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 Structure & Function

The Membrane Structure and Function Subgroup (MSAF) promotes and advances knowledge about the biophysical properties of lipids, membranes, and membrane-associated molecules, including membrane proteins. As such, its mission is to provide an intellectual home base for its members as the Biophysical Society continues to rapidly grow and expand its realms of interests. To do so, the MSAF sponsors a popular Saturday Symposium at the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting. The MSAF also maintains an e-mail list for communication with its members. The MSAF is led by an Advisory Committee consisting of the past chair, the present chair, and the chair-elect.

Join the Membrane Structure & Function Subgroup Thomas E. Thompson Award


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

Ilya Levental, Chair (2019)

TBD, Chair-Elect (2020)

TBD, Secretary-Treasurer (2021)

2018 Tobias Baumgart University of Pennsylvania
2017 Rumiana Dimova Max Planck Institute
2016 Anne Kenworthy  Vanderbilt University 
2015 Marjorie Longo University of California Davis
2014  Felix Goñi Basque Country University, Spain 
2013 Heiko Heerklotz University of Toronto, Canada
2012 Kalina Hristova Johns Hopkins University
2011 Paulo Almeida University of North Carolina
2010 Bill Wimley Tulane University
2009 Antoineette Killian Utrecht University
2008 Scott Feller Wabash College
2007 Frances Separovic University of Melbourne
2006 Leonid Chernomordik National Institutes of Health
2005 Stephanie Tristram-Nagle Carnegie Mellon University
2004 Ken Jacobson University of North Carolina
2003 Klaus Grawrisch National Institutes of Health
2002 Paul Axelsen University of Pennsylvania
2001 Richard M. Epand Mcmaster University
2000 Barry Lentz University of North 
1999  R.N. McElhaney University of Alberta
1998  David Seigel  The Proctor & Gamble Co.
1997 J. Wylie Nichols Emory University
1996 Burton J. Litman NIAAA/NIH
1995 David Daleke Indiana University
  Alexandra Newton Indiana University
1994 Philip Yeagle SUNY Buffalo
1993 Anthony W. Scotto Cornell University Medical Center

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–6:00 PM

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2016 Symposium

Saturday, February 27, 2016
Los Angeles, California
1:00 PM–5:00 PM

View Program


2015 Symposium

Saturday, February 27, 2015
Baltimore, Maryland
9:00 AM–5:10 PM

View Program


2014 Symposium

Saturday, February 15, 2014
San Francisco, California
9:00 AM–5:10 PM

View Program


2013 Symposium

Saturday, February 2, 2013
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1:00 PM–5:00 PM

View Program


2011 Interactions in Membranes: What, Exactly, Do We Know?
2010 Membrane Biophysics: From Model Systems to Living Cells
2009 Lipid Bilayers and Lipid/Protein Interactions
2008 Probing Specific Lipid-Protein Interactions
2007 Breaking the Barrier with Antimicrobial Peptides
2006 Biological Membrane Fusion: Mechanisms and Intermediates
2005 Relevance of Lipid Bilayer Structure and Dynamics for Biological Function
2004 Looking for Lipid Rafts
2003 Cholesterol
2002 Membrane Protein Folding and Function
2001 The Role of Membranes in Cell Death; Antimicrobial Peptides
2000 Phospholipases and Sphingomyelinases: Enzymology at a Surface
1999 Molecular Aspects of Lipid-Protein Interactions
1998 Viral Fusion Proteins: Progress in Structure and Function
1997 The Physiological Role of Cellular Lipid Transfer Proteins 
1996 Lateral Domains in Biological Membranes and their Functional Consequences
1995 Phospholipases
1994 Transbilayer Lipid Asymmetry in Model Membranes and Biomembranes

2017: Peter Tielman, University of Calgary
2016: Karen Fleming, Johns Hopkins University
2015: Scott Feller, Wabash College
2014: Sarah Keller, University of Washington
2013: Bill Wimley, Tulane University

Updated January 2015

Article 1

Name: The name of this Group is the Membrane Structure and Assembly Subgroup.

Article 2

Objective: The objective of this Group is to promote the interchange of information and. to foster the advance of knowledge pertaining to the biophysical properties of lipids, lipid assemblies, membrane proteins and lipid-protein interactions generally relevant to biological membranes and their assembly.

Article 3

Membership: A Group member is any Society member who submits his name to the Secretary-Treasurer and who has paid his dues for the current year.

Affiliates: An affiliate is a non-member of the Society who submits his name to the Secretary-Treasurer and who has paid his dues for the current year. Affiliates will receive mailings to the Group and other services or activities as may be made available to members. Affiliates may not vote or hold office.

Article 4

Dues: Dues may be assessed to cover the necessary expenses related to operation of the Group. The amount and means of collection are described in Article 12.

Article 5

Operation: The Group will be operated by the Group Chairperson, an Advisory Committee consisting of four members, and a Secretary-Treasurer.

Duties of the Group Chairperson are to organize and conduct Group Meetings, to advise the Biophysical Society of the activities and needs of the Group, to advise the Society on matters related to lipids and biomembranes, and to any other activities the Chairperson deems to be beneficial to the Group and the Society.

Duties of the Advisory Committee are to advise the Group Chairperson on the organization of Group meetings, and other matters of interest to the Group, and to make nominations for the Group Chairperson.

The Secretary-Treasurer will maintain adequate records of membership and finances, and carry on necessary correspondence. The Secretary- Treasurer is an Ex-Officio member of the Advisory Committee.

Article 6

Term of Office: The Group Chairperson will serve for one year, beginning immediately following the Annual Meeting and continuing through the following Annual Meeting. The Advisory Committee will consist of the current Group Chairperson, the previous two Group Chairpersons, and the next Group chairperson. There is no fixed term of office for the Secretary-Treasurer.

Article 7

Eligibility for Office: Only members can be candidates. Members may not be Group Chairperson more than once every six years.

Article 8

Elections: It is the intent of the Group that the Chairperson shall rotate so as to represent fairly the different specialties within the membership.

The new Chairperson shall be elected from a list of nominees composed of a nominee made by the Advisory Committee and any other person nominated by at least five members of the subgroup.

Article 9

Meetings: There shall be at least one meeting per year, the Annual Meeting, at the time designated for Group meetings by the Council of the Biophysical Society.

The Group Chairperson-Elect will be elected at a business meeting of the subgroup at the Annual Meeting or by electronic vote of the members and will take office immediately following the next Annual Meeting Other business may be transacted by the Group at the Annual Meeting. A minimum of thirty days' notice of the Annual Meeting such as publication in the Biophysical Society or Group Newsletters must be given.

Article 10

The members attending an Annual Meeting can transact Group business by a simple majority vote.

Article 11

Amendments to the By-laws: These By-Laws can be amended by a majority of members responding to a mail ballot.

Proposals for new or amended By-Laws shall be submitted to the Secretary-Treasurer for consideration at the Annual Meeting. Proposed amendments to the By-Laws may be placed on a mail ballot by a majority vote at the Annual Meeting at the discretion of the Chairperson.

Article 12 

Dues shall be collected from Group members by the Biophysical Society. Affiliates will be billed for dues directly by the Secretary-Treasurer.

Article 13 

Expenditures: Any monies available to the Group may be expended by the Group Chairperson for the following purposes:

  1. For direct expenses connected with the operation of the Group.
  2. To cover all or part of the expenses of persons invited to speak at the Annual Group Meeting.
  3. The Secretary-Treasurer may expend monies to cover the direct expenses associated with the office.