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Biophysical Society Selects Student Research Achievement Award Winners

Biophysical Society Selects Student Research Achievement Award Winners

ROCKVILLE, MD – The 36 winners of the annual Student Research Achievement Awards (SRAA) were recognized at the 67th Biophysical Society Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony on February 20, 2023. These students were selected by judges from the Society’s Subgroups for their outstanding presentations during the poster competition. One hundred and twenty-seven students participated in the competition.

The 2023 SRAA winners are:

Bioenergetics, Mitochondria and Metabolism Subgroup

Yukai Huang, University of California, Irvine, USA“Metabolic Profiling of Transferred Mitochondria Using FLIM Intensity Based Image Segmentation (FIBIS)"

Bioengineering Subgroup

Chu Zheng, Stanford University, USA – " A Unifying Electrostatic Basis for Designing Enzymes Faster Than Natural Ones"

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

Biological Fluorescence Subgroup

Iulia Carabadjac, University of Freiburg, Austria“Quantifying the Interactions of Micellar Drug Delivery System Components with Albumin Using Time-Resolved Fluorescent Methods"

Rohit M. Vaidya, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA“Probing Synaptic Distribution and Arrangement of Native Surface AMPARs in Mouse Brain Slices with 3D Super-Resolution Microscopy"

Wenyan Guan, University of California, Merced, USA“The Interaction of CC Chemokine Binding Protein VCCI with CCL17(TARC)"

Biopolymers in Vivo Subgroup

Jhullian J. Alston, Washington University in St. Louis, USACombining Simulations and Single-Molecule Fluorescence Spectroscopy to Understand SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid Protein RNA Interaction"

Jennifer Simien, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USAFolding and Threading of Leptin as a Model for Pierced Lasso Topologies"

Channels, Receptors and Transporters Subgroup

Miaomiao He, Stony Brook University, USA – “Two Gates Mediate NMDAR Activity and are Under Subunit-Specific Regulation"

Simone Pelizzari, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria – “Identifying the CaV1.1 Voltage-Sensing Domains Involved in Channel Gating and Excitation Contraction Coupling"

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

Cryo-EM Subgroup

Przemyslaw Dutka, California Institution of Technology, USA – Structure of Anabaena Flos-Aquae Gas Vesicles Revealed by Cryo-ET"

Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Subgroup

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

Shraddha KC, University of Wyoming, USA – “Functional Synergy between Disordered Proteins and Sugars in Desiccation Protection"

Macromolecular Machines and Assemblies Subgroup

Adam Grosvirt-Dramen, University of California, Irvine, USA – “Stimuli Responsive Hierarchical Assembly of Supramolecular Conductive Fibers from Coiled-Coil Building Blocks"

Juliet O. Obi, University of Maryland Baltimore, USA – “Inter-Domain Coordination Essential for Dengue Virus Non-Structural (5) NS5 Interaction with Stem Loop A (SLA)"

Nidhi Walia, Florida State University, USA – “Understanding the Effects of Higher-Order Assembly on the Structure of the Sulfite Reductase"

Mechanobiology Subgroup

Jana Sipkova, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom – “The Mechanical Regulation of Eph/Ephrin Signaling in the Developing Brain"

Membrane Fusion, Fission and Traffic Subgroup

Lisa Hua, University of Freiburg, Austria – “Vesicle Budding Caused by Lysolipid-Induced Asymmetry Stress"

Membrane Structure and Function Subgroup

Jennifer A. Rybak, University of Tennessee Knoxville, USA – “Inhibition of EGFR via an Acidity-Responsive Transmembrane Peptide Ligand"

Kevin Jose Cheng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA – “Lactaderhin's C1 Domain Restricts Protein's Ensemble as it Binds to Charged Membranes"

Chelsea Brown, Warwick University, United Kingdom – “Supramolecular Organisation and Dynamics of Mannosylated Phosphatidylinositol Lipids in the Mycobacterial Plasma Membrane"

Membrane Transport Subgroup

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

Rebecca J. Prest, University of Notre Dame, USA – “Structure-Function Analysis of the Dual Functioning Mycobacterial Virulence Factors ESPE and ESPF"

Nicole Voce, Northeastern University, USA – “Experimentally Characterizing the Origins of Confinement Effects in Membranes"

Motility and Cytoskeleton Subgroup

Clinton A. Gabel, Purdue University, USA – “Breaking Down the Haus: Molecular Insights into Branching Microtubule Nucleation"

Alma I. Plaza-Rodriguez, Johns Hopkins University, USA – “Modeling Contractility Kit-Mediated Cytoskeletal Network Assembly"

Multiscale Genome Organization Subgroup

Christopher Playter, University of Tennessee, USA – “Selection and Induction? Using ITGB4 to Track the Role of Selection and Constriction-Induced Changes in Phenotype and 3D Genome Structure Shifts after Constricted Migration"

Nanoscale Approaches to Biology Subgroup

Irene Gialdini, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany – “Combining Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy and Lifetime Imaging to Study the Dynamics of Drug Delivery Nanoparticles in Mucus"

Sangwoo Park, Cornell University, USA – “Mucins Form a Nanoscale Physical Barrier Against Immune Cell Attack"

Physical Cell Biology Subgroup

Jordie M. Kamuene, Northeastern University, USA – “Optogenetic Regulation of PIP2 Alters the Voltage-Dependence of Activation and Fast Inactivation of Skeletal Muscle NaV1.4 Channels"

Aidana Amangeldina, ASTAR, Singapore – “Adaptations of Proteins, RNA and DNA to Extreme Temperatures, Salinity and pH"

Single-Molecule Forces, Manipulation and Visualization Subgroup

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

Theory and Computation Subgroup

Karen L. Lopez, University of California, Irvine, USA – “Fluorescent Single Particle Tracking Enables High Sensitivity Viscometry Measurements of Micro-Volume Samples"

Mariia Borbuliak, University of Calgary, Canada – “Cardiomyocyte Sarcolemma Modelling and Lipid-Protein Interactions"

Angelin Mary Philip, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar – “The Unique Q493R Mutation Drives Interfacial Interactions in the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant S1-RBD:ACE2-Complex"


The Biophysical Society, founded in 1958, is a professional, scientific Society established to lead the 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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