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.

Molecular Biophysics

The Molecular Biophysics Subgroup is comprised of about 300 members with interests that span all areas of molecular biophysics. In particular these areas include:

  • structures, conformational switching, and deformational dynamics of biological macromolecules and their supramolecular assemblies.
  • thermodynamics and kinetics of the processes that these macromolecules undergo, such as DNA replication, protein synthesis, self-assembly, self-organization, molecular recognition and binding, signaling, catalysis, and metabolic control.
  • responses of biological macromolecular systems to various imposed perturbations, such as (a) changes in temperature, ligand concentration, ionic strength, water activity, solvent polarity, hydrostatic pressure, osmotic pressure of volume-exclusion agents, denaturant concentration, and mutation of the primary sequence, (b) electric, magnetic, electromagnetic and hydrodynamic flow fields, and (c) stretching, bending and torsional strain.
  • diffusive, field-induced, and convective transport of both small and large molecules under various conditions, or through various media or channels of biophysical, biochemical or biological relevance.
  • experimental methods (physical, molecular biological, and chemical) that are used to isolate and characterize biological macromolecules and assess their relevant properties, or to achieve particular assembly or folding targets.
  •  theoretical and computational methods used to interpret previous results and future experiments.
    Annually, the subgroup holds a topical symposium, which is organized by the current subgroup chair.

Join the Molecular Biophysics Subgroup


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

Maria Spies, Chair (2019)

TBD, Chair-elect (2020)

TBD, Secretary/Treasurer (2020)

2018 Phillip Kukura University of Oxford, UK
2017 Yann Chemla University of Illinois
2014 Mari DeMarco University of British Columbia, Canada
2013 Jan Lipfert Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
2012 Robert Woods University of Georgia
2011 Olav Scheimann University of St. Andrews
2010 David Green Stony Brook University
2009 Claus A. Seidel Heinrich-Heine University
2008 Elizabeth Komives University of California, San Diego
2007 Peter Hinterdorfer Johannes Kepler University
2006 Cynthia Stauffacher Purdue University
2005 Thomas Schmidt Leiden University
2004 Martha Teeter University of California, Davis
2003 David P. Millar Scripps Research Institute
2002 Dorothy Beckett University of Maryland
2001 Michael A. Weiss Case Western Reserve University
2000 J. Michael Schurr University of Washington

2018 Symposium

Saturday, February 17, 2018
San Francisco, California
10:30 AM–3:00 PM

View Program

2017 Symposium

Saturday, February 11, 2017
New Orleans, Louisiana
10:30 AM–3:00 PM

View Program


2016 Symposium

Saturday, February 27, 2016
Los Angeles, California
9:15 AM–1:45 PM

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2015 Symposium

Saturday, February 27, 2015
Baltimore, Maryland
9:15 AM–1:30 PM

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2014 Symposium

Saturday, February 15, 2014
San Francisco, California
9:00 AM–1:00 PM

View Program


2013 Symposium

Saturday, February 2, 2013
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
9:00 AM–1:00 PM

View Program


2016 New Methods for Studying the Structural Dynamics of Macromolecules
2015 Dynamics of Macromolecular Machines and Assemblies
2014 Biomedical Applications of Mass Spectrometry
2011 Oligonucleotides: Structure, Dynamics, and Complex Formation
2010 Post-Translational Modifications of Proteins: Structure and Function from Experiment and Theory
2009 Spectroscopy of Conformational Changes that Control Protein Function
2008 Kinetic Control of Transcriptional Systems
2007 Single Molecular Recognition and Unfolding Forces

Article 1

Name: The name of this Group is the Biopolymer Group.

Article 2

Objective: The objective of the Group is to provide a forum for the dissemination of information in the area of biopolymers.

Article 3

Membership: The Group shall consist of members and voting members.

A member is any person who shows an interest in biopolymers by attending a Group meeting, submitting his name to the Group chairman, or other affirmative action. A voting member is any person who is both a member of the Group and of the Biophysical Society in good standing.

Article 4

Dues: Dues may be assessed to cover the necessary expenses related to operation of the Group. The amount and means of collection must be specified by a by-law adopted by the Group.

Article 5

Operation: The Group will be operated by the Group Chairman, Secretary/Treasurer and three advisory committee members. Duties of the Group Chairman are to organize and conduct group meetings, to advise the Biophysical Society of the activity and needs of the Group and to carry on any other activities which the chairman deems to be beneficial to the Group and to the Society.

Duties of the Secretary/Treasurer shall include the keeping of adequate records of membership and working with the chairman on organizational and financial matters relating to the Group.

Duties of the Advisory Committee are to advise the Group Chairman and Secretary/Treasurer on the organization of group meetings and to make nominations for their successors. Nominations may originate with any voting member but will be made via the Advisory Committee.

Article 6

Term of Office: The Group Chairman will serve for one year and will be eligible for re-election after vacating the office for one year. The Secretary/Treasurer and members of the advisory committee may be re-elected on an annual basis.

Article 7

Eligibility for Office: Only voting members can be candidates for office in the Group.

Article 8

Elections: Elections shall be held at a business session of the annual group meeting. Only voting members are eligible to vote in elections.

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. Elections must be held at the annual meeting. Other business may be transacted by the Group at the Annual Meeting. Adequate written notice of the annual meeting such as publications in the Newsletter must be given.

Article 10

Quorum: There will be no quorum. The voting 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 simple majority of all voting members present at a regular meeting or by a majority of voting members responding to a mail ballot.