Biophysical Society Newsletter - February 2016

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Newsletter FEBRUARY 2016 2016 New & Notable Symposium Speakers Announced Seven speakers were selected for the 2016 New & Notable Symposium. The Program Chairs were challenged by the many superb nominations submitted by Society members. The speakers, listed below, will present their work in Los Angeles, California, during the Symposium on Sunday, February 28, at 10:45 am. The Symposium will feature exciting new discoveries that take advantage of diverse biophysical methodologies, including single-molecule fluorescence and Cryo-EM, to address a wide range of biophysical questions.


2016 Summer Program February 15 Priority Deadline Meetings

Engineering Approaches to Biomolecular Motors: From in vitro to in vivo June 14-17 Vancouver, Canada March 13 Abstract Submission April 6 Early Registration Liposomes, Exosomes, and Virosomes September 11-16 Ascona, Switzerland March 7 Abstract Submission March 11 Early Registration Mechanobiology of Disease S eptember 27-30 Singapore June 6 Abstract Submission July 5 Early Registration

Julie Biteen Washington University School of Medicine The Motions and Interactions in Mismatch Repair Taget Search Dynamics are Revealed by Live-Cell Single-Molecule Microscopy Juli Feigon University of California, Los Angeles Integrative Structural Biology of Tetrahymena Telomerase

Filippo Mancia Columbia University Cryo-EM Structure of a Micronutrient Transporter with Unusual Architecture

Colin Nichols Washington University School of Medicine Structural Dynamics of K Channel Gating Revealed by Single Molecule FRET

Seok-Yong Lee Duke University Medical Center Structure of a TRPV2 Ion Channel

Jeanne C. Stachowiak University of Texas at Austin

Intrinsically Disordered Proteins as Physical Drivers of Membrane Traffic

Edward Lemke European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg Floppy but not Sloppy: Decoding Plasticity in the Dark Proteome of the Nuclear Transport Machinery


Annual Meeting Information


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14 15 16 19 20

Biophysicist in Profile


Public Affairs

Grants and Opportunities

Biophysical Journal Code of Conduct Annual Meeting Members Corner

Message from BPS Congressional

Biophysical Society

Fellow MollyCule

10 12

Upcoming Events





Biophysicist in Profile SUZANNE SCARLATA


Officers President Edward Egelman President-Elect Suzanne Scarlata Past-President Dorothy Beckett Secretary Frances Separovic Treasurer Paul Axelsen Council Olga Boudker Ruth Heidelberger Kalina Hristova Juliette Lecomte Amy Lee Robert Nakamoto Gabriela Popescu Joseph D. Puglisi Michael Pusch Erin Sheets Antoine van Oijen Bonnie Wallace Biophysical Journal Leslie Loew Editor-in-Chief

Suzanne Scarlata , Whitcomb Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Worces- ter Polytechnic Institute (WPI), whose term as Biophysical Society President will begin in March 2016, grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a fact which is evident by her lingering accent. Her mother was a very success- ful hairdresser and her father worked as a quality control specialist for the helicopter division of Boeing. No one in Scarlata’s large family worked—or was particularly interested—in science and as a young person, Scarlata herself was not very interested in it either. In fact, she did not give much thought to what career she would pursue at all. “In high school, I was put in the secre- tarial track where they placed students who weren’t interested in going to college,” she says. “After taking classes in typing (which has served me well) and shorthand (which has not), I switched to the college preparatory track.” Scarlata did indeed go to college. She attended Temple University and began studying science. “I started taking science classes in college because there seemed to be more science-related jobs than in the fields that I enjoyed more, like sociology, art, and history,” Scarlata explains. Once she started down the path toward a science career, however, she unlocked an interest within herself. “In my junior year, I started an undergraduate project that focused on histone structure,” she says. “It was then that I realized I wanted a career in scientific research.” She earned her Bachelor of Arts in chemistry and then continued on to graduate school at the University of Illinois in Urbana- Champaign (UIUC). “My thesis work used different fluorescence methods to study protein dynamics and to quantify protein associations,” Scarlata says. “After characterizing the movement and interactions of proteins in model systems, I wondered how these data relate to proteins in their native cellular environment.” Scarlata met Catherine Royer in the fall of 1980 at UIUC. They became friends quickly and worked together during their thesis studies, co-authoring a paper on protein interaction and dynamics. In the late 1980s, Scarlata and Royer worked together again on histone interactions. “I remember the papers well, because we measured fluorescence lifetimes via frequency domain prior to the automation of the instrument,” Royer recalls. “We calculated that we turned the knob between sample and reference 6,000 times for the data in the paper. We called it the Bengay paper! Younger biophysicists will not appreciate the amount of elbow grease we put into our work back then!” Scarlata notes that Royer, now at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, got sun- burned from aligning light from the Xenon arc lamp, since those were the days before lasers were easily available. After earning her PhD, Scarlata took a permanent position at AT&T Bell Labs, in their materials and optics division, developing optical testing meth- ods for printed circuit boards. She wanted to pursue biophysical research further, so she left AT&T, taking a position at Cornell University Medical College in Manhattan. Early in her career, she faced a crisis of confidence

Cartoon by friend & freelance cartoonist Barbara Kelley

Society Office Ro Kampman Executive Officer Newsletter Catie Curry Beth Staehle Ray Wolfe Production Laura Phelan Profile Ellen Weiss Public Affairs Beth Staehle Publisher's Forum

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 © 2016 by the Biophysical Society. Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved.





that many scientists are familiar with: “I submit- ted a proposal to the National Institutes of Health that previously received a good, but not fundable score. The resubmission failed. In the summary statement, the panel said my work was incremen- tal. This was devastating,” Scarlata says. “I was extremely depressed and looking at other career options, but then a friend asked, ‘Who are these people [the reviewers] anyway?’ This question put the reviewers into a different light. I realized that not everyone is going to understand what you are doing unless you clearly state the importance of your work and how it fits into a bigger picture. I also realized that you need a really thick skin to be in science. Not everyone is going to be sensitive or constructive.” Following Cornell, Scarlata took a position at Stony Brook University, where she worked for 24 years before moving to Worcester Polytechnic Institute last fall. “We have several projects in the lab that all center on the phospholipase C beta- G protein signaling pathway,” she says. “This pathway is one of the main ways that allows cells to respond to many hormones and neurotrans- mitters to increase cellular calcium levels, which allows cells to move, divide, or die depending on the specific circumstances. Our goal is to under- stand the series of changes in protein associations that accompany these signals and the factors that impact their responses.” “Scientifically,” Scarlata says, “the most challeng- ing aspect is to think of all of the appropriate controls for each experiments. There are so many potential interactions of components in cells that can vary in different cell lineages and different lo- calizations in the cell.” Even more of a challenge is getting funding, which Scarlata considers primar- ily a matter of luck. Scarlata’s favorite thing about biophysics is being able to quantify biological systems and to put biology into physical terms, but the aspect she finds most fulfilling is seeing her students succeed. “I find it really rewarding when one of my gradu- ate students presents their thesis research at their defense and see how excited and confident they are

about their work,” she says. “This is when I feel the most successful.” When not in the lab, Scar- lata spends time with her husband, Walter Zurawsky , Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at WPI, and three daughters, Cassandra , Alyssa , and Cathe- rine . Scarlata and Zurawsky are currently working on renovating an old house they bought upon moving to Worcester. She spends discusses politics, and watch- es what she calls “ridiculous” TV series. Throughout her career, Scar- lata has been a member of the Biophysical Society. “I’ve been a member of BPS for so long that it seems like fam- ily,” she says. “To me, the BPS meeting is the whole en- chilada—from science on the one-on-one level at poster sessions to large seminars, to networking groups, to career support—I really

Some past and present students: Top – Leo Williams, Bonnie Calizo, Louisa Dowal, Paxton Provitera, Osama Garwain, Marjorie BonHomme, Tilly Wang. Bottom – Siddartha Yerramilli, Shriya Sahu, Yuanjian Guo and Loren Runnels. Scarlata is at the very bottom.

much of her free time playing sports, as part of a tennis group and a few different soccer teams. In any remaining leisure time, Scarlata reads novels,

Family picture from right – daughter Cassandra, husband Walter Zurawsky, daughters Alyssa and Catherine, and Scarlata.

get so much out of the meeting. The Society has provided me with a peer group [with whom] I can discuss science, career, academics, etc. I’ve made many connections and have had a great deal of input that has really helped my research.” Scarlata would advise biophysicists just start- ing out in their careers, “Keep your eyes on the prize—don’t let yourself get bogged down on peripheral studies or control studies that are un- necessary. Don’t waste time on reagents. Look for the key experiment that will give you the informa- tion you need.”

Profilee-at-a-Glance Institution Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Area of Research Chemistry and Biochemistry





Public Affairs Congress Approves FY 2016 Spending Bill After three extensions and two months of negotiations behind closed

doors, Congress reached an agreement on the FY 2016 federal budget, which it approved on December 18. The $1.5 billion omnibus bill increases funding for science at several federal agencies. The chart below provides funding details for agencies and programs relevant to the biophysics community. Here are a few additional notes about the budget: • The $2 billion increase at National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the largest one-year increase to the NIH budget since 2003. • Within the National Science Foundation (NSF) budget, the “Research and Related Activities” line received a $100 million increase over FY 2015. The “Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction” line decreased $45 million from FY 2015. • The language that appeared in a House appropriations bill for NSF earlier in the year and that would have decimated the Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBE) and the Geosciences Directorates was removed. Instead, included language states that SBE should be funded at no more than the FY 2015 level. The bill funds the government through September 30, 2016.

Federal Funding for Science Agencies (in millions)

Difference between FY 15 and FY 16

Change between FY 15 and FY 16

FY 2015 Enacted Level

FY 2016 Enacted Level


National Institutes of Health National Science Foundation Department of Energy Office of Science NIST Science and Tech Laboratories Department of Defense Basic Research Veteran's Affairs Medical and Pros- thetic Research NASA Science

































NIH Releases a Five-Year Strategic Plan

funded through a competitive grant program open to states. The purpose is “to elevate the status of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teaching profession by rec- ognizing, rewarding, attracting, and retaining outstanding science, technology, engineer- ing, and mathematics teachers, particularly in high-need and rural schools." • The inclusion of engineering concepts in state science assessments . The bill allows states to use federal funding to refine science assessments to include engineering skills. • Alternative certification for STEM teach- ers . States will be permitted to use federal funds to create alternative career paths for STEM teachers. • Permits differential pay . States can use fed- eral funds to pay higher salaries to teachers in high-needs subjects, including STEM fields. • Professional development for STEM teach- ers . Schools can partner with colleges and universities to provide professional develop- ment for teachers. While the STEM community has shown support and approval for the new law, it has expressed dis- appointment that the bill does not reauthorize the Math and Science Partnership (MSP) Program, a grant program that funds partnerships between STEM departments at institutions of higher edu- cation and high-need school districts. It is possible that programs funded under MSP will be able to continue through funding from a larger umbrella grant program included in ESSA. In order to work out the details and allow time for districts and states to transition to the new requirements, many components of the law do not take effect until the 2017-2018 school year. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Com- mittee, which has oversight over the Department of Education, has announced plans to hold several hearings on the law’s implementation in early 2016. Alexander served as the US Secretary of Education from 1991 to 1993.

The Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) at NIH approved a strategic plan, NIH-Wide Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2016–2020: Turning Discovery Into Health , at its meeting on December 10, 2015. The plan was requested by Congress in the FY 2014 spending bill. While purposefully broad in scope in order to allow for the agency to pursue unexpected opportunities and to not con- flict with the strategic plans of individual institutes and centers, the plan focuses on four objectives: 1) Advancing opportunities in biomedical research, 2) fostering innovation through NIH priority setting, 3) enhancing scientific stewardship, and 4) developing the "science of science" to excel as a federal science agency. The NIH intends to treat the plan as a “living document,” meaning it is open for refinement throughout the five-year pe- riod. The strategic plan can be read in its entirety at nih/strategic-plan-fy2016-2020-508.pdf. A New Education Law in the United States In a major act of bipartisanship, Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaces the 12-year-old No Child Left Behind Act and authorizes the US Department of Education. While much of the media coverage of the new law has focused on its move away from required testing and how the federal government provides education grant funding to the states, the bill also has several provisions related to STEM education: • Mandated testing in science and math . Students are required to take annual math tests in grades three through eight and once in high school, and science tests three times between grades three and 12. Required test- ing is viewed as an indicator that the subject is important, and also provides some guarantee that time will be devoted to the subjects dur- ing school. • The establishment of a nationwide STEM Master Teacher Corps . This program will be





Biophysical Journal Know the Editors Nathan Baker Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) Editor, Proteins Nathan Baker : It’s hard to point to one thing, but I have been fascinated by computers and program- ming for a long time; that got me interested in a wider range of science and technology. In addi- tion, I was lucky to have fantastic professors at the University of Iowa. They converted me from pre- medicine to chemistry and got me interested in basic science. It was the chemistry professors there that ultimately sent me down the path of research science. I became interested in biophysics dur- ing my undergraduate research at Iowa and then became deeply involved in biophysics through my PhD research with Andy McCammon at UC San Diego. Nathan Baker Q: How did you discover biophysics?

Q: What is your current research focus?

My research interests include the development of new algorithms and mathematical methods in bio- physics, nanotechnology, and informatics. Cur- rent research projects include new computational methods for modeling solvation in biomolecular systems (, mathematical methods for mesoscale materials modeling ( cm4/), and development of new methods for sig- nature discovery ( I've been particularly interested in cross-fertilization between applied mathematics, biophysics, and materials science. Q: How do you keep up with developments in your field? RSS journal feeds are my primary source of information: I'm a journal article junkie. I scan thousands of articles each week and have assem- bled a very large electronic bibliography. I really enjoy reading the literature across a wide range of disciplines. Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Playing with my kids, running, reading, and play- ing video games. I also still write code every now and then!

When You Have Work to Publish, Think BJ This is the year to publish your research in Biophysical Journal . Here is why. • Seven Sections to submit to, including the new Nucleic Acids and Genome Biophysics • New rapid publication of Letters for important and timely infor- mation • High-quality science • Rapid turnaround times • No page limits

• Policies that promote transparency and data sharing • Hybrid journal with Open Access and licensing options • Publisher deposits to PubMed; compliance with federal agency policies

• Broad focus, wide dissemination • Easy submission with ORCID IDs

• Authors receive link to share their articles 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

• Rigorous and constructive peer review by working scientists • Affordable publication fees with discounts for BPS members • Author friendly pre-print policy

Biophysical Society Thematic Meeting





Mechanobiology of Disease Singapore | September 27–30, 2016

This meeting aims to bring together an interdisciplinary set of researchers and technology partners that are investigating and exploiting me- chanical properties of cells that are associated with disease or dysfunction. World leaders in these topics will identify scientific areas of impact in understanding and treating disease, and consider the development of drug screening tools, diagnostics and therapeutics that target or exploit the mechanobiology of cells. Such a unique biophysical perspective has the potential to bring solutions for a range of disease states.

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE Dino Di Carlo , University of California, Los Angeles, USA Jochen Guck , Technische Universität, Dresden, Germany Linda Kenney , Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore Chwee Teck Lim , Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore Michael Sheetz , Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore G.V. Shivashankar , Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore SPEAKERS Clare Bryant University of Cambridge, United Kingdom Kevin Chalut , University of Cambridge, United Kingdom Alex Dunn , Stanford University, USA Adam Engler , University of California, San Diego, USA Marco Foiani , IFOM the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology, Italy Susan Gasser , Friedrich Miescher Institute, Switzerland Katharina Gaus , University of New South Wales, Australia


Abstract Submission June 6, 2016

Early Registration July 5, 2016

Gregory Giannone , Interdisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience, France Gisou van der Goot , École Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland Carl-Phillip Heisenburg , Institute of Science and TechnologyAustria (ISTAustria), Austria

Linda Kenney , Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore Birgit Lane , National University of Singapore, Singapore

Deborah Leckband , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA Thomas Lecuit , Insitut de Biologie de Development de Marseille, France Chwee Teck Lim , Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore Henry Tse , CtyoVale, Inc., USA Oliver Otto , Dresden University of Technology, Germany Daniela Rhodes , Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Amy Rowat , University of California, Los Angeles, USA Michael Sheetz, Mechanobiology Institute , Singapore G.V. Shivashankar, Mechanobiology Insitute , Singapore Krystyn Van Vliet , MIT, USA Bernard Wehrle-Haller , University of Geneva, Switzerland Marvin Whiteley , University of Texas at Austin, USAA 2016Singapore





Biophysical Society Code of Conduct, Anti-Harassment Policy ADOPTED BY BPS COUNCIL NOVEMBER 2015

Message from the President There has been much in the media lately about the disrespect and harassment that exists in society at large, as well as within the scientific communi- ty. As scientists, we know that scientific discourse cannot take place in an environment that does not respect others. The Biophysical Society Council recently met and unanimously reconfirmed its commitment to diversity and respectful treatment of all at any event or activity the Society sponsors. To that end, the Council approved a code of conduct that all participants at BPS-sponsored events must fol- low. The code is printed in its entirety below and will also be posted on the Society’s website. It is 2016—harassment cannot be tolerated. — Edward Egelman , President The Biophysical Society (BPS) is committed to providing an environment that encourages the free expression and exchange of scientific ideas. As a global, professional Society, the BPS is commit- ted to the philosophy of equal opportunity and respectful treatment for all regardless of national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, gen- der, gender identity or expression, race, color, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, veteran status, or any other reason not related to scientific merit. All BPS meetings and BPS- sponsored activities promote a working environ- ment that is free of inappropriate behavior and harassment by or toward all attendees of Society meetings and Society-sponsored activities, includ- ing scientists, students, guests, exhibitors, staff, vendors, and other suppliers. This global policy applies to all locations and situ- ations where BPS business is conducted and to all BPS-sponsored activities and events. This policy does not replace the specific staff policies for situa- tions in which only staff are involved.

Reported or suspected occurrences of harassment will be promptly and thoroughly investigated. Following an investigation, BPS will immediately take any necessary and appropriate action. BPS will not permit or condone any acts of retaliation against anyone who files harassment complaints or cooperates in the investigation of same. Definition of Harassment  1. The term "harassment" includes but is not limited to epithets, unwelcome slurs, jokes, or verbal, graphic or physical conduct relating to an individual's race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, gender or sexual orientation that deni- grate or show hostility or aversion toward an individual or group. 2. Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Behavior and language that are welcome/ acceptable to one person may be unwelcome/ offensive to another. Consequently, individu- als must use discretion to ensure that their words and actions communicate respect for others. This is especially important for those in positions of authority since individuals with lower rank or status may be reluctant to express their objections or discomfort regard- ing unwelcome behavior. It does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially accept- able nature. It refers to behavior that is not welcome, is personally offensive, debilitates morale, and therefore, interferes with work ef- fectiveness. The following are examples of be- havior that, when unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment: sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; verbal comments or physical actions of a sexual nature; sexually degrading words used to describe an individual; a display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; sexu- ally explicit jokes; unnecessary touching.

Edward Egelman





Investigative Process Anyone who feels harassed is encouraged to imme- diately inform the alleged harasser that the behav- ior is unwelcome. In many instances, the person is unaware that their conduct is offensive and when so advised can easily and willingly correct the conduct so that it does not reoccur. Anyone who feels harassed IS NOT required to address the person believed guilty of inappropriate treat- ment. If the informal discussion with the alleged harasser is unsuccessful in remedying the problem or if complainant does not feel comfortable with such an approach, he/she should contact BPS's Executive Director or the Society President, or any BPS Officer. All complaints will be promptly and thoroughly investigated. All reports of harassment or sexual harassment will be treated seriously. However, absolute confidentiality cannot be promised nor can it be assured. BPS will conduct an investigation of any complaint of harassment or sexual harassment, which may require limited disclosure of pertinent information to certain parties, including the al- leged harasser. No retaliation will be taken against any employee, member, volunteer, exhibitor, or supplier because he or she reports a problem concerning possible acts of harassment. Employees, members, volun- teers, exhibitors, or suppliers can raise concerns and make reports without fear of reprisal. Investigative Procedure Once a complaint of harassment or sexual harass- ment is received, BPS will begin a prompt and thorough investigation. 1. An impartial investigative committee, consist- ing of the Past-President, current President, and President-Elect will be established. 2. The committee will interview the complainant and review the written complaint. If no writ- ten complaint exists, one will be requested. 3. The committee will speak to the alleged of- fender and present the complaint.

4. The alleged offender will be given the op- portunity to address the complaint, with sufficient time to respond to the evidence and bring his/her own evidence. 5. If the facts are in dispute, the investigative team may need to interview anyone named as witnesses. 6. The investigative committee may seek BPS Counsel’s advice. 7. Once the investigation is complete, the com- mittee will report their findings and make recommendations to the Society Officers. Disciplinary Actions Individuals engaging in behavior prohibited by this policy as well as those making allegations of harassment in bad faith will be subject to disci- plinary action. Such actions range from a verbal warning to ejection from the meeting or activ- ity in question without refund of registration fees and the reporting of their behavior to their employer. Repeat offenders may be subject to further disciplinary action, such as being banned from participating in future Society meetings or Society-sponsored activities. In the event that the individual is dissatisfied with the results of the in- vestigation, he or she may appeal to the President of the Society. Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to the BPS Executive Officer or other Society Officer. BPS Management Responsibility Every officer, director, supervisor, and manager is responsible for ensuring that BPS provides an environment free of harassment and inappropri- ate behavior and that complaints are handled promptly and effectively. The BPS Society Office and Officers must inform the Society membership and all vendors and suppliers about this policy, promptly investigate allegations of harassment, take appropriate disciplinary action, and take steps to assure retaliation is prohibited.





What You Should Know Before Heading to the Annual Meeting Registration

Navigating the Meeting With so many scientific and educational sessions, it can be difficult to decide what to attend. Take some time before the meeting to look through the sessions by: Building your itinerary through the Desktop Planner and sync with the BPS mobile app; Downloading the BPS mobile app available on all platforms; Picking up a printed Annual Meeting Program at registration or view online; or Viewing the Abstracts Issue for the Annual Meeting by going to Daily Meet-up Interested in making new acquaintances and experiencing the cuisine of Los Angeles? Meet at the Society Booth each evening, Sunday through Tuesday, at 5:30 pm where a BPS member will coordinate dinner at a local restaurant. Undergraduate Student Lounge Undergraduates can utilize the student lounge for a place to relax or catch up on coursework being missed while at the Annual Meeting.

Look for your registration confirmation with a QR code by email, Wednesday, February 17. Print this confirmation and bring it with you to pick up your badge and meeting materials. Registration, badge pick-up, scientific sessions, and posters are all located in the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall. Housing Confirmation If you booked your hotel reservation through the official BPS housing bureau, CHP Hous- ing, you should have received your confirma- tion. If you have not received your confirma- tion, contact the housing bureau directly toll free at 1-800-274-9481. Outside the United States, please call 1-415-813-6088 and select option 4. Art of Science Image Contest The ten finalists’ images will be on display in the Exhibit Hall. Cast your vote for your two favorite images while visiting the Hall. Ballots will be distributed with your badge at the onsite registration desks. Poster Printing Service/Poster Pick-Up Have your scientific poster printed and ready for pick-up in the West Lobby of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Options include a smooth matte vinyl or polyester fabric. Place your order by February 24 for discounted rates by going to






Stay Connected Follow Annual Meeting events on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and the Biophysical Society Blog throughout the Annual Meeting for scientific session news, press releases, attendee blog posts, and more.

Special Events Saturday, February 27, 5:00 pm , Concourse Foyer Opening Mixer Monday, February 29, 8:00 pm , Concourse Ballroom Awards and National Lecturer delivered by David Shaw Monday, February 29, 9:30 pm J.W. Marriott – Diamond Ballroom Reception/Dance Career Center/Job Board Are you looking for that next job opportunity in the field of biophysics? Do you have a position to fill in your lab or company? If you answered yes, then you need to stop by the Career Center during the Annual Meeting. The Career Center provides a centralized location for attendees looking for their next position and employers seeking a new hire. Applicants can post their CV at no charge and apply for job openings, with many employ- ers conducting interviews onsite. Joe Tringali and Alaina Levine, professional career consultants, will provide career focused workshops and offer one-on-one career counseling sessions throughout the meeting. Registra- tion is required for the limited number of one-on-one career counseling sessions. Please sign up for these ap- pointments onsite at the meeting beginning Saturday morning, February 27. These signups are on a first- come, first-served basis. The center also features a job board and resume bank, allowing employers and job seekers to connect. Job can- didates can post and view resumes at any time. Employ- ers who have job opportunities to advertise can do so by visiting the Job Board at 2016 BPS members qualify for a reduced posting fee.

BPS is again partnering with WebsEdge to bring Biophysical Society TV to the Annual Meeting! Bio- physical Society TV features new episodes daily, including Thought Leadership and Annual Meeting News . View program highlights, “behind the scenes” interviews, and coverage of meeting events from the comfort of your own home by visiting www.biophysics. org/2016meeting.

See You in SUNNY Los Angeles

Additional details at 2016meeting





In the News Rakesh K. Jain , Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Society member since 1999, received the National Medal of Sci- ence awarded by the White House. Joseph DeSimone , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Society member since 2000, received the National Medal of Technology and Innova- tion awarded by the White House. Seven Society members have been elected to be- come Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): Shu Chien , University of California, San Diego, Society member since 1980 Member's Corner Dennis Discher , University of Pennsylvania, Society member since 1995 David Piston , Washington University in St. Louis, Society member since 1985 Edward Stuenkel , University of Michigan, Society member since 1993 Ilya Vakser , University of Kansas, Society member since 2014 Mark Yeager , University of Virginia, Society member since 1991 On the Move Logan S. Ahlstrom moved from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Michigan where he was an NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, to become a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Associate in James Bardwell’s Laboratory, Depart- ment of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan. Philip Yeagle , University of Connecticut, Society member since 1979

Suzanne Scarlata moved from the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Stony Brook University, New York, to Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, where she is the Whitcomb Chair and a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Have you changed positions recently? Moved to a new lab? Starting a postdoc? On the Move is a new feature about the comings and goings of BPS members. Send news of your move to CCurry@ Not moving yourself but know of a BPS member who is? Please send an email and Society staff will follow-up. Student Center Anastasiia Stratiievska I have wanted to be a scientist since as long as I can remember. The question “how does pain work?” is what got me into biophysics. I am studying the TRPV1 ion channel – a key receptor in sensory transduction. Ironically, I’m extremely sensitive to pepper, a pungent compound of which is a TRPV1 agonist, capsaicin. My friends joke that my research is only about how to cure my sensitivity. I have just recently transferred to the PhD pro- gram at the Department of Physiology and Bio- physics, University of Washington, Seattle, from the PhD program at the Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology, International Center for Molecular Physiology, Kyiv, Ukraine. Student Center is a new feature in the Newsletter, where student members can share their experi- ences on how they decided to enter the field of biophysics. Send a photo and your answer to Anastasiia Stratiievska Physiology and Biophysics University of Washington Q: How did you get interested in pursuing biophysics?

Rakesh K. Jain

Joseph Desimone





Biophysical Society Thematic Meetings

Upcoming Deadlines

Liposomes, Exosomes, and Virosomes: From Modeling Complex Membrane Processes to Medical Diagnostics and Drug Delivery

Engineering Approaches to Biomolecular Motors: From in vitro to in vivo

Ascona, Switzerland | September 11–16, 2016

Vancouver, Canada | June 14–17, 2016

Abstract Submission Deadline: March 7, 2016 Early Registration Deadline: March 11, 2016

Abstract Submission Deadline: March 13, 2016 Early Registration Deadline: April 6, 2016 2016Switzerland 2016Vancouver

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maintains his position as one of the leaders in the study of ion channels, focusing on the relationship between channel structure and gating mecha- nisms. In addition to his scientific achievements, Mackinnon has mentored countless students and post-doctoral fellows who have established suc- cessful independent academic careers. His work and the debates that followed have defined many of central questions in the field of membrane transport in the last two decades. Please join us in congratulating Rod as the 2016 Cole Awardee. The Cole Award is chosen annually from nomina- tions solicited from the subgroup by a selection committee comprised of the Membrane Biophys- ics subgroup chairs elect, current, past and past- past in addition to the subgroup treasurer. The 2016 Membrane Biophysics symposium, chaired by Alessio Accardi , will be held on Sat- urday, February 27, from 1:00pm to 6:00pm. Entitled "Unusual Mechanisms in Membrane Transport," the symposium promises to be a lively kick-off to the 2016 BPS meeting in Los Angeles. The Cole banquet and awardee lecture directly follows the symposium and will be held at the Luxe Hotel located at 1020 Figueroa Street, a few blocks from the LA convention center. Please send your RSVPs for the dinner to membranebio- if you did not already sign up during registration for the 2016 BPS meeting.

Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Congratulations to Shana Elbaum-Garfinkle , Princeton University and Alexander Tischer , Mayo Clinic, Rochester, winners of the IDP Subgroup Postdoctoral Research Awards! Both Elbaum- Garfinkle and Tischer will receive a monetary award, sponsored by Molecular Kinetics, and will present at the 2016 IDP subgroup meeting. Elbaum-Garfinkle will discuss Disordered Proteins at the Nexus of Liquid Phase Separation and Neuro- degeneration and Tischer will present A Goldilocks Predicament for Von Willebrand Factor-mediated Platelet Adhesion. — Sarah Bondos , Secretary/Treasurer, IDP Subgroup Membrane Biophysics We are pleased to announce that this year’s Cole Award recipient is Roderick MacKinnon of the Rockefeller University. MacKinnon has changed the way we understand selective ion transport by unravelling the structural mechanisms underly- ing the function of ion channels. For nearly three decades his trailblazing functional and structural investigations challenged old paradigms, estab- lished new ones and opened the door for a mul- titude of research lines, ranging from theoretical chemistry and computational biophysics, to cell physiology, molecular pharmacology, and many other branches of chemistry, physics, and biology. MacKinnon’s contributions to the understanding of eukaryotic and prokaryotic ion channels have elucidated how ion channel proteins respond to the chemico-physical stimuli that lead to their opening and how they maintain high-fidelity selective transport at diffusion-limited rates. His work stimulated some of the greatest debates in the field of biophysics and membrane transport. For his remarkable contributions MacKinnon was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Lasker award, and the National Medal of Science. He

— Chris Ahern , Secretary-Treasurer, Membrane Biophysics Subgroup





Membrane Structure and Assembly

Grants and Opportunities The Human Frontier Science Young Investigators Grant Program (HFSP) Objective: To support innovative basic research into fundamental biological problems with emphasis placed on novel and interdisciplinary approaches that involve scientific exchanges across national and disciplinary boundaries. Who May Apply: The Principal Applicant of a Research Grant must have a laboratory in a HFSP member country Website: grants Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships  (MSPRF) Objective: To support future leaders in mathemat- ics and statistics by facilitating their participation in postdoctoral research environments that will have maximal impact on their future scientific development. Who May Apply: At the time of submission, appli- cant must be a US citizen, US national, or a legally admitted permanent resident alien of the United States; may not have held the doctoral degree more than 2 years as of January 1 of the year of the award; must propose research in an area of mathematics or statistics. Deadline: March 31, 2016

On behalf of the membership of the Membrane Structure and Assembly Subgroup, I’d like to invite you to join us for an exciting symposium from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Saturday, February 27. Our speakers will discuss some of the most im- portant recent advances in membrane biophysics, with a special emphasis on mechanisms regulating membrane organization, membrane bending, and membrane protein insertion. Since the full subgroup program was published in the November newsletter, Karen Fleming has been added as a speaker to present the Thompson Award Lecture. The full schedule with all talk times is posted on the website at urday/MembraneStructureAssembly /tabid/6372/ Default.aspx You do not need to be a subgroup member to attend the session, but we encourage those with an interest in this area to join our subgroup. The cost is only $15 and goes toward supporting future Membrane Structure and Assembly subgroup symposia. I look forward to seeing you on February 27 in Los Angeles! Warm regards, — Anne Kenworthy , 2016 Chair, MSAS Subgroup

Deadline: October 19, 2016

Website: jsp?pims_id=5301&org=NSF

Numbers By the Employment of biochemists and biophysicists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations in the United States.  Source:





Message from BPS Congressional Fellow

Dear Biophysical Society Colleagues: I would like to brief you on the first four months of my experience as the inaugural BPS Science & Technology (S&T) Congressional Fellow. I am only a third of the way through, and this has already been one of the most memorable times of my career. I arrived in Washington, DC, on Sep- tember 1, along with 30 other Fellows who were sponsored by other societies. Our first two weeks were for orientation, which was carefully guided by the umbrella organization that is the Ameri- can Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). As Congressional Fellows, we were joined at orientation by approximately 220 Fellows who are working throughout the executive branch, ev- erywhere from the National Institutes of Health to the National Security Agency to the State Depart- ment. It was an exciting and fun way of meeting other Fellows throughout the government, and making the important personal contacts that are critical for success. A slight aside here: I am what is referred to as a “mid-career” Fellow, meaning that I have left other employment to be a Fellow for a year. I estimate that approximately 20% of the Congres- sional Fellows are mid-career. The vast majority are freshly-minted PhDs or DVMs(!) who have chosen to begin a career outside of academia. My aside is to let you know that no matter where you are in your career, you could be the next BPS Congressional Fellow, so apply! After the two-week orientation period, we began the weird and fascinating task of interviewing in Capitol Hill offices for a location to do our fellow- ships. Because the phrase “bio” appeared promi- nently on my CV, I was specifically interviewed to work on health care portfolio issues. Health care and related areas are an enormous area of public policy and very few elected officials have much ex- pertise in the area. Neither did I, but here’s where a PhD in bioscience becomes incredibly impor- tant: flexibility and the ability to seek out sources of information are what we’re good at. Through your PhD training, you are likely familiar with the health-related aspects of your research. Honing that knowledge to provide information to your office/lab/mentor is something that you’re prob- ably already used to. It’s not particularly different

on Capitol Hill. (If you haven’t begun practicing how to explain your research to non-experts, you should start immediately; that’s a valuable skill no matter what your career holds.) I interviewed in many offices including those of Senators Bernie Sanders, Al Franken, and Dianne Feinstein, as well as those of Representatives Dan Lipinski, Andy Harris, and Raul Grijalva. I ended up in the House in the office of Representative Steve Cohen, who represents the 9th district of Tennessee that includes Memphis, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the University of Memphis, and the University of Tennessee School of Medicine. Since I have a faculty appointment at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, this was a good geographic match; I know the Con- gressman’s district well. I also had a very good rap- port with Congressman Cohen and his staff. That is something that is vitally important to having a good fellowship. So far I’ve helped Representative Cohen write an opinion/editorial piece that ran in the Memphis paper on the importance of NIH funding for Tennessee. I’ve also helped him select legislation to cosponsor, and letters to cosign, most of which request federal support for biomedical research. The Congressman was already a proponent of NIH and other research funding agencies, and I hope that my being in his office has made him an even more vocal supporter. As I write this, Congress just passed the 2016 budget, provid- ing a $2 billion increase in funding to NIH. I like to think that the S&T Congressional Fellows sprinkled throughout Capitol Hill helped to make that possible. I’ll be at the Annual Meeting in Los Angeles if you would like further details about my experience. If you missed the December 2015 deadline for applying to be the BPS 2016-17 Congressional Fellow, there’s always 2017-18. It’ll change your life. Apply! Many regards, and Happy New Year, — Randy M. Wadkins Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry University of Mississippi & 2015-2016 BPS Congressional Fellow

Randy Wadkins









March 7–11, 2016

Biophysics Week is a global effort aimed at encouraging connections within the biophysics community and raising awareness of the field and its impact among the general public, policy makers, students, and scien- tists in related fields.

Mark your calendars! Join your peers in celebrating this special week. There will be daily activities, news, publications, blogs, fun facts, and more! Below you will find the current list of special events, but keep an eye out for new upcoming events during this unique week dedi- cated to you and the field of biophysics. • The Biophysics Bunch Google Hangout • Article Series “The State of Biophysics” • Briefing/Luncheon on Capitol Hill • Cryo-EMWebinar • Female and Minority Biophysicist Articles • Educational and Career Materials • Biophysics Bobbi/y Around the Globe

Create a Bobbi/y Biophysics Bobbi/y is a way to engage with other scientists as well as non-scientists to increase visibility for the field of Biophysics, highlight those

who conduct research in the field, and point out the many locations across the globe where Biophysics research is conducted.

Create your Bobbi/y Online at BiophysicsWeek.

Be a part of #BiophysicsWeek. Celebrate this week with others around the globe!

Visit BiophysicsWeek for more information.

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