JulyAugust-08-222:Layout 1.qxd - Biophysical Society

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JulyAugust-08-222:Layout 1.qxd - Biophysical Society

New Feature!Programs inBiophysicsHas your institution recently created anew biophysics program or department?Has it recently reorganized or expandedan existing program? Does it have adynamic program it would like to highlight?From time to time, the BPSNewsletter will highlight new or existingbiophysics programs. Interested inhighlighting your program? Send yourinformation to society@biophysics.org.University of MichiganUndergoes a BiophysicsTransformationBiophysics at the University ofMichigan has a long and distinguishedhistory that extends back tothe early part of the 20 th century.This program served as the academichome for researchers like CyrusLevinthal (of the Levinthal Paradoxfame), Lawrence Oncley, MarthaLudwig and Rowena Matthews, tomention just a few, who have mademajor contributions to biophysics,especially in the area of structuralbiology and the development ofinnovative biophysical methodologies.For over sixty years this programhas been known as the BiophysicsResearch Division and was also thehome of the University’s interdisciplinarygraduate program in biophysics,which has been supported continuouslysince 1988 by an NIH TrainingGrant on Molecular Biophysics.In recognition of its excellence inbiophysics research on campus andthe growing interest on the part ofboth graduate and undergraduatestudents to study biophysics, theUniversity of Michigan created a newtenure granting unit in the College ofLiterature, Science and the Arts calledBiophysics on July 1 of last year.The unit incorporated the BiophysicsResearch Division as well as adding acompletely new undergraduatedegree in Biophysics. The facultyin Biophysics have joined together totransform the highly interdisciplinaryresearch unit into a fully functionalinterdisciplinary training unitfor both undergraduate and graduatestudents.The new undergraduate degree iseasily completed in four years.Rather than use existing courses fromother departments, Biophysics, withthe guidance of the noted single-moleculeexpert Jens-Christian Meiners,has created an entirely new curriculumwith new courses aimed directlyat the core areas of training in biophysics.The educational philosophyis based on the idea that biophysicshas now developed to the point thatit should be taught as a separate science.The curriculum also includes anew freshman seminar called TheMysteries of the Double Helix that wasfull last year and loved by the students.Taught by NMR spectroscopistand RNA structural biologistHashim Al-Hashimi, this course takesthe students through the excitementof discovery of the genetic code,through reading and hands-on workin laboratories. Examples of othercourses that are part of the programinclude, Physics of the Body and Mind,which provides upper level studentsin biophysics and other disciplineswith hands-on training in the basicconcepts and applications of suchtechniques as nuclear magnetic resonance,x-ray crystallography, opticaltweezers, and advanced microscopy.Students who are attracted to thisprogram include physical science studentswith an interest in fundamentalbiology, students aiming for a postgraduateposition in a MedicalScientist Training Program, and studentswho plan to enter the job marketafter graduation working inindustry or the government withtechnical expertise in physicalmethodologies in the life sciences.The graduate program is alsoundergoing rapid evolution and isheaded up by Ari Gafni who appliesdiverse biophysical tools to understandmechanistic aspects of proteinfolding. With the arrival of CharlesBrooks from The Scripps Institute,Biophysics now has a 1600 processorsuper computer that is dramaticallyexpanding the advanced trainingopportunities for graduate students.A new 600-MHz magnet for solidstate NMR spectroscopy purchasedfrom NSF and NIH funds successfullygenerated by Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthyis being installed to expandthe structural biology work and workin the areas of single molecule manipulationand spectroscopy, ultrafastlaser and x-ray absorption spectroscopyand neuro-biophysics iscontinuing to grow at a rapid pace.With anticipated recruiting ofadditional faculty in the comingyears, Biophysics at Michigan underthe chairmanship of Duncan Steel islooking forward to expanding its rolein frontier research at the emergingboundary between the physical sciencesand the life sciences. For moreinformation, visit their website athttp://www.umich.edu/~biophys/.—Duncan Steel,University of MichiganJulyAugust20083


BiophysicalSocietyBiophysicist in ProfileFelix Goñi“If I today was told “you cannot go onworking in science,” I would go back tothe business of fireworks,” says FelixGoñi, Director of the Biophysics Unit ofBasque Country University in Bilbao,Spain. In college, Goñi and some friendsowned their own fireworks business.While working on a display for thePrincess of Monaco, Goñi was injuredand quickly decided science was a physicallysafer option then fireworks. “I am ascientist,” Goñi explains of the career pathhe chose, “science is my main passion.”The eldest of eight children in a middleclass family, Goñi admits he wasspoiled and never lacked for anything.. . . Science was a physically saferoption then fireworks”His mother, Maria Jesus, ran a menswearshop and his father, Clemente, ran a furniturestore. Born on May 12, 1951, hesoon discovered that he never had to workhard to get good marks in school. Notparticularly interested in athletics, heended up spending much more time“reading than playing.”There were many people whowere seminal in moving Goñi towarda career in research. The first wasClemente Goñi’s friend, JoaquinLanda, a chemist. “He spoiled myfuture as a doctor,” jokes Goñi aboutthe chemistry books Landa lent himwhile Goñi attended The Universityof Navarra Medical School inPamplona. While his first three yearsat the university consisted mainly ofscience classes, itwas the classicchemistry booksthat Landa lentGoñi to read duringthe summers thatresulted in Goñibecoming a “starin biochemistry.”It was his first science professor,Esteban Santiago, his mentor atUniversity of Navarra and a pioneerof biochemistry in Spain, who taughtGoñi what science entailed. Heshared with Goñi a love for mitochondriaand encouraged him tocontinue studying. While in MedicalSchool Goñi took biophysics summercourses in Portugal at theGulbenkianFoundation.Through thesecourses Goñimet DennisChapman, a pioneerin lipid biophysics,and a professor at the RoyalFree Hospital at the University ofLondon, where Goñi eventually didhis postdoc. Goñi calls Chapman his“scientific father.” As Goñi’s mentorChapman introduced him to instrumentation.MDs are not trained inthis aspect of research. “He(Chapman) made me lose any fear ofinstruments,” Goñi explains.When his postdoc came to anend, Goñi received a call from formerprofessor at the University ofNavarra, Jose Maria Macarulla, whowas starting a biophysics program atBasque University in Bilbao. Unableto resist the opportunity, Goñi joinedhim and helped create one of the firstbiophysics programs in Spain. SinceAt the time, most Europeanswere not Society members, sohe couldn’t find two membersto sign his application.then the program has flourished, andGoñi is now Professor and Head ofthe Biophysics Unit. His work continuesto focus on membranes, specificallywith interest in lipid-proteininteractions in the field of lateral heterogeneityin membranes, membranedomains. He is now starting to applynew advanced fluorescence techniques,confocal or two photonfluorescence, and fluorescence correlationspectroscopy.Goñi enjoys experimenting andfeels fortunate that his wife, AliciaAlonso, is also a scientist. Goñiexplains that they work well togetherbecause she is great at instrumentationwhile he prefers seeing and interpretingthe results.It was not until 1990 that Goñiattended his first Biophysical SocietyAnnual Meeting. Before then,America was much farther away fromEurope and, following his postdoc at4


“. . .we owe him, not just for organizing a greatprogram that year, but also for giving us anexample for how the job of Program Chair couldand should be done.”a British institution, he had comeaway with certain prejudices ofAmerican life. However, they all blewaway once he attended his firstmeeting. Since then, he hasattended nearly all meetings.Joining the Society was a differentstory. At the time, mostEuropeans were not Societymembers, so he couldn’t findtwo members to sign his application.He mailed his completedapplication to a member inthe United States and asked himto find another person to sign. Itworked and Goñi was admittedto the Society in 1995.Since those days, Goñi hasbecome an active participant inSociety activities. In 2005, then-President-Elect Barry Lentzappointed him Chair of theProgram Committee. “I alreadyknew of his devotion to excellence asa scientist,” explains Lentz, “but Iasked Felix to be Program Chairbecause I learned while visiting withhim of his tremendous leadership andorganizational abilities.” Lentz,Department of Biochemistry &Biophysics Director, Program inMolecular and Cellular Biophysics atthe University of North Carolina,Chapel Hill, adds that “as aSociety, we owe him, not justfor organizing a great programthat year, but also for giving us anexample for how the job of ProgramChair could and should be done.”The work was well worth it,according to Goñi. “The BiophysicalSociety provides simply the bestmeetings in biophysics in the worldand the best by far journal inBiophysics.” he says. Goñi is alsoactive in other societies, most notablythe Federation of EuropeanBiochemical Societies, where he ischair of the publications committee.Goñi and his wife havetwo daughters, Ines, 21and Helena, 17. His theorythat “children imitateunconsciously and hateconsciously what theirparents do,” turned out tobe true. Neither girl studiesscience. Ines is currently studyingmodern languages and Helena ispreparing to enter college. To thoseFelix Goñi singing Masterclass in Nice, France, with pianist Paloma Camachoand world-acclaimed teacher Dalton Baldwin. (Photo M.L. Demangeat).who know and work with him, Goñiis the consummate gentleman withan incredible sense of humor. “I spentabout two weeks with him and thefolks in his department talking membranes,”says Lentz. “It was a delightfultime. Aside from being a topnotchscientist, he is an accomplishedsinger and made a spectaculartomato sauce!”“children imitate unconsciously and hateconsciously what their parents do”JulyAugust20085


BiophysicalSocietyNegotiating theTransition to anAcademic JobThis is the first of a two-part seriesthat summarizes the main discussionpoints raised during an Early CareerSponsored Panel Discussion held duringthe Society’s Annual Meeting inLong Beach.Panelists included KennethCampbell, University of Kentucky;Tharin Blumenschein, Univesityof East Anglia; Brian Delisle,University of Kentucky; DanaLawrence, Hood College; and SethRobia, Loyola University.The points raised have beenorganized into three main topics:Publications and Teaching-orientedInstitutes, which are included in thisnewsletter, and Applying for a Job,which will appear in theSeptember/October Newsletter. Thearticles werere prepared by DamienSamways of St. Louis University.PublicationsHow many publications are expectedfor an average length postdoc?One would expect a postdoc to haveat least generated sufficient data for asingle original research publicationduring their fellowship! But beyondthat, the strength of a postdoc’s publicationrecord hasmore to do withthe quality of thepublications produced,the natureof the workbeing conducted, and the frequency,rather than total numberof publications.Note that it is not uncommon forthe writing and submitting of manuscriptsto occur mainly towards theend of a postdoc fellowship, meaningthat they will be listed in your CV assubmitted, or in preparation. This isnot necessarily going to count againstyou, although submitted is generallypreferable to in preparation.. . . the strength of a postdoc’s publication recordhas more to do with the quality of the publicationsproduced, the nature of the work beingconducted, and the frequency, rather than totalnumber of publications.. . . project choices should be madeon the basis of aiming for thehighest impact possible.Should I take time to write reviews?Although review articles are sometimesuseful for putting your nameout in a field (they often are morewidely read and cited than originalresearch articles), these are not consideredevidence of research productivity,so only involve yourself with these if itdoesn’t distract you from doing yourown original research. Later, as facultymember, you will likely begin toreceive endless solicitations towrite reviews.What constitutes a goodquality publication?Clearly, high impact papers publishedin high impact journals are very usefulfor an early career scientist. Theydemonstrate that your work is of ahigh standard and has broad significancebeyond your own specific field.Then there are strong publications ofa more focused sort that, while not. . . these are not considered evidence ofresearch productivity, so only involve yourselfwith these if it doesn’t distract you from doingyour own original research.rocking the heterogeneous readers ofScience and Nature, may still be consideredimportant advances within acertain field. Further down are gapfillingresearch publications thatperhaps clarify certain or enhance currentknowledge in a certain field.Ultimately, project choices should bemade on the basis of aiming for thehighest impact possible.How are non first-authorpapers rated?The primary aim of a postdoc is todemonstrate competence in designingand executing a research project fromstart to finish as part of establishingoneself as a viable future independentinvestigator. First author publicationsare the most accurate indicators of6


success here. By all means engage incollaborations, but unless you are theleading author, these should take alower priority under your own selfdirectedwork.Bear in mind that search committeesare well aware that a first-authorpaper does not necessarily mean thatthe first author designed the project.There are countless publications inwhich the first author has simplybeen operating under the instructionsof the PI, and a key part of the searchprocess is to establish whether applicantscan prove that they have contributedto the research design, andnot just the manual labor.Teaching-orientedInstitutesWhat is the pace of research at ateaching-oriented college?Generally slower than research-orientedinstitutes, because much of thelaboratory work is conducted bya PI with the aid of undergraduatestudents.What should graduates aim toaccomplish during their PhD andfollowing postdoc in order to bestposition themselves for a career at ateaching-oriented institute?Teaching experience is a tremendousadvantage. So be proactive in pursuingopportunities that allow youto prepare and give lectures andtutorials, andif possibleeven involveyourself incurriculumdesign.Are teaching postdocs worth doingif a graduate student wishes to workat a teaching-oriented institute?There are both pros and cons to thesekinds of postdocs. The pro side isclearly that you should receive moreinstruction on aspects of curriculumdesign and execution. However, thiscomes at the expense of research productivity,which arguably limits one’scareer choices. Teaching-based postdocsare relatively new, and theirvalue remains to be determined.To coin a Fox News term, “Somepeople say…” that the skills requiredfor teaching can be easily picked upin a conventional research-basedpostdoc (see below).Giving research talks both within the instituteand research meetings will boost one’s communicationskills, and one’s confidence in a publicspeaking role.. . . search committees are well awarethat a first-author paper does not necessarilymean that the first authordesigned the project.What can a research-orientedpostdoc do to enhance his/herteaching resume?Many research-oriented universitieshave ample opportunities for enhancingone’s teaching skills. Givingresearch talks both within the instituteand research meetings will boostone’s communication skills, and one’sconfidence in a public speaking role.Also consider giving visiting seminarsto local schools and undergraduatecolleges. In addition, it’s very likely. . . be proactive in pursuing opportunities thatallow you to prepare and give lectures and tutorials,and if possible even involve yourself incurriculum design.that you will be allowed (nay, encouraged!)to give an undergraduate lectureor two at your own institute.Many institutes also have courseson teaching, ethics, and curriculumdesign that are worth attending,time permitting.A good source of experience ininstruction can also be gained frombeing actively involved in the trainingof undergraduate and graduate studentsworking in the laboratory. Thisalso provides solid experience in mentoring,which will be an importantelement of your future career as anindependent investigator.Obviously, take care to organizeyour time well, and ensure that yourattempts to enhance your teachingresume do not distract you fromyour research.JulyAugust20087


BiophysicalSocietyPublic AffairsLend Candidates YourScientific ExpertiseWith the Presidential election takingcenter stage, many Society membershave asked how to get science on thenational agenda. One of the best waysto do this is to get involved at thecampaign stage. While the presidentialcampaigns have staffed up by thispoint in the election cycle, the candidatesfor Congress can still use someassistance. They would probablybe thrilled to have a scientist from alocal or state university/college onboard to help them develop positionson science-related issues thatcomeup during the campaign. Thisis especially true for non-incumbentcandidates.If you have a favorite candidate,call the local campaign office and askto speak to the policy director. Lethim/her know that you would like tobe a resource for the candidatethroughout the election. Also letthem know that even if a particularquestion falls outside your area,you can help them connect with ascientist from the appropriate discipline.Be prepared to offer facts—not agendas.If you do not have a favorite candidate,you can research candidates attwo websites: Your Candidate YourHealth 2008 and Innovation 2008:Rebuilding America’s Scientific Edge.Your Candidates Your Health2008 is an initiative sponsored byResearch!America and 37 partnersthat provides candidates answersto health policy related questions.The address is http://www.yourcandidatesyourhealth.org/.Innovation 2008, sponsored byScientists and Engineers for America,provides candidates answers to abroader range of science issues. Theaddress is http://sharp.sefora.org/.Want information on candidates positions onhealth and science? Go to:SHARP Network: http://sharp.sefora.orgResearch!America: http://www.researchamerica.orgThe purpose of these initiatives is toget Congressional candidates on therecord to raise the profile of theseissues and to be able to hold themaccountable once elected.You can also volunteer to helpwith efforts to register voters, drumup support for the candidate, orattend rallies. If the candidate has atown hall meeting, attend and ask ascientifically relevant question.Some of the science-related issuesthat may come up during this campaignseason are: genetic discrimination,drug reimportation, science education,the teaching of evolution,healthcare reform, FDA funding,medical records privacy, electronicmedical records, bioterrorism, pharmaceuticalregulations, Avian flu, federalsupport for stem cell research,and biofuels.NIH Changes toPeer ReviewAfter a year long review that includedboth a self-study and input from theexternal community, the NIH hasannounced changes it plans to maketo improve its peer review system.According to the report announcingthe changes, implementation ofthe plan will take place over thenext 18 months.In a press release, Director EliasZerhouni stated, “The scientific communitybecame truly engaged in thiscomprehensive effort to figure outhow to make peer review work betterfor both the reviewers and the applicants.The results of this collectiveeffort are concrete solutions that willmaximize flexibility, remove anyunnecessary burden, stimulate newinnovation, and promote transformativeresearch.”8


The Implementation Report outlinesfour priorities for the NIH andsteps the agency will take to achievethem. The priorities are to 1) ensurethat the NIH is able to get the bestreviewers to serve on study sections, 2)improve the quality and transparencyof review, 3) ensure reviews are fairacross all fields and career stages, and 4)develop a permanent process for continuousevaluation of the peer reviewsystem (see side bar).According to the plan, NIH willshorten its application from 25 pagesto 12 and emphasize research impactover methods and details. NIH willalso provide applicants with moredetailed feedback on proposals. Toimprove recruitment and retention ofreviewers, NIH will lengthen the timeon a study section from 4 years to sixyears so that participants can spreadthe commitment over a longer periodof time. In addition, NIH plans topilot online reviews and provide studysection members who attend at least 18meetings a grant supplement of up to$250,000. To increase funding forearly-career investigators, NIH alsoplans to have reviewers consider thesesubmissions separately from the rest ofthe application pool and assign a differentNIH-wide cutoff score to ensurethat at least 1,500 are funded each year.While earlier drafts of theImplementation Report suggested thatNIH disallow resubmissions of grants(A1s and A2s) or that weak grants belabeled “not recommended for resubmission,”these proposals are not partof the final plan. Rather the NIH hasindicated that they plan to use theadvisory councils to rebalance thefunding rate between strongfirst submission applications andamended applications.The Biophysical Society did notsubmit a statement on peer review onbehalf of Society members due to thedivergent opinions on the matter butNIH PEER REVIEW PRIORITIESPriority 1 — Engage the Best ReviewersIncrease flexibility of service, formally acknowledge reviewerefforts, further compensate time and effort, and enhance and standardizetraining.Priority 2 — Improve Quality and Transparency ofReviewsShorten and redesign applications to highlight impact and to allowalignment of the application, review and summary statement withfive explicit review criteria, and modify the rating system.Priority 3 — Ensure Balanced and Fair Reviews acrossScientific Fields and Career Stages• Support a minimum number of early stage investigators andinvestigators new to NIH, and emphasize retrospective accomplishmentsof experienced investigators.• Encourage and expand the Transformative Research Pathway• Create a new investigator-initiated Transformative R01 Awardprogram funded within the NIH Roadmap with an intended commitmentof a minimum of $250 million over five years.• Continue the commitment of — and possibly expand the use of— the Pioneer, EUREKA, and New Innovator Awards. NIH willinvest at least $750 million in these three programs over the nextfive years.• Reduce the burden of multiple rounds of resubmission for thesame application, especially for highly meritorious applications.Priority 4 — Develop a Permanent Process forContinuous Review of Peer ReviewUse a more rigorous and independent prospective evaluation thatfavor adaptive and innovative approaches to review and programmanagement, pilot and evaluate new models of review, pilot andevaluate high bandwidth electronic review, and develop metrics formonitoring performance of review.JulyAugust20089


BiophysicalSocietydid solicit members’ thoughts aboutpeer review and submitted them tothe NIH for consideration. TheSociety also sent representatives of theBoard and Public Affairs Committeeto regional meetings held to gatherinput from the external NIH community.The Implementation Planincludes several suggestions made byBPS members, including shorterreviews, special attention to earlycareer investigators, reviewing peerreview on a regular basis, and payingparticular attention to funding highrisk,high impact research.For more information aboutenhancing peer review at NIH and tolearn about the implementationplan, please visit http://enhancingpeer-review.nih.gov.In regards to improving supportfor early career investigators, thereport outlines steps that individuals,universities, societies, and governmentagencies can take. At the universitylevel, the report suggests that institutionsimprove mentoring of youngfaculty members, develop policies torecognize the needs of primary caregivers,and rewrite promotion andtenure policies so that they recognizecollaborative projects and well-developedprojects with negative outcomes.The report also suggests that universitiesshoulder greater responsibility forfaculty salaries. Having to raise 100%of one’s salary places too heavy of aburden on early career principal inves-Visited theBiophysical SocietyWebsite Lately?See the newwww.biophysics.orgtigators and discourages them fromSupport for EarlyCareer Faculty and HighRisk, High RewardResearch Key to USCompetitivenessThe American Academy of Arts andSciences released a report entitled,ARISE: Advancing Research in Scienceand Engineering, on June 3. Thereport focuses on two areas where theUnited States can improve its supportfor research: in its support for earlycareerinvestigators at universities andin its efforts to support high-risk,high-reward research. Rather thanadvocate for more money, the reportfocuses on changes to current policythat are needed, regardless of fundinglevels, to improve these two areas.risk-taking in their research.At the federal level, the report suggeststhat agencies create or strengthenmulti-year awards for early career faculty,pay special attention to earlycareerfaculty during merit reviews ofregular grant programs, provide seedfunding for early-career faculty, anddevelop policies to respond to theneeds of primary caregivers, such asgrant extensions.To enhance support of high-risk,high-reward research, the Report recommendsthat federal agencies createtargeted programs for this type ofresearch and establish metrics to judgesuccess, strengthen the applicationand review process, and invest in programofficers.To read the report in its entirety,go to www.amacad.org/ARISE.Biophysical SocietyJob BoardThe Job Board includes severalbiophysics-related jobpostings as well as the opportunityto post job openingsfrom your instituion or company.Check out the JobBoard at www.biophysics.org10


Subgroup NewsMotilityThe theme for the Saturday symposiumat the 2009 Annual Meeting inBoston will be Flexibility in MotorFunction. Molecular motors are notbinary machines that click betweenstates, but are soft matter subject tothermal fluctuation. The symposiumwill explore how this flexibilityimpacts the function and regulationof the dynein, kinesin and myosinmotors that drive biological motility.We are delighted to have Kazuo Sutoh,University of Tokyo, as our EveningSpeaker. He is well known for his fundamentalstudies of myosin anddynein mechanisms.have done a great job recruiting outstandingspeakers for our subgroupsymposia. Please spread the wordamong your colleagues concerningour line-up of speakers for thisyear’s meeting and encouragetheir attendance.This will be my last newsletterwhere I serve both as Chair andTreasurer of the subgroup as UweSchlattner, University of Grenoble,has been elected as Treasurer of thesubgroup. To my colleagues in thesubgroup, I ask that you treat Uwe aswell as have you have treated meregarding subgroup financial matters.You all have all made the job easy andthe subgroup continues to maintain asolid financial foundation. Thanks!—Lawrence Prochaska,Subgroup ChairDon’t forget the September 15,2008, deadline for nominations forthe 2009 Cole Award. Nominationsshould be sent to the Chair (CrissHartzell, criss.hartzell@emory.edu),the Advisory Committee (EitanReuveny, e.reuveny@weizmann.ac.il,Nael A. McCarty, nael.mccarty@biology.gatech.edu, David T. Yue,dyue@jhmi.edu, or Dan Minor,daniel.minor@ucsf.edu), or subgroupSecretary/Treasurer (Carol L. Beck,carol.beck@jefferson.edu). The ColeAward will be presented at the dinnerfollowing the symposium onMarch 1.—Carol L. Beck, Secretary-Treasurer—Criss Hartzell, Subgroup ChairJulyAugust2008—Peter Knight and Sarah Rice,Subgroup Co-ChairsMembrane BiophysicsBioenergeticsThe 2009 Bioenergetics subgroupsymposia will include a morning sessionentitled Role of Lipid inBioenergetic Function, co-chaired byShelagh Ferguson-Miller, MichiganState University, and William Cramer,Purdue University. The title of theafternoon session is Integration of IonTransport and Metabolism inMitochondria, co-chaired by TatianaRostovtseva, National Institutes ofHealth, NICHD, and John Lemasters,Medical University of SouthCarolina. A complete program withfinal titles for each presentation willbe published in a subsequent newsletter.The co-chairs of both sessionsBe sure to join us in Boston onSaturday afternoon before the start ofthe Annual Biophysical Society meetingfor the Membrane Biophysicssymposium. The theme for this year’ssymposium is Ion Channels withBorderline Personalities. Speakerswill include Tom DeCoursey, RushUniversity Medical Center; FredLamb, University of Iowa; JoeMindell, National Institute ofNeurological Disorders and Strok;,Ann-Marie Surprenant, University ofManchester; H. Criss Hartzell, EmoryUniversity School of Medicine;and others.Please remember to pay your subgroupdues—dues support the symposiumand the Cole Award.Interested inCreating aNew Subgroup?Forming a subgroup supportingthe advancement of a specificarea of biophysics is easy.Simply submit a petition signedby 100 regular members alongwith proposed constitution andbylaws must be submitted tosociety @biophysics.orgPetitions and bylaws arethen submitted to Councilfor approval.For more informationon existing subgroups, visitwww.biophysics.org11


BiophysicalSocietyHow the Society WorksHow Is the Scientific Program for theAnnual Meeting Developed?When a President-Elect is elected in August of each year, he/she names a Program Chair who oversees the developmentof the scientific program for the annual meeting to be held three years later. The Chair, together with theProgram Committee that includes six members of Council serving three-years terms on a rotating basis, compilea program that represents the diversity in scientific areas, demographics, and geography of the Society membershipand that represents the best and most exciting biophysics in the world. That program is presented to Council forapproval one year before the actual meeting.The 53 rd Biophysical Society Annual Meeting will take place February 28 through March 4, 2009, in Boston,Massachusetts. The Program Co-Chairs, David Warshaw of the University of Vermont College of Medicine and Ming-Ming Zhou of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, began working on the 2009 program with the members of the ProgramCommittee members in 2007!1. Program Chair Appointed and Workswith Program CommitteeThree years prior to the annual meeting, thePresident-Elect appoints a Program Chair. The Chairworks with the existing Program Committee, which includessix members of Council, appointed for three-yearterms on a rotating basis.2. BPS Member Suggestions Solicitedand Review of Past Programs andAttendance Trends ConductedIn the fall, the Program Committeesolicits suggestions from the Society membership,subgroup chairs, and committee chairs for possible symposiaand workshop topics and speakers. The Committeealso looks at recent past meeting topics and attendance toensure that speakers and topics are new and fresh.Topics for the 2009 Meeting were solicitedin the fall of 2007.3. Program DevelopmentOver the course of a year, the ProgramCommittee members analyze all data, review all suggestions,and develop symposia and workshop topics based ontheir analyses.4. Program Presented to Council forFeedback and Final ApprovalOne year before the meeting, theProgram Chair presents the proposed program toCouncil for approval. If approved the proposed chairs andspeakers are invited and, once confirmed, the callfor papers/meeting announcement is preparedand mailed.12


2009 Annual Meeting NewsOctober 5 Abstract DeadlineAll abstracts must be submitted through the abstract submission site, found at www.biophysics.org by October5, 2008. Revisions will be accepted until midnight, October 10, 2008. Abstracts submitted by the October 5deadline and accepted for programming will be published as a supplement to the Biophysical Journal.Member-Organized SessionsSociety interested in organizing their own platform session on a specific topic or theme not included in theposter or minisymposia categories may submit a request to the Program Committee in the form of a memberorganizedsession. Anyone interested in organizing a member-organized session must submit the title of the session,chair of the session, and a proposed list of speakers and titles of each of their abstracts to the Society officeby September 26, 2008. All abstracts proposed in the session must then be submitted by the October 5 deadline.Selection of the member-organized sessions is made by the Program Committee. Abstracts not selectedfor member-organized sessions will be programmed in an appropriate poster session.New on the Exhibit Hall Floor in 2009Need to check your e-mails or just take a load off? Stop in the Wireless Café and check your e-mails from yourown laptop. Bring your laptop to the Wireless Café and sit back and connect to the rest of the world. Openduring Exhibit Hall hours only.JulyAugust2008Morning Coffee & Afternoon SnacksDrop in the exhibit hall for a morning cup of java or an afternoon snack. Coffee is served from 10:00-11:00 AM on March 1-3, in the hall. Treat yourself to an afternoon snack to tie you over until dinner. Snacktime in the hall is 2:00-3:30 PM March 1-3.Exhibit Hall Hours:Sunday, March 1 – 10:00 AM – 5:00 PMMonday, March 2 – 10:00 AM – 5:00 PMTuesday, March 3 – 10:00 AM – 5:00 PMHousing Opens August 1, 2008Reserve early to guarantee your hotel room through the official Housing Bureau for the Biophysical Society’s53 rd Annual Meeting.Booking a room within the housing block is a benefit for meeting attendees because in addition to the lowerroom rates, the Housing Bureau guarantees rates and rooms to those who use this service in the event of overbooking,construction, or problems with a room. The Housing Bureau is in place to immediately serve meetingattendees by taking care of any problems that arise for individuals who have booked through their service.To view rates and amenities for all hotels within the meeting housing block and to complete your hotel reservation,visit www.biophysics.org.Visa InformationScientists planning to enter the US to attend the 2009 Annual Meeting should apply for a VISA at least threemonths before the meeting. Meeting attendees are encouraged to visit the following websites for informationregarding obtaining a visa for entry into the US:US Department of Statehttp://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.htmlNational Academies of Sciencehttp://www7.nationalacademies.org/visas/US Department of Homeland Securityhttp://www.dhs.gov/xtrvlsec/crossingborders/13


BiophysicalSocietySociety members elected to NASRichard Aldrich Steve Boxer Ken DillJenniferLippincott-SchwartzMembers in the NewsPeter WrightFive members of the Biophysical Society wererecently elected members of the NationalAcademies of Sciences. They were: RichardAldrich, University of Texas, Austin, and Societymember since 1980; Steve Boxer, StanfordUniversity and Society member since 1979; KenDill, University of California, San Francisco, andSociety member since 1979; Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, National Institutes of Health andSociety member since 2000; and Peter Wright,Scripps Research Institute and Society membersince 1985.William E. Moerner of StanfordUniversity and Society membersince 1996 and Allen J. Bard (notpictured) of University of Texas atAustin and Society member since1996 were awarded the Wolf Prizein Chemistry.Andre F. Palmer of Ohio StateUniversity and Society membersince 1998 was awarded the LloydFerguson Young Scientist Award.Xiaowei Zhuang (not pictured) ofHarvard University and Societymember since 1998 was awardedthe 2008 Coblentz Award.14ObituaryRobert (Bob) F. Rakowski, Biophysical Society member since 1979, died from cardiac arrest on February 19, 2008.Rakowski earned undergraduate and masters degrees in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, and a PhD inPhysiology under Paul Horowicz at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He did postdoctoralwork first with W. Knox Chandler at Yale University, where together with Martin Schneider he made the first recordingsof the displacement currents that mediate excitation-contraction coupling in muscle, and then with Lord Richard Adrianat Cambridge University. Rakowski became Assistant Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at Washington Universityin 1975, and from 1984 to 2000 he was Associate Professor and then Professor and Chairman of Physiology andBiophysics at The Chicago Medical School, now the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. From 2000to 2005 Rakowski was Chairman of Biological Sciences at Ohio University, Ohio, after which he devoted himself exclusivelyto research and teaching. Rakowski was an outstanding biophysical electrophysiologist with a knack for exploitingelectronics and computers, yet with a deep sense of biological reality. He was also a champion oarsman and an expertfisherman. For the past 27 summers Bob studied the tiny transmembrane currents generated by the electrogenic sodiumpump in squid giant axons, in a longstanding collaboration with Paul De Weer, University of Pennsylvania School ofMedicine, David Gadsby, Rockefeller University, Miguel Holmgren, National Institute of Neurological Disorders andStroke, and, more recently, Francisco Bezanilla, University of Chicago, at the Marine Biological Laboratory in WoodsHole. Rakowski had planned to retire this year to settle in Falmouth, Massachusetts with his wife Linda who, togetherwith their three daughters, has established in his memory the Robert F. Rakowski Award for OutstandingResearch in Biological Sciences at Ohio University.


Alonza BrownNorfolk State UniversityMaria ColoradoAmerican River CollegeMeet the Summer Course in Biophysics StudentsTravels so much he livesout of his truck.Can’t sleep without socks,enjoys nature, but doesn’tlike camping. Her favoriteanimal is the seahorse.Cheryl LawSpelman CollegeSumuna MwimbaNorth CarolinaCentral UniversityEnjoys cooking, and makesthe best enchiladas.Is an adrenaline junky,speaks seven languages fluently,two semi fluently.The other students enjoyhis entertainingstorytelling abilities.JulyAugust2008Giovanni CruzUniversity ofPuerto Rico, CayeyIs a first degree black beltin Tae Kown Do, about toreceive his second band.Also enjoys performing andinventing chemistry experimentsat home.Stephani PageNorth CarolinaA & T State UniversityCast as an extra in a scenein Firestarter withDrew Barrymore.Likes to travel, drink lotscoffee, and enjoys playingvideo games.Likes to write playsand poetry.Tsega Gegre-EgziNorth CarolinaCentral UniversityYalidette Rivera-Colon,University ofPuerto Rico, CayeyCar enthusiast, loves workingon and driving his car.Dabbles in digital artphotography, painting,and drawing.Kimani GopaulFlorida A&M UniversityMelissa WeimkenUniversity ofSouth Florida15


Non-Profit Org.U.S. PostagePAIDBethesda, MDPermit No. 54609650 Rockville PikeBethesda, Maryland 20814-3998Biophysical Society Newsletter—July/August IssueUpcoming EventsSeptember 12 - 16, 2008ASBMR 30th Annual MeetingMontreal, Quebec, Canadahttp://www.asbmr.org/meeting/meetingsindex.cfmSeptember 14-19, 2008Gordon Research Conferences: Biointerface ScienceAussois, Francehttp://www.grc.org/programs.aspx?year=2008&program=biointSeptember 15-17, 2008Colloidal Nanoparticles - From Synthesis toBiological ApplicationsMarburg, Germanyhttp://www.physik.uni-marburg.deSeptember 30, 2008Nanotechnology in Medicine and BiotechnologyLondon, United Kingdomhttp://www.imeche.org/events/event.asp?id=s1262October 1-4, 20082008 BMES Annual Fall MeetingSt. Louis, Missourihttp://www.bmes.org/October 12-17, 200813th International Biotechnology SymposiumDalian, Chinahttp://www.iupac.org/symposia/2008.html#121009Please visit http://www.biophysics.org/ for a complete list of upcoming events.

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