As the Biophysical Society continues to grow, the Society's subgroups allow members to meet and interact within more focused areas in smaller groups. Subgroups hold scientific symposia and business meetings each year on the Saturday that starts the Annual Meeting. They also sponsor several awards, including the Student Research Achievement Awards (SRAA) Poster Competition.

Membership to the Society's subgroups is open to all members. New subgroups may be formed by petition, signed by at least 100 regular members. The petition and accompanying bylaws need to be approved by Council.

Membrane Biophysics

The Membrane Biophysics Subgroup promotes the exchange of ideas and information pertaining to the study of biological membranes. Subgroup members pursue research in a variety of areas including the structure, function and regulation of channels and transporters, ligand-receptor interactions, signal transduction mechanisms, protein trafficking and secretory mechanisms. Each year the subgroup sponsors a symposium highlighting an area of membrane biophysics. The symposium is followed by a dinner at which the K.S. Cole Award in Membrane Biophysics is presented to a person who is deemed to have made seminal contributions to the field, followed by a short address by the recipient. Membership in the subgroup is open to all members of the Biophysical Society.

Join the Membrane Biophysics Subgroup Kenneth S. Cole Award


In order to join the Membrane Biophysics Subgroup, you must be a member of the Society.

Andrew Plested, Chair (2019)

Crina Nimigean, Chair-Elect (2020)

Matthew Trudeau, Secretary-Treasurer (2020) 


2018 Jose Faraldo-Gomez NIH
2017 Teresa Giraldez Universidad de La Laguna, Spain
2016  Alessio Accardi Weill Cornell Medical College
2015 Baron Chanda University of Wisconsin, Madison
2014  Henry Colecraft Columbia University 
2013 Diomedes Logothetis Virginia Commonwealth University
2012 Paul Slesinger Salk Institute
2011 Stephen Tucker University of Oxford, UK
2010 Dan Minor University of California, San Francisco
2009 Criss Hartzell Emory University School of Medicine
2008 Eitan Reuveny Weizmann Institutes of Science, Israel
2007 Nael A. McCarty Emory University School of Medicine
2006 David Yue Johns Hopkins University
2005 Deborah Nelson University of Chicago
2004 Colin Nichols Washington University School of Medicine
2003 Barbara Ehrlich Yale University School of Medicine
2002 Robert French University of Calgary
2001 Lynne Quarmby Simon Fraser University
2000 David C. Dawson Oregon Health Science University
1999 Sarah S. Garber University of Chicago Medical School
1998 Joseph R. Hume University of Nevada Medical School
1997 Carol Vandenberg University of California, Santa Barbara
1996 Douglas C. Eaton Emory University 
1995 Barbara Ehrlich Yale University School of Medicine
1994 John M. Russell Syracuse University
1993 Richard Aldrich Stanford University School of Medicine
1992 David L. Gadsby Rockefeller University
1991 Kurt Beam  Colorado State University
1990 Michael L. Jennings University of Arkansas
1989 Jack H. Kaplan University of Illinois, Chicago
1988 Alan Kleinfeld Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies
1987 Douglas C. Eaton Emory University
1986 Peter K. Lauf Wright State University School of Medicine
1985 Nicholas Sperelakis University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
1984 John Cook University of Tennessee
1983 Adil Shamoo University of Maryland School of Medicine
1982 George Sachs University of California, Los Angeles
1981 George Sachs University of California, Los Angeles
1980 Robert Blumenthal National Institutes of Health
1979 Richard Pagano Mayo Clinic & Foundation
1978 Stephen H. White University of California, Irvine
1977 Charles F. Stevens Salk Institute for Biological Studies
1976 Clay M. Armstrong University of Pennsylvania
1975 David E. Goldman Medical College of Pennsylvania
1974 Peter F. Curran Yale University
1973 Warren Rehm University of Louisville
1972 J. Walter Woodbury University of Utah

2018 Symposium

Saturday, February 17, 2018
San Francisco, California
1:00 PM–6:00 PM

View Program

2017 Symposium

Saturday, February 11, 2017
New Orleans, Louisiana
1:00 PM–5:30 PM

View Program


2016 Symposium

Saturday, February 27, 2016
Los Angeles, California
1:00 PM–6:00 PM

View Program


2015 Symposium

Saturday, February 27, 2015
Baltimore, Maryland
1:00 PM–6:00 PM

View Program


2014 Symposium

Saturday, February 15, 2014
San Francisco, California
1:00 PM–6:00 PM

View Program


2013 Symposium

Saturday, February 2, 2013
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1:00 PM–4:40 PM

View Program


2017 Sensors
2016 Unusual Mechanisms in Membrane Transport
2015  Modern Perspective of Allostery in Ion Channels 
2014  Necessary (Accessory) Subunits of Ion Channels: What They Do and How They Do It 
2013 Macromolecular Complexes of Ion Channels and Transporters
2011 Single Molecule Approaches to Ion Channel Structure
2010 Ion Channel Chemical Biology
2009  Ion Channels with Borderline Personalities
2008 Channel Gating Modifiers and Modulators
2007 Reducing Reductionist Thinking: Biophysical Approaches to the Study of Membrane Protein Assemblies
2006 Horizons for the Queen of Ion Transport: CaV Calcium Channels
2005 Intracellular Ion Channels: Trafficking, Regulation, and Function
2004 Ion Channel Gating
2003 Protein Partners in the Regulation of Intracellular Calcium: No Singles Allowed
2002 Molecular Motions Underlying Ion Channel Gating
2001 Calcium Signaling
2000 Physical Basis of Ion Selectivity: From Bias to Recognition
1999 Ion Channels and the Cytoskeleton
1998 Structure and Function of CLC Chloride Channels
1997 Ion Channels: Structure and Function
1996 Mechanisms of Cellular Signaling
1995 Probing the Pore of Ion Channels
1994 Chloride Channels: Diversity in Form and Function
1993 Molecular and Biophysical Properties of Calcium-activated Potassium Channels
1992 Transducer Molecules of Cell Membranes
1991 n/a
1990 Kinetic Studies of Membrane Functions
1989 Ion Transport across Biomembranes
1988 Lipid Transfer between Membranes and Vesicles
1987 Cellular Polarity: Intracellular Sorting and Membrane Insertion
1986 Chemical Modification and Probes of Major Ion Transport Pathways
1985 Properties of Single Ion Channels as Revealed by Patch Clamp Studies
1984 Mechanisms Underlying Membrane Fusion
1983 Molecular Mechanisms of Hormonal Reculations of Ion Transport
1982 Plasma Membrane Pumps
1981 Eyring Models in Membrane Science
1980 Assembly of Proteins into Biological Membranes
1979 Organization, Dynamics, and Metabolism of Cell Surface Lipids
1978 Interactions between Membrane Components
1977 Local Anesthetic Effects on Ionic and Molecular Motions in Membranes
1976 Joint Photobiology - Membrane Group Symposium
1975 Recent Studies on Membrane Structure
1974 Physical and Chemical Probes of Membrane Structure and Function
1973  Membranes: Recent Advances 
1972  Molecular Mechanisms for Ion Selectivity in Membrane Transport Processes 

2018 Olga Boudker Weill Cornell Medical College 
2017 Kenton J. Swartz National Institutes of Health
2016 Roderick MacKinnon  Rockefeller University 
2015 Walter Stuhmer Max Planck Institute
  William Catterall University of Washington
  Todd Scheuer University of Washington
2014 David Julius University of California, San Francisco
2013 Frederick Sachs University of Buffalo, State University of New York
2012 Meyer Jackson University of Wisconsin, Madison
2011 David T. Yue Johns Hopkins University
2010 Ehud Isacoff University of California, Berkeley
2009 Karl L. Magleby University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
2008 William N. Zagotta University of Washington
2007 Henry A. Lester California Institute of Technology
2006 Edwin W. McCleskey Vollum Institute, Oregon Health and Science University
2005 Barbara E. Ehrlich Yale University
2004 Lily Yeh Jan University of California, San Francisco, HHMI
  Yuh Nung Jan University of California, San Francisco, HHMI
2003 Gary Yellen Harvard Medical School
2002 Kurt Beam Colorado State University
2001 Mike Cahalan University of California, Irvine
2000 Richard Horn Thomas Jefferson Medical College
1999 Olaf Andersen Weill Medical College of Cornell University
1998 W. J. Lederer Medical Biotechnology Center UMBI
1997 Fred Sigworth Yale University School of Medicine
1996 David Clapham Mayo Foundation
1995 David Gadsby Rockefeller University
1994 Richard W. Aldrich Stanford University School of Medicine
1993 Harald Reuter University of Bern
1992 Wolfhard Almers Oregon Health Science University
1991 James Hudspeth Rockefeller University, HHMI
1990 Francisco Bezanilla University of California, Los Angeles
1989 Clara Franzini-Armstrong University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  Knox Chandler Yale University School of Medicine
1988 H. Ronald Kaback University of California, Los Angeles
1987 Robert B. Gunn Emory University School of Medicine
  Philip A. Knauf University of Rochester Medical Center
1986 Christopher Miller Brandeis University, HHMI
1985 Richard W. Tsien Stanford University School of Medicine
1984 Mauricio Montal University of California, San Diego
1983 Robert Post Vanderbilt University
1982 Erwin Neher Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
1981 John Moore Duke University Medical Center
  Toshiro Narahashi Northwestern University Medical Center
1980 Thomas Thompson University of Virginia Health Science Center
  Demetrios Papahadjopoulos Roswell Park Memorial Hospital
1979 Michael Edidin Johns Hopkins University
  Richard Cone Johns Hopkins University
1978 Alan Finkelstein Albert Einstein College of Medicine
1977 Paul Mueller Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Unit
1976 Susumu Hagiwara University of California, Los Angeles
1975 Peter Curran (Posthumous) Yale University
1974 Clay Armstrong University of Pennsylvania 
1973 Bertil Hille University of Washington
  David Goldman Naval Medical Research Institute



Article 1
Purpose: The purpose of the Membrane Biophysics Subgroup is to promote the interchange of information about membranes between members of the Group and others interested in membranes, and to foster the advance of knowledge about membranes.

Article 2
Membership: Members of the Biophysical Society may join the Membrane Biophysics Subgroup; non-members of the Biophysical Society are welcome to attend Membrane Biophysics Subgroup symposia but are unable to join the Subgroup, serve as Officers of the Subgroup, or vote.

Article 3

Dissolution: The Membrane Biophysics Subgroup must be in accordance with the Biophysical Society’s constitution and bylaws, mission, values, goals, and operational guidelines. If the subgroup is found in violation of their bylaws or Society’s guidelines, the group will be placed on probation and may be dissolved at the discretion of the Council of the Biophysical Society.

Article 4
Meetings: Business meetings shall be held in connection with the annual scientific meeting of the Biophysical Society. Five percent of the members of the Membrane Biophysics Subgroup or 10 members, whichever is smaller, shall constitute a quorum. Scientific meetings shall be held in association with the annual Biophysical Society meetings, and must follow the guidelines established by the BPS Council. A minimum of thirty days’ notice of the Annual Meeting such as publication in the Biophysical Society  Newsletter must be The members attending an Annual Meeting can transact Group business by a simple majority vote.

Article 5
Officers: The Officers of the Subgroup will be the Subgroup Chair, Past Chair, Chair-Elect, and Secretary-Treasurer. Duties of the Subgroup Chair are to organize and conduct Subgroup Meetings, to advise the Biophysical Society of the activities and needs of the subgroup, to advise the Society on matters related to membranes, and any other activities the Chair deems to be beneficial to the subgroup and to the Society.The Secretary-Treasurer will maintain adequate records of membership and finances, and carry on necessary correspondence.The Subgroup Chair will serve for one year as Chair, one as Chair-Elect, and one as Past-Chair. There will be a two-year term for the Secretary-Treasurer.


Article 6

Executive Committee: The Executive Committee will be responsible for fulfilling the scientific and business obligations of the group. The Executive Committee will consist of Officers. The Executive Committee shall have the power to conduct business by means of electronic vote. The affairs of the Subgroup shall be handled by the Officers in accordance with the policies determined by the Executive Committee and the Biophysical Society Council.

Article 7

Nominating Committee: The members of the Executive Committee shall constitute the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee is responsible for soliciting nominations from subgroup membership and for preparing the final slate of candidates. Nominations will be received electronically up to one month prior to the Subgroup’s business meeting. Nominees must accept their nomination prior to being placed on a ballot. It is the intent of the Subgroup that candidates for Chair shall be rotated so as to fairly represent the different specialties within the membership.

Article 8
Eligibility for Office: Only members of the Membrane Biophysics Subgroup may be candidates for offices. Members may not be elected to one office more than every five years.  

Article 9
Elections: Elections will be held electronically up to two weeks prior to the Subgroup’s business meeting. The candidates for each office receiving the highest number of votes will be elected. The results will be announced to the Subgroup’s membership during the Subgroup’s business meeting. Officers will take office at the end of the annual business meeting held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Biophysical Society. Interim vacancies in officers or councilors will be filled in accordance with Bylaw Article VII of the Biophysical Society.

Article 10

Awards Committee: An awards committee consisting of [List members, which need to include some subgroup members who are not officers; none may be affiliated with award sponsors] will solicit nominations through a call to all subgroup members, evaluate nominations, and select awardees.  The committee’s selection criteria will be based on scientific excellence first but must also consider diversity.

Article 11

The Kenneth S. Cole Award: It is the policy and intent of the Membrane Biophysics Subgroup to make an award annually to some investigator who has made a substantial contribution to knowledge of membranes.

The Award shall consist of a medal and a scroll or other appropriate symbols of the Award and such monies as are available to the Subgroup.

The money to support this Award shall come from dues, voluntary contributions from members of the Membrane Biophysics Subgroup and any other sources which may become available.

The recipient of the Award will be selected by the Award Committee Nominations may be made by any Group member. The only restrictions on the recipient are that she/he cannot be a member of the Awards Committee or Executive Committee and shall not have previously received the Award. Nominations must contain a reasoned statement, adequately documented, of the qualifications of the nominee. The Award Committee, each year, shall establish its own criteria for selection.

Nominations must be made before November 1 of each year.

The Award should be presented by the immediate past Subgroup Chair or his/her designate at the Annual Subgroup Meeting.

The Award need not be given if a suitable candidate is not found.

Article 12
Amendments to the Bylaws: Amendments to the bylaws of the Membrane Biophysics Subgroup must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Subgroup’s Executive Committee, and ratified in an electronic ballot by a majority of the members of the group voting.

Proposals for new or amended Bylaws shall be submitted to the Secretary- Treasurer for consideration at the Annual Meeting.