Biophysical Society Newsletter | August 2017





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.”

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