Discussions were small meetings that focused on cutting-edge or emerging topics in biophysics, topics that benefited from intense discussions. The meetings were patterned after the Farraday Society and had a unique format that stressed discussion over formal presentations. Plenary sessions consisted of five-minute presentations by speakers, followed by a lengthy discussion. This format allowed for greater, less-inhibited participation by participants. All discussions proceedings, including the questions and answers, were recorded by "scribes"  taking handwritten notes and were published in print format in years before 2002.  From 2002-2008, the recordings were in audiovisual format and placed online.  The meetings included 150-200 participants and lasted for approximately three days.

2008 Discussions - Calmodulin Modulation of Ion Channels

Co-sponsored by the Biophysical Society and the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD), NIEHS, NIH
With additional support from GlaxoSmithKline

The 2008 Discussions addressed the regulatory roles of calmodulin in ion channel function with a focus on mechanisms of modulation, molecular determinants, structural principles of organization, and mediated signal transduction events. The Meeting culminated with the session honoring Professor Harald Reuter's remarkable career in science and was devoted to summarizing the results of 10 years of research in calmodulin modulation of ion channels.

2008 Study Book: Part 1
2008 Study Book: Part 2

2006 Discussions - Molecular Motors: Point Counterpoint

The 2006 Discussions focused on aspects of the motor mechanism, juxtaposing recent findings from the kinesins with those from the myosins and dyneins. Presentations on other motors were included where relevant. Talks emphasized mechanistic themes among motors of different families, pointing out differences and similarities. Discussions were focused on findings from biophysical and biochemical approaches, taking into account those from biological and theoretical methods.

2006 Study Book: Part 1
2006 Study Book: Part 2

2004 Discussions - Probing Membrane Microdomains

The 2004 Discussions centered on available techniques that can be used to characterize membrane lateral heterogeneity. Speakers described techniques, including fluorescence and electron microscopic methods, NMR, mass spec, and X-ray, as well as computational and theoretical methods that can be used to investigate lipid and protein lateral heterogeneity in membranes. In addition, discussion focused on newly available techniques and the types of methodology that should be developed in the future.

2004 Study Book: Part 1
2004 Study Book: Part 2

2002 Discussions - Frontiers in Structural Cell Biology

How Can We Determine the Structures of Large Subcellular Machines at Atomic Resolution

The 2002 Discussions addressed structural studies of large biological complexes using x-ray crystallography, electron cryomicroscopy, and hybrid methods. The extension of x-ray crystallography to ever larger structures/complexes and the extension of electron cryomicroscopy of complexes to higher resolution was explored. By hybrid methods, the organizers meant the use of atomic models of subunits to interpret low resolution maps of a macromolecular complex obtained by electron cryomicroscopy. Attendees were aksed to especially consider how to model conformational flexibility of component proteins in the process of fitting such maps.

2002 Study Book: Part 1
2002 Study Book: Part 2