As the Biophysical Society continues to grow, the Society's Subgroups allow members to meet and interact within more focused areas in smaller groups. Subgroups hold scientific symposia and business meetings each year on the Saturday that starts the Annual Meeting. They also sponsor several awards, including the Student Research Achievement Awards (SRAA) Poster Competition. Membership to the Society's Subgroups is open to all members.

BPS Council is excited to launch a new Subgroup Incubator Program for those interested in establishing a recurring meeting for an underserved research topic area or demographic. The incubator program is envisioned as a mechanism to explore new topic areas and determine whether there are opportunities within an existing Subgroup to foster an ad hoc group or see whether a new Subgroup may emerge. Ad hoc groups may run incubator events for two years to demonstrate continued, sustained interest in the topic before pursuing Subgroup status. Details about the incubator program are currently in development. Contact [email protected] with questions.

Biopolymers in vivo (BIV)

The purpose of this subgroup is to create a forum to discuss biophysical properties and function of biomolecules in cells and cell-like conditions, and to develop experimental and computational approaches to study these phenomena. The subgroup invites participants from all scientific disciplines with an interest in broadening our understanding of biophysical processes in cells, using approaches ranging from biophysical studies of biomolecules in vitro and in silico to experiments performed in living cells and beyond. We believe that this is a timely and emerging field of high importance for all aspects of biophysics. Although biopolymers such as proteins and nucleic acids are the workhorses of the cell, our knowledge about how they behave in cells is limited. One reason for this shortcoming is that the microenvironments inside cells and in cell membranes (and in extracellular spaces of multi-cellular organisms) are extremely complex, with macromolecules together occupying as much as 40% of volume but with the composition of macromolecules highly heterogeneous and constantly changing.

Join the Biopolymers in vivo Subgroup Junior Faculty Award

Subgroup Facebook and Twitter pages

In order to join the Biopolymers in vivo Subgroup, you must be a member of the Society.

Garegin Papoian, Chair (2024-2025)

Daryl Eggers, Chair-Elect (2024-2025)

Silvia Cavagnero, Secretary-Treasurer (2023-2025)


Robert Best, Past Chair

Caitlin Davis, Past Secretary-Treasurer 

Program Co-Chairs

Matthias Heyden (2025)

Thomas Boothby (2025)



Stephen Fried (2022-2025)

Martin Gruebele (2021-2024)

Elinor Haglund (2023-2026)


Student & Postdoc Representatives

Premila Samuel (2022-2024)

Ian Sitarik (2022-2024)

2024 Robert Best San Jose State University
2023 Huan-Xiang Zhou University of Illinois at Chicago
2022 Edward P. O'Brien Penn State University
2021 Daniel Harries Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
2020 Zaida Luthey-Schulten University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
2019 Simon Ebbinghaus Technische Universitaet Braunschweig
2018 Patricia Clark University of Notre Dame
2017 Gary Pielak University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
2016 Martin Gruebele University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
2015 Silvia Cavagnero University of Wisconsin-Madison
2014 Lila Gierasch University of Massachusetts
2013 Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede Umea University, Sweden
2012 Margaret S. Cheung University of Houston, Texas

2023 Symposium

Saturday, February 18, 2023
San Diego, California

View Program

2022 Symposium

Saturday, February 19, 2022
San Francisco, California

View Program

2021 Symposium

Monday, February 22, 2021

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2020 Symposium

Saturday, February 15, 2020
San Diego, California

View Program

2019 Symposium

Saturday, March 2, 2019
Baltimore, Maryland

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2018 Symposium

Saturday, February 17, 2018
San Francisco, California

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2017 Symposium

Saturday, February 11, 2017
New Orleans, Louisiana

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2016 Symposium

Saturday, February 27, 2016
Los Angeles, California

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2015 Symposium

Saturday, February 27, 2015
Baltimore, Maryland

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2014 Symposium

Saturday, February 15, 2014
San Francisco, California

View Program

2013 Symposium

Saturday, February 2, 2013
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

View Program

2024 Keren Lasker Scripps Research Institute
2023 Priya Banerjee University at Buffalo
2022 Dr. Kim Reynolds University of Texas, Southwestern
2021 Dr. Stephen Fried Johns Hopkins University
2020 Dr. Shana Elbaum-Garfinkle CUNY Advanced Science Research Center
2019 Dr. Lisa Jones University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
2018 Dr. Allan Drummond University of Chicago
2017  Dr. Simon Ebbinghaus University of Bochum, Germany

Biopolymers in vivo Bylaws


Article I

Purpose: The purpose of the Biopolymers in Vivo (BIV) Subgroup shall be to advance and disseminate knowledge regarding structural and physical properties, mechanisms, and biological functions of biopolymers in cells and in complex environments.


Article II

Membership: Members of the Biophysical Society may join the Subgroup; non-members of the Biophysical Society are welcome to attend BIV symposia but are unable to join the Subgroup, serve as Officers of the Subgroup, or vote.


Article III

Dissolution: The BIV Subgroup must be in accordance with the Biophysical Society’s constitution and bylaws, mission, values, goals, and operational guidelines. If subgroup is found in violation of their bylaws or Society’s guidelines, the group will be placed on probation and may be dissolved at the discretion of the Council of the Biophysical Society.


Article IV

Meetings: Business meetings shall be held in connection with the annual scientific meeting of the Biophysical Society. The voting members attending an Annual Meeting can transact Group business by a simple majority vote. These meetings will be held in association with the annual Biophysical Society meetings, and must follow the guidelines established by the BPS Council.



Article V

Officers: The officers of the group will be a group Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, and two Program Co-chairs. The Chair-Elect shall serve one year as such, followed by one year as Chair. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected for a term of two years and the Program Co-Chairs shall be elected for a period of one year. In addition, a Graduate Student Representative and Postdoctoral Representative shall be elected for terms of two years each.


Article VI

Executive Committee: The Executive Committee will be responsible for the fulfillment of the scientific and business obligations of the group. The Officers, the immediate past Chair, immediate past Secretary-Treasurer and three members elected at large shall constitute this Executive Committee. The members-at-large will serve staggered three-year terms, with one new member elected each year. The Executive Committee shall have power to conduct other business by means of electronic vote. The affairs of the Subgroup shall be handled by the Officers in accordance with the policies determined by the Executive Committee and the Biophysical Society Council.


Article VII

Nominating Committee: The members of the Executive Committee shall constitute the nominating committee. The immediate past Chair shall be the chair of the nominating committee. The Nominating Committee is responsible for soliciting nominations from subgroup membership and for preparing the final slate of candidates. Nominations will be received electronically up to one month prior to the Subgroup’s business meeting. Nominees must accept their nomination prior to being placed on a ballot.


Article VIII

Elections: Elections shall be held at the annual meeting of the Biophysical Society. The candidate for each office receiving the highest number of votes will be elected. Officers will take office at the end of the annual business meeting held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Biophysical Society. Interim vacancies in officers or councilors will be filled in accordance with Bylaw Article IX of the Biophysical Society.


Article IX

Eligibility for Office: Only members of the BIV Subgroup may be candidates for offices. Members may not be elected to the same office more than once every five years. A member may be elected to a different position (i.e., Chair Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, Program Co-chair, or Member-at-Large) after a minimum break of one year from office.


Article X

Junior Faculty Awards Committee: This awards committee shall consist of the Executive Committee, the two immediate Past Chairs, and the BIV Student and Postdoc Representatives (if filled). A member shall recuse oneself from the Awards Committee if they have a conflict of interest such as a direct affiliation with a nominee or award sponsor. The Awards Committee will solicit nominations through a call to all subgroup members, evaluate nominations, and select awardees.  The committee’s selection criteria will be based on scientific excellence first but must also consider diversity.


Article XI

Amendments to the Bylaws: Amendments should arise from the members of the Biopolymers in Vivo subgroup, approved by a two-thirds majority of the Subgroup’s Executive Committee, and ratified in an electronic ballot by a majority of the members of the group voting.

The following word cloud is comprised of the speaker talk titles from our symposia.