Awards & Contests July 10 2017 Thematic Meeting Proposals December 15 Congressional Fellowship Application Meetings Polymers and Self-Assembly: From Biology to Nanomaterials October 25-30 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil July 27 Early Registration August 3 Late Abstract Submission Biophysics in the Understanding, Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases November 16-20 Stellenbosch, South Africa July 20 Abstract Submission August 24 Early Registration
David E. Shaw, Named 2016 National Lecturer
David E. Shaw , D.E. Shaw Research, has been selected to present the 2016 National Lecture at the Biophysical Society 60th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, California, February 27 – March 2, 2016. The Lecture, Molecular Movies: Feature-Length Simulations of Protein Dynamics , will take place on Monday, February 29.
David E. Shaw
Wadkins Named Biophysical Society’s Inaugural Congressional Fellow
As summer turns to fall this year, BPS member and University of Missis- sippi professor Randy Wadkins won’t be preparing his syllabus for the fall and gearing up for another academic year. Instead, Wadkins, an Associ- ate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Mississippi, is packing his bags and heading to Washington, DC, to spend a year work on Capitol Hill. The Biohysical Society has selected Wadkins to serve as its first Congres- sional Fellow. After a few weeks of training offered by the AAAS Science
60th Annual Meeting February 27-March 2 Los Angeles October 1 Abstract Submission January 13 Early Registration
and Technology Fellowship program, in which the BPS Fellow is a participant, Wadkins will work in a Congressional office on legislative and policy areas requiring scientific input. The AAAS program, which is in its 42 nd year, brings over 300 scientists to Washington, DC to work both on Capitol Hill and in federal agencies, providing scientific expertise to policymakers while learning about the policy process.
(Continued on page 9)
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Biophysicist in Profile
Members in the News
Grants and Opportunities
BIOPHYSICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
Biophysicist in Profile CANDICE ETSON
Officers President Edward Egelman President-Elect Suzanne Scarlata Past-President Dorothy Beckett Secretary Frances Seporovic 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
“When I was little I would say that I wanted to be a doctor during the day and perform in ballets at night. It turned out a little differently,” says Candice Etson , Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at Wesleyan Uni- versity. Etson began training as a ballet dancer from the age of seven, and started her career as a dancer after graduating high school. “I performed and choreographed professionally, both in ballet and in other dance genres, and I got my bachelor’s degree in fine arts from New York University with a major in dance,” she says. After a few years, she decided that she was ready to stop performing, and returned to school. She had always been interested in science, and in high school her parents en- couraged her to take the most difficult science and math courses, even as she was training to be a professional ballet dancer. “I wanted to go to a perform- ing arts high school,” Etson explains, “but they wouldn’t let me because they wanted me to get a solid academic education, not just learn about the arts.” That strong science foundation helped Etson as she started at Hunter College of the City University of New York, pursuing a second bachelor’s degree with intentions of becoming a medical doctor. Etson’s mother had been a middle school math and science teacher, and her father an electrical engineer who was involved in the development of the first Automatic Teller Machines (ATM). “Science was definitely something we talked about at home, but I didn’t really have a good sense of how a person Access to Research Careers (MARC) scholarship.” She took his advice and was selected as a MARC scholar, which supported her to continue toward earning her bachelor’s degree in physics. As part of the MARC program, Etson was able to do research in an optics lab at Hunter College and spent a summer working in Steven Siegelbaum’s neuroscience laboratory at Columbia University. While she was at Columbia, Etson attended a talk about research using simulations based on molecular forces to try to link together various crystal structures of ion channels to cre- ate an animation of how they might move during gating. “I thought that was incredibly fascinating, and I started asking people lots of questions about it,” she says. “One friendly postdoc told me that I should think about studying biophysics, and he even pointed me to the Biophysical Society website. I was hooked, and I decided that I wanted to study biophysics in graduate school.” Etson went on to a PhD program in biophysics at Harvard University, study- ing in the lab of Antoine van Oijen . During her PhD studies, Etson became interested in single molecule techniques, which she uses in her work today. “I was always dissatisfied with the very deterministic descriptions of biological processes that I had heard in less advanced coursework. My physics training made me feel that these descriptions could not be realistic,” she explains. “I really got excited about the idea that when you study these processes at the would become an academic scientist,” she says. In her introductory physics class, she realized that she loved the subject, but was unsure about what careers would be open to her should she pursue a physics degree. “I asked the professor about careers in physics,” Etson explains. “He was very encour- aging, and suggested that I apply for the Minority
Society Office Ro Kampman Executive Officer Newsletter Ray Wolfe Production Laura Phelan Profile Ellen Weiss Public Affairs Beth Staehle Publisher's Forum
“ I never want to forget how important five minutes can be for someone who is trying to find his or her path. ” – Candice Etson
single molecule level, their stochastic nature is evi- dent – events don’t all happen at a set time when you’re dealing with single molecules.” She began using single molecule techniques immediately thereafter. Van Oijen recalls, “Candice worked on a number of quite elegant single-molecule experi- ments in my group. She used fluorescence imaging tools to visualize how proteins move along DNA and used her knack for physics to describe some of the molecular properties that determine how proteins interact with DNA.” Following her PhD, Etson began a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of David Walt at Tufts University, as part of the Training in Education and Critical Research Skills (TEACRS) program. “TEACRS postdocs spend 75% of their time in the lab, and the rest of the time is spent on career development, including training in all aspects of teaching,” she says. Etson worked on developing new methods of studying the activity of restric- tion endonucleases at the single molecule level. She used fluorescence spectroscopy and single molecule imaging in this endeavor. “The methods I developed can also be applied to other enzymes that modify nucleic acids,” she explains. In the Walt lab she also worked on a science outreach project called Bioinformatics Inquiry through Sequencing (BioSeq). “We set up a se- quencing center that is for educational use, and we developed hands-on, open-ended experimental lab modules designed to introduce high school stu- dents to next generation sequencing and bioinfor- matics,” Etson says. “I really enjoyed this project because doing science with high school students requires a whole different mindset, and I learned a lot about education and how to engage people.” This month, Etson began a new position as Assis- tant Professor of Physics at Wesleyan University. She currently is using Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy to study how proteins interact with DNA. “Most recently, I have been using TIRF microscopy to observe the cleavage of DNA at the single molecule level,” she elaborates. “By characterizing the distributions of the times at which the individual events occur, it is possible to uncover the presence of reaction inter- mediates that cannot be directly observed.” In her new post at Wesleyan, Etson plans on continuing this work while expanding the methods she uses. “I plan to move into single-molecule Förster Reso- nance Energy Transfer (smFRET) studies to get more information from my experiments,” she says.
Etson also plans to continue work- ing with undergraduate students in her new position, exposing them to research opportunities. “I really enjoy working with novice research- ers and introducing people to the practice of science. It’s so much bet- ter than studying from a textbook,” she says. “People tend to think that science, and especially physics, is really hard. It’s not easy, but I don’t believe it is as difficult as some people think it is. There is a lot of beauty in science, and I love it when I can help students see that beauty for themselves.”
Etson teaching high school students during the BioSeq program.
Van Oijen believes that Etson will be a great example for her students. “Candice is a fantastic role model for young scientists. She has been able to launch a successful career as a scientist having started in a non-traditional way and while having a family,” he says. “I hope that students at Wes- leyan are smart enough to pick her lab for their thesis research!” Etson’s life is not all science, all the time. She is married with two daughters, and loves spending time with her family and also engaging her artistic side. “That includes cooking, sewing, knitting, and even building things for around my home,” she shares. “I also take the occasional dance class, and volunteer backstage when my daughters perform.” Throughout Etson’s career, she has benefitted from the time and energy her advisors and other scientists expended for her, and hopes to continue this tradition with her own students. “I admire all of those people who were willing to give their time to share their knowledge and to encourage me to continue along the path to becoming an academic scientist,” she says. “Each of them had plenty of reasons that they could have been too busy for me, but they took the time anyway. I never want to forget how important five minutes can be for someone who is trying to find his or her path.” Her first piece of advice for young scientists? “Try things. Get as many different research experiences as possible before you choose something to specialize in. Sometimes the things you like to read about don’t turn out to be a good match for your way of thinking or working in the lab. Find a good match so that you can enjoy your work.”
Etson dancing with her daughter.
Profilee-at-a-Glance Institution Wesleyan University Area of Research Single-molecule studies of proteins that interact with and/or modify DNA
BIOPHYSICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
Review website so that you will better understand the review process. The site includes “Applicant Resources” page with information on how to plan, write, and submit a successful grant application, and information on review, results, and appeals. Contact the program officer with questions during your application preparation. Program staff can give you information about: • An institute/center’s potential enthusiasm about your research area; • The appropriate FOA through which to apply; • Investigator-initiated research: topics of inter- est and new scientific directions; • Additional information about an initiative such as a request for applications or program announcement; • Requirements for special areas such as human subjects and vertebrate animal research; and • The appropriate study section to request in your cover letter. If you are putting together an NSF Career Propos- al, make sure you include information about the educational aspects of your project. The educa- tional focus is what differentiates Career Proposals from regular ones. Additional Funding Opportunities In addition to NIH and NSF, biophysicists can pursue funding from the DOD - DARPA, DOE, and DOA – NIFA. Private foundations (like PEW, Searle Scholars) also provide funding to researchers through a direct application process or institution- al nominations. Keep in mind that other funding agencies and funding bodies may not have pro- gram directors who will talk with you like NIH’s and NSF’s, and may not provide institutional overhead as part of the funding. Some institutions have listings on their websites about grant opportunities, as does the Biophysical Society newsletter. Before you go on interviews for faculty positions, start learning about funding op- portunities available to you.
Grant Opportunities for Early Career Faculty The Early Careers Committee hosted a panel at the 59 th Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, to discuss funding opportunities for early career faculty. The panel consisted of Kamal Shukla , NSF Program Director; Bishow Adhikari , NIH Pro- gram Director, and Beth Schachter , Beth Schachter Consulting/Still Point Coaching & Consulting. Their presentations and grant-writing advice are summarized below. NIH and NSF grants NIH has funding opportunities for every career level: F30/F32 = graduate and postdoctoral fel- lowships, T32=apply through institution, K99/ R00=for postdocs (each grant type for 2 years), R01=support discrete, specified research for pe- riods of 3-5 years. 80% of NIH’s budget goes to funding extramural projects. When applying for a grant, it is important to have: a great and feasible idea; an understanding of the grant process; an excellent execution plan; and a strong team, resources, and environment. Make sure your application is easy to read and in clear language, and that all required sections are completed. The timeline to receive funding is nine months to two years after the submission process begins (not including your prep time), so begin planning early. NIH has 27 institutes and each has an early career website with career planning and grant informa- tion. Use NIH RePORTER to find funded appli- cations, including some samples of successful grant applications. You can subscribe to the NIH Guide Listserv for weekly emails featuring links to new Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) published during the week. Read the Center for Scientific
BIOPHYSICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
Top Ten Tips for Grant Writing 1. Months, not weeks. Give yourself time to prepare your best grant application. 2. Align your proposal with the mission of the funding agency. 3. Identify and consult with the appropriate program officers. 4. Familiarize yourself with criteria used to assess proposals. Study examples of suc- cessful proposals. 5. Devise specific aims that can be expressed as testable hypotheses (in most cases). 6. Keep specific aims sufficiently independent but still interrelated. 7. Make text easy to read. Use simple, persuasive writing with minimal jargon. 8. Use graphics to your advantage. 9. Have your proposal reviewed internally in your institution before you submit. 10. Resubmit if necessary. Can you apply for an NSF grant if you are at a medical institution? Yes. NSF funds projects, not institutions. Pay at- tention to the mission of the agency. You cannot just take an NIH-focused proposal and send it to NSF instead. Q&A
As research faculty in between postdoc and PI, what are my grant opportunities? You can apply for anything, but you are at a disad- vantage for R01 grants because you are competing with people who are already well-established. How are R15 grants (for states or institutions with low NIH funding levels) reviewed, relative to R01s? R15 grants may be easier to get if you are eligible. They have a lower budget cap and are three year grants, but are renewable. A New Investigator is someone who has never been successful with an R01 grant application in the past. An Early Stage Investigator is New and is no more than 10 years from the terminal degree (PhD or MD). You can only qualify as an Early Stage Investigator for one successful grant applica- tion. NIH is encouraging ESI applications to close the age gap between postdoc and first successful R01 grant. Is resubmitting after triage a waste of time? Decisions about resubmitting can be tricky. If you are planning to resubmit, talk to your program officer about how to improve the application. It is only recommended that you resubmit if there was enthusiasm for the idea but your application was rejected based on a lack of preliminary data, for example. What is the difference between “Early Stage Investigator” and “New Investigator?”
BIOPHYSICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
About the Program The 2016 Annual Meeting program highlights scientific discoveries, methodological break- throughs, and emerging technologies in the areas of biophysics. Symposia will feature traditional strengths of the Society, including advances in multi-scale imaging, mechano-sensing and -signaling, membrane biophysics, computational studies, and systems biology. Additionally, we are particularly excited about novel symposia that focus on optogenetics, biomimetic models of the cytoskeleton, biophysics of the immune system, and a special symposium jointly sponsored with the American Association of Physicists in Medicine that bridges molecular biophysics with clinical applications. 2016 Program Co-Chairs — Vasanthi Jayaraman, University of Texas Health Science Center — Michael Ostap, University of Pennsylvania Jonathon Howard , Yale University, Chair Daniela Nicastro , Brandeis University Masahide Kikkawa , University of Tokyo, Japan Raymond Goldstein , University of Cambridge, United Kingdom Biomimetic Models for the Study of Cytoskeletal Organization Kinneret Keren , Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Chair Petra Schwille, Max Planck Institute, Germany Andreas Bausch , Technische Universität München, Germany David Warshaw , University of Vermont Symposia Structure and Motion of Cilia and Flagella
Mechanosensing and Mechanosignaling in Muscle Olga Mayans , University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, Chair Miklos Kellermayer , Semmelweis University, Hungary Ye Chen-Izu , University of California, Davis Benjamin Prosser , University of Pennsylvania Emerging Techniques for the Study of Cell Mechanics Amy Rowat , University of California, Los Angeles, Chair Dyche Mullins , University of California, San Francisco Jochen Guck , TU Dresden, Germany Todd Sulchek , Georgia Tech Multi-Scale Correlative Imaging Techniques Jacob Hoogenboom , Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, Chair Carolyn Larabell , University of California, San Francisco Melike Lakadamyali , ICFO, Spain Eric Betzig , HHMI, Janelia Farms Research Folding Rates and Routes: Defining Principles Jane Clarke , University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, Chair Rohit Pappu , Washington University in St. Louis Feng Gai , University of Pennsylvania Thomas Kiefhaber , Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Pentameric Ligand-gated IonChannels: New Insights from Structure and Function CynthiaCzajkowski ,University of Wisconsin-Madison,Chair RaduAricescu ,University ofOxford, UnitedKingdom ClaudioGrosman ,University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Michaela Jansen , Texas TechUniversity Health ScienceCenter Lipid Flippases RaimundDutzler ,University of Zurich, Switzerland,Chair AlessioAccardi ,WeillCornellMedicalCollege Kaspar Locher , ETH Zurich, Switzerland Dieter Langosch , TechnischeUniversität München,Germany Voltage Sensing andGating Peter Larsson ,University ofMiami,Chair Francesco Tombola ,University of California, Irvine CrinaNimigean ,WeillCornellMedicalCollege FranciscoBezanilla ,University ofChicago MolecularMechanismsof Mechanosensation Robert Fettiplace ,University ofWisconsin- Madison,Chair DanielMinor ,University ofCalifornia, San Francisco BorisMartinac ,VictorChangCardiac Research Institute,Australia DavidCorey ,HarvardMedical School MultiscaleBiophysicsofMembranes FelixGoñi , BasqueCountryUniversity, Spain, Chair Suzi Jarvis ,UniversityCollegeDublin, Ireland Erwin London , Stony BrookUniversity Ilya Levental ,University of TexasMedical School
DNANanostructures forBiophysics William Shih ,HarvardUniversity,Chair LuluQian ,Caltech UlrichKeyser ,UniversityofCambridge, UnitedKingdom PengYin ,HarvardUniversity Crowding andOrder in theGenome JohnMarko ,NorthwesternUniversity,Chair MariaCarmo-Fonseca ,University of Lisbon, Portugal MelissaMoore ,University ofMassachusetts Medical School IbrahimCisse ,MIT Optogenetics inNeuroscience EdwardBoyden ,MIT,Chair Dirk Trauner , LudwigMaximiliansUniversity München,Germany John Spudich ,University of TexasHealth Medical School VivianaGradinaru ,Caltech ExpandingHorizons inBiophysics and Medical Physics:Bridging the Scales from Molecules andCells toClinicalApplications Robert Jeraj ,University ofWisconsin-Madison, Chair Brian Pogue ,DartmouthCollege David Jaffray ,University of Toronto,Canada JenniferCurtis ,Georgia Tech
Structure andMotionofCilia and Flagella JonathonHoward ,YaleUniversity,Chair DanielaNicastro , BrandeisUniversity MasahideKikkawa ,University of Tokyo, Japan RaymondGoldstein ,UniversityofCambridge, UnitedKingdom BiomimeticModels for the Studyof CytoskeletalOrganization KinneretKeren , Technion, Israel Institute of Technology,Chair Petra Schwille ,Max Planck Institute,Germany AndreasBausch , TechnischeUniversität München,Germany DavidWarshaw ,University ofVermont Mechanosensing andMechanosignaling inMuscle OlgaMayans ,University of Liverpool,United Kingdom,Chair MiklosKellermayer , SemmelweisUniversity, Hungary YeChen-Izu ,University ofCalifornia,Davis Benjamin Prosser ,Universityof Pennsylvania Emerging Techniques for the Studyof CellMechanics AmyRowat ,University ofCalifornia, LosAngeles,Chair DycheMullins ,UniversityofCalifornia, San Francisco JochenGuck , TUDresden,Germany Todd Sulchek ,Georgia Tech Multi-ScaleCorrelative Imaging Techniques JacobHoogenboom ,DelftUniversity of Technology, TheNetherlands,Chair Carolyn Larabell ,University ofCalifornia, San Francisco Melike Lakadamyali , ICFO, Spain EricBetzig ,HHMI, Janelia Farms Research FoldingRates andRoutes: Defining Principles JaneClarke ,UniversityofCambridge,United Kingdom,Chair Rohit Pappu ,WashingtonUniversity in St. Louis FengGai ,University of Pennsylvania ThomasKiefhaber ,Martin-LutherUniversität Halle-Wittenberg,Germany Computational and Experimental Approaches to ProteinDesign RamaRanganathan ,University of Texas, Southwestern,Chair PatrickBarth , BaylorCollege ofMedicine AmyKeating ,MIT JesseBloom , FredHutchinsonCancer ResearchCenter
Synthetic and SystemsBiology Pamela Silver ,HarvardUniversity,Chair Mary Teruel , StanfordUniversity CynthiaCollins , Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Jim Ferrell , StanfordUniversity SignalingComplexes andDynamics HaoWu ,HarvardMedical School,Chair AndrewBrooks ,University ofQueensland, Australia Renhao Li , EmoryUniversity AlemayehuGorfe ,University of Texas Medical School
Methods for Tracking Single- BiomoleculeMobility,Clustering, andConformational State Keith Lidke ,University ofNew Mexico,Chair MaximeDahan , InstitutCurie, France RaimundOber , TexasA&MUniversity TaekjipHa ,University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
ComputationalMethods for Ion Permeation and Selectivity MariaKurnikova ,CarnegieMellon University,Chair BenoitRoux ,University ofChicago DirkGillespie , RushUniversity MedicalCenter Ulrich Zachariae ,University of Dundee,UnitedKingdom
Frontiers inBiophysical InstrumentationDevelopment JoergBewersdorf ,YaleUniversity, Chair Gabriel Popescu ,University of Illinois atUrbana-Champaign Thomas T. Perkins ,Universityof Colorado, Boulder Gabriela Schlau-Cohen ,MIT
Time-resolvedCrystallography PhilipAnfinrud ,NIH,Chair Petra Fromme ,Arizona State University Marius Schmidt ,University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee KeithMoffat ,University ofChicago
Presentyour researchduring this interactive,multidisciplinemeeting.
OVER 7,000 ATTENDEES • MORE THAN 4,500 ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS • 950 POSTER PRESENTATIONS DAILY • 100 SCIENTIFIC SESSIONS
Look for your copy of the Call for Papers in your mailbox.
Computational and Experimental Approaches to Protein Design Rama Ranganathan , University of Texas, Southwestern, Chair Patrick Barth , Baylor College of Medicine Amy Keating , MIT Jesse Bloom , Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center DNA Nanostructures for Biophysics William Shih , Harvard University, Chair Lulu Qian , Caltech Ulrich Keyser , University of Cambridge, United Kingdom Peng Yin , Harvard University
BIOPHYSICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
COMMUNITIES, SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES, AND LEARNING
Crowding and Order in the Genome John Marko , Northwestern University, Chair Maria Carmo-Fonseca , University of Lisbon, Portugal Melissa Moore , University of Massachusetts Medical School Ibrahim Cisse , MIT Optogenetics in Neuroscience Edward Boyden , MIT, Chair Dirk Trauner , Ludwig Maximilians University München, Germany John Spudich , University of Texas Medical School Viviana Gradinaru , Caltech Expanding Horizons in Biophysics and Medical Physics: Bridging the Scales from Molecules and Cells to Clinical Applications Robert Jeraj , University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chair Brian Pogue , Dartmouth College David Jaffray , University of Toronto, Canada Jennifer Curtis , Georgia Tech Chemomechanical Coupling in Immune Response Jay Groves , University of California, Berkeley, Chair Cheng Zhu , Georgia Tech Synthetic and Systems Biology Pamela Silver , Harvard University, Chair Mary Teruel , Stanford University Cynthia Collins , Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Jim Ferrell , Stanford University Signaling Complexes and Dynamics Hao Wu , Harvard Medical School, Chair Andrew Brooks , University of Queensland, Australia Renhao Li , Emory University Alemayehu Gorfe , University of Texas Medical School Maria Garcia Parajo , ICFO, Spain Barbara Baird , Cornell University
Pentameric Ligand-gated Ion Channels: New Insights from Structure and Function Cynthia Czajkowski , University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chair Radu Aricescu , University of Oxford, United Kingdom Claudio Grosman , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Michaela Jansen , Texas Tech University Health Science Center Lipid Flippases Raimund Dutzler , University of Zurich, Switzerland, Chair Alessio Accardi , Weill Cornell Medical College Francesco Tombola , University of California, Irvine Crina Nimigean , Weill Cornell Medical College Francisco Bezanill a, University of Chicago Molecular Mechanisms of Mechanosensation Robert Fettiplace , University of Wisconsin- Madison, Chair Daniel Minor , University of California, San Francisco Boris Martinac , Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Australia David Corey , Harvard Medical School Multiscale Biophysics of Membranes Felix Goñi , Basque Country University, Spain, Chair Suzi Jarvis , University College Dublin, Ireland Erwin London , Stony Brook University Ilya Levental , University of Texas Medical School P-ATPases: Structure, Mechanism, and Disease David Gadsby , Rockefeller University, Chair Poul Nissen , Aarhus University, Denmark José M. Arguello , Worcester Polytech Institute Rajini Rao , Johns Hopkins University Kaspar Locher , ETH Zurich, Switzerland Dieter Langosch , Technische Universität München, Germany Voltage Sensing and Gating Peter Larsso n, University of Miami, Chair
Additional details at www.biophysics.org/ 2016meeting
BIOPHYSICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
NIGMS Establishes Center for Research Capacity Building The National Institute of General Medical Sci- ences (NIGMS), NIH, has established a new Center for Research Capacity Building (CRCB). The purpose of the new center is to serve as the hub for NIGMS capacity-building programs, which include the Institutional Development Award (IDeA), Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) and Native American Research Cen- ters for Health (NARCH). These programs were previously housed in a branch of the Institute’s Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity (TWD). IDeA builds research capacities in states that historically have had low levels of NIH funding by supporting basic, clinical and translational research; faculty development; and infrastructure improvements. SCORE focuses on increasing the research competitiveness of faculty at institu- tions that have a historical mission focused on serving students from underrepresented groups. And NARCH supports research, research train- ing, and faculty and infrastructure development through partnerships between American Indian/ Alaska Native tribes or tribally based organizations and academic institutions that conduct intensive biomedical research. “The new organizational structure will allow for more efficient planning, coordination, and execu- tion among the research, research training and research resource access activities of these impor- tant programs,” said NIGMS Director Jon Lorsch in a press release. W. Fred Taylor , who has served as chief of the TWD’s Capacity Building Branch since 2013 and as director of the IDeA program since 1998 is serving as the Center’s acting director. NIGMS Names New Division Director NIGMS has announced that Alison Gammie will join NIGMS as the director of the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity
NSF Releases Science Communication Guide
In its ongoing effort to help the public under- stand the importance of the research it funds, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has created an online toolkit that offers step-by-step instruc- tions to assist NSF grantees with communicating research findings to the public. The online guide explains whom at NSF a grantee should contact for assistance, the different communication meth- ods available, and tips. The guide can be found at https://prezi.com/qws7oictyrx8/science-communi- cation-toolkit-for-principal-investigators/. Bipartisan Biomedical Research Caucus Formed in the Senate In May 5, Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) launched the Senate NIH Caucus, a new bipartisan group that will offer an opportunity for senators to educate their colleagues about the importance of the nation’s biomedical research agency. As stated in a “dear colleague” letter sent to all members of the Sen- ate, the goal of the caucus is to “seek a bipartisan strategy to restore the purchasing power that NIH has lost and provide steady, predictable growth for biomedical research in the future.” Caucuses are formed in both the House and Senate, so that members that share an interest in particular policy areas can raise awareness of those issues and work together on related legislation. All senators are welcome to join the new NIH caucus. Biophysical Society members are encour- aged to ask their members to join the caucus via the Society’s online advocacy center at www.bio- physics.org/Policy/AdvocacyAction/TakeAction/ tabid/5202/Default.aspx.
BIOPHYSICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
Congressional Fellowship (Continued from page 1) “As a long-time BPS member (my first meet- ing was as a grad student in 1987), I am deeply honored to represent the Society as the inaugural Congressional Fellow,” noted Wadkins. “I am hopeful that my time in Washington will prove beneficial to other BPS members and the overall scientific community in the United States.” The Society’s leadership decided to offer the fel- lowship in recognition that public policy increas- ingly impacts scientific research, and basic science literacy is increasingly needed to develop respon- sible policy. Through the fellowship, the Society’s leaders hope to provide a bridge between scientists and policymakers. This is also what Wadkins hopes to accomplish while in Washington. Wad- kins said that while his interest in politics began as a child when his father served in the Mississippi Legislature, his motivation to get involved was sparked by the 2010 US mideterm elections. “It struck me that many who were elected in that wave were not making policy decisions based on sound science. When I saw the advertisement for the BPS Congressional Fellowship, it sounded like exactly what I wanted to do, which is to be a voice for science’s role in US public policy.” Wadkins is hoping that his own background, growing up in the South and attending a public university, will allow him to relate personally to many of the members currently serving in Congress, and help him gain their trust in providing scientific input on policy matters. Wadkins plans to return to Ole Miss after his year on Capitol Hill. He hopes he will take back with him a greater understanding of how to most effec- tively communicate to elected officials the benefits of science to the economy and quality of life in the US. He will be providing periodic updates for the Society newsletter—so stay tuned!
(TWD) in August. The division supports a variety of research training, career development and diversity-building activities at the undergraduate through faculty levels. As director, Gammie will oversee these programs and lead strategic planning for the division, including optimizing approaches to address scientific workforce needs. She will also play a role in similar activities across NIH and among other federal and nonfederal agencies and organizations. Gammie is currently a senior lecturer in molecular biology at Princeton University. In addition, she directs the university’s Program for Diversity and Graduate Recruitment in Molecular and Quan- titative Biology and its Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Molecular and Quantitative Biology. She is also an associate clinical member at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Gammie’s research focuses on understanding how defects in DNA mismatch repair lead to cancer. Gammie earned a BA in biology from Reed College and a PhD in molecular biology from Oregon Health Science Center. The acting director of the new center is W. Fred Taylor , PhD, who has served as chief of the TWD’s Capacity Building Branch since 2013 and as director of the IDeA program since 1998. For more information about the Center for Research Capacity Building, visit www.nigms.nih. gov/about/overview/pages/crcb.aspx. Interested in using your science skills to inform science policy? Interested in spending a year working on Capitol Hill in Washington helping develop policy?
Apply to be the 2016-2017 BPS Congressional Fellow!
Application deadline: December 15, 2015
Visit www.biophysics.org for additional information.
BIOPHYSICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
Biophysical Journal Know the Editors William R. Kobertz
begun to dissect how the individual KCNE1 glycosylation sites affect assembly, trafficking, and function in ventricular cardiomyocytes. Lastly, we have been moonlighting as spectrosco- pists—developing a chemical biology approach to fluorescently visualize ion efflux. The develop- ment of this technology was inspired, in part, because I was envious of all the amazing small molecule and genetically encodable sensors avail- able for intracellular calcium. We plan to present our data at the 60th Annual Biophysical Society Meeting in Los Angeles. Hopefully the paparazzi will leave us alone so we can enjoy the meeting!
University of Massachusetts Editor for the Channels and Transporters Section
Q: What is your area of research?
In my laboratory we study the assembly, traffick- ing, function, and structure of potassium chan- nel complexes. Although a canonical potassium conducting subunit possesses the rudimentary machinery to generate an electrical signal, cells have evolved membrane-embedded partner proteins that associate with and fine-tune the electrical currents of ion channels to achieve the appropriate physiological function for a particular cell. The rhythmicity of the heartbeat, mainte- nance of arterial tone, and insulin release by cells in the pancreas are all physiological processes that require a healthy association between ion channel and partner protein. As a PhD-trained organic chemist with post- doctoral training in ion channel biophysics and N-glycosylation, my laboratory and I have the most fun when we design novel chemical tools, probes, or reagents to interrogate glycosylated ion channel complexes. Currently, in my laboratory we are determining what makes a good (or bad) N-linked glycosylation site in membrane pro- teins and how the two oligosaccharyltransferase isoforms (STT3A and STT3B) handle different N-linked consensus sites. Because mutations that prevent N- or O-glycosylation of the membrane- embedded KCNE1 potassium channel regulatory subunit give rise to cardiac arrhythmias, we have
Highlights from BJ
July 7 issue (109/1) Be sure to check out these articles in the latest issue of Biophysical Journal: Simple and Robust Dual Color 3D Super-Resolution Microscopy by Combined Spectral-Demixing and Bi-plane Imaging Christian Winterflood , Evgenia Platonova , David Albrecht , Helge Ewers Conformational State Transitions in the Glycine- bBound GluN1 NMDA Receptor Ligand Binding Domain via Single-Molecule Förster Resonance Energy Transfer David Cooper , Drew Dolino , Henriette Jaurich , Bo Shuang , Swarna Ramaswamy , Caitlin Nurik , Jixin Chen , Vasanthi Jayaraman , Christy Landes Cholesterol Modulates CFTR Confinement in the Plasma Membrane of Primary Epithelial Cells Asmahan Abu-Arish , Elvis Pandzic , Julie Goepp , Elizabeth Matthes , John Hanrahan , Paul Wiseman
Biophysical Society Thematic Meeting
BIOPHYSICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
Polymers and Self-Assembly: From Biology to Nanomaterials
OCTOBER 25-30, 2015 RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
Many proteins assemble into polymers, both naturally (as in actin and tubulin) and pathologically (as in amyloid). The study of the structure and function of these biological polymers has been an important area of research by biophysicists. A large and growing community of chemists, chemical engineers, physicists, and materials scientists have been investigating the self-assembly of peptides for many purposes, from creating new bionanomaterials to forming assemblies for drug delivery. The aim of this meeting is to bring together these multidisciplinary areas to share techniques and innovations, advancing our understanding of these complex systems.
ORGANIZERS Vince Conticello , Emory University, USA Edward Egelman , University of Virginia, USA
IMPORTANT DEADLINES Early Registration.................July 27, 2015 Late Abstract Submission...August 3, 2015
Louise Serpell , University of Sussex, United Kingdom Jerson Silva , Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Ting Xu , University of California, Berkeley, USA
SPEAKERS Mibel Aguilar , Monash University, Australia
Dave Adams , University of Liverpool, United Kingdom Jawdat Al-Bassam , University of California, Davis, USA C.J. Brinker , Sandia National Laboratories, USA Marie-France Carlier , CNRS, France Gillah Fraser , University of Cambridge, United Kingdom Vince Conticello , Emory University, USA Enrique De La Cruz , Yale University, USA Edward Egelman , University of Virginia, USA Claudio Fernandez , National University of Rosario, Argentina Debora Foguel , Medical Biochemistry Institute, Brazil Monica Freitas , Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Richard Garratt , University of San Paulo, Brazil Myongsoo Lee , Jilin University, China Cait MacPhee , University of Cambridge, United Kingdom Aline Miller , University of Manchester, United Kingdom Robert Robinson , Institute for Molecular & Cell Biology, Singapore Thomas Scheibel , University of Bayreuth, Germany Joel Schneider , NIH, USA Louise Serpell , University of Sussex, United Kingdom Jerson Silva , Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Akif Tezcan , University of California, San Diego, USA Dek Woolfson , University of Bristol, United Kingdom Ting Xu , University of California, Berkeley, USA Ronald Zuckermann , University of California, Berkeley, USA
For more information, visit www.biophysics.org/2015brazil
BIOPHYSICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
Science Fairs For the seventh consecutive year, the Biophysical Soci- ety’s science fair program has given awards to students with outstanding biophysics related projects, as deter- mined by local Society members who volunteered as judges at the events. In 2015, the Biophysics Award was given to 27 students in 13 states. The science fair initiative, sponsored by the Public Affairs Commit- tee, encourages the teaching and learning of STEM subjects, as well as raises interest in and awareness of biophysics among high school students and teachers. The Biophysical Society would like to thank the Soci- ety members who volunteered to judge at their local science fairs this year! If you are interested in having BPS sponsor an award at your regional or state
Read a thank you letter from students who participated in the BPS Science Fairs. Sumanth Kondapalli, pictured above, received the Biophysics Award at the New Haven Science Fair.
fair in 2016 or have questions, visit http://www.biophysics.org/ AboutUs/Volunteer/ScienceFairs/ tabid/2284/Default.aspx. 2015 Science Fair Biophysics Award Winners
Vermont State Science and Mathematics Fair
Indiana State Science Fair
Virginia Piedmond Regional Science Fair Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair Anne Arundel Regional Science Engineering Fair New York City Science and Engineering Fair Long Island Science and Engineering Fair WAC Lighting Foundation Invitational Science Fair Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair
Anubhuti Mathur Ava Grounds Daniel Charnis Danny Huang Danny Huang Matthew C. Krock Megan O'Briant Michael Bohnet Olivia McCarthy Parmveer Banwait Piyush Pillarisetti Sarah G. DeFanti Sumanth Kondapalli Vaishnavi Madhavan Muhammad U Abdulla Roy Ghosh Emma Walter
Diego Cervantes/Malida Hecht
California State Science Fair
Northern Virginia Regional Science and Engineering Fair
Science and Engineering Fair - Houston 60th Florida State Sciene and Engineering Fair
Braintree High School Science Fair
Iowa State Science Fair George Carver Science Fair Delware Valley Science Fair
BCC/Rensselaer Region III Science Fair
New Haven Science Fair Fairfax County Science Fair
BIOPHYSICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
Members in the News
Four BPS members have been elected to become members of the National Acad- emy of Sciences:
Suggest a Student or Postdoc to Spotlight
Taekjip Ha , University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign and Society member since 1998.
Do you have a spotlight-worthy student or postdoc in your lab? Let us know. Send his/her name to firstname.lastname@example.org so that they can be featured in the newsletter.
Eva Nogales , University of California, Berkeley, and Society member since 2000.
Julian Schroeder , University of California, San Diego, and Society member since 1990.
Reinhard Jahn (not pictured), Max Planck Institute and Society member since 2000.
In early May, the Society welcomed an excellent cohort of students from as far away as California and as near as Durham, NC, to UNC-Chapel Hill for the 8 th Annual Biophysical Society Sum- mer Research Program at UNC-Chapel Hill. The 13 students participating in the program will face new challenges in the lab and classroom, develop professional skills associated with gradu- ate education, and, hopefully, have fun during the eleven-week program. The students, pictured at left, have matched with labs in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Physics, Biology, Pharmacy, and Pharmacology.
BIOPHYSICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
further improve our understanding of the physi- cochemical environment in the cell – there is still much to learn about the cell interior which cannot be extracted from the genome but is crucial for life! BIV Subgroup Store Need to commemorate the achievement of a lab group member or colleague? Consider buying a unique gift from the BIV Subgroup Store! (http:// www.zazzle.com/biopolymers_in_vivo) — Daryl K. Eggers , Subgroup Secretary-Treasurer Grants and Opportunities East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for U.S. Graduate Students (EAPSI) Objective: To provide U.S. graduate students in science, engineering, and education first-hand research experiences in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, or Taiwan; an introduction to the science, science policy, and scientific infrastructure of the respective location; and an orientation to the society, culture, and language.
BIV An interview with Arnold Boersma , a research fellow at the University of Groningen and co-cor- responding author on the paper, A Sensor for Mac- romolecular Crowding in Living Cells , A.J. Boersma, I.S. Zuhorn, and B. Poolman; Nat Methods , 2015, 12: 227-229. Arnold, could you describe the molecular components of your sensor? The crowding sensor consists of three parts, two fluorescent proteins connected by a flexible linker that includes two stable helices. The fluorescent proteins form a FRET pair, allowing one to monitor the size (com- pactness) of the molecule in response to crowding effects. What experiment convinced you that the sensor is responding to changes in excluded volume? The FRET signal increases with increasing size or amount of added polymers like Ficoll, but the cor- responding monomers ( e.g. sucrose) do not change the signal, ruling out direct chemical interactions. How were the measurements obtained with living cells? The intensities of the emission of the FRET donor and acceptor were determined by confocal microscopy. Taking into account auto- fluorescence from the cells, the ratio of the two fluorophores was determined after splitting the emission into two channels. How did you alter the extent of crowding, and what was the result? We increased the osmolar- ity of the medium which leads to dehydration of the cells and an increase in crowding. When we tested the sensor under these conditions, we indeed observed an increase in the FRET signal, which diminished when we allowed the cells to adapt to the osmotic stress. What next? This research was done as part of a grant aimed at developing an independent line of research, hosted in Bert Poolman’s laboratory. Next, I’m planning to continue on this path and