Biophysical Society Newsletter | September 2017

Newsletter SEPTEMBER 2017


2017 Election Results

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

Biophysical Society members elected David W. Piston (pictured left) of the University of Washington, St. Louis, to the office of President-Elect in this year’s elections. He will assume that office at the Business Meeting held at the 2018 Biophysical Society An- nual Meeting, which will take place on February 16, 2018, in San Francisco. His term as President will begin in March 2019. Members elected to Council (pictured below) are Linda Columbus , University of Virginia; Jennifer Ross , University of Mas- sachusetts, Amherst; David Stokes , New York University School of Medicine; and Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede , Chalmers University, Sweden. Each will serve a three-year term, beginning on February 16, 2018. The Society is fortunate to have had such a strong slate of candi- dates for all the positions and is indebted to the Society members who agreed to run in this election. Thank you to all the members who participated in this election by casting their votes.

David W. Piston

Linda Columbus

Jennifer Ross

David Stokes

Pernilla Wittung- Stafshede

Present Your Research at the 2018 Annual Meeting in San Francisco Make Connections, Advance Your Career

Read the Latest on Page 10


2 3 5 8 9

14 15 15 16 17 18 19 16

President's Message Biophysicist in Profile

Molly Cule

Be a BPS Student Leader Grants and Opportunities Women in Biophysics Members in the News

Public Affairs

Biophysical Journal 70 Days of Summer Annual Meeting

Biophysical Society

10 12 13


EBSA 2017


From the BPS Blog

Upcoming Events





President's Message


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

Less than one month from now, nearly 4,000 biophysicists will submit abstracts of work they want to present at the Biophysical Society (BPS) Annual Meeting in San Francisco next February. They, along with the other 3,000 attendees, will come from very diverse research areas and from all parts of the world. Many may be the only ones doing biophysics in their labs. This coming together is what gives the Annual Meeting the breadth of biophysics that cannot be experienced at any other meeting. That is what makes the BPS meeting so scientifically rich and rewarding for those who attend. Twenty symposia will cover topics that include the molecular origins of fiber generation that underlie neurodegenerative diseases such as Al- zheimer’s and Parkinson’s, how channels and other membrane proteins signal across membranes to tell cells to grow or not to grow or to conduct

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

Lukas Tamm

current and carry information from one cell to the next, how genes are read out and genetic mate- rial is packaged, how cells change shape and how muscle contracts, how synapses fire, how power is generated in mitochondria, and how biological functions can be re-engineered in devices for practi- cal applications or simply for better understanding them. This rich program of symposia is comple- mented with four workshops on probing atomic interactions in cells, modeling biological complex- ity, the latest developments in imaging in cells and whole animals, and the latest toolboxes to study biomembranes. Last but not least, a major highlight of the meeting will be the National Lecture by Jennifer Doudna , the co-developer of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technique, who will explain the biophysical underpinning of this method that is currently revolutionizing biology. For students, the BPS meeting provides an introduction to the exciting world of biophysics and the many directions open to them, not to mention the numerous professional, networking, and educa- tional programs that can help guide them. How many of us remember our first Biophysical Society Annual Meeting? When we gave our first poster presentation? How many of us remember when we were first selected to give an oral platform presentation? When we came face-to-face with our scientific heroes, with our competitors, and with like-minded scientists from other countries? The BPS meeting has helped us meet new collaborators, find new mentors and postdocs, develop new research areas and grow professionally. It is where we all found our home. In these divisive and uncertain times, biophysics as a discipline and the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting as an event exemplify the benefits and progress that can be achieved by bringing people to- gether. Biophysics, THE quintessential interdisciplinary field bridging the many disciplines within the physical and life sciences, demonstrates that progress in understanding how biology works can only be made by breaking down barriers, bringing together researchers with different perspectives, and approaches, regardless of background, gender, ethnicity, or country of origin, to share new ideas and discoveries. With all of biology becoming more quantitative, there is no better time to be a biophysicist. And no better time for biophysicists to come together, building bridges between the various disciplines of science, including those of biological engineering, to develop new models, approaches, and tech- niques to understand how biology works at all levels — from molecules to cells, systems, and whole organisms. I encourage you to bring your students, postdocs, and yourself to San Francisco this February to see what together, biophysicists can do. — Lukas Tamm , Biophysical Society President

Biophysical Journal Jane Dyson Editor-in-Chief

Society Office Ro Kampman Executive Officer

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

Caitlin Simpson Elizabeth Vuong Ellen Weiss Production Ray Wolfe Catie Curry

The Biophysical Society Newsletter (ISSN 0006-3495) is published eleven times per year, January-December, by the Biophysical Society, 5515 Security Lane, Suite 1110, Rockville, Maryland 20852. Distributed to USA members and other countries at no cost. Canadian GST No. 898477062. Postmaster: Send address changes to Biophysical Society, 5515 Security Lane, Suite 1110, Rockville, MD

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





Biophysicist in Profile OTONYE BRAIDE-MONCOEUR Otonye Braide-Moncoeur , assistant professor of chemistry at Gordon College in Massachusetts, had a truly international upbringing due to her father’s career as a diplomat. “I’m considered a third culture kid,” she shares. “I grew up in several countries: Gabon, Nigeria, United States, Philip- pines, Austria; I moved a lot. Within the United States alone I have lived in Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, and now Massachusetts.” As a child, Braide-Moncoeur told her parents that she wanted to do work that would help people. “My mom planted the seed a typical Nigerian parent would,” she says. “At least back then, the approved career paths were lawyers, doctors, engineers, pharmacists. So it was only fitting that I become a medical doctor and since I felt I liked kids, pediatrician was it. But I also thoroughly enjoyed the arts and have always participated in it.” She combined the two into a big dream of becoming a pediatrician by day and a Broadway actress by night. By the time she was in high school, Braide- Moncoeur was still planning to become a medi- cal doctor, but found herself drawn to biology and afraid of the chemistry and physics classes. “This fear carried on into college even though I was determined to be a pre-med major,” she says. “Freshman year I took my general biology prereq- uisites but completely avoided general chemistry; I was also happy calculus-based physics was not in my future.” Toward the end of her freshman year, a friend encouraged her to get on track with her pre-med requirements. She enrolled in general chemistry the next semester and it suddenly clicked. “From that point on, science became this big puzzle that required solving and I was stimu- lated in so many new ways. I eventually switched to be a chem major, which meant doing calculus- based physics and more math, but I found myself enjoying them,” she shares. As an undergraduate, Braide-Moncoeur par- ticipated in a number of Research Experiences

for Undergraduates (REUs), which sparked her interest in a research career rather than one as a medical doctor. It was during a Multidisciplinary International Research Training (MIRT) REU program facilitated through Winston-Salem State University that she first became interested in biophysical topics. “Through this program, they placed me in a proteomics research group in Biomedicum Helsinki based on my interests. Dr. Marc H. Baumann assigned me to a project where we purified and characterized the recombinantly produced Tyrosine-kinase Hck SH3,” she ex- plains. “Our overall goal was to determine which segments triggered aggregation and formation of amyloid fibrils, which was of particular interest for understanding various neurodegenerative diseases. This opportunity really impacted my desire to pursue work that would allow me to study pro- teins especially in relation to diseases.” A few years later, during her PhD studies at the University of Florida, she was officially introduced to biophysics in the lab of Gail E. Fanucci . “As a physical chemist, her group used various tech- niques — EPR, NMR, etc. — to tackle biological questions, and it was through her accepting me into her research group that I learned what bio- physics entailed,” she says. “She also encouraged me to apply for the Minority Affairs Committee [now the Committee for Inclusion and Diversity] travel award to attend the Biophysical Society An- nual Meeting; BPS made a remarkable impression on me.” During her graduate studies, Braide-Moncoeur had a long journey to finding a lab that was the right fit for her, in terms of research interests and mentorship. “The desire for this combo, though it seems reasonable, became the biggest obstacle for me during my graduate school career. In one case, the advisor I had was cornering me into computa- tional work, which focused on cyclic square wave voltammetry. In another case, the initially agreed- upon project was no longer of interest to the

Otonye Braide-Moncoeur

Profilee-at-a-Glance Institution Gordon College Area of Research Mechanistic understanding of pulmonary surfactant at the membrane-fluid interface

(Continued on next page)





advisor, and there was lack of mentorship,” she says. “In both cases, I had to take a risk by moving on. Both times, it was an extremely scary deci- sion to make but God worked it for my good in the end. I finally ended up in the Fanucci group, and it was all worth it. I had the perfect mentor and work that aligned with my interests. I grew exponentially thanks to that match.” Biophysics was a great fit for her, too. “Biophys- ics makes sense,” she says. “It provides you with tangible explanations of how biological systems are able to function. It assembles the puzzle with such a versatile range of tools, and to me exempli- fies just how important it is to combine different fields in tackling important questions.” Following completion of her PhD studies in 2014, Braide-Moncoeur began at Gordon Col- lege, a primarily undergraduate institution in northeastern Massachusetts, as assistant professor of chemistry. Her lab works on furthering the mechanistic understanding

to reduce surface tension and closely associates with lipids in the bulk phase of liquid below alveoli surface film (hypophase). As SP-B is highly hydrophobic and structurally complex, challenges in synthesis and expression of a functionally active recombinant have led to increased efforts to use synthetic alternatives in developing novel thera- peutics for RDS treatment, and to elucidate the mechanism of function.” Braide-Moncoeur continues, “Despite several advances in elucidating structural properties of the synthetic surfactant peptides, molecular level in- formation is still pertinent to understanding how it moderates surface tension reduction and inter- facial film fluidity in the alveoli, and to elucidate the mechanism by which lipid trafficking occurs.” The goal of the project is to further understanding of fundamental membrane-protein interactions and of specific LS component functions, using fluorescence spectroscopy to study localized envi- ronmental changes in fluidity and lipid dynamics. At an institution focused on teaching, it can be a challenge for Braide-Moncoeur to stay current and active in scientific research, but seeing her students develop an enthusiasm for research is hugely grati- fying. “[The most rewarding aspect of my work] is seeing the passion that develops in research stu- dents as their work begins to make sense to them,” she says. “They become so motivated and actually look forward to sharing their progress in various settings — local research symposia, conferences, etc.” “I am grateful to be able to have a position in academia because it combines my interests in teaching and research but I would also like to play a more active role in mentorship of students within the STEM field beyond my current place of employment. I believe there is a need for it,” she shares. “As for my contribution to biophysics, I am hopeful that I can continue adding clarifying pieces to the puzzle of understanding. Our world is complex and fascinating: it is worth studying.”

Braide-Moncoeur with her husband Ronald and son Nathan.

“ [Biophysics] exemplifies just how important it is to combine different fields in tackling important questions ” — Braide-Moncoeur

of pulmonary surfactant at the membrane-fluid in- terface. “Premature infants with underdeveloped lungs typically develop respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) because their lungs lack the surfactant lining crucial for

oxygen absorption or have genetically failed to produce critical components of lung surfactant (LS) needed for proper function. LS is a complex mixture of lipids and proteins known to provide a protective barrier against inhaled pathogens, lower alveolar surface tension, and promote oxygen exchange. The functional significance of LS is clear; however, a detailed mechanistic understand- ing of how lipids are trafficked to and from the air-fluid interface for oxygen absorption remains unknown,” she explains. “Though the bulk of LS is made up of lipids (~90%), it is non-functional without the presence of surfactant proteins (SP-A, B, C, and D), especially SP-B, which is known





Public Affairs Join the Rally for Medical Research on September 14

keep the government running after October 1. Congress is currently limited in how much it can spend by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Unless there is an agreement to raise the caps imposed by the act, which the Society has advocated for, it will be difficult for the House and Senate to come to an agreement and fund the priorities of the appro- priations committees. The chart below shows the funding proposals for science as of August 2017. Energy Bill Introduced in Senate Senate Energy and Natural Resources Commit- tee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017 in late June. This bill, S. 1460, would authorize pro- grams at the Department of Energy, including the Office of Science, and allow for annual 7 percent increases in the Office’s budget over the next 5 years. The Energy Sciences Coalition, of which the Biophysical Society is a member, released a statement thanking Murkowski and Cantwell for introducing the legislation and applauding the authorized increases included in the bill. The bill also continues the Energy Frontier Research Centers and Energy Innovation Hubs. The same legislation was passed by the Senate in the last Congress, but was not considered by the House. At this time, the House has again not shown an interest in considering S. 1460.

On September 14, Biophysical Society members will join individuals from doz- ens of other research, health, and patient

advocacy organizations on Capitol Hill to advo- cate for sustained, predictable, and robust federal funding for medical research. Over 300 people are expected to participate in Washington. To make sure the message is received loud and clear by all Senate and House members, Society members are encouraged to participate in the advocacy efforts on September 14 by calling, tweeting, or writing to their congressional representatives and asking them to support funding for the National Insti- tutes of Health. Follow along online using the hashtag #RallyMedRes. Information on how you can participate from home will be available on the front page of the Biophysical Society website. US FY 2018 Science Funding: Where We Stand With the US fiscal year (FY) 2018 starting in less than a month on October 1, 2017, Congress has the month of September to complete appropria- tions bills and get them signed by the President or pass a bill providing temporary funding to

Federal Funding for Science Agencies (in billions)

FY 2018 President's Request

FY 18 House Appropriations Bill

FY 18 Senate Appropriations Bill

FY 2017 Enacted $34.311 $7.472 $5.390 $5.765 $0.690 $2.276


$26.920 $6.650 $4.473 $5.712 $0.600 $2,229

$35.400 $7.340 $5.390 $5.859 $0.660 $2.294

National Institutes of Health National Science Foundation

$7.310 $5.550 $5.572 $0.695

Department of Energy Office of Science

NASA Science

NIST Science and Tech Laboratories Department of Defense Basic Research

(Continued on next page)





Turkey Bans Evolution Teachings Turkey’s head of the curriculum board, Alpaslan Durmas , recently banned the teaching of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution from the public high school curriculum. The rationale: students are too young to study such a controversial and complicated subject. 1 This is the same rationale used by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) — the country’s main research- funding agency — to reject a funding application for a summer workshop on quantitative evolutionary biology. 2 In protest to the ban and rejection of evolution, Egitim Sen, Turkey’s main teacher’s union, will be challenging the ban in court. 1 No evolution in Turkish Schools. (2017, June 30). Science , 356(6345), 1314-1315. 2 Bohannon, John. Turkish Scientists See New Evidence of Government's Anti-Evolution Bias. (2017, July 26). Science ,

2018 Biophysical Society Thematic Meetings

Genome Biophysics: Integrating Genomics and Biophysics to Understand Structural and Functional Aspects of Genomes Santa Cruz, California | August 19–24, 2018 Genomic tools are becoming essential in molecular and personalized medicine by virtue of their capacity to analyze diversity within the human genome. Whereas genomic variability at the sequence level is manifestly involved in health and diseases of organisms, little is known about the roles that such variability plays in the physical organization of ge- nomes. The theme of this meeting is an exploration of the long-overdue application of biophysical methods in genom- ics, emphasizing structural and functional aspects of genome and transcriptome dynamics. Topic areas include extremophile genomes, highly compact genomes, extrachromosomal circular DNAs, circular and micro RNAs, DNA viruses and viroids, and other nucleic-acid and chromatin structures having potential roles in ge- nome regulation.

Organizing Committee: Sarah Harris , University of Leeds, United Kingdom Stephen Levene, University of Texas at Dallas, USA

Julia Salzman , Stanford University, USA Massa Shoura , Stanford University, USA

Abstract Deadline: April 2, 2018 Early Registration Deadline: May 1, 2018 2018santacruz





The US Travel Ban: A Dream Unfulfilled My name is Roya; in Persian it means dream. My mother tells me never to stop dreaming and my father taught me to always be positive and to work to achieve my dreams. Recently, I achieved my first big dream by earning a PhD in Structural Biology at the University of Freiburg. I am a protein crystallographer. For each PhD student, one of the goals is to questions sound silly in relation to why I was not given a US visa, but because of my birth place, which I did not choose, I was denied a visa and my dream. Even if I had a chance to choose, I would choose the same country, same city, same neighborhood, and family. My mother's advice ignited my hopes. Therefore,

despite the travel ban, I went ahead and ap- plied for my dream job as a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University in the group of Walter Chazin . He and his group treated me like a col- league and as a friend. I will never forget their tireless efforts and the time they devoted to me by explaining their work via a shared screen; sometimes without a fast internet connection. And how many weeks and months has Profes- sor Chazin spent following my visa application process, investigating the problems, and trying to solve them? To be honest, I could not thank him and his department staff enough for their uncon- ditional support and the massive kindness they have shown me without regard for my nationality or my religion. This is what scientists do to make the world a better place, unlike politicians who don’t understand that science is politically neutral. Nevertheless, finally I had to give up my dream to become a postdoc in the United States. But I do not give up my belief that all people have the right to pursue their dreams, independent of their nationality and religion. — Roya Tadayon , BPS Member

present their work at an important conference in their field and get some suggestions and advice from experts about how to improve their work. Annually, the Biophysical Society meeting is held and eagerly I had prepared to present my project results to other scientists and experts. Unfortu- nately, I was not given the chance to present my work and this marked a sad time in my life when someone stopped me from reaching my goal. Maybe you ask yourself why? Or how? Answers to these questions are the reason why I write this article. As I have stated, I am Iranian and Iran is one of the six countries involved in the new travel ban to the United States. I could not attend the BPS meeting just because I’m Iranian. In my PhD thesis, I worked on new approaches to treat chronic inflammatory disorders and cancer. Sev- eral questions run through my mind: Would the results of my project help specific nationalities? What are the religious beliefs of the people who will read my article? What is the skin color of the people who will use the drugs that maybe will be produced based on my PhD results? I know these

Roya Tadayon

Have your studies or career been affected by travel restrictions to the United States?

The Biophysical Society would like to hear from you. The Society will use the information to demonstrate to elected officials how the restrictions hurt scientists, scientific discovery, and the US economy. Personal information will not be shared without permission. Visit to share your story. The Society leadership recognizes that the implementation of the order has been limited by the courts, but an appeal has been filed and it is possible that the order will be reinstated. Thus, the Society will continue to collect information and be prepared to act as necessary.





Biophysical Journal Know the Editors Margaret Gardel University of Chicago

stiffening that occurs when an external force is ap- plied, might explain this difference. The actin cor- tex of cells contains myosin II, which we thought could “pre-stress” the networks. Once we realized that applied force was the relevant parameter, we were quickly able to match cell rheology measure- ments from several groups to the in vitro data I had collected. Within a few days, data I had col- lected over the course of several years became the basis of a manuscript that was published in PNAS that identified pre-stress as an important control parameter of cell rheology. The second “aha” moment occurred very recently. My lab has been working hard to understand how contractile forces arise in mixtures of actin filaments and myosin II motors. Other labs have been looking at mixtures of microtubules and microtubule-based motors and have described extensility in these systems. I have been puzzled the past few years over how different motor-filament arrays exhibit contraction or extension. Very recently, a postdoc and grad student in my lab have discovered that actomyosin mixtures can also exhibit extensility. The moment they showed me data resolved years of confu- sion! We, and others, are now discovering how to control the emergent properties of motor-filament systems to be either contractile or extensile. Q. How do you stay on top of all the latest developments in your field? This is very hard and I can’t say I do a perfect job of it. I agree to be the editor of relevant manuscripts submitted to Biophysical Journal and Molecular Biology of the Cell , two of my favorite journals. I agree to review papers. I also agree to review grants and am a standing member of a Na- tional Institutes of Health study section. I send my students and postdocs to meetings and ask them to report back to the lab on what they learned. My lab has a bi-weekly journal club: we are currently using the Pollard model in which every person has 10 minutes to present a paper of their choice.

Editor for the Molecular Machines, Motors, and Nanoscale Biophysics Section

Margaret Gardel

Q. What has been your biggest “aha” moment in science? There are two moments that come to mind. The first happened in graduate school. I had been studying the mechanical properties of cross-linked actin networks formed in vitro. I was visiting John Crocker’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania, where they were measuring the mechanical prop- erties of adherent cells. We were puzzling over why the stiffness I measured was 1000-fold softer than that measured in the adherent cell cortex, although protein concentrations were comparable. Then, we wondered if the non-linear elasticity of the in vitro networks, a dramatic





70 Days of Summer: 10 th Annual Summer Research Program in Biophysics Comes to a Close

This summer saw another inspiring and motivated group of undergraduate students participate in the Biophysical Society Summer Research Program in Biophysics. Hosted at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill, students were afforded the opportunity take part in the pro- gram’s mini-graduate school experience, attend- ing lectures by UNC faculty, seminars by visiting scholars, and conducting research throughout the summer. While the lectures provided a founda- tion in biophysics, the seminars provided a more in-depth look at specific research topics, and students were also able to network with visit- ing lecturers over lunch, receiving guidance on graduate school and career advice. Students also received a one-on-one mentoring experience working with their lab supervisors. According to one student, Xavier Bonner , “My favorite experi- ence from the Summer Research Program was the mentee-mentor relationship. I could ask my mentor anything pertaining to science or personal life. This program is immensely focused on mak- ing you the best scientist you can be, not just for a summer but levels beyond undergraduate and graduate life.” This year's students spent ten weeks assisting in the labs of UNC faculty members and working on independent research projects. Students had their first opportunity to present their research and receive feedback during poster sessions at the pro- gram’s Annual Alumni Reunion Weekend from June 30 to July 2, 2017. Previous program partici- pants joined the current class for a fun and infor- mative weekend that included an opening BBQ reception, scientific presentations from program alumni, and career talks featuring a diverse group of visiting scientists representing industry, govern- ment, and academia. Monica Cortez , an alumna from the 2016 class, attended this year’s reunion and plans to return again in future years. “I loved it so much,” says Cortez, “I will definitely be in attendance in future reunions because I gained a different perspective from being an alumna and

what it truly means to be a participant in this program. The prestige bestowed upon the participants and alumni is truly unique, and I will always look forward to expanding the BPS alumni family because you really do connect even when you are from different participant years.” Although students spent much of the summer im- mersed in biophysics, there was still time for social events including a week- end beach trip, an outdoor obstacle course, and a visit to an Escape Room. Dur- ing the course, students also participated in professional development sessions, fea- turing topics such as ethics in science, GRE prepara- tion, and writing a personal statement. During the final symposium, held at the Rizzo Conference

Summer Program Class of 2017.

Xavier Bonner (left) presents his poster during Summer Program Alumni Reunion Weekend.

Center in Chapel Hill on July 27, 2017, students concluded their experience by presenting their individual summer research projects to their peers, teaching assistants, mentors and course Co-Directors, Mike Jarstfer and Dorothy Erie , and Program Director Emeritus, Barry Lentz . Many of the students hope to present their research at the upcoming 2018 Biophysical Society Annual Meeting. The Biophysical Society thanks the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for funding the 2017 Summer Program in Biophys- ics. Applications for the 2018 program will be available this fall. For more information visit





Connect through Research!

Thank you to our sponsors: AAT Bioquest Allen Institute

Networking is one of the most effective ways to advance your career! Submitting an abstract gives you a chance to connect with more than 6,500 researchers in biophysics from around the world. Be designated as one of nearly 900 post- ers held each day of the meeting, or be consid- ered for one of more than 500 oral presentation slots in platform sessions. Don’t miss out on all the benefits that sharing your research can offer! Benefits to you: • Strategic Connections. Meet new contacts, re- connect with former colleagues, and reach out through a wide array of networking opportu- nities in this interdisciplinary environment. • A Visible Platform. Submit your abstract by the October 2, 2017, deadline to be con- sidered for over 500 oral presentation slots in platform sessions where you present your research to the BPS community. • Publication Credit. Have your accepted ab- stract published and included in a supplement to the Biophysical Journal . • Constructive Feedback. Get insightful reac- tions to the ideas and approaches in your Student Research Achievement Awards (SRAA) The Student Research Achievement Award (SRAA) competition provides students the opportunity to pres- ent their poster to senior researchers in their field. If you are a student presenting a poster, this is an excellent op- portunity to hone your presentation skills. If you are a faculty member, please encourage your students attend- ing the Annual Meeting to register for the competition.

research methods from respected industry colleagues. • Professional Development. Enhance your CV as a presenting author. Benefits to your lab or institution: • Increased Visibility. Gain exposure for your organization and funding institutions. • Shared Knowledge. Bring the ideas and meth- ods you learn back to your home institution, along with valuable, constructive feedback on your presented research. • New Collaborators. Find opportunities to col- laborate with other labs and leading research- ers. Benefits to the biophysics community: • Idea Contribution. Enrich the experience of fellow attendees and contribute by sharing ideas. • Industry Knowledge. Continue to build a growing body of useful, practical solutions to problems and research studies. Travel Awards Are you in need of supplemental funding so that you or your students can attend the Annual Meeting? The Biophysical Society provides travel awards to the Annual Meeting for students and scientists of all career levels, to recognize excellence in biophysics and promote greater interaction among biophysicists throughout the world. There are several categories of awards; please visit the Annual Meeting site for eligibility and application information. Applicants must submit their abstract by the October 2 deadline and apply for Travel Awards by October 4, 2017.

for Cell Science Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments Company ALVEOLE Bruker Corporation Burroughs Wellcome Fund Cell Press Dynamic Biosensors GmbH FUJIFILM Dimatix Inc HORIBA Scientific Journal of General Physiology KinTek Corporation Mad City Labs Molecular Devices Nanion Technologies GmbH Pall Fortebio Princeton University Press

Sutter Instrument Wyatt Technology

Participants must submit their abstract by the October 2 deadline and register for the SRAA Competition by October 4, 2017.





Fueling Discovery through Biophysics

PI to PI, a Wine and Cheese Mixer You finally have a job working in biophysics, with some funding and a lab, but you’ve realized that the career challenges continue. Come relax and network with your contemporaries and senior bio- physicists over a beer or glass of wine. This event is a great chance to compare notes with colleagues and discuss one-on-one your unique solutions to issues that arise in the time between getting your job and getting your next promotion, including management of lab staff, getting your work published, and renewing your fund- ing. Undergraduate Student Mixer and Poster Award Competition If you’re an undergraduate student, plan on attending this social and science mixer! Come meet other undergraduates and learn about their research projects. For undergraduate students who will be presenting during the standard scientific sessions, the mixer pro- vides an opportunity to hone presentation skills before the general poster sessions begin. Undergraduates listed as co-authors on post- ers are welcome to practice their poster presentation skills in a less formal setting, even if not listed as the presenting author. Addition- ally, undergrads presenting as first or second author on a poster may participate in the Undergraduate Poster Award Competition and be recognized for their work. Winners will be selected based on the quality and scientific merit of their research, knowledge of the research problem, contribution to the project, and overall presenta- tion of the poster. To participate, pre-registration is required. Registration and addi- tional information is available on the Annual Meeting website. The registration deadline is January 15, 2018.

Speed Networking Career development and networking is important in science, but can be a big time commitment. Connect with a large number of biophysicists (including Biophysical Society committee members) in a short amount of time during speed networking. Mid-career and more experienced scientists could learn how to get more involved in the Society or network for open positions in their labs. Early career scientists could discuss career goals and challenges, get advice on tenure or grant writing, or find out how to gain recognition for their work. Graduate students and postdocs could make contacts to find their next position. After introductions, each person will have short 3-5 minute meetings with consecutive new contacts. During this time you can exchange information and ask questions. When time is up, you select the next person to talk to. By the end of the event, each participant will have had meaningful interactions with over half a dozen colleagues and the opportunity to meet many more! See the Annual Meeting website for pre-registration. Graduate and Postdoc Institution Fair Are you preparing for the next step in your career and thinking about grad school or starting to look for a postdoc position? Attend the Graduate and Postdoc Institution Fair to meet with representa- tives from several institutions with biophysics programs who will be on hand to answer questions, distribute literature, and discuss op- portunities for students and postdocs. This is your chance to make connections with people at your institution of interest. Don’t miss this unique and convenient opportunity.

“ The sense of community and collaboration is so evident, even at such a large conference! ”

— Sid Advani, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 2018meeting





BPS Student Poster Awards at EBSA 2017 The Biophysical Society (BPS) again supported the European Biophysical Societies Association (EBSA) conference, which was held in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, July 16–20, by sponsoring a student poster competition. This was the fifth EBSA meeting at which BPS sponsored this competition. The 2017 EBSA conference was held jointly with the International Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB). Over 80 students applied for the BPS awards. The 12 students selected, listed below, represent the breadth and diver- sity of biophysics. But, most importantly, they represent the future strength of the field. The Society is indebted to the work of the selection committee: Daumantas Matulis , chair, Mibel Aguilar , Paolo Bianchini , Tharin Blumenschein , Felix Goñi , Robin Maytum , Manuel Prieto , Catherine Royer , and Ilpo Vattulainen . The twelve winners each received a $500 travel award and a complimentary membership to the Biophysical Society. Amy Beedle Kings College London, United Kingdom Tailoring Protein Nanomechanics with Chemical Reactivity Madlen Luckner Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany Influenza Virus vRNPs: Quantitative Investigations via Fluorescence Cross- correlation Spectroscopy

Sara Mattana University of Perugia, Italy

Lukas Braun ETH Zurich, Switzerland Multi-scale Simulations of Focal Adhesion Kinase at PIP Containing Membranes

Brillouin Microspectroscopy and Raman Analysis for the Study of Amyloid Plaques in Transgenic Mouse

Oleg Mikhajlov Institut Curie, France Mechanosensing and Dynamics of Cell Filopodia

Amira El Merhie Italian Institute of Technology CHO Cells on Uniform and Patterned SLG: Adhesion and Proliferation

Jonas Mücksch Max Planck Institute, Germany Quantification of Surface Binding by Wide-field Total Internal Reflection FCS

Alberto Hidalgo Complutense University, Spain Pulmonary Surfactant and Drug Delivery: Sharing an Interfacial Trip

The majority of articles submitted to Biophysical Journal are from authors outside of the United States —58% compared with 42% from authors in the United States. Numbers By the





Evelina Nikelshparg Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Alexandra Schumann-Gillett Australian National University How do Oxidised Phospholipids affect the Properties of a Lipid Bilayer?

SERS-based Study of Cytochrome c Properties in Heart Mitochondria from Health and Diseased Animals

Markus Schön University of Göttingen, Germany

Marie Synakewicz University of Cambridge, United Kingdom Capturing a Biological Nanospring in Action

Mimicking the Cellular Cortex: Artificial F-Actin Networks Physi- ologically Attached to Lipid Bilayers

From the BPS Blog

A Young Scientist’s Guide to the Annual Meeting This 2015 blog post by then-PhD student Satchal K. Erramilli is a perennial favorite of BPS blog readers. He shares his tips for early career scientists attending the Annual Meeting, including advice on preparing for your poster presentation, plan- ning your schedule, and networking in person and on social media. View the post here: https://biophysicalsociety.wordpress. com/2015/09/29/a-young-scientists-guide-to-the- annual-meeting/.

BPS Summer Program Alumni Spotlight Catch up with BPS Summer Research Program alumni Lonzie Hedgepeth and Jun Seok Lee as they share their experiences in the program and where their careers have taken them. Read about Hedgepeth here: https://biophysical- program-alumni-spotlight-lonzie-hedgepeth/ and Lee here: https://biophysicalsociety.wordpress. com/2017/07/10/8110/.

Apply to be the 2018-2019 BPS Congressional Fellow! Are you interested in working on Capitol Hill and learning more about science policy?

All members who have obtained their PhD and are eligible to work in the United States may apply.

Application deadline: December 15, 2017

Visit for additional information.





Molly Cule

of projects they support. A careful study of the funding opportunity announcement as well as direct contact with the program staff is strongly recommended prior to the submission of your ap- plication. An application for a typical predoctoral fellowship contains not only the research plan for the project, but also two or three letters of recom- mendation, a personal statement of your career goals, and a detailed mentoring plan that you need to work out carefully with your mentor. In addi- tion to a well-thought-out research plan consoli- dated by compelling preliminary data, an impres- sive mentoring plan indicating strong support from your mentor(s) and collaborators is equally important to convince the reviewers that you are a worthy candidate. Though it varies by funding agency, the success rate of predoctoral fellowships is in the range of 10 to 35 percent.

Tips for Securing a Predoctoral Fellowship in the Biomedical Field Securing an individual predoctoral fellowship is one of the most impressive ways to demonstrate your scientific independence. It readily places you in a stronger negotiating position when hunting for research-related jobs after graduation. Funding opportunities for graduate students are often offered as individual fellowships or train- ing grants, as exemplified by the National Sci- ence Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) offered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). To be eligible for these federal grants, the applicant has to be a US citizen or permanent resident enrolled in a research doctoral degree program. Advanced graduate students considering transitioning into postdoctoral positions should consider the Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellows Transition Award (F99/K00), a new program launched by the National Cancer Institute that aims to facili- tate the transition of talented graduate students into successful careers as independent scientists. Opportunities are also offered by private research foundations, and they may have less stringent requirements for citizenship. Therefore, interna- tional students who hold F1 visas may be eligible. See individual awards for requirements. For gradu- ate students majoring in biophysics, the American Heart Association is a good fit given the many common research interests shared by biophysicists and cardiovascular researchers. A comprehensive list of non-NIH funding opportunities for predoc- toral and graduate researchers can be found here: Pages/predoctoral-graduate.aspx. A critical part of writing a successful grant ap- plication is having a thorough understanding of the mission of the funding agencies and the types

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

Biophysical Society Members: FREE Non-members: $15

Register Today at





Be a BPS Student Leader Set Up A Student Chapter The Biophysical Society is excited to launch the BPS Student Chapter program. This program aims to build active student chapters around the globe, increase student membership and

Grants and Opportunities i i

Administrative Supplements for the US- Japan Brain Research Cooperative Program (BRCP) Objective: This program will provide funds to research projects that are currently supported by the participating National Institutes of Health Institutes and Centers. The purpose of the BRCP is to promote scientist exchange, training, and collaborations in basic, translational, and clini- cal research between neuroscientists from the United States and Japan. Who May Apply: New and early stage investiga- tors are encouraged to apply, as well as estab- lished neuroscientists. Website: files/PA-17-326.html Maximizing Investigators' Research Award for Early Stage Investigators Objective: Supporting fundamental research by funding individual projects has a number of consequences for the efficiency and effective- ness of the biomedical research enterprise in the United States. To address these issues and increase the efficiency and efficacy of its funding mechanisms, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) established the Maxi- mizing Investigators' Research Award program to award a single grant to provide support for the program of research in an investigator's library that is related to the mission of NIGMS. Who May Apply: This program is limited to early stage investigators Deadline: September 18, 2017

participation within the Society, and promote biophysics as a discipline across college campuses through activities organized by the chapters. Chap- ters may be formed within a single institution, or regional chapters may be developed among mul- tiple, neighboring institutions. Chapters wishing to be recognized starting in the spring semester of 2018 must submit the Endorse- ment and Petition Form, Chapter Bylaws, and the Chapter Information Sheet to the Society Office via email to by November 1, 2017, for consideration. For more information and a complete list of instructions on forming an official BPS Student Chapter, please visit dentChapters.

Deadline: October 3, 2017

Website: files/PAR-17-190.html





On the State of Professional Opportunities for Women in Biophysics

At last year’s BPS meeting, while talking with several of you about how the Committee for Professional Opportunities for Women (CPOW) can better serve the BPS membership, I learned — much to my surprise — that the perception of gender equality and fairness in biophysics varies widely among our colleagues. At one extreme, some expressed disappointment that “not much has changed” since CPOW was formed in 1972; at the other, some declared “mission accom- plished.” I suspect that like me, many of you will disagree with both statements, but I cannot guess where on the spectrum a consensus, if there is one, may lie. To investigate these perceptions, CPOW will host a blog series on the Biophysical Society blog, where members can express their views on the subject by briefly answering these four questions: In your opinion, 1. What is the current state of gender equality in science and biophysics? 2. What is the value of having equality and true inclusiveness? 3. What is one area that needs attention; and 4. What is the one thing that can be done right away? We kick off this initiative by publishing below answers from our fearless BPS Past President Suzanne Scarlata . You are encouraged to read and comment on these blog posts at https://biophysi-, and to volunteer your own answers by emailing them to Laura Phelan at Thank you for your engagement. I look forward to hearing from you, — Gabriela K. Popescu , CPOW Chair

What is the current state of gender equality in science and biophysics? Compared to where we were 20 years ago, we’ve made a great deal of progress. Women now populate key positions in companies, universi- ties, and scientific organizations. While we are still underrepresented especially in top positions, our numbers are growing and the trend is going up. However, we are far from shattering the glass ceiling. Women have a better support system than in years past. In previous years when only a few senior women were around, women had to rely on father figures for advice in making their way through the system, which, of course, could limit the content of conversations. Now there are more women mentors both locally and through groups like the BPS that can bring together women to share their thoughts. For the most part, I feel that time is on our side. Most colleagues my age and younger are fairly unbiased and this percentage is increasing every decade. Just a few years ago, I attended a meet- ing where I was the only female speaker. One of organizers was openly misogynistic which seemed to bother my male colleagues even more than me. What is the value of having equality and true inclusiveness? It goes without saying that having true inclusive- ness and equality is invaluable. Everyone should be able to have the opportunity to work at their full potential and be appreciated and respected for what they do. What is one area that needs attention? Scientifically, we need to continue to promote ourselves (unfortunately, most of us are really bad at self-promotion) and our female colleagues by suggesting them for talks, for positions on edito- rial boards, and other leadership positions. We need to cite their articles when appropriate and give women the credit they deserve.

Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs