Biophysical Journal Corner

BJ Poster Awards

In addition to the recently announced Paper of the Year Award, BJ is pleased to sponsor a new program of BPS Thematic Meeting Poster Awards. At each Society thematic meeting, a selection committee will identify four outstanding posters, two by students and two by postdocs. An award of $250 will be made to the presenting author for each of the four posters.

Highlighted Papers

Each month a few papers are highlighted in BJ with a New & Notable article. These are commentaries in which the author can highlight a point, question, or controversy raised in the paper it discusses. Visit to read these articles from a recent issue of BJ.

Energetic View on Membrane Pore Formation, Martina Pannuzzo and Rainer A. Böckmann, which highlights the paper: Atomistic Simulations of Pore Formation and Closure in Lipid Bilayers, W.F. Drew Bennett, Nicolas Sapay, D. Peter Tieleman.

Temperature Cycles Unravel the Dynamics of Single Biomolecules, Haifeng Yuan and Michel Orrit, which highlights the paper: Pulsed Infrared-Heating Studies of Single Molecule DNA Duplex Dissociation Kineticsand Thermodynamics, Erik D. Holmstrom, Nicholas F. Dupuis, and David J. Nesbitt.

Big Cells Cleave as Fast as Small Ones: The Physics of Cytokinesis, Sriram Ramaswamy, which highlights the paper: Furrow Constriction in Animal Cell Cytokinesis, Herve Turlier, Basile Audoly, Jacques Prost, and Jean-Francois Joanny.

Also see this Review, which was published in a recent issue of BJ: Vertex Models of Epithelial Morphogenesis by Alexander G. Fletcher, Miriam Osterfield, Ruth E. Baker, and Stanislav Y. Shvartsman.

 Know the Editors

Antoine M. van Oije
University of Groningen
Editor for Molecular Machines, Motors, and Nanoscale Biophysics Section




Q: What is your area of research?
My research revolves around the development and use of single-molecule biophysical tools to study complex biochemical systems. In particular, my group is using single-molecule approaches to understand how processes work such as DNA replication, viral fusion, and membrane transport. Following the motto “Seeing is believing,” we try to visualize, in real time, how molecular machineries do their work. A good example is our work on DNA replication, where we use mechanical tools to stretch a piece of DNA and monitor length changes as a readout for the progression of the replication machinery. We then simultaneously observe the fluorescence of individual replication proteins on the DNA to visualize dynamic changes in the composition of the multi-protein replication complex. This single-molecule approach has helped us tremendously in answering some complicated questions related to the coordination of the DNA unwinding, priming, and synthesis activities that take place at the replication fork.

Trained as a physicist but having worked in a biology environment for a large part of my career, I love combining the development of new tools with solving mechanistic puzzles at the molecular scale. In the same way, I enjoy being surrounded by colleagues from different disciplines. Being an editorial board member for Biophysical Journal brings me a similar satisfaction: I get to read the newest results from highly interdisciplinary research, and I have the opportunity to help the Journal publish the very best of it.