Attending the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting is the richest annual networking and professional development opportunity for researchers in the field of biophysics.  The breadth of research represented by the nearly 7,000 attendees and to the personal interactions that take place are enhanced by the career, education, policy, and social programs scheduled throughout the Meeting.

Networking Event Professional Development


Undergraduate Student Lounge

Saturday, February 17 - Wednesday, February 21
This space is reserved for undergraduate meeting attendees looking for a place to relax or catch up on coursework they may be missing while at the Annual Meeting. 

 Scientific Story Telling: What's Your Story?
Saturday, February 17, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Journal manuscript - check. Abstract writing - check. But can you explain your work to your grandmother? Being able to talk about your research to someone who is not a scientist is an important skill usually not included in formal scientific training. Come to this session to learn the art of telling your scientific story from National Public Radio’s science correspondent Joe Palca and Assistant Producer for the Science Desk Madeline Sofia. Bring either your own abstract, or an abstract from your field, paper, and pencil to use during this hands-on workshop. Please plan to stay for the full two hours. Registration required; walk-in attendees will be allowed on a space available basis. Register here.
Joe Palca, NPR
Madeline K. Sofia, NPR
Lesley Earl, NCI


Undergraduate Mixer & Undergraduate Poster Award Competition

Saturday, February 17, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

If you’re an undergraduate student, plan on attending this social and scientific mixer! Come meet other undergraduates and learn about their research projects. For undergraduate students who will be presenting during the standard scientific sessions, the mixer provides an opportunity to hone presentation skills before the general poster session begin. Undergraduates listed as co-authors on posters are welcome to practice their poster presentation skills in a less formal setting, even if not listed as the presenting author. Additionally, undergrads presenting as first or second author on a poster may participate in the Undergraduate Poster Award Competition and be recognized for their work. Three students will be selected for a $100 award and recognized by the BPS meeting attendees prior to the 2018 National Lecture. Winners will be selected based on the quality and scientific merit of their research, knowledge of the research problem, contribution to the project, and overall presentation of the poster. For more information and to register, complete this form.
Registration Deadline: January 15th, 2018

Informal Networking and Q&A with NPR Science Team

Saturday, February 17, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Stop by to get your questions answered about careers, science communication, Friends of Joe’s Big Ideas, and other related topics on your mind.
Joe Palca, NPR
Madeline Sofia, NPR

  First-Time Attendee Drop-By

Saturday, February 17, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Is this your first time attending a Biophysical Society Annual Meeting? Wondering what to do first? Wondering how to get the most out of your time? Drop by the First-Time Attendee event on Saturday evening during the Opening Mixer to learn how to navigate the meeting. Society staff and committee members will be on hand to answer your questions about the meeting and help you gain the most from your time at the BPS 2018 San Francisco meeting.


Opening Mixer

Saturday, February 17, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
All registered attendees are welcome to attend this reception.  Cash bar and light refreshments will be offered.


CID/Education/CPOW Travel Awardee Reception

Saturday, February 17, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
During this reception, students, postdocs, and early and mid-career scientists will be honored and presented with their travel awards by the chairs of the Education, Inclusion and Diversity, and Professional Opportunities for Women Committees.

  Postdoctoral Breakfast

Sunday, February 18, 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
This breakfast presents an opportunity for postdoctoral Annual Meeting attendees to meet and discuss the issues they face in their current career stage. Limited to the first 100 attendees.
Shawnna Buttery, Editor, Cell Reports
Darren Hwee, Group Leader, Cytokinetics
Maria Candida Vila, PharmD, MPH, PhD

Undergraduate Student Pizza "Breakfast"

Sunday, February 18, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
This “breakfast” for undergraduate students offers a valuable networking and social opportunity to meet other students, Biophysical Society Committee members, and scientists at all career levels to discuss academic goals and questions, and to develop a biophysics career path. The Breakfast will include a panel discussion on academic and career paths in biophysics, with opportunities for questions and answers from the audience - come prepared to find out about the course of study that aspiring biophysicists undertake, what it means to be a biophysicist, and how biophysicists make important discoveries.  Space for this session is limited to the first 100 attendees.

  Colleges in the Community Day

Sunday, February 18, 11:30 AM –5:00 PM 

This free day for San Francisco Bay Area college students at the BPS 62nd Annual Meeting kicks off with an Undergraduate Student Pizza “Breakfast” where participants will have an opportunity to network with their peers and members of the Biophysical Society’s Education Committee in a fun and relaxed environment. The Breakfast will include a panel discussion on academic and career paths in biophysics, with opportunities for questions and answers from the audience - come prepared to find out about the course of study that aspiring biophysicists undertake, what it means to be a biophysicist, and how biophysicists make important discoveries. Students will also receive information and advice on how to get the most out of attending the Annual Meeting. Attendees will be permitted to attend any of the meetings open sessions and activities for the full day, including the Graduate & Postdoc Institution Fair where they can meet with representatives of, and learn about, programs from all over the country. Local undergraduate students, and their PI’s, residing within a 50-mile radius of the San Francisco who are not presenting an abstract or listed on an abstract being presented at this meeting may register for this event and gain FREE access to all Annual Meeting sessions on Sunday, February 18, 2018.  
Registration is required for both students and their PI’s. Register by Monday, January 15, 2018. There will be no on-site registration for this event. Click here to register.  

International Travel Awardee Luncheon

Sunday, February 18, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
A number of international students, postdocs, and scientists will be recognized during this luncheon for their outstanding achievements in biophysics research. This event is hosted by the International Relations Committee.

The World Outside the Lab: Many Ways to Use Your PhD Skills

Sunday, February 18, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Have you ever wondered how you can apply the skills learned while working on your PhD in a career away from the bench? This panel will explore multiple career options that exist in government, industry, and academia. Panelists with science backgrounds, now involved in a wide variety of careers, will share their personal experiences.
Yasmeen Hussain, 2017-2018 BPS Congressional Fellow
Darren Hwee, Group Leader, Cytokinetics
Alexandra Schnoes, iBiology
Jeanne Small, NSF Program Director 

  Graduate & Postdoc Institution Fair

Sunday, February 18, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
This fair will introduce students and postdoctoral candidates to colleges and universities with leading programs in biophysics. Representatives interested in reserving a table at this fair to display information about their institution’s biophysics program must complete a registration form and submit the registration fee in advance. All students attending the Annual Meeting are encouraged to attend to learn about these programs. Register for a table today! Please contact the Society at with questions.

 Teaching Science Like We Do Science

Sunday, February 18, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
This interactive, hands-on workshop will provide participants with practical tools and evidence-based recommendations for bringing biophysics education to life in the lab, the classroom and the community. Experienced educators will share their first-hand experiences in brief presentations. The session focus will be on collaborative group discussions, during which participants will design an individualized action plan for implementing active learning techniques and effective assessment strategies into their teaching practice. Moderators will offer guidance and advice on adequate projects for any educational level.
Gundula Bosch, Johns Hopkins University
Pedro Muino, St. Francis University


 PI to PI, a Wine & Cheese Mixer

Sunday, February 18, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
You finally have a job working in biophysics, in industry or academia, with some funding and a lab, but you’ve realized that the career challenges continue. Come relax and network with your contemporaries and senior biophysicists over a beer or glass of wine. This event is a great chance to compare notes with colleagues and discuss one-on-one your unique solutions to issues that arise in the time between getting your job and getting your next promotion, including management of lab staff, getting your work published, and renewing your funding. Refreshments will be provided, with cash bar.

Student Research Achievement Award (SRAA) Poster Competition

Sunday, February 18, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
This session features students who are presenting posters at the Meeting and have indicated at the time of abstract submission that they wish to participate in the competition. During the competition, students will give a five-to-seven minute oral presentation of their posters to one or more judges. Winners will be recognized on Monday evening prior to the National Lecture. For more information click here.

 Movie Night: Screening and Discussion of Merchants of Doubt

Sunday, February 18, 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM

After a full day of scientific talks and posters, join fellow attendees for a screening and discussion of the 2014 documentary Merchants of Doubt.  This film, based on a book of the same title, examines the tactics used to cast doubt on the science by those that have in interest in doing so - from the health risks of tobacco use to the cause of global climate change. 
Ann Reid, NCSE
Kathleen Hall, Washington University in St. Louis

Graduate Student Breakfast

Monday, February 19, 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
This breakfast presents an opportunity for graduate student Annual Meeting attendees to meet and discuss the issues they face in their current career stage. Limited to the first 100 attendees.

 New Member Welcome Coffee

Monday, February 19, 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
All new Biophysical Society members are invited to participate in an informal gathering to meet members of the Society’s council and programs, find out about the Society’s activities, get acquainted with other new members, and enjoy refreshments. Current members are encouraged to come meet the new members.


Biophysics 101: Mechanobiology

Monday, February 19, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Mechanobiology is an emerging field of biophysical research that focuses on understanding the mechanical basis of cell function. It includes studying the force-induced and tensional changes that occur within cells and between cells and their environment, and the mechanotransduction of cellular signals that lead to cell motility and induce changes during differentiation. The speakers in this session will discuss the mechanobiology of single molecules, migrating cells, and sheets of cells during embryogenesis, and the methods that they use in their studies.

Session Moderator: Sharyn Endow, Duke University
1:30 PM                   
Keir Neuman, National Institutes of Health
Spontaneous Defects in Fibrillar Collagen Regulate Matrix Metalloproteinase Remodeling
2:00 PM                   
Michael Sheetz, National University of Singapore Mechanobiology Institute
Biomolecular Mechanics of Cells: Choosing Tools and Standard Cell States
2:30 PM                   
Maria Leptin, European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Morphogenesis: from Whole Organism Integration to Biophysical Principles

 Industry Panel: Avenues to Industry

Monday, February 19, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Come join us for a Q&A discussion about science in industry. Hear from a panel of scientists about their career path to industry. Learn about the different roles and positions and get perspective about how you can tailor your current research experience to align with industry needs.
Anita Niedziela-Majka, Gilead Sciences, Inc
Joanna Swain, Gogen Therapeutics
Kaylee Choi, Amgen
Kile Mangan, Cellular Dynamics International

 NSF Funding 101

Monday, February 19, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Putting your best foot forward in your grant proposal is key to securing funding for research. Program officers from the National Science Foundation will walk attendees through the process and provide tips on how to prepare the best possible proposal.
Engin Serpersu, NSF
Additional Panelists To Be Announced

 Data Visualization

Monday, February 19, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
This interactive session will focus on how to best represent your data visually, whether for a talk, a poster, or a paper. Different types of data require different approaches to presentation while the emergence of new ways to publish and present results are challenging traditional ways of showcasing outcomes and data. New tools and approaches are now enhancing how we interact with our data. How to determine the best approach, summarize complex material in easily digestible forms, and why simpler is better will all be discussed. Datasets and real examples of visual interpretations by participants will be discussed.

 Speed Networking

Monday, February 19, 2:30 PM- 4:00 PM

Career development and networking is important in science, but can be a big time commitment. Here we offer refreshments and the chance to speed network, an exciting way to connect with a large number of biophysicists (including Biophysical Society committee members) in a short amount of time. Mid-career and more experienced scientists could learn how to get more involved in the Society or network for open positions in their labs. Early career scientists could discuss career goals and challenges, get advice on tenure or grant writing, or find out how to gain recognition for their work. Graduate students and postdocs could make contacts to find their next position. After introductions, each person will have short 3-5 minute meetings with consecutive new contacts. During this time you can exchange information and ask questions. When time is up, you select the next person to talk to. By the end of the event, each participant will have had meaningful interactions with over half a dozen colleagues and the opportunity to meet many more. It's that simple!

Registration Deadline  has passed.

Patricia Soto, Creighton University, Associate Professor of Physics
Daryl Eggers, San Jose State University, Professor of Biochemistry
Frank Bosmans, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Associate Professor of Physiology
Julio Cordero-Morales, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Assistant Professor
Gail Robertson, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Professor
Marie Longo, University of California, Davis, Professor
Medha Pathak, University of California, Irvine, Assistant Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
Otonye Braide, Gordon College, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Sam Cho, Wake Forrest University, Assistant Professor Depts. of Physics & Computer Science
Eda Kocili, University of Central Florida, Assistant Professor
Ernie Fuentes, University of Iowa, Associate Professor of Biochemistry
More to be announced!


 How to Project Your Best Self: Confidence Matters Just as Much as Competence

Monday, February 19, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM 

Bringing your best self to interviews, conferences, talks – all aspects of your career – means projecting confidence. While competence matters, studies show that representing yourself with confidence has a huge impact on success. Yet women are often less self-assured than men: they underestimate their abilities, they predict that they will do worse on tests than they do, and they are not sure that they are qualified to take that next step. This session will discuss the studies that show this confidence gap, how this gap affects career decisions made by women at multiple stages and will conclude with strategies to overcome this barrier. Understanding the confidence gap concerns not only women, but also anyone who recruits, trains, mentors or advocates for women.
Karen Fleming, Johns Hopkins University
Linda Columbus, University of Virginia

Postdoc to Faculty Q&A: Transitions Forum and Luncheon

Tuesday, February 20, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
This question-and-answer luncheon is designed for postdocs finishing and actively applying for academic faculty positions. Discussion will be led by a panel of new faculty in basic science and/or medical school departments and experienced faculty who have served as department chairs and/or part of faculty search committees. Topics for discussion include how to prepare the curriculum vitae, the interview process, networking, how to negotiate the job offer, and advice for new faculty as they balance research with their department obligations. Attendance is limited to the first 60 participants.
John Bankston, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Eleonora Grandi, University of California, Davis
Andrea Meredith, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Shai Silberberg, NIH
Kenton Swartz, NIH


 Funding Opportunities for Faculty at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions

Tuesday, February 20, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
This session is aimed at helping PUI faculty find funding for establishing or maintaining an active and productive undergraduate research laboratory.
Alexandra Ainsztein, National Institutes of Health
Wilson Francisco, National Science Foundation
Paul Urayama, Miami University
Elizabeth Yates, United States Naval Academy

 We Don’t Think The Way We Think We Think: Seeing and Addressing Unconscious Bias and Stereotype Threat

Tuesday, February 20th from 1:15 PM to 2:45 PM
This workshop will help participants gain insight into the complex interplay of unconscious bias and stereotype threat, two ubiquitous but generally misunderstood or overlooked factors that have a significant impact on the way we perceive, evaluate, and behave towards others and ourselves. Unconscious biases are implicit attitudes or stereotypes that are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control. A deep body of peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated that unconscious biases affect the way we make decisions as well as the way we see, judge and behave towards others. Stereotype Threat is a situational predicament in which people are aware (consciously or unconsciously) that they may be being judged or perceived according to their group category. Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies have shown that the experience of stereotype threat can causes a cascade of negative effects, including changes in behavior and temporary loss of skills. Participants in the workshop will engage in didactic, interactive and reflective strategies in a respectful and supportive atmosphere. Participants will gain an awareness of individual strategies to protect themselves from being influenced by unconscious or unintended biases and an awareness of strategies to protect themselves and others from the detrimental effects of stereotype threat.
Michelle van Ryn, Institute for Equity & Inclusion in Healthcare 

 The Nuts and Bolts of Preparing Your NIH Grant

Tuesday, February 20, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
You have spent years training and are ready to apply for an NIH grant. But where do you start? At this session, NIGMS program directors and officers with expertise in biophysics will be providing details on the NIH grant-making process as it stands in 2018, with a particular emphasis on grant writing and submission for new and early career investigators.
Alexandra Ainsztein, NIGMS
Joseph Gindhart, NIGMS
John (Randy) Knowlton, NCI
Peter Preusch NIGMS
Paul Sammak, NIGMS
C.L. Albert Wang, CSR
Mary Ann Wu, NIGMS


 Leveling the Playing Field

 Tuesday, February 20, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Leveling the Playing Field is a new series of yearly workshops designed to increase your skills in addressing the barriers faced by women in science. Are you all in favor of increasing professional opportunities of women but don’t know how to contribute? These ’hands-on’ sessions can help you to become more effective in improving the climate for women in biophysics at all stages of their careers.
The 2018 workshop aims to increase your effectiveness in raising awareness of your research program and contributions, and the scientific contributions of women in biophysics in general, using your web presence, social media and other means.
Constance Jeffery, University of Illinois at Chicago
Sudha Chakrapani, Case Western Reserve University
Meenakshi Prabhune, Science Journalist and Writer

 Dinner Meet-ups

Each evening, Sunday - Tuesday, at 5:30 PM
Local students will be waiting at the Society Booth to meet up with attendees who want to experience the local flavor of San Francisco.