Biophysical Society Newsletter - August 2016






Student Center

Michiel Niesen Department of Chemistry and

Intrinsically Disordered Proteins The intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) community was treated to two spectacular meet- ings at the end of June in beautiful Les Diablerets, Switzerland. First was the Gordon Research Sym- posium organized by Rebecca Berlow and Ofrah Faust entitled Function Through Disorder: Intrinsi- cally Disordered Proteins in Biology and Medicine . The symposium brought together 65 students and postdocs from 14 countries and 44 academic and industrial institutions. The meeting featured short talks by 10 outstanding junior researchers and two lively poster sessions, as well as a career panel cov- ering topics ranging from job applications to future perspectives on the field. The symposium was followed by the fourth In- trinsically Disordered Proteins Gordon Research Conference organized by Monika Fuxreiter and Richard Kriwacki . Like the one before it, this meet- ing was fully subscribed. The theme of the confer- ence was Disordered Proteins: From Mechanisms to Therapeutic Opportunities . The broad importance of IDPs in biological systems and their interesting biophysical properties brought together both aca- demic and industry researchers from diverse fields and included biologists, biophysicists, chemists, neuroscientists, engineers, and oncologists. Many at the conference were first-time participants, high- lighting the evolving and increasingly diverse interest in IDPs. Among the rapidly advancing areas of IDP research highlighted at the confer- ence were the importance of IDPs in membrane- less organelle organization and function, IDPs in cellular signaling and homeostasis, and progress on the therapeutic targeting of IDPs. Look for the next Gordon Research Symposium and Gordon Research Conference in the summer of 2018! — Steven Metallo , IDP Subgroup Secretary-Treasurer

Chemical Engineering California Institute of Technology

Michiel Niesen

Q: What made you decide to study biophysics?

As an undergraduate, I was mainly interested in studying the natural sciences, but I had not yet decided what direction in particular to pursue. The favorite part of my study was collabora- tive group projects, especially biophysics-related projects, because they represented a perfect blend of the fields I wanted to study. The connection between biology and fundamental science seemed very powerful to me, and a great way of truly understanding how living organisms function with such sophisticated properties. Based on this I decided to pursue graduate research in biophysics.

Members in the News Eve Marder , Brandeis Uni- versity and Society member

since 1995, was awarded the Kavli Price for Neuro- science. Bozhi Tian , University of Chicago and Society mem- ber since 2015, was award- ed the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Rakesh Jain , (not pictured) Harvard Medi- cal School and Society member since 1999, was awarded the National Medal of Science.

Made with