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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 68th Biophysical Society Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony on February 12, 2024. These students were selected by judges from the Society’s Subgroups for their outstanding presentations during the poster competition. One hundred and fifty-seven students participated in the competition.

The 2024 SRAA winners are:

Bioenergetics, Mitochondria, and Metabolism Subgroup

Kaitlin Abrantes, Weill Cornell Medicine, USA“Measuring the Mitochondrial Outer Membrane Potential in Live Cells"

Bioengineering Subgroup

Pedro J. del Rivero Morfin, Columbia University, USA – “A Genetically Encoded Actuator Selectively Boosts L-Type Calcium Channels in Diverse Physiological Settings"

Arup Mondal, University of Florida, USA – “Unraveling BET Proteins: A Multi-Modal Approach to Novel Binders Discovery and Inhibitors Design"

Biological Fluorescence Subgroup

Nadia Sarfraz, Georgetown University, USA“Advancing RNA Visualization: Riboglow-Flim Unveils Insights for Multicellular Systems"

Biopolymers in Vivo Subgroup

Kara Hunter, University of California, Merced, USA“Designing Disordered Proteins for Desiccation Protection"

Upasana L. Mallimadugula, Washington University in St. Louis, USADo Differences in Cryptic Pocket Opening Control Functional Tradeoffs in Filovirus Immune Evasion?"

Channels, Receptors, and Transporters Subgroup

Vladimir Bogdanov, The Ohio State University, USA – “Distinct Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Calmodulin Genes in Cardiac Myocytes Under Beta-Adrenergic Stimulation"

Marion Pierre, Centre de Recherche CERVO, Canada – “Electrophysiological Aspects of Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 in Cardiomyocytes Derived from Patient Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells"

Seung-Hyun B. Ko, University of Pennsylvania, USA – “Stochastic Model of Extracellular Vesicle-Mediated Immunosuppression Implicates Importance of Biophysical Parameters in T-Cell Signaling"

Tala Amawi, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel – “The Pain Receptor TRPA1 Displays Differential Binding Mechanisms to THC and CBD”

Cryo-EM Subgroup

Irin Pottanani Tom, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA – Deciphering the Structural Basis of Molecular Logic in Dual-Sensor Photoreceptor PPHK"

Jue Wang, Caltech, USA – “Tri-Coincident IFLM-CRYOFIB-SEM Platform for Sub-Diffraction Limited Targeted Milling”

Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Subgroup

Jeffrey M. Lotthammer, Washington University in St. Louis, USA – “Direct Prediction of Intrinsically Disordered Protein Conformational Properties from Sequence"

Matthew MacAinsh, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA – “NaCl Mediates the Phase Separation of The HNRNPA1 Low-Complexity Domain by Neutralizing Charges and Bridging Intermolecular Interaction Networks"

Greeshama Jain, University of Groningen, Netherlands – “Polyphenol Based Modulation of Structure and Toxicity of Huntingtin Protein Aggregates”

Macromolecular Machines and Assemblies Subgroup

Kai Sheng, The Scripps Research Institute, USA – “Augmenting the Bacterial Ribosome Assembly Structurome Using Anti-Sense Oligonucleotide Analogs"

Justin M. Van Riper, Baylor College of Medicine, USA – “Molecular Insight into the Mammalian SLFN14 Ribonuclease"

Mechanobiology Subgroup

Gabriella A. Bertaccini, University of California, Irvine, USA – “PIEZO1-HALOTAG HISPC Lines: A New Tool to Assay PIEZO1 Localization and Activity from Single Cells to Tissue Organoids"

Membrane Fusion, Fission, and Traffic Subgroup

Yu Xu, University of Minnesota, USA – “Extracting Structural and Dynamic Information of Vesicle-to Endosome Maturation in Live yeast with Motion-Corrected Palm"

Membrane Structure and Function Subgroup

Taylor A. Devlin, Johns Hopkins University, USA – “FKPA Enhances Outer Membrane Protein Folding Using an Extensive Interaction Interface"

Martin Yepes, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, USA – “Molecular Basis of Processive Peptidoglycan Synthesis by FTSWI."

Sophie Rizzo, Lehigh University, USA – “Promoting Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase J Activity with a Transmembrane Peptide Agonist Inhibits Cancer-Associated Phenotypes"

Membrane Transport Subgroup

Mae G. Weaver, University at Buffalo, USA – “Dynamic Calcium Selectivity of NMDA Receptors is Controlled by the Amino-Terminal Domain"

Kerri Spontarelli, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, USA – “Functional Evaluation of a CMT2DD-Causing ATP1A1 Variant"

Motility and Cytoskeleton Subgroup

Pavlina Slikova, Czech Academy of Sciences Institute of Biotechnology, Czech Republic – “Anillin Promotes Actomyosin Contractility by Mechanical Tethering"

Allison E. Mancini, University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA – “Rhokar Sensor Reveals Calcium-Dependent Activation of RHO-Kinase During Collective Cell Migration"

Multiscale Genome Organization Subgroup

Maria Julia Maristany, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom – “Mechanical Properties of DNA Govern Nucleosome Unwrapping"

Nanoscale Approaches to Biology Subgroup

Priyanka Jain, Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Germany – “Detection of Citrulline Modification in Histone Peptides Using Biological Nanopore"

Physical Cell Biology Subgroup

Justin H. Paek, Cornell University, USA – “The Cancer Mucin Barrier Plays a Multifunctional Role in Providing Sustained Physical Resistance to Natural Killer Cell Attack"

Single-Molecule Forces, Manipulation, and Visualization Subgroup

Guoming Gao, University of Michigan, USA – “Heterogeneity in Condensates Regulates Intra-Condensate Diffusion of RNA Single Molecules"

Theory and Computation Subgroup

Abhilasha Batra, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal (IISERB), India – “Decoding of Temperature Signals by Thermosensory Neurons in C. Elegans"

Ally K. Smith, University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA – “Generating In Silico Protein Structural Ensembles That Agree With Solution-Based Experiments: An HDX-MS-Steered Adaptive Sampling Approach for Molecular Dynamics"

Anna D. Gaffney, University of Chicago, USA – “Modeling Shear Banding Lipid Monolayer Collapse with Finite Element Analysis"

Constance Kraay, Harvard University, USA – “Myo-Inositol Suppresses γD-Crystallin Aggregation by Interacting with a Non-Native State"

Reza Esmaeeli, University of Florida, USA – “Structural Predictions of RNA Conformations: MELD-RNA"

Yousuf O. Ramahi, University of Toronto, Canada – “The Binary-Switch Model of the Adenosine A2A Receptor: A Molecular Dynamics Study”

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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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