Biophysical Society Newsletter - May 2015

Newsletter MAY 2015


Biophysics Awareness Campaign

Awards & Contests June 15 Changing Our World Submissions Thematic Meetings Biophysics of Proteins at Surfaces: Assembly, Activation, Signaling October 13-15 Madrid, Spain June 1 Abstract Submission June 23 Early Registration Polymers and Self-Assembly: From Biology to Nanomaterials October 25-30 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil June 22 Abstract Submission July 27 Early Registration Biophysics in the Understanding, Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases November 16-20 Stellenbosch, South Africa July 20 Abstract Submission August 24 Early Registration

Have you noticed that every discipline seems to be using some aspect of biophysics these days? Yet the word “biophysics” remains poorly understood. Members of the Biophysical Society know what biophysics is and its importance for moving science forward. Researchers from other disciplines, however, often ask “ What do biophysicists do?” When you describe one person in their institution who does biophysics, they then think they understand the field, but do they really? Biophysics is so broad, so multidisciplinary that when you ask any three biophysicists to define what it is in its totality, all they can agree on is that “it is what biophysicists do.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t quite clarify it for others!

“ Researchers from other disciplines, however, often ask "What to Biophysicists do?" ”

The strength and beauty of biophysics is pre- cisely why it is difficult to define: Biophysicists come from so many disciplines and are often the only ones in their department who use bio- physical techniques and analyze the resulting

data. Biophysics is broad, it is quantitative and analytical, and it is all about using these quantitative and analytical approaches to solve biological problems. It is no accident that each year biophysicists are among the recipients of Nobel prizes in both medicine/physiology and chemistry, even though the media does not identify them as biophysicists.

“ Biophysics is broad, it is quantitative and analytical.

It is important to the field and to biophysicists that other scientists, potential biophysicists, and the general public better understand biophysics and what it offers. That is why the Society is embarking on a

campaign to increase the accessibility of biophysics and help others better understand what it is, its breadth, what biophysicists do, and why it is such a growth area and an exciting career path. We want to make it comprehensible to future researchers and more understandable to existing ones. We want the public to become familiar with the word biophysics and not fear it because it contains the “P” word. We want to ensure that biophysics continues to grow as a discipline. That is what Biophysics Week, which will take place March 7-11, 2016, is all about, and we want the Society membership to be involved in preparing for it. The launch will take place at the Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, and all Society committees are already working to develop programs, tools, and materials that everyone can use to make biophysics more understandable in their communities. Between now and then, we will ask you, the Society members, for ideas and participation in the rollout of this event. Biophysicists, stay tuned, and get ready to get involved!


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Message from the President


Biophysicist in Profile

Grants and Opportunities

Biophysical Society

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Public Affairs

Members in the News

Upcoming Events

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