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Biophysical Society Names 2023 Graduate Travel Award Recipients

ROCKVILLE, MD – The Biophysical Society is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2023 Society Graduate Travel Awards. These awards are very competitive in nature and are intended to recognize Society members for excellence in biophysics. The winners will be honored at the 67th Annual Biophysical Society Meeting, being held in San Diego, California from February 18-22, 2023.

Ameneh Ahrari, University of Montreal, Canada - “Endocannabinoid Regulation of Inward Rectifier (KIR2.1) Channels”

Carmen Al Masri, University of California, Irvine, USA - “Non-Specific vs Specific DNA Binding Free Energetics of a Transcription Factor Domain Protein Between Search and Recognition”

Anna Katarina Antonovic, Queen Mary University of London, England - “A Rational Approach to Selective Targeting of Skeletal Myosin”

Joekeem D. Arizala, City University of New York, CSI, USA - “From Simulation to Application: Elucidating Protoxin-2 Binding Mechanism in Pain Channel NA 1.7 Through Dynamics Simulation and Biophysics”

Roksana Azad, Advanced Science Research Center-CUNY, USA - “Structural Basis of Signal Transduction Within PAS Regulated SER/THR Kinase”

Christopher A. Azaldegui, University of Michigan, USA - “Single-Molecule Imaging of the MCDA Atpase Reveals Mechanistic Details of Carboxysome Trafficking”

Lipika Baidya, Indian Institute of Science, India - “Chain Length and Amino Acid Composition Dependenceo Coil-Globule Transition in Intrinsically Disordered Proteins”

Parijat Banerjee, Johns Hopkins University, USA - “Understanding Mechanisms of Topography Sensing in Migrating Cells Through Simulations of a Coupled Excitable Network Model”

Michael Bergman, Northeastern University, USA - “Manipulating Polydispersity of LLENS β-Crystallins Using Divalent Cations Demonstrates Evidence of Calcium Regulation”

Rupasree Brahma, SAHA Institute of Nuclear Physics, India - “Monitoring the Structural Stability of The Isolated 'MG-Sensor' of MGTE by Spectroscopic and Computational Approaches”

Chelsea Brown, Warwick University, England - “Supramolecular Organisation and Dynamics of Mannosylated Phosphatidylinositol Lipids In the Mycobacterial Plasma Membrane”

Eduardo Campos Chavez, Northwestern University, USA - “Structural and Biophysical Studies of the T-Box Riboswitch”

Tianxin Cao, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA - “The C-Terminal End Segment of Troponin T is a Novel Tropomyosin-Binding Site Directly Regulated by CA to Determine the Kinetics of Cardiac Muscle”

Ankita Chadda, Washington University in Saint Louis, USA - “MTB UVRD1 Monomer Unwinds a KU Nucleoprotein Filament”

Emily T. Chan, The Ohio State University, USA - “Determining the Roles of Membrane Tension in Breast Cancer Cell Migration”

Lynne Cherchia, University of Southern California, USA - “Predictive Modeling of Signal Transduction Anchored by Quantitative Imaging”

Pin Yu Chew, University of Cambridge, England - “Physical Determinants of Multiphase Organisation in Multi-Component Protein/RNA Condensates”

Taylor R. Crawford, University of Maryland Baltimore, USA - “Determining The Role of The Unique N-TERMINAL 1B Domain in The Gating of Heterotetrameric HERG1A/HERG1B Potassium Channels”

Elizabeth Crumley, University of Tennessee, USA - “The Use of Iodinated Cholesterol to Enhance Contrast In CRYO-EM Images of Lipid Membranes”

Jasmine Cubuk, Washington University in St. Louis, USA - “Single-Molecule Spectroscopy of the SARS-COV-2 Nucleocapsid Protein”

Megan Cullinan, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical, USA - “Revealing the Arrangement of the Intracellular Termini of ASIC1A Using Transition Metal Ion Fret”

Guy W. Dayhoff, II, University South Florida, USA - “Rapid Prediction and Analysis of Protein Intrinsic Disorder”

Fathima T. Doole, University of Arizona, USA - “Untangling the Rivalry Between Cholesterol and Antimicrobial Peptides”

Daisy Duan, Yale University, USA - “ABL2 Mediates Microtubule Nucleation and Repair Via Tubulin Co-Condensation”

Johnathon Emlaw, University of Ottawa, Canada - “Reconstructing Identical Agonist Sites in the Muscle-Type Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor”

Jingru Fang, Scripps Research, USA - “Ebola Viral Factories Are Biomolecular Condensates with Specialized Assembly Dynamics for Viral RNA Synthesis”

Mina Farag, Washington University in St Louis, USA - “Complex Coacervation Contributes to the Joint Phase Behaviors of Mixtures if Charge-Deficient Prion-Like Low-Complexity Domains”

Hammad Farooq, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA - “Computational Predictions of 3D Chromatin Many-Body Interactions Reveal Roles of Chromatin Hubs in Gene Expression”

Liyanage Devthilini P. Fernando, Michigan State University, USA - “Structure of Fungal Cell Walls And Remodeling by Antifungal Drugs Elucidated Using Solid-State NMR”

Anika J. Friedman, University of Colorado Boulder, USA - “Allosteric Inhibition Via Nonpolar Terpenoid Inhibitors”

Yekaterina Fyodorova, University of Michigan, USA - “Identifying the Role of the Fact Histone Chaperone in Epigenetics Through Single-Molecule Fluorescence Imaging”

Clinton A. Gabel, Purdue University, USA - “Breaking Down the Haus: Molecular Insights Into Branching Microtubule Nucleation”

Cristina García Mouton, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain - “Contribution of Surface-Associated Membranes to Pulmonary Surfactant-Mediated Drug Delivery”

Gabriella Gerlach, University of Pittsburgh, USA - “Sensitivity Or Specificity in Protein Interactions Are Independently Regulated Upon Recognition: An SH2 Case Study”

Sayantika Ghosh, University of Warwick, England - “Study of Cell-Cell Adhesion Formation and Dynamics in Cancer Cells Using A Hybrid Cell - Lipid Bilayer System”

Sabrina I. Giacometti, NYU School of Medicine, USA - “Elucidating The Role of A Trans-Envelope MCE Transport System In Pseudomonas Aeruginosa”

Laura I. Gil Pineda, Virginia Tech, USA - “Using Tetrapeptide GSSS and β-Catenin 17-48 to Study the Effects of Phosphoserine on Polypeptide Conformational Ensembles”

Cuauhtemoc U. Gonzalez, University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, USA - “Elucidating the Structure-Function of The Ionotropic Delta Receptor in the Presence of Trans-Synaptic Partners”

Marriah Green, Columbia University, USA - “Structure of the Arabidopsis Thaliana Glutamate Receptor-Like Channel GLR3.4”

Liam Haas-Neill, University of Toronto, Canada - “Mutant Cancer Protein STAT5B Has Two Distinct Conformational States”

Miaomiao He, Stony Brook University, USA - “Two Gates Mediate NMDAR Activity and ARE Under Subunit-Specific Regulation”

Alexandra M. Houser, Oregon Health and Science University, USA - “The Fourth Wheel: Structural Studies of Heterotrimeric Delta Beta Gamma ENAC”

Jesse J. Howe, Oregon State University, USA - “Multivalency in 53BP1-LC8 Interactions Suggest New Binding Mode in LC8 Interactions”

Ilaria Incaviglia, ETH Zürich, Switzerland - “Optimizing the Sensitivity of Microcantilevers to Monitor the Mass of Single Adherent Living Cells”

Margaret B. Jameson, University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA - “Pairwise Biosynthesis Establishes Ion Channel Balance and Mitigates Arrhythmia”

Jingjing Ji, Syracuse University, USA - “Characterizing the Hydrophobicity of Proteins to Predict Protein Assembly”

Shikai Jin, Rice University, USA - “Exploring the Mechanism of the Bacteriophage T7 Single-Stranded DNA Binding Protein GP2.5”

Isik Kantarcioglu, Sabanci University, Turkey - “Efflux of Antibiotics by the Homotrimeric TOLC Transmembrane Protein”

Marcus Kelly, University of Minnesota, USA - “Examining Crosstalk Between CD44 and Integrins and its Effects on Cell Migration and Traction Force in Glioblastoma”

Jessica I. Kelz, University of California - Irvine, USA - “Implementation of Specifications Grading in an Upper-Division Chemical Biology Course”

Kristen Kennison, University of Tennessee Knoxville, USA - “Utilizing Asymmetric Giant Unilamellar Vesicles to Determine How Low-Melting Phospholipids Affect Interleaflet Coupling Strength”

Sharique Khan, University of Kentucky, USA - “F NMR Reveals Dynamics Not Evident in Crystal Structure of Long-Chain Flavodoxin”

Eugene Klyshko, University of Toronto, Canada - “Laws: Local Alignment of Water Sites - Describing Allosteric Water Networks in Enzymes”

Maicon Landim-Vieira, Florida State University, USA - “Dissecting the Mechanisms by Which A Pathogenic Variant In Cardiac TNT Tail Domain Leads To Disturbed Myofilament Performance”

Kerry V. Lane, University of California Santa Barbara, USA - “Dual-Protein Patterning to Investigate Effects of Cell-Cell Adhesions on HIPSC-CM Maturity”

Danielle R. Latham, Clemson University, USA - “Biophysics Concept Inventory Survey: An Assessment in Biophysical Undergraduate Education”

Isabella Leite Coscarella, Florida State University, USA - “HCM and DCM Associated TNNT2 Sarcomeric Variants Induce Nucleus Remodeling in Human IPSC-CMS”

Jenna L. Lin, Washington University in St. Louis, USA - “Functional Characterization of Gating Polarity in CNBD Channels Across Phylogenetically Diverse Species”

Grace Liu, University of Chicago, USA - “Molecular Origin of the Proton Selectivity in the Human Voltage-Gated Proton Channel”

Xingchen Liu, University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA - “Mechanism of Sliding Clamp Loading During DNA Replication and Repair in Atomic Detail”

Jiahui Lu, University of California Los Angeles, USA - “CRYO-EM Structures of the D290V Variant of the HNRNPA2 Low Complexity Domain Reveal the Mechanism of its Pathogenicity”

Kevin Mak, University of Alberta, Canada - “Solution NMR Studies Reveal Novel CLIC4 Chaperone Activity with Respect to Profilin-1”

Hannah McArthur, King's College London, England - “Understanding How Antigen Mobility and Adhesion Molecules Influence B Cell Activation”

Jordan McIvor, The University of Auckland, New Zealand - “Phosphorylation Refines the Control of Complex Formation in IDPS”

Sarah Mersch, University of Minnesota Duluth, USA - “Time-Resolved Two-Photon Fluorescence Dynamics of a Novel MEGFP-LINKER-MSCARLET-I Crowding Biosensor”

Louisa Mezache, The Ohio State University, USA - “SARS-COV-2 Spike Protein-Induced Inflammation Underlies Proarrhythmia in COVID-19”

Alina Milici, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium - “Silica Nanoparticles Inhibit Responses to ATP in Human Airway Epithelial 16HBE Cells”

Martial Millet, Universite Laval, Canada - “Substrate Stiffness Regulates Focal Adhesion Kinase Alternative Splicing in Breast Cancer”

Hossein Moghimianavval, University of Michigan, USA - “A Synthetic Biology Tool for Contact-Dependent Synthetic Cell Communication”

Clayton Molter, McGill University, Canada - “The Androgen Receptor as a Potential Regulator of Prostate Cancer Contractility”

Arup Mondal, University of Florida, Canada - “Low Information NMR Data Guided Protein-Peptide Complex Structure Determination with MELDXMD”

Éva Moussong, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary - “Effect of Nanoparticles on the Aggregation and Amyloid Formation of Amyloid-Beta Peptide”

Michelle D. Nemetchek, The University of Montana, USA - “A Structural Mechanism of Nuclear Receptor Biased Agonism”

Khoa Ngo, University of California Davis, USA - “Simulations Reveal Molecular Mechanisms of High Affinity and Selective Binding of the Tarantula Venom Protoxin-2 to the Human NA 1.7 Channel”

Phuong Ngoc Pham, Institute of Biotechnology CAS, Czech Republic - “Photoregulation of IL-24/IL-20R2 Complex Formation Using a Light-Responsive Non-Canonical Amino Acid”

Crystal F. Ottoway, Arizona State University, USA - “Photo-Induced Electron Transfer Between Tryptophan and Cysteine: PH Dependence”

Desmond Owusu Kwarteng, Kent State University, USA - “The Electrostatic Basis of Diacylglycerol Pyrophosphate-Protein Interaction”

Simone Pelizzari, Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria - “Identifying the CA 1.1 Voltage-Sensing Domains Involved in Channel Gating and Excitation Contraction Coupling”

Antonio Peña-Pichicoi, Centro Interdisciplinario De Neurociencia De Valparaíso, Chile - “Function Modulation of MDSC MHV1 Channel by N Terminal Length”

Marion Pierre, CERVO, Canada - “Characterization of Atrial Fibrillation Linked Mutations Using the NA .5 Knock-Out of Atrial Cardiomyocytes Derived from IPSCS”

Shreya Pramanik, Max Planck Institute, Germany - “Binding of HIS-Tagged Molecules to Giant Vesicles Via Anchor Lipids”

Aida Rahimi Kahmini, Florida State University, USA - “Compensatory Calcium Handling May Underlie Increased Arrhythmia Susceptibility of Sarcospan-Deficient Mice After Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury”

Dominique Ramirez, University of Colorado Boulder, USA - “Coiled-Coil Domains Can Drive Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation”

Jennifer Ramirez, University of Pennsylvania, USA - “The Molecular Basis for the Synergistic Aggregation of Tau By Αlpha-Synuclein”

Nishadh Rathod, University of Alberta, Canada - “Complementary in Vitro Functional Studies and in Silico Alchemical Free Energy Simulations of the Sarco-Endoplasmic Reticulum Calcium Pump (SERCA) and Phospholamban (PLN) Complex”

Faye Raymond, University at Buffalo, USA - “Kinetic Mechanism of NMDA Receptor Inhibition by the Ketamine Metabolite 2R,6R-Hydroxynorketamine”

Tyler R. Reagle, University of Pennsylvania, USA - “Investigating The Mechanochemistry of Membrane Area Asymmetry Generation: A Combined Mass-Action and Micromechanical Study Using Methyl-Beta-Cyclodextrin”

Aoon Rizvi, University of California, Irvine, USA - “Revealing Nanoscale Structure and Interfaces of Polymer and Protein Condensates Via Cryo-Electron Microscopy”

Kristy Rochon, Case Western Reserve University, USA - “Conformational Changes in Solution Multimers of Dynamin-Related Protein 1 (DRP1) Facilitates Functional Assembly”

Spencer J. Rothfuss, Vanderbilt University, USA - “The Role of K288A in Conformational Selection in Leut”

Lahari Saha, University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA - “Fluorophore-Induced Plasmonic Current for Solar Energy Collection”

Ignacio Sanchez Burgos, University of Cambridge, England - “Condensate’s Ageing Modelled Through Molecular Dynamics: Protein Structural Transitions Critically Transform the Network Connectivity and Viscoelasticity of RNA-Binding Protein Condensates”

Adriana N. Santiago Ruiz, University of Pennsylvania, USA - “In-Situ Characterization of Alzheimer's Disease Tau Aggregates Via Super-Resolution Imaging”

Sajad A. Shiekh, Kent State University, USA - “Impact of Shelterin Complex on Telomere Accessibility”

Joseph Shuttleworth, University of Nottingham, England - “Using Many Different Voltage Protocols to Characterise Discrepancy in Mathematical Ion Channel Models”

Marton A. Simon, Semmelweis University, Hungary - “Understanding Impact of ΔF508 and G551D CFTR Mutations on CFTR/PKA-C Interaction”

Jana Sipkova, University of Cambridge, England - “The Mechanical Regulation of EPH/EPHRIN Signaling in the Developing Brain”

Jared Smothers, University of Texas Southwestern, USA - “How Ostreolysin a Detects SM/Cholesterol in Membranes”

Eunho Song, Seoul National University, Korea - “Three Kinetically Distinct but Compatible Routes of RHO-Dependent Termination Uncovered by Single-Molecule Transcription Imaging”

Jenaro Soto, University of California, Irvine, USA - “Dynamics of the Bypass Polymerase, DINB Homolog”

Iker F. Soto Santarriaga, University of Notre Dame, USA - “Recapitulating Protein Vectorial Appearance Ehances Folding to the Native Structure In Vitro”

Collin Sroge, University of California Irvine, USA - “Posttranslational Modifications Decrease Solubility of Crystallin Proteins, While Enhancing Crystallizability”

Jacob H. Steele, University of Houston, USA - “Mutagenesis Of Escherichia Coli for SM-FRET & FIRMS Study of Domain IV EF-G Studies”

Lottie R. Steward, University of Colorado - Boulder, USA - “Architecture and Assembly Mechanism of Human LACTB”

Joseph C. Sudar, New York University Medical Center, USA - “Understanding the Molecular Composition of the Microsporidian Polar Tube”

Yuanfei Sun, Texas A&M University, USA - “Variant Effect Prediction Using Structure-Informed Protein Language Models”

Gemma R. Takahashi, University of California, Irvine, USA - “Comparative Dynamics and Structural Analysis of Extremophilic Serine Proteases from Diverse Environments”

Christian Tessier, University of Ottawa, Canada - “Ancestral Acetylcholine Receptor Beta-Subunit Forms Homopentamers That Prime Before Opening Spontaneously”

Qian Tian, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA - “Visualization of Mechanical Forces in 3D Cell Models with Molecular DNA Tension Probe”

Wietske E. Tuinte, Medical University Innsbruck, Austria - “STAC Proteins Inhibit the Voltage Dependent Inactivation of L-Type Calcium Channels”

Daniel G P Turner, University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA - “Engineered Cardiac Tissue as a Novel In Vitro Human Myocardium Model for Studying Cardiac Stretch”

Chantal Usai, Istituto Italiano Tecnologia, Italy - “Decrypting the Spatial Relationship Between Peripheral Chromatin and Nuclear Lamina in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome Using Super-Resolution Microscopy Techniques”

Sofia Vargas-Hernandez, Rice University, USA - “Investigating Molecular Mechanisms of Key Proteins Underlying Synaptic Plasticity Using Single-Molecule Tracking and Super-Resolution Imaging”

Citlayi Villaseñor, Northwestern University, USA - “The Role of Lipid Bilayer Composition in Cell-Free Expressed ABC Transporter Folding.”

Ivy D. Vo, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA - “Sequence Adaptation in Various Environments Across Organisms; Similar Yet Different Superoxide Dismutase”

Qi Wang, New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology, USA - “Membrane Oxygen Permeability is Governed by Area-Per-Lipid, Combined with Headgroup Size and Cholesterol Content”

Brittany E. Watson, University of South Carolina, USA - “Detecting Physiological Concentrations of Alzheimer’s Associated Amyloid-Β Oligomers with a Cell-Based Response”

Mihyun Waugh, University of South Carolina, USA - “Peptoids as Potential Therapeutics to Reduce S100b-Induced Rage-Associated Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease”

Yiheng Wu, University of Chicago, USA - “Coarse-Grained RNA Simulations with Concerted C2'/C3'-Endo Sugar Pucker Transitions”

Tingting Wu, Washington University in St. Louis, USA - “Mapping Inhomogeneous Network Structures within Biomolecular Condensate Using Single-Molecule Imaging and Tracking of Fluorogenic Probes”

Priya Yadav, International Centre For Genetic Engineering And Biotechnology, New Delhi, India - “Structural Insights into Substrate Accommodation by Escherichia Coli Adenine Phosphoribosyltransferase (APRT) Reveal a Unique Mechanism in Enterobacterales”

Amber M. Yanas, University of Pennsylvania, USA - “Using Single-Molecule Fluorescence Techniques to Understand the Enzymatic Cycle of Sex-Biased RNA Helicases DDX3X and DDX3Y”

Xiangyu Yao, Virginia Tech, USA - “Analysis of Robustness of Oscillations in Models of the Mammalian Circadian Clock”

Abdel-Ghafar Yerima, University of California, Berkeley, USA - “Membrane Curvature Sensed and Induced by Formin Binding Protein 17”

Brenda Yu, Stanford University, USA - “Oscillatory Effects of Ketamine Using Focused Ultrasound Sensitive Liposomes”

Peiyi Zhang, Purdue University, USA - “Deep Learning Driven Adaptive Optics for Single Molecule Localization Microscopy”


The Biophysical Society, founded in 1958, is a professional, scientific Society established to lead development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics. The Society promotes growth in this expanding field through its annual meeting, publications, and committee and outreach activities. Its 7,500 members are located throughout the United States and the world, where they teach and conduct research in colleges, universities, laboratories, government agencies, and industry.

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