoral fellow, I intend on pursuing a faculty appointment in academia.

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October 27-29 3rd International Conference and Exhibition on Cell & Gene Therapy Las Vegas, NV http://cellgenetherapy2014.confer- October 28 – November 2 Cell Death Signaling in Cancer and the Immune System (S2) São Paulo, Brazil http://www.keystonesymposia. org/index.cfm?e=web.Meeting. Program&meetingid=1321

September 8-12 EBSA Biophysics Course: Membrane and Lipid-Protein Interactions Herault, France ebsa-biophysics

November 6-7 15th EMBL|EMBO Science and Society Conference Heidelberg, Germany events/2014/SNS14-01/index.html November 16-21 2014 Annual Meeting of the AES Electrophoresis Society Atlanta, GA ings/index.php

December 3-5 NIMBioS Investigative Workshop: Heart Rhythm Disorders Dubai, UAE shops/WS_cardiac December 6-10 2014 American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting Philadelphia, PA

September 11-12 Drug Discovery 2014 Mumbai, India

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