Evolution of IDP Field

Keith Dunker, Peter Wright, Volodya Uversky, Peter Tompa, and Richard Kriwacki have been instrumental in the evolution of the IDP community, especially in creating the IDP subgroup and in initiating the IDP Gordon Research Conference (GRC). In 2005, when the IDP field was relatively immature, the IDP session at proteins GRC was well received, stimulating the idea of a virgin community that led to the IDP subgroup in the Biophysical Society. Success of this subgroup demonstrated the expansion of the community, growing interest in the field, and recognition of the importance of intrinsic disorder for a broader audience. In 2008, the field reached the critical point where a forum was required to propagate information about the existing progress and exchange ideas for pushing the field forward by identifying new frontiers. These catalyzed the idea of an IDP meeting in GRC.

The first IDP-GRC, chaired by Keith and Volodya, presented a cocktail of mature topics and emerging areas in the field. The second IDP-GRC, chaired by Rohit Pappu and Peter Tompa, went beyond that by drawing an ensemble of scientists who were unfamiliar about the IDP despite their research being directly relevant to it. This meeting helped convince these scientists about the rich continuum of biophysical and biological possibilities afforded by systems with intrinsic disorder.

These meetings, including the annual IDP symposium held during the Society’s Annual Meeting, have shown how synergies among the expertise in computations, informatics, and cutting-edge biophysical techniques can be leveraged for understanding the roles of intrinsic disorder in their functions. The interactions, seeded during these meetings, have contributed to the expansion of a network of collaborations within and beyond the community.

Rahul K. Das, Postdoctoral Associate, Representative, IDP Subgroup member

Note: The author would like to thank Rohit V. Pappu for sharing information about the history of establishing and organizing the IDP-GRC meetings.

Nanoscale Biophysics

Annual Symposium

The fourth annual Nanoscale Biophysics Subgroup symposium will be held Saturday, February 15, 2014, at the Biophysical Society Meeting in San Francisco, and will be organized by Victoria Birkedal and Laura Finzi. Confirmed speakers include Caroline Ajo-Franklin, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Joerg Bewersdorf, Yale University, Jochen Feldmann, Ludwig-Maximilians Universtität München, David Klenerman,University of Cambridge, Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, National Institutes of Health, Stephen Quake, Stanford University, and Hiroshi Sugiyama, Kyoto University. 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 by going to and clicking 'Program' then 'Subgroup'. Please join us at the symposium and dinner to hear the latest in Nanoscale Biophysics and socialize with fellow biophysicists!

Benefits of Membership in the Nanoscale Biophysics Subgroup

Each dues-paying member of the Nanoscale Biophysics Subgroup is allowed to submit one abstract of a student or postdoctoral fellow for consideration for a short talk at our symposium. The deadline is October 15, 2013. To submit an abstract, go to, then click 'Abstract' and 'Submit Abstract'. It is not too late to become a 2014 member of the Nanoscale Biophysics subgroup.

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, Nanoscale Biophysics Subgroup Chair