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.

Membrane Structure & Function (MSAF)

(formerly Membrane Structure & Assembly)

The Membrane Structure and Function (MSAF) Subgroup promotes and advances knowledge about the biophysical properties of lipids, membranes, and membrane-associated molecules, including membrane proteins. As such, its mission is to provide an intellectual home base for its members as the Biophysical Society continues to rapidly grow and expand its realms of interests. To do so, the MSAF sponsors a popular Saturday Symposium at the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting. The MSAF also maintains an e-mail list for communication with its members. The MSAF is led by an Advisory Committee consisting of the past chair, the present chair, and the chair-elect.

Join the Membrane Structure & Function Subgroup Thomas E. Thompson Award


In order to join the Membrane Structure & Function Subgroup, you must be a member of the Society.

Elizabeth Kelley, Chair (2023-2024)

Adam W. Smith, Chair-Elect (2023-2024)

Milka Doktorova, Secretary-Treasurer (2023-2025)

2023 Ingela Parmryd University of Gothenburg Institute of Biomedicine
2022 Francisco Barrera University of Tennessee, Knoxville
2021 Sarah Veatch University of Michigan
2020 Peter Tieleman University of Calgary
2019 Ilya Levental University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
2018 Tobias Baumgart University of Pennsylvania
2017 Rumiana Dimova Max Planck Institute
2016 Anne Kenworthy  Vanderbilt University 
2015 Marjorie Longo University of California Davis
2014  Felix Goñi Basque Country University, Spain 
2013 Heiko Heerklotz University of Toronto, Canada
2012 Kalina Hristova Johns Hopkins University
2011 Paulo Almeida University of North Carolina
2010 Bill Wimley Tulane University
2009 Antoineette Killian Utrecht University
2008 Scott Feller Wabash College
2007 Frances Separovic University of Melbourne
2006 Leonid Chernomordik National Institutes of Health
2005 Stephanie Tristram-Nagle Carnegie Mellon University
2004 Ken Jacobson University of North Carolina
2003 Klaus Grawrisch National Institutes of Health
2002 Paul Axelsen University of Pennsylvania
2001 Richard M. Epand Mcmaster University
2000 Barry Lentz University of North 
1999  R.N. McElhaney University of Alberta
1998  David Seigel  The Proctor & Gamble Co.
1997 J. Wylie Nichols Emory University
1996 Burton J. Litman NIAAA/NIH
1995 David Daleke Indiana University
  Alexandra Newton Indiana University
1994 Philip Yeagle SUNY Buffalo
1993 Anthony W. Scotto Cornell University Medical Center

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

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

2011 Interactions in Membranes: What, Exactly, Do We Know?
2010 Membrane Biophysics: From Model Systems to Living Cells
2009 Lipid Bilayers and Lipid/Protein Interactions
2008 Probing Specific Lipid-Protein Interactions
2007 Breaking the Barrier with Antimicrobial Peptides
2006 Biological Membrane Fusion: Mechanisms and Intermediates
2005 Relevance of Lipid Bilayer Structure and Dynamics for Biological Function
2004 Looking for Lipid Rafts
2003 Cholesterol
2002 Membrane Protein Folding and Function
2001 The Role of Membranes in Cell Death; Antimicrobial Peptides
2000 Phospholipases and Sphingomyelinases: Enzymology at a Surface
1999 Molecular Aspects of Lipid-Protein Interactions
1998 Viral Fusion Proteins: Progress in Structure and Function
1997 The Physiological Role of Cellular Lipid Transfer Proteins 
1996 Lateral Domains in Biological Membranes and their Functional Consequences
1995 Phospholipases
1994 Transbilayer Lipid Asymmetry in Model Membranes and Biomembranes

Year Winner Institution  
2023 Rumiana Dimova Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces  
2022  Abdou Rachid Thiam  Ecole Normale Superieure Paris, France  
2021 Markus Deserno Carnegie Mellon University  
2020 Emad Tajkhorshid University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign  
2019 Dimitrios Stamou University of Copenhagen  
2018 Daniel Huster University of Leipzig  
2017 Peter Tieleman University of Calgary  
2016 Karen Fleming Johns Hopkins University  
2015  Scott Feller Wabash College  
2014 Sarah Keller University of Washington  
2013 Bill Wimley Tulane University  

Membrane Structure & Function Bylaws


Article I 
Purpose: The purpose of the Membrane Structure and Function subgroup is to promote the interchange of information and. to foster the advance of knowledge pertaining to the biophysical properties of lipids, lipid assemblies, membrane proteins and lipid-protein interactions generally relevant to biological membranes and their assembly.

Article II 
Membership: Members of the Biophysical Society may join the Membrane Structure & Function subgroup; non-members of the Biophysical Society are welcome to attend Membrane Structure & Function subgroup symposia but are unable to join the Subgroup, serve as Officers of the Subgroup, or vote.

Article III

Dissolution: Membrane Structure & Function 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, 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 Membrane Structure & Function 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 members attending an Annual Meeting can transact Group business by a simple majority vote.

Article V 
Officers: The Subgroup will be operated by the Subgroup Chair, two previous Past-Chairs, Chair-Elect and a Secretary-Treasurer.

Duties of the Subgroup Chair are to organize and conduct Subgroup Meetings, to advise the Biophysical Society of the activities and needs of the Subgroup, to advise the Society on matters related to lipids and biomembranes, and to any other activities the Chair deems to be beneficial to the Subgroup and the Society.

Duties of the Past-Chairs and Chair-Elect are to advise the Subgroup Chair on the organization of Subgroup meetings, and other matters of interest to the Subgroup. The Secretary-Treasurer will maintain adequate records of membership and finances, and carry on necessary correspondence. The Secretary- Treasurer is a member of the Executive Committee.

The Subgroup Chair will serve as Chair-Elect immediately after election, then will serve as Chair for one year, beginning immediately following the Annual Meeting and continuing through the following Annual Meeting. There is a two-year term of office for the Secretary-Treasurer.

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 five Officers:  Subgroup Chair, two Past-Chairs, Chair-Elect, and Secretary-Treasurer. The Executive Committee shall have the 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 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. It is the intent of the Subgroup that the Chair shall rotate so as to represent fairly the different specialties within the membership.

Article VIII
Eligibility for Office: Only members of the Membrane Structure & Function may be candidates for offices. Members may not be elected to one office more than once every five years.

Article IX 
Elections: Elections will be held electronically up to two weeks prior to the Subgroup’s business meeting.  The candidate 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 Membrane Structure & Function 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.

Proposals for new or amended Bylaws shall be submitted to the Secretary-Treasurer for consideration at the Annual Meeting. Proposed amendments to the Bylaws may be placed on an electronic ballot by a majority vote at the Annual Meeting or at the discretion of the Chair.

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