Bioenergetics, Mitochondria, and Metabolism

The Bioenergetics, Mitochondria, and Metabolism Subgroup studies cellular and molecular processes associated with mitochondria, chloroplasts, and bacteria linked to metabolic energy transduction. Systems as varied as whole cells, intact organelles, membrane channels, carriers, and redox complexes might be used. 


The Bioengineering Subgroup provides a forum for discussion and dialogue about the application of engineering principles, approaches, tools, and techniques to biological problems. It provides a unique venue for trainees and researchers working at the interface between the engineering and biological sciences, including those interested in the application of engineering strategies to resolve biological and human health related challenges.

Biological Fluorescence

The Biological Fluorescence Subgroup focuses on the advance of knowledge pertaining to the development of new capabilities in fluorescence. Methodologies, both theoretical and experimental, and applications to derive structural and mechanistic understanding of biological systems can be involved. 

Biopolymers in Vivo

The purpose of the Biopolymers In Vivo subgroup is to create a forum to discuss biophysical properties and functions of biomolecules in cells and in cell-like environments, and the development of experimental and computational approaches to study these phenomena. 

Channels, Receptors, and Transporters

The Channels, Receptors, and Transporters Subgroup (formerly Membrane Biophysics) 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. 


The Cryo-EM Subgroup focuses on research using electron cryomicroscopy, including techniques, methods and applications of Cryo-EM to biological problems. 

Intrinsically Disordered Proteins (IDP)

The IDP Subgroup seeks, through the use of biophysical and computational methods, to understand the physical basis for the biological roles of proteins, or protein regions that do not exhibit 3D structure in isolation under physiological conditions. Such proteins, or regions, are said to be intrinsically disordered. 

Macromolecular Machines and Assemblies

The Macromolecular Machines and Assemblies Subgroup (formerly Molecular Biophysics) investigates structures, conformational switching, responses to various imposed perturbations and deformational dynamics of biological macromolecules and their supramolecular assemblies. Measurements of thermodynamics and kinetics as well as uses of theoretical and computational methods for interpretation are addressed. 


Mechanobiology is an emerging area of biophysics that focuses on the role of mechanical cues that alter cellular responses and their transduction by cells. Topics ranging from rigidity sensing by stem cells to osmosensing in bacteria are all based upon mechanochemical processes. This new subgroup will call attention to how mechanical aspects of biological functions are critical for shaping organisms and influencing cellular processes at the molecular level. Cellular properties are not merely defined by their components, but how these components interact physically with one another and the cellular microenvironment over time. 

Membrane Fusion, Fission, and Traffic

The Membrane Fusion, Fission, and Traffic Subgroup (formerly Exocytosis and Endocytosis) promotes research on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of hormone and neurotransmitter release. This subgroup addresses the processes of membrane fusion and fission which are of crucial interest for intracellular membrane trafficking.  

Membrane Structure and Function (MSAF)

The Membrane Structure and Function Subgroup focuses on the biophysical properties of lipids, lipid assemblies, membrane proteins and lipid-protein interactions generally relevant to biological membranes and their function.  

Membrane Transport

The Membrane Transport Subgroup (formerly Permeation and Transport) fosters the study of biophysical mechanisms of permeation and transport of small molecules and biopolymers through. cell membranes.

Motility and Cytoskeleton

The mission of the Motility and Cytoskeleton Subgroup is to understand the basic mechanisms that underlie motility and contractility of biological systems. These processes are ultimately the result of molecular motors or contractile filaments that convert chemical energy stored in ATP/GTP into mechanical energy that drives, for example, cell motility, cytokinesis and muscle contraction. Areas of focus also include the regulatory proteins that control the activity of motors and the cytoskeleton.

Multiscale Genome Organization

The focus of the Multiscale Genome Organization (MGO) Subgroup is the study of genome organization, dynamics and function on multiple temporal and spatial scales ranging from individual nucleic acids to whole chromosomes using a broad range of integrative experimental, theoretical and computational techniques with the goal of deciphering how genomic and epigenomic information drives basic life processes.

Nanoscale Approaches to Biology

The Nanoscale Approaches to Biology Subgroup (formerly Nanoscale Biophysics) is interested in the study and control (manipulation) of biological, biocompatible, or bio-inspired matter on the scale of atoms and molecules. It is the melting pot for Nanoscale approaches ranging from theoretical to methodological studies, from advanced optical microscopy to scanning probe microscopy, from manipulation of single molecules to their imaging and tracking, from the understanding of mechanisms at the nanoscale to the design of new approaches, from molecular motors to new nanobiomaterials. So, let's think at the Nanoscale! 

Physical Cell Biology

The Physical Cell Biology Subgroup (formerly Cell Biophysics) aims to bring biophysical studies into cells to probe structures, functions, dynamics, and interactions of macromolecules in their own physiological context. A living cell is a complex entity; the heterogeneous cellular environment is drastically different from the homogenous, well-mixed situation in vitro. Recent technical advances have made it possible to probe the inner working of cells with unprecedented resolution, sensitivity, and specificity; new experimental and computational studies have provided invaluable, quantitative understandings of cellular processes.

Single-Molecule Forces, Manipulation, and Visualization

The Single-Molecule Forces, Manipulation, and Visualization Subgroup focuses on the detailed mechanistic research of biomolecular processes using single-molecule tools that apply forces, manipulate objects, and/or acquire images or other optical signals. 

Theory and Computation

The purpose of the Theory and Computation Subgroup is to better highlight and network biophysicists who are interested in theoretical and computational aspects of biophysical systems, to provide a scientific forum for mini-symposia before Biophysical Society (BPS) meetings, to elevate the visibility and importance of theory and simulation within BPS overall. In recent years there has been dramatic growth in related and new computational areas, such as free energy sampling, coarse-graining, QM/MM, ligand docking, multiscale modeling, knowledge and data driven computational biology, and most recently in the explosive growth of machine learning methods that may well fundamentally influence significant segments of biophysical science.