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. More details about the incubator program will be provided in early 2022.

Macromolecular Machines & Assemblies

(formerly Molecular Biophysics)

The Macromolecular Machines & Assemblies Subgroup (formerly Molecular Biophysics)  is comprised of members with interests that span all areas of molecular biophysics. In particular these areas include:

  • Structures, conformational switching, and conformational dynamics of biological macromolecules and their supramolecular assemblies
  • Thermodynamics and kinetics of the processes that these macromolecules undergo, such as DNA replication, protein synthesis, self-assembly, self-organization, molecular recognition and binding, signaling, catalysis, and metabolic control
  • Responses of biological macromolecular systems to various imposed perturbations, such as (a) changes in temperature, ligand concentration, ionic strength, water activity, solvent polarity, hydrostatic pressure, osmotic pressure of volume-exclusion agents, denaturant concentration, and mutation of the primary sequence, (b) electric, magnetic, electromagnetic and hydrodynamic flow fields, and (c) stretching, bending and torsional strain
  • Diffusive, field-induced, and convective transport of both small and large molecules under various conditions, or through various media or channels of biophysical, biochemical or biological relevance
  • Experimental methods (physical, molecular biological, and chemical) that are used to isolate and characterize biological macromolecules and assess their relevant properties, or to achieve particular assembly or folding targets
  • Theoretical and computational methods used to interpret previous results and future experiments


Annually, the Subgroup holds a topical symposium, which is organized by the current Subgroup chair.

Join the Macromolecular Machines & Assemblies Subgroup


In order to join the Macromolecular Machines & Assemblies Subgroup, you must be a member of the Society.

Arne Gennerich, Chair (2022-2023)

Eric Galburt, Chair-Elect (2022-2023)

Edwin Antony, Past-Chair (2022-2023)

2022 Edwin Antony St. Louis University
2021 Catherine Musselman University of Colorado, Anschutz
2020 Ilya Finkelstein University of Texas, Austin
2019 Maria Spies University of Iowa
2018 Phillip Kukura University of Oxford, UK
2017 Yann Chemla University of Illinois
2016 Justin Benesch University of Oxford
2015 Zev Bryant Stanford University
2014 Mari DeMarco University of British Columbia, Canada
2013 Jan Lipfert Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
2012 Robert Woods University of Georgia
2011 Olav Scheimann University of St. Andrews
2010 David Green Stony Brook University
2009 Claus A. Seidel Heinrich-Heine University
2008 Elizabeth Komives University of California, San Diego
2007 Peter Hinterdorfer Johannes Kepler University
2006 Cynthia Stauffacher Purdue University
2005 Thomas Schmidt Leiden University
2004 Martha Teeter University of California, Davis
2003 David P. Millar Scripps Research Institute
2002 Dorothy Beckett University of Maryland
2001 Michael A. Weiss Case Western Reserve University
2000 J. Michael Schurr University of Washington

2022 Symposium

Saturday, February 19, 2022
San Francisco, California

View Program

2021 Symposium

Monday, February 22, 2021

View Program

2020 Symposium

Saturday, February 15, 2020
San Diego, California

View Program

2019 Symposium

Saturday, March 2, 2019
Baltimore, Maryland

View Program

2018 Symposium

Saturday, February 17, 2018
San Francisco, California

View Program

2017 Symposium

Saturday, February 11, 2017
New Orleans, Louisiana

View Program

2016 Symposium

Saturday, February 27, 2016
Los Angeles, California

View Program

2015 Symposium

Saturday, February 27, 2015
Baltimore, Maryland

View Program

2014 Symposium

Saturday, February 15, 2014
San Francisco, California

View Program

2013 Symposium

Saturday, February 2, 2013
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

View Program

2019 Many layers of macromolecular dynamics
2018 Molecular Biophysics Subgroup Symposium
2017 Molecular Biophysics Subgroup Symposium
2016 New Methods for Studying the Structural Dynamics of Macromolecules
2015 Dynamics of Macromolecular Machines and Assemblies
2014 Biomedical Applications of Mass Spectrometry
2011 Oligonucleotides: Structure, Dynamics, and Complex Formation
2010 Post-Translational Modifications of Proteins: Structure and Function from Experiment and Theory
2009 Spectroscopy of Conformational Changes that Control Protein Function
2008 Kinetic Control of Transcriptional Systems
2007 Single Molecular Recognition and Unfolding Forces

Molecular Biophysics Bylaws


Article I
Purpose: The purpose of the Macromolecular Machines & Assemblies Subgroup (formerly Molecular Biophysics) is to provide a forum for the dissemination of information in the area of biopolymers, macromolecular structure, dynamics and interactions.



Article II
Membership: Members of the Biophysical Society may join the Macromolecular Machines & Assemblies Subgroup; non-members of the Biophysical Society are welcome to attend Molecular Biophysics Subgroup symposia but are unable serve as Officers of the Subgroup, or vote.


Article III

Dissolution: The Macromolecular Machines & Assemblies Subgroup must be in accordance with the Biophysical Society’s constitution and bylaws, mission, values, goals, and operational guidelines. If the 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. Five percent of the members of the Macromolecular Machines & Assemblies Subgroup or 10 members, whichever is smaller, shall constitute a quorum. Scientific meetings shall be held in association with the annual Biophysical Society meetings, and must follow the guidelines established by the BPS Council. The voting members attending an Annual Meeting can transact Subgroup business by a simple majority vote.


Article V
Officers: The Officers of the Subgroup will be the Subgroup Chair, Chair-Elect, and Past-Chair.


Duties of the Subgroup Chair are to organize and conduct group meetings, to advise the Biophysical Society of the activity and needs of the Subgroup and to carry on any other activities which the chair deems to be beneficial to the Subgroup and to the Society. Their duties shall also include the keeping of adequate records of membership and working on organizational and financial matters relating to the Subgroup.


The Subgroup Chair will serve for one year as Chair, one as Chair-Elect, and one as Past-Chair.



Article VI

Executive Committee: The Executive Committee will be responsible for fulfilling the scientific and business obligations of the group. The Executive Committee will consist of the Officers. The Executive Committee shall have the power to conduct 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 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

Eligibility for Office: Only voting members of the Macromolecular Machines & Assemblies Subgroup may be candidates for offices. Members may not be elected to one office more than every five years.   


Article IX
Elections: Elections will be held electronically up to two weeks prior to the Subgroup’s business meeting. The candidates for each office receiving the highest number of votes will be elected. The results will be announced to the Subgroup’s membership during the Subgroup’s business meeting. 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 VII of the Biophysical Society.


Article X
Amendments to the Bylaws: Amendments to the bylaws of the Macromolecular Machines & Assemblies Subgroup must be 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 most recent symposia.