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Canan Atilgan

Ambassador Term: 2021-2024 (Class II)

Representing: Turkey

Biography:
I am a Professor at Sabanci University and an elected member of the Science Academy, Istanbul. We develop efficient computational methods for navigating protein landscapes; we strive to advance the understanding on long-range communication in molecular machines. Locally, I advocate science communication, by serving on the editorial board of the Turkish language popular science website sarkac.org, and by making appearances on various media outlets and school programs to promote science careers. Being a first-generation PhD and the very first woman college graduate in my family, it took time to discover my destiny in academia. I stumbled upon and was immediately fascinated by biophysical problems in the last year of my PhD studies, while doing polymer physics research in a chemical engineering department. Fast forward 25 years, and now I wish to use my visibility to leverage biophysics as a career path for aspiring scientists, and to put biophysical understanding within the reach of science enthusiasts.

Ambassador Program Goal:
I will advocate events designed to channel underrepresented groups interested in biophysics into related career paths; I will promote mentorship activities for the professional development of those who have already taken these paths. I will initiate organization of thematic meetings focused on physics-based approaches and trans-disciplinary advancements in the field. Expanding on my current outreach efforts, I will engage in development of science curricula utilizing biophysics as a unifying theme.

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Gonzalo de Prat Gay

Ambassador Term: 2021-2024 (Class II)

Representing: Argentina

Biography:
I am got a degree in Biochemistry at the University of Buenos Aires and did my PhD at the same university working on photosynthetic enzymes. I trained in basic protein science at Cambridge University, UK that allowed me to tackle my long-term interest which has been understanding viruses from their protein components, interactions, and assembly, and at the same time addressing fundamental problems of protein science such as folding, intrinsic disorder, nucleic acid recognition, antibody-antigen, and more recently biomolecular condensates, in a multidisciplinary manner, going from biophysics to cell culture and infection. I have been working throughout the years in two important pathogen representative of RNA (syncytial respiratory virus) and DNA (papillomavirus) viruses. I am a career researcher at the Argentine national Science Council, lead a lab at Instituto Leloir, and devote most of my time to research.

Ambassador Program Goal:
I always sensed that our local society and biophysicists along the country, including myself, are somehow disconnected from the Biophysical Society as the nucleating component. This hampers collaborations and networking. My intention is to build bridges between Argentine Biophysics and BS, expand BSs horizons and identify opportunities of mutual benefit

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Irep Gozen

Ambassador Term: 2020-2024 (Class II)

Representing: Norway

Biography:
I am a group leader and associate professor at the University of Oslo, and currently head of the Soft Materials Laboratory at the Center for Molecular Medicine in Norway. My research area is bionanoscience, with a special focus on surfactant membranes. I became member of the American Biophysical Society in 2010 during my PhD studies, and have been attending the annual BPS meetings since then, where I received encouragement and critical feedback, and build a network with biophysics experts from all over the world. I want to stronger include the Nordic Region, bring researchers closer together, and visibly promote science in the interest of the biophysics community worldwide.

Ambassador Program Goal:
I will work towards strengthening the connections between the biophysics communities in the U.S. and in the Scandinavian region. I am planning activities with focus on organizing workshops, especially encouraging female scientists in STEM, on evaluating and commenting on research trends, publishing regularly for audiences of various backgrounds, and establishing links to administrative and funding bodies in Norway.

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Siti Nglim

Ambassador Term: 2021-2024 (Class II)

Representing: Malaysia

Biography:
I am a Senior Lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Bertam Campus in Penang, Malaysia. I do research and teaching in the subject of biointerface (micro- and nanopatterning) and cell adhesion. In late 2018, a few colleagues and I officially started a local biophysical society (Pertubuhan Biofizik Malaysia). The reason being we would like to make Biophysics, especially Mechanobiology, known and interesting for local STEM communities and students. I am also currently a committee member for 2021 BPS Cell Adhesion Networks Thematic Meeting, which will be held - for the first time - in Miri Sarawak (Borneo) in late 2021. In my spare time, I am developing fun side projects using Artificial Intelligence technologies to increase accessibility, knowledge and communication on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) amongst local Blind and Visually Impaired (BVI) community and the public. Yes, I can read braille too.

Ambassador Program Goal:
I am thankful to the BPS for the opportunity. My aim as a BPS ambassador is to create more biophysics-related activities and awareness in Malaysia. I will share the news with international BPS community soon.