Biophysical Society Newsletter | August 2017

Newsletter AUGUST 2017 Be a Pioneer: Set Up a Biophysical Society Student Chapter The Biophysical Society is excited to launch the BPS Student Chapter program. This program aims to build active student chapters around the globe, increase student membership and participation within the Society, and promote biophysics as a discipline across college campuses through activities organized by the chapters. Chapters may be formed within a single institution, or regional chapters may be developed between multiple, neighboring institutions. Chapters wishing to be recognized starting in the spring semester of 2018 must submit the Endorsement and Petition Form, Chapter Bylaws, and the Chapter Information Sheet to by November 1, 2017, for consideration. For more information and a complete list of instructions on forming an official BPS Student Chapter, please visit Networking Events Since 2011, Society members have hosted networking events bringing together local scientists to discuss various topics in biophysics. These events promote interactions between members and non-members interested in biophysics and the Society. This year, seven BPS-sponsored networking events have already taken place in the United States, Sweden, Australia, and Canada. Three more are planned to take place this fall: Biophysical Society Pennsylvania Regional Networking Meeting October 6, 2017, Hershey, Pennsylvania Biophysics Graduate Research and Networking Symposium October 23, 2017, Urbana, Illinois Biophysics for Biotechnology and Biomedicine (BIOPHYS-Hub) November 16, 2017, Madrid, Spain For more information on each of these events, visit


International Relations Committee Meeting Support August 15, 2017 Grant Applications 62 nd BPS Annual Meeting February 17-21, 2018 October 2, 2017 Abstract Submission January 15, 2018 Early Registration 2018-2019 Congressional Fellowship December 15, 2017 Applications


2 4 6 7 8

12 13 13 14 15 16

Biophysicist in Profile

Molly Cule

Public Affairs

Student Center

Biophysical Journal Thematic Meetings Annual Meeting Image Life! Program

Members in the News

Biophysical Society

President Macron's Invitation Grants and Opportunities


Upcoming Events





Biophysicist in Profile JOANNA TRYLSKA


Officers President Lukas Tamm President-Elect Angela Gronenborn Past-President Suzanne Scarlata Secretary Frances Separovic Treasurer Kalina Hristova Council

“I grew up in Warsaw when Poland was a communist country,” shares Joanna Trylska of the University of Warsaw. “However, because my father was a scientist we also spent some time abroad. We lived in Mérida, Ven- ezuela, because of my father’s postdoctoral work and later in the United Kingdom because my father worked at the University of Warwick.” Trylska’s father was a theoretical physicist in the faculty of physics at the University of Warsaw. He specialized in solid state physics, specifically in the theory of hopping conductivity in semiconductors. “Unfortunately, my dad died when I was only 12 so he did not have a chance to influence my decisions regarding the future scientific path. However, there was probably an indirect influence due to the life we led,” she says. “My mom is a mechanical engineer — now retired. She worked at the first computer facilities in Warsaw, programming in assembly language.” In high school, Trylska excelled in math, physics, and biology. She also enjoyed these subjects more than others, so she knew that she would pur- sue a career that involved them somehow. “I always wanted to have a job that involves learning new things and exploring,” she explains, “however, I did not dream of being a scientist, it just happened. At one point I real- ized that this is just my way of living and looking at things, so a different job was not of any interest to me.” When she entered the University of Warsaw for her undergraduate stud- ies, the biophysics department seemed like the right fit for her to connect her interests in physics, math, and biology. She earned her master’s degree in physics with a specialization in molecular biophysics. She went on to pursue her PhD at the same university in the lab of Maciej Geller , which was in a group supervised by Bogdan Lesyng . “This was an excellent War- saw theoretical biophysics group that provided me with great education and formed the grounds for my future computational work,” she shares.

Zev Bryant Jane Clarke Bertrand Garcia-Moreno Teresa Giraldez Ruben Gonzalez, Jr. Ruth Heidelberger Robert Nakamoto Arthur Palmer Gabriela Popescu Marina Ramirez-Alvarado Erin Sheets Joanna Swain

Joanna Trylska

Biophysical Journal Jane Dyson Editor-in-Chief

Society Office Ro Kampman Executive Officer

Newsletter Executive Editor Rosalba Kampman Managing Editor Beth Staehle Contributing Writers and Department Editors Dorothy Chaconas Daniel McNulty Laura Phelan Raelle Reid

“ I realized that this is just my way of living and looking at things, so a different job was not of any interest to me. ” — Trylska

After completing her graduate studies, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of J. Andrew McCammon at the University of California, San Diego. She learned how to study the dynamics of large macromolecular assemblies using computer simulation. “I learned various multi-scale molecular modeling techniques and developed reduced models for

Caitlin Simpson Elizabeth Vuong Ellen Weiss Production Ray Wolfe Catie Curry

molecular dynamics simulations of proteins and nucleic acids,” she says. “With these models I investigated microsecond-long functional dynamics of the ribosome. I also explored how ribosome large-scale motions modu- late its electrostatic features and how electrostatics influences ribosome self-assembly. Further, I determined the dynamics of the HIV-1 protease functional flaps that enable access of drugs into the binding site and simu- lated association of peptide substrates and inhibitors with this enzyme.”

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. Canadian GST No. 898477062. Postmaster: Send address changes to Biophysical Society, 5515 Security Lane, Suite 1110, Rockville, MD

20852. Copyright © 2017 by the Biophysical Society. Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved.





Following her postdoc, Trylska returned to Poland and started a group at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modeling of the University of Warsaw, whose resources she had used as a graduate student. “First, I worked as an adjunct, and after obtaining the habilitation degree in 2009, as an associate professor,” she says. “Then in 2012, a new institute — the Centre of New Technologies — was established at the University of Warsaw, where I moved and have been working ever since.” Her group works on the mechanisms of actions of the compounds targeting bacterial RNA in order to propose their derivatives or new compounds. “These compounds are aminoglycosidic antibiot- ics and synthetic oligonucleotides, mainly peptide nucleic acids,” she explains. “We design peptide nucleic acid sequences that target either bacte- rial ribosomal RNA or mRNA by observing the Watson-Crick pairing scheme. The ultimate goal is to search for antibiotic analogs inhibiting the function of bacterial RNA.” One of her former students, Julia Romanowska , shares that while in Trylska’s lab, she learned more than only valuable scientific skills. “[She taught me] how to do science! And that one needs to be bold to succeed in the modern scientific world,” she says. “She is dedicated to her work, and at the same time knows how to enjoy her free time. She sets her goals high and requires a lot both from herself and co-workers, but I never had a feeling of pressure, I never overworked. Such a balance is normally very difficult to obtain.” Her impact has not been limited to her students. Cameron Mura , a frequent collaborator whom she met when both were postdocs in McCam- mon’s lab, also says that Trylska has helped in his development of both technical and non-technical skills. “She taught me how to do careful pKa calculations back at UCSD. To me, that spoke to her collegiality and selflessness in helping others,” he shares. “The less technical, but also important thing: She advised me to write proposals in a way

that enables the reviewer to see, within the proposal itself, the words that could be used to champion the proposal, were they so inclined. That seems obvious now, but it wasn’t to me at the time.” McCammon himself says, “She continues to impress me with her remarkable and rather courageous commitment to science. She jumped from quantum chemical studies of enzymes to coarse-grained simulations of biomolecular complexes in our group, and she has opened an experimental biophysics program in her own group in Warsaw. She’s much bolder than I am!” “ [She taught me] how to do science! And that one needs to be bold to succeed in the modern scientific world ” — Julia Romanowska When she’s not working, Trylska enjoys reading and spending time with her eight year old daughter and their Labrador retriever. “We live close to a park, so in the summer we often bike,” she says. “I also like skiing and snowboarding. Recently my daughter and I started horseback riding, which is both relaxing and provides good exercise.” Mura shares, “Over the years, we’ve gotten to know Dr. Trylska and her family, and simply put, they are amazing people. I see Dr. Trylska as having been equally successful in other areas of life as she’s been in biophysics. I think this reflects her great judgment in non-scientific areas, too, as well as her ability to balance many streams of dedica- tion — family, science, and career. I mention this because I think it’s helpful for anyone embarking on a professional career in biophysics to be cogni- zant of this, and know that it’s possible.”

Trylska with her family at the Kyoto Zoo.

Trylska and her husband on a skiing trip.

Profilee-at-a-Glance Institution University of Warsaw Area of Research biomolecular recognition, aminoglycoside antibiotics, RNA dynamics, synthetic oligonucleotides





Public Affairs

to successful research programs in large labs, and whether the analysis of productivity on which the plan was based was focused on the correct metrics. NIH has indicated that it will be tracking the impact of funding decisions for the targeted group to ensure that the program is implemented cor- rectly and results in increased funding rates. NIH is also encouraging the development and testing of metrics that can be used to assess the impact of NIH grant support on scientific progress. The NGRI website is htm. Supreme Court Allows Limited Version of President’s Travel Ban On June 26, the US Supreme Court ruled that a limited version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban could go into effect. The court will hear argu- ments in the case in October. In the meantime, the ruling bars citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from travelling to the United States unless they have a “bona fide” connection with a person or entity in the country. This could be an offer of admission to a university for a student or a job offer from a company or university. The offer must be formal and documented. It appears that this order would not allow those attending meetings or giving an invited lecture to enter the country. The Biophysical Society will continue to monitor the situation and asks those affected by the ban to let us know by filling out the survey at http:// NAS Reports ARPA-E Program Showing Success On June 13, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) released An

New NIH Program Offers Boost to Early and Mid-career Investigators In a surprising development, one month after an- nouncing a plan to limit funding to the equivalent of three RO1s based on a new index, the GSI, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it was scrapping that plan. At the NIH's Advisory Committee to the Director meeting in June, NIH Deputy Director Larry Tabak an- nounced a new program, the Next Generation Researchers Initiative (NGRI). Through this pro- gram, NIH will target three types of investigators: investigators seeking their first award, mid-career investigators at risk of losing all funding, and mid-career scientists seeking a second grant that would stabilize their careers. Mid-career investiga- tors are defined as those who have been an NIH principle investigator for less than 10 years. For this targeted group, NIH seeks to provide fund- ing to those whose proposals score in the top 25 percent but are below the funding cut-off score. Currently, NIH funds, on average, grants that are in the top 20 percent only. NIH plans to put $210 million towards the program in FY 2017, and estimates it will take five years to reach a steady state in redistributing awards to this targeted group of investigators. The goal is build up a fund of $1.1 billion for NGRI. The money will come from freeing up funds through funding decisions and emphasizing programs such as the National Institute of General Medicine Sciences' Maximizing Investigators’ Re- search Award (MIRA) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Dis- eases' Supplements to Advance Research (STAR) from Projects to Programs. The program, which went into effect in June, replaces a plan to cap investigator support at the equivalent of three grants in order to redistribute funding. That plan, announced in May, received pushback from the community on what the limit would do to collaborations, the cut off of funding





Canada Simplifies Immigration Process for Visiting Academics and Researchers

Assessment of ARPA-E . The report is an indepen- dent evaluation of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program, which was authorized in the 2007 America COMPETES Act and first funded in 2009. The legislation that created ARPA-E called for this independent review after six years. The report is especially timely, as President Trump has proposed ending the program in his 2018 bud- get request and has also temporarily halted provid- ing funds to already awarded ARPA-E grants for a period this spring. ARPA-E, modeled after the Department of De- fense’s DARPA program, was created to incubate innovative energy technologies. The National Academies report concludes that the program is making progress towards its goals but that “It can- not reasonably be expected [of ARPA–E] to have completely fulfilled those goals given so few years of operation and the size of its budget. Impor- tantly, especially at this early stage, the committee found no signs that ARPA–E is failing, or on a path to failing, to deliver on its mission and goals.” The report suggests that the ARPA-E program could be improved by considering the portfolio as a whole to make sure the funded projects are trans- formational, and by communicating results better to the public.

In the wake of stricter international immigration policies, Canada has introduced a new immigra- tion program for visiting academics and research- ers that will process temporary work permit applications within two weeks. The Global Skills Strategy allows work-permit exemptions for in- ternational faculty and researchers visiting Cana- dian Universities for up to 120 days per year. As stated by Paul Davidson , President of Universities Canada, this initiative will attract intellectuals to Canada, “advancing knowledge, fostering innova- tion, and building prosperity.”

Apply to be the 2018-2019 BPS Congressional Fellow!

Are you interested in working on Capitol Hill and learning more about science policy? All members who have obtained their PhD and are eligible to work in the United States may apply.

Collins to Remain NIH Director and Joined by Norman Sharpless at NCI

Application deadline: December 15, 2017 Visit for additional information.

President Donald Trump has announced that he will keep Francis Collins on as Director of the NIH and that Norman Sharpless will be the next director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Collins has served as NIH Director since 2009. Cur- rently Sharpless is the director of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where he also received his BA and MD. Sharpless will replace acting director Doug Lowry , who has been serv- ing in the role since Harold Varmus stepped down from the position last year.

Connect with BPS





Biophysical Journal Know the Editors Dimitrios Stamou University of Copenhagen Editor, Membranes

convolution of multiple competing processes (active, inactive, and leaky functional states). These states turned out to be of crucial biological importance, because they appear to underlie the regulation of transport, in analogy to the open/ closed states of ion channels. Q. Who would you like to sit next to at a dinner party? Anyone who is at peace with themselves. I consider this to be the most precious commod- ity, plus it’s contagious. Why Publish in BJ ? If you submit your work to Biophysical Journal , here is what you can expect: • Rapid turnaround times • No page limits • Rigorous and constructive peer review by working scientists • Affordable publication fees with discounts for BPS members • Author friendly pre-print policy • Policies that promote transparency and data sharing • Hybrid journal with Open Access and licensing options • Publisher deposits to Pub Med; compliance with federal agency policies

Dimitrios Stamou

Q. What are you currently working on that excites you?

We have been studying the physical shape or curvature of cellular membranes. I am really excited about this line of research because it turns out curvature is affecting all physical properties of membranes and membrane-associated pro- teins that we have studied to date. Consequently, dynamic modulation of membrane curvature is emerging as a pluripotent modus operandi for regulating cellular membrane biology. Q. What has been your most exciting discovery as a biophysicist? I got my PhD from an engineering school in Lausanne, in the group of Horst Vogel . Those years had a formative influence on my approach to science, so as a PI I always tried to engineer new tools or methods, but now it is for the sake of gaining new insights to fundamental properties of biological systems. The single most important method we have developed to date is a novel way to record ionic currents that so far has a sensitivity about one mil- lion times greater than the gold standard method of patch clamp. This method enabled us to resolve, for the first time, the attoampere currents mediated by single transporters. The first system we investigated was a homologue of the Na+, K+ ATPase which consumes up to 70 percent of ATP in the brain. The key discovery we made here was that ensemble average transport is a non-trivial

• Broad focus, wide dissemination • Easy submission with ORCID IDs • Authors receive link to share their article for 50 days

• Opportunities to have your work highlighted in cover art, sliders, video clips, news releases, the BPS Newsletter, and more • Automatic consideration for the Paper of the Year Award





Thematic Meetings Single Cell Biophysics: Measurement, Modulation, and Modeling A very exciting BPS Thematic Meeting, Single Cell Biophysics: Measurement, Modulation , and Modeling, was held on June 17–20, 2017, in Taipei, Taiwan, at the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences (IAMS), Academia Sinica, on the campus of National Taiwan University. This meeting brought together a diverse group of researchers with a common interest in cellular-level biophysics. The meeting included 170 physicists, biologists, chemists, and bioengineers from 24 countries. The success of any meeting depends on both the scientific presentations and the interaction of the participants. We appreciate that so many of the speakers chose to present unpublished results. Par- ticipants were eager to ask questions and continue discussions at coffee breaks and meals. In addi- tion to the 29 invited speaker presentations and 13 short talks, 100 posters were presented in two poster sessions. These very active poster sessions helped to encourage discussion throughout the meeting. The Biophysical Journal sponsored awards to two postdocs and two students, providing recognition to younger scientists. Congratulations to awardees Wan-chen Huang , Academia Sinica, Taiwan; Daniel Jones, Uppsala University, Sweden; Ivan Lazarte, National Central University, Tai- wan; and Felix Wong , Harvard, USA! And thanks very much to all of our poster judges. BPS Thematic Meetings are an opportunity for scientists to gather and exchange ideas in different locations around the world. For many of the in- ternational participants, this was their first visit to Taiwan. Scientists and engineers are, by definition, curious people, and while we normally explore in the lab, we all embraced the chance to explore a new city. Participants explored the city and culture of Taiwan through an opening reception with

Attendees from across the globe met at National Taiwan University to discuss and share their research.

traditional folk art and Taiwanese shaved ice, a tour of one of Taipei’s famous Night Markets, and tours through two of the most famous landmarks in Taipei, the National Palace Museum and Taipei 101. A traditional banquet provided a taste of Taipei’s finest food. In addition, these cultural ac- tivities provided the chance for extended informal discussions. The meeting was organized by Jung-Chi Liao (Aca- demia Sinica, Taiwan), Keng-hui Lin (Academia Sinica, Taiwan), Christine Payne (Georgia Tech, USA), and Jie Xiao (Johns Hopkins, USA). It was made possible through funding from Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the United States’ National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as generous support from industry (AIP Publishing, Bitplane, Major, and Molecular Devices) and Georgia Tech’s College of Sciences. We hope this Single Cell Biophysics Thematic Meeting stimulated new ideas, initiated new col- laborations, and exposed everyone to some new foods. While many of these outcomes will be longer-term, an immediate outcome of this meet- ing has been the petition to start a Cell Biophysics Subgroup within the Biophysical Society. This subgroup would organize symposia on the Sat- urday prior to the annual BPS meeting. If this subgroup would be useful for you, please contact to add your name to our petition.





Workshops Workshops are technique-oriented sessions that cover emerging methods presented by widely acknowledged developers and experts who help the participants gain a working knowledge of new technologies. Workshops are held on Tuesday night only, 7:30 pm–9:30 pm.

Thank you to our sponsors: AAT Bioquest

Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments Company Cell Press Dynamic Biosensors GmbH KinTek Corporation Mad City Labs Molecular Devices Nanion Technologies GmbH Pall Fortebio Princeton University Press Sutter Instrument

Probing Atomic Single Sites in Cells and Bio-Assemblies: Advances in In-Cell NMR Lucia Banci , University of Florence, Italy, Co-Chair Ichio Shimada , University of Tokyo, Japan, Co-Chair Marc Baldus , Utrecht University, The Netherlands Volker Dötsch , Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany Lynette Cegelski , Stanford University Atoms to Cells: Modeling Biological Complexity Leslie Loew , University of Connecticut Health Center, Co-Chair Banu Ozkan , Arizona State University, Co-Chair Ron Dror , Stanford University Mark Sansom , University of Oxford, United Kingdom Ruth Nussinov , NIH

FromMolecules to Mammals: Imaging, Sensing, and Light Control Gang Han , University of Massachusetts Medical School, Co-Chair Jin Hyung Lee , Stanford University, Co-Chair Klaus Hahn , University of North Carolina Jin Zhang , University of California, San Diego Vladislav Verkhusha , Albert Einstein College of Medicine Biomembrane Models and Tools Rumiana Dimova , Max Planck Institute, Germany, Co-Chair J. Antoinette Killian , Utrecht University, The Netherlands, Co-Chair Gerald Feigenson , Cornell University Kalina Hristova , Johns Hopkins University Alex Smirnov , North Carolina State University “ The Annual Meeting is a great place to meet others who are trying to push the boundaries of new techniques and research. ” — Krishna Mudumbi, Temple University

Fueling Discovery through Biophysics





Abstract Categories The Society organizes platform and poster sessions based on scientific areas. The abstract topic categories are reviewed annually and modified as needed to reflect new and evolving areas in biophysics. When submitting an abstract, you will be asked to select in which category your abstract best fits. The abstract categories for the 2018 Annual Meeting are listed below.

CELL PHYSIOLOGY & BIOPHYSICS 4A Membrane Receptors & Signal Transduction 4B Mechanosensation 4C Exocytosis & Endocytosis 4D Calcium Signaling 4E Intracellular Calcium Channels & Calcium Sparks & Waves 4F Excitation-Contraction Coupling 4G Cardiac, Smooth & Skeletal Muscle Electrophysiology 4H Muscle Regulation 4I Intracellular Transport CHANNELS 5A Voltage-gated Na Channels 5B Voltage-gated Ca Channels 5C Voltage-gated K Channels & Mechanisms of Voltage Sensing & Gating 5D TRP Channels 5E Ligand-gated Channels 5F Ion Channel Regulatory Mechanisms 5G Ion Channels, Pharmacology & Disease 5H Other Channels CYTOSKELETON, MOTILITY & MOTORS 6A Skeletal Muscle Mechanics, Structure & Regulation 6B Cardiac Muscle Mechanics & Structure 6C Cardiac Muscle Regulation 6D Smooth Muscle Mechanics, Structure & Regulation 6E Actin Structure, Dynamics & Associated Proteins 6F Microtubules, Structure, Dynamics & Associated Proteins 6G Kinesins, Dyneins & Other Microtubule-based Motors 6H Myosins 6I Cytoskeletal Assemblies & Dynamics 6J Cell Mechanics, Mechanosensing & Motility 6K Cytoskeletal-based Intracellular Transport 6L Bacterial Mechanics, Cytoskeleton & Motility

PROTEINS 1A Protein Structure & Conformation 1B Protein Structure Prediction & Design 1C Protein Stability, Folding & Chaperones 1D Protein-Small Molecule Interactions 1E Protein Assemblies 1F Protein Dynamics & Allostery 1G Membrane Protein Structures 1H Membrane Protein Dynamics 1I Membrane Protein Folding 1J Enzyme Function, Cofactors & Post-translational Modifications 1K Intrinsically Disordered Proteins (IDP) & Aggregates NUCLEIC ACIDS 2A DNA Replication, Recombination & Repair 2B Transcription 2C Ribosomes & Translation

2D DNA Structure & Dynamics 2E RNA Structure & Dynamics 2F Protein-Nucleic Acid Interactions 2G Chromatin & the Nucleoid

LIPID BILAYERS & MEMBRANES 3A Membrane Physical Chemistry 3B Membrane Dynamics 3C Membrane Active Peptides & Toxins 3D Membrane Fusion & Non-bilayer Structures 3E Membrane Structure 3F Protein-Lipid Interactions: Channels 3G Protein-Lipid Interactions: Structures 3H General Protein-Lipid Interactions

(Continued on next page) 2018meeting





11C Biosurfaces 11DMicro- and Nanotechnology 11E Biomaterials

BIOENERGETICS 7A Membrane Pumps, Transporters & Exchangers 7B Energy Transducing Membrane Protein Complexes 7C Electron & Proton Transfer 7D Light Energy Harvesting, Trapping & Transfer 7E Mitochondria in Cell Life & Death SYSTEMS BIOLOGY 8A Genetic Regulatory Systems 8B Cellular Signaling & Metabolic Networks 8C Systems Biology & Disease 8D Emerging Techniques & Synthetic Biology BIOPHYSICS OF NEUROSCIENCE 9A Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 9B Systems Neuroscience 9C Computational Neuroscience 9D Neuroscience: Experimental Approaches & Tools 9E Sensory Neuroscience NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN BIOPHYSICAL TECHNIQUES 10A EPR and NMR: Spectroscopy & Imaging 10B Electron Microscopy 10C Diffraction & Scattering Techniques 10DMolecular Dynamics 10E Computational Methods & Bioinformatics 10F Optical Microscopy & Superresolution Imaging: Novel Approaches and Analysis 10GOptical Microscopy & Superresolution Imaging: Applications to Cellular Molecules 10H Single-Molecule Spectroscopy 10I Optical Spectroscopy: CD, UV-VIS, Vibrational, Fluorescence 10J Force Spectroscopy & Scanning Probe Microcopy

Need extra copies of the 2018 Annual Meeting Call for Papers to post in your lab or give to colleagues? Contact society@

BIOPHYSICS EDUCATION 12A Biophysics Education Techniques

To allow attendees to search for abstracts based on specific techniques in addition to areas of research, during abstract submission you will be asked to select the technique used in your research from among a list of broad topics. The technique categories for the 2018 Annual Meeting are listed below: • Analytical Ultracentrifugation • Atomic Force Spectroscopy • Bioinformatics • Calorimetry • Cell/Tissue Imaging & Mechanics • Computational Chemistry • Electron Microscopy & Tomography • Electrophysiology • Fluorescence • Light Microscopy & Superresolution Imaging • Mass Spectrometry • Microfluidics & Microfabrication • Molecular Modeling • Molecular Dynamics Simulations • Nanotechnology • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance/EPR Spectroscopy • Optical Spectroscopy (CD & UV-VIS) • Single-Molecule Methods • Vibrational Spectroscopy (Infrared & Raman) • X-Ray & Neutron Scattering & Diffraction • X-Ray Crystallography • None/Other






Saturday Morning Biophysics: Image Life!

ing the Bryan/College Station campus. Trache’s interdisciplinary training and research have also influenced the program design. A traditionally trained physicist with a background in optics and spectroscopy, Trache transitioned to vascular cell physiology research during her postdoctoral training. Her research uses tools from the physi- cal sciences to study fundamental biophysical concepts at the cellular level, such as adaption of vascular cells to mechanical stimuli. Reflecting her interdisciplinary approach, the lectures and hands-on activities span a variety of topics across several disciplines as biophysics, medicine, and engineering. Initiated as part of Trache’s NSF CAREER Award, Saturday Morning Biophysics: Image Life! continues to be funded beyond the grant life by Trache’s academic unit, the College of Medicine and Department of Medical Physiology at the Texas A&M University Health Science Center.

Empowering Future Generations of Women Scientists

Recruiting a diverse pool of students, especially women and those from underrepresented groups, to pursue STEM careers is a broadly recognized challenge. Andreea Trache works to address this challenge by captivating the interest of middle- and high-school girls with the outreach program Saturday Morning Biophysics: Image Life! This program introduces students to current research topics in the physical and life sciences by stimu- lating their interest in biophysics and science in general. In addition to communicating the excite- ment of biophysics research, the program provides information on career paths in STEM research. Designed for general audiences, the program offers an educational and a social component. For the educational component, a diverse pool of Texas A&M faculty and students discuss their research in easy-to-understand multimedia presentations. These lectures are accompanied by interactive hands-on activity sessions to reinforce the scientific concepts presented during the talks. The social component of the program introduces the graduate student role model. Graduate student speakers not only discuss their research, but also talk about their personal journeys as they navigate their scientific careers. This is a popular segment of the program with both students and parents alike, as the speakers highlight their accomplish- ments and discuss their decisions, challenges, and lessons learned along the way. These engaging discussions give the attendees a realistic glimpse of life in college and beyond. The development of this program was inspired by Trache’s passion for promoting women into science and engineering and also giving back to the community. To date, the program has been attended by 350 middle- and high-school girls and 70 adults (parents and teachers) from 11 different towns located in the rural Texas area surround-

This year the Saturday Morning Bio- physics: Image Life! program cele- brates its tenth year. The program was started to motivate future generations of women to consider STEM careers, but along the way it has inspired and touched all of the faculty, students, and staff who have volunteered to make this program a success. The Biophysical Society plans to work with Trache by contributing a lesson plan and wooden microscopes donated to the Society by Echo Labs/Chroma for a Saturday Morning session this fall. Teachers participating in the program will bring the microscopes back to their classrooms. We hope the work being done by Trache will inspire oth-

The student observes the structure of fruit fly ( Drosophila melanogaster ) at high magnification using a light microscope.

ers to participate in and develop programs to reach and inspire the next generation of biophysicists. To learn more about Saturday Morning Biophys- ics: Image Life!, visit the program’s website at:





Molly Cule

Dear Molly Cule, I am a new assistant professor, and I need to hire people for my lab. But I have seen and heard horror stories of surly techs who don’t play well with others, graduate students who do all their scientific reading on Facebook, and postdocs who don’t actually have the skills they said they did. How can I recruit and interview to select the best people for my lab? Sincerely, Now Hiring Dear Now Hiring, First, congratulations on your new job! While it’s exciting to start a lab, it’s also daunting and your question reflects the fact that scientific training does not usually include human resources skills. Although advertisements are sometimes useful, in general the best recruits come by word-of-mouth. As a new PI, you probably won’t get many refer- rals by chance, so you will need to actively recruit people. You can put the word out to all your colleagues from your previous institutions that you are looking to staff your new lab. You should also directly court potential trainees at meetings and seminars, at your institution and elsewhere. You need to be friendly and accessible, of course, starting by asking potential candidates about their work (and listening carefully to form an initial impression of their capabilities). You also need to have a sales pitch ready that emphasizes to poten- tial applicants the benefits of your lab: As a new PI you have exciting new directions and there are low-hanging, high-impact projects just waiting for the founding members of your lab! You can also talk-up the benefits of a small lab and a young PI, such as one-on-one training and lots of feedback, compared to a big established lab, where trainees are often left to sink-or-swim on their own and can flounder for years for lack of guidance.

Interviewing is also critical. In a small lab, one bad apple can really slow progress and decimate morale. It’s also really hard emotionally and sometimes logistically to have to terminate people, so it’s important to screen them carefully up front. There are two important components to evaluat- ing a candidate: how they present themselves and how others describe them. An in-person interview lasting at least a half day is essential to get some idea of the candidates’ personality and fit, in addi- tion to their technical and scientific competence. It’s important to articulate to yourself in advance what skills are critical for people to successfully conduct the experimental plan you’ve outlined so that you can assess candidates. Don’t be shy — ask some direct questions and look for clear answers. Sometimes an outright test can even be a good option. For example, if you need your new technicians to be able to calculate solution com- positions accurately and in a reasonable time, then give them ten minutes and a calculator during the interview to find out if they really can. To get the most honest recommendations about a potential candidate, it is best to talk by phone to previous employers. Written recommendation let- ters can be misleading. Ask the previous employer direct questions, like whether they would hire the person again and whether they think the person has the specific skills to accomplish the work you need them to do. Good luck! — Molly Cule Since their inception in 2010, BPS has held 18 Thematic Meetings in 15 countries. Numbers By the





Student Center Daniel Marzolf

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

James Madison University

Q: What has been your fa- vorite course while studying biophysics? Why? Daniel Marzolf

The course Applications of Lasers in Physical Scienc- es, taught by my research advisor/PI Dr. Oleksandr Kokhan , has been my favorite and the most reward- ing course I have taken while studying biophysics. As the name implies, the class learned the various ways that lasers are used in both home life and scientific pursuits. The lectures were interesting, but my favor- ite portion of the class was the lab section in which we did a variety of experiments using multiple laser systems. This is an incredibly unique opportunity for undergraduates, as often those sorts of instru- ments are reserved for graduate institutions and their research labs. I had a personal interest in the course because of my work with Dr. Kokhan, which often uses laser systems for kinetic measurements in con- junction with NMR spectroscopy, under the direc- tion of Dr. Nathan Wright , to determine a structure- kinetic relationship in cytochrome proteins.

Conflict Resolution

September 12, 2:00 pm EST Presenter: Alaina G. Levine

Biophysical Society Members: FREE Non-members: $15

Register Today at

Members in the News

Douglas Robinson , Johns Hopkins University and Society member since 2004, was awarded the Ruth Kirschstein Diver- sity in Science Award from ASBMB. Lewis Kay , University of Toronto and Society member since 1998, received the Christian B. Anfinsen Award from the Protein Society.

Juli Feigon , University of California, Los Angeles, and Society member since 1980, was awarded the Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award from the Protein Society. Douglas Tobias , University of California, Irvine, and Society member since 2001, was the recipient of the Soft Matter and Biophysical Chemistry Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Edward Lemke , European Molecular Biology Labora- tory and Society member since 2002, was awarded the FEBS Anniversary Prize.

Susan Taylor (not pictured), University of California, San Diego, and Society member since 2000, was presented with the Earl and Thressa Stadtman Distinguished Scientist award from ASBMB.





President Macron's Invitation to American Researchers: A French Perspective

President Macron started supporting research on ecological issues during the French presidential campaign. On February 9, 2017, three months before he was elected president, a video was posted to his Facebook and Twitter pages that ex- tended a warm welcome to foreign scientists. "We want people working on climate change, energy, renewables, and new technologies. France is your nation," he said. Following the same track, and since June 20 2017, when President Trump withdrew the United States from the "accords de Paris" (the Paris agreement on climate change, see http://, President Macron launched a new project called "Make Our Planet Great Again" to attract foreign scientists and entrepreneurs to work on ecology in France ( form). Selected candidates will be offered a four- year grant of up to €1.5 million for scientists with more than 15 years’ experience, and €1 million for scientists with more than two years’ experience following their PhD. President Macron’s offer includes French residency rights, provides for work permits for spouses, and includes help with administrative and practical issues associated with relocation. “ At the very least, 'Make Our Planet Great Again' is a powerful symbolic move, reminding us all that science is an international endeavor, and that climate change has no borders. ”

recurrent grants for departments, in the last two decades, many initiatives from research agencies and organizations, universities, and institutes have been developed to attract independent scien- tists working on specific projects. The funding schemes in terms of duration and amount of grants are similar to that proposed by President Macron. Selection of funded projects is made by independent committees, constituted by the granting agencies. Selection committees include experts in the field, coming from France and abroad, reviewers who are both internal and exter- nal to the granting agency, and representatives of the funding organizations. Once the grant is over, researchers can apply for permanent positions within French research organizations that are listed on the website for applicants. If the four years have been successful in terms of publications, researchers rarely fail in obtaining a permanent position. And many want to stay: Without the help of any particu- lar international initiatives, the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the French equivalent of the NIH or NSF), is made up of more than 30% foreign permanent researchers. A position as a permanent researcher in France allows a lot of scientific freedom since there is no tenure-type evaluation, and this is particularly necessary for projects that need time to mature. Indeed, the American system, with the tenure track scheme, emphasizes productivity and does not allow early career researchers to take risks that may delay publications. In addition, as explained on the website "Make Our Planet Great Again," there are many important advantages in France for researchers’ families. For children, the website states quite rightly that "French public schools are free, and the tuition fees of universities and 'grandes écoles' are very low compared to the American system." Launching the program by President Macron "Make Our Planet Great Again" did not unani-

This type of call is now common in France. While research in France used to be based on





mously please researchers working in France. Some think that the government should first commit to funding French laboratories properly before inviting American colleagues to work in France. Such funding has been enacted, but may fall short of the mark. One example is the "grand emprunt," an investment scheme for fund- ing research initiated by President Sarkozy in 2010 and continued by President Hollande . In this scheme, fund- ing is given to joint ventures between institutions and departments, usually involving large numbers of research teams. However, one major issue for such funding schemes is the lack of oversight on how the funding is distributed internally within the consortium since there are no clear rules or deliverables associated with such ini- tiatives. Therefore, there is a risk that this funding may be misused or unfairly distributed. We can only hope that President Macron will be made aware of this risk. At least I have expressed my fear concerning this issue through the "Make Our Planet Great Again" website. At the very least, “Make Our Planet Great Again” is a powerful symbolic move, reminding us all that science is an international endeavor, and that climate change has no borders. Now more than ever, foreign scientists are welcome in France, especially when political conditions in their home countries are not favorable to the develop- ment of science. — Cecile Sykes, Institut Curie

Grants and Opportunities i i Advanced Development and Validation of Emerging Molecular and Cellular Analysis Technologies for Basic and Clinical Cancer Research Objective: Further development and valida- tion of emerging technologies offering novel capabilities for targeting, probing, or assessing molecular and cellular features of cancer biology for basic or clinical cancer research. Well-suited applications must offer the potential to accel- erate and/or enhance research in the areas of cancer biology, early detection and screening, clinical diagnosis, treatment, control, epidemiol- ogy, and/or address issues associated with cancer health disparities. Technologies proposed for de- velopment may be intended to have widespread applicability but must be focused on improving molecular and/or cellular characterizations of cancer. Website: files/RFA-CA-17-011.html Innovative Molecular and Cellular Analysis Technologies for Basic and Clinical Cancer Research Objective: Exploratory research projects focused on the inception and early-stage development of highly innovative, molecular and/or cellular analysis technologies with transformative poten- tial. Applications involving an existing technol- ogy not yet demonstrated for the proposed cancer-relevant applications are within the scope, but must involve additional technical modifica- tions and development to allow for the proposed cancer-relevant context of use or some signifi- cant question of feasibility exists for achieving the proposed aims. Deadline: September 26, 2017

Deadline: September 26, 2017

Website: files/RFA-CA-17-010.html

Presorted First Class Mail U.S. Postage PAID Claysburg, PA Permit #6

Biophysical Society

5515 Security Lane, Suite 1110 Rockville, Maryland 20852







September 8–10 EMBO Workshop: Integrating genomics and biophysics to compre- hend functional genetic variation Istanbul, Turkey tion/ September 27–29 The role of glycosylation on serpin biology and conformational diseases Orléans, France event/role-glycosylation-serpin-biol- ogy-and-conformational-disease

October 18–20 26th Congress of the European Association of Tissue Banks Treviso, Italy

November 1–4 ABRCMS Phoenix, Arizona

December 3–7 Molecular Perspectives on Protein- Protein Interactions Eilat, Isral ferences/PPI2017/ December 9–12 Intrinsically Disordered Proteins: Forms, Functions and Diseases Mohali, India

November 6–8 High-Content Analysis + 3D Screening: Next-Generation Cellular Models & Screening Cambridge, MA http://www.highcontentanalysis. com/ November 28–30 Chemical and Biological Defense Science & Technology Conference Long Beach, CA

October 19–21 SACNAS-The National Diversity in STEM Conference Salt Lake City, Utah ference/ October 16–27 ESPCA - Biophysical Methods to Study Biomolecular Interactions Sao Paulo, Brazil

Please visit for a complete list of upcoming events.

Made with