Nanoscale Biophysics

Annual Symposium
Our third annual symposium, scheduled to take place Saturday, February 2, 2013, at the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is being organized by Joerg Bewersdorf and Victoria Birkedal. Confirmed speakers include Scott Blanchard, Cornell University; Marija Drndic, University of Pennsylvania; Christian Eggeling, Max Planck Institute/Oxford; Mark Ellisman, University of California, San Diego; Julio Fernandez, Columbia University; Helmut Grubmuller, Max Planck Institute; and Viola Vogel, ETH, Zurich. Additionally, there will be two student or postdoc presentations selected from abstracts sponsored by Subgroup members. The symposium will be followed by the Subgroup annual dinner. Please check the Subgroup website for the detailed program and additional information:

Benefits of membership in the Nanoscale Biophysics Subgroup:
Each dues-paying member of the Nanoscale Biophysics Subgroup is allowed to sponsor one abstract of a student or postdoctoral fellow for consideration for a short talk at our meeting (deadline: October 15, 2012). It is not too late to become a dues-paying member of Nanoscale Biophysics.

Subgroup email list
The subgroup has an email distribution list. Members may contact Victoria Birkedal at for inquiries about sending out email
announcements of conferences and meetings.

Victoria Birkedal, Chair, Nanoscale Biophysics Subgroup

Biopolymers in vivo

News for the 2013 Annual Meeting BIV Subgroup: Program co-chairs Philipp Selenko and Adrian Elcock have assembled an exciting scientific session for the Subgroup symposium at the 2013 BPS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It will cover protein and DNA biophysics in cellular and cell-like conditions from a wide variety of angles. I am very happy to announce that Jacqueline Barton, California Institute of Technology, and Stefan Hell, Max-Planck Institute, will be our keynote speakers. Our other speakers will be Yousif Shamoo, Rice University; Patricia Clark, Notre Dame University; Jie Xiao, Johns Hopkins University; John R. Briggs, EMBL; and Gael McGill, Digizyme. In addition, two postdoc talks will be selected from submitted abstracts. The scientific session will start at 1 pm and the program can be found on the BIV website ( You can interact more with all speakers and BIV members at the subgroup dinner that starts at 7pm. Dinner attendees will need to register in advance. The annual BIV business meeting will take place at 10 am the same day, at which time Lila Gierasch will take over as chair.

I would like to encourage everyone interested in research questions related to in vivo conditions to become a member of the subgroup–our survival depends on a continuing pool of members. Also, when you submit your abstract for the annual meeting, please consider ‘proteins in vivo’ or ‘nucleic acids in vivo’ as your first choice of abstract category–with enough submitted abstracts within one category it will become an oral session! Additionally, the two postdoc talks given during the BIV subgroup symposium will be selected from the abstracts in these two categories.

I hope to see you in Philadelphia to welcome you to our session!

Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, Chair, BIV Subgroup


The inaugural meeting of the Mechanobiology Subgroup, organized by Linda J. Kenney, will begin with the first speaker at 1 pm on Saturday, February 2, 2013, at the BPS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We are delighted so far to have confirmed Dennis Discher, University of Pennsylvania; Michael Dustin, Skirball Institute, New York University; Antoine Triller, INSERM; GV Shivashankar, Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore; and Rob Phillips, California Institute of Technology; as speakers. Mechanobiology is an emerging area of biophysics that focuses on the role of mechanical cues that alter cellular behavior through mechanotransduction by cells. Topics ranging from rigidity sensing by stem cells to osmosensing in bacteria are all based upon mechanochemical processes. This new subroup will focus on how mechanical aspects of biological functions shape organisms and influence cellular processes through dynamic feedback mechanisms at the molecular level. Cellular properties are not merely defined by their components, but how these components interact physically with one another and the cellular microenvironment over time. Additional speakers will be announced on the website. We encourage meeting attendees to come to the symposium, join the subgroup, and attend the business meeting to vote on the bylaws and elect officers.

See you in Philadelphia!

Linda J. Kenney, Acting Chair, Mechanobiology Subgroup

Membrane Biophysics

The preliminary program for the 2013 Symposium Program is listed below. For times of each session, visit the website at

Organizers: Diomedes E. Logothetis, Virginia Commonwealth University; Brad Rothberg, Temple University

Regulation of K Channels by the G Protein Signaling System; Diomedes E. Logothetis, Virginia Commonwealth University

Structural Basis of Gating By RCK Domains; Ming Zhou, Baylor College of Medicine

Regulation of Store Operated Calcium Entry by Saraf; Eitan Reuveny, Weizmann Institute, Israel

Calcium Channel Regulation in the Fight-Or-Flight Response; William A. Catterall, University of Washington

The Open Conformation of a Voltage-Gated NA Channel Reveals the Transmembrane Pathway and Gating Mechanism; Bonnie A. Wallace, University of London, United Kingdom

Regulatory Proteins of a Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter; Kevin J. Foskett, University of Pennsylvania

Regulation of Voltage Sensor Movement in KCNQ Channels by Kcne Beta Subunits; Peter H. Larsson, University of Miami

The Subgroup Business Meeting will be held at 3:05 pm. All subgroup members are encouraged to attend.

Diomedes Logothetis, Chair, Membrane Biophysics Subgroup


Postdoctoral researchers working on intrinsically disordered proteins are encouraged to submit an abstract for a poster to be presented at the 2013 Biophysical Society Annual Meeting under the “Intrinsically Disordered Proteins” topic area.

IDP Gordon Conference
The 2012 IDP Gordon Conference held at Mount Snow, Vermont, was a tremendous success! Congratulations to Chairs Rohit Pappu and Peter Tompa for assembling a phenomenal and diverse slate of speakers (visit for the complete list). There was broad participation with about 120 posters and excellent scientific discussions. This year’s Vice-Chairs Gary Daughdrill and Madan Babu will be organizing the 2014 conference. Congratulations to Monika Fuxreiter and Richard Kriwacki, who were elected 2014 Vice-Chairs and will organize the 2016 conference.

Steven Metallo, Secretary-Treasurer, IPD Subgroup

September 2012 Table of Contents