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.

Motility & Cytoskeleton

The mission of the Motility and Cytoskeleton Subgroup is to understand the basic mechanisms that underlie motility and contractility of biological systems. These processes are ultimately the result of molecular motors or contractile filaments that convert chemical energy stored in ATP/GTP into mechanical energy that drives, for example, cell motility, cytokinesis and muscle contraction. The structure and function of the motor families myosin, kinesin and dynein, and the cytoskeletal filaments F-actin and microtubules are frequent subgroup topics at the annual meetings. Areas of focus also include the regulatory proteins that control the activity of motors and the cytoskeleton.

Join the Motility & Cytoskeleton Subgroup


In order to join the Motility & Cytoskeleton Subgroup, you must be a member of the Society.

Sophie Dumont, Co-Chair (2024-2025)

Radhika Subramanian, Co-Chair (2024-2025)

Ekaterina Grishchuk, Co-Chair-Elect (2024-2025)

Brett Colson, Co-Chair-Elect (2024-2025)

2024 Stuart Campbell Yale University
  Sarah Heissler Ohio State University
2023 Ken'ya Furuta National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan
  Marija Zanic Vanderbilt University
2022 Anthony Cammarato Johns Hopkins
  Melissa Gardner University of Minnesota
2021 Sanford (Sandy) Bernstein San Diego State University
  Kenneth S. Campbell University of Kentucky
2020 Michael Previs University of Vermont
  Ahmet Yildiz University of California, Berkeley
2019 William Hancock Pennsylvania State University
  Neil Kad University of Kent, UK
2018 Carolyn Moores University of London, Birbeck College
  Kristen Verhey University of Michigan
2017 Erika Holzbaur University of Pennsylvania
  Joe Muretta University of Minnesota
2016 Arne Gennerich Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  Charles Sindelar Yale University
2015  Samantha Harris  University of Arizona
   Jeffrey R. Moore  Boston University
2014 Stefan Diez &  Technical University of Dresden, Germany 
  Samara Reck-Peterson  Harvard University 
2013 Mihaly Kovacs &  Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary
  Christopher Yengo Pennsylvania State University
2012 Ronald Rock & University of Chicago
  William Hancock Pennsylvania State University
2011 Jennifer Ross & University of Massachusetts
  Christoph Schmidt Georg August University, Denmark
2010 Susan Gilbert &  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  Kenneth Taylor Florida State University
2009 Peter Knight & University of Leeds, UK
  Sarah Rice Northwestern University
2008 Piotr Fajar & Florida State University
  Roger Craig University of Massachusetts Medical School
2007 Josh Baker & University of Nevada
  Enirque M. De La Cruz Yale University
2006 Roberto Dominguez  Boston Biomedical Research Institute
  & Anne Houdusse Institut Curie
2005 Kazuhiro Oiwa & National Institute for Information & Communication Technology
  Steven Rosenfeld University of Alabama, Birmingham
2004 Steven M. Block & Stanford University
  Emil Reisler University of California, Los Angeles
2003 E. Michael Ostap & University of Pennsylvania
  Claudia Veigel University of York, UK
2002 David Hackney & Carnegie Mellon University
  Thomas Irving Illinois Institute of Technology
2001 Christopher Berger University of Vermont
  & Justin Molloy University of York, UK
2000 Hank Granzier Washington State University
1999 P.B. Chase & University of Washington
  L. Tobacman University of Iowa
1998 Christine Cremo & Washington State University
  Jonathon Howard University of Washington
1997 Avril Somlyo & University of Virginia
  Albert Wang Boston Biomedical Research Institute
1996 H. Lee Sweeney & University of Pennsylvania
  Kuan Wang University of Texas
1995 Kathleen Trybus & Brandeis University
  Leepo Yu National Institutes of Health
1994 Bob Godt & Medical College of Georgia
  Mary Reedy Duke University
1993 Terence Tao & Boston Biomedical Research Institute
  Michael Walsh University of Calgary
1992 Joseph Chalovich & East Carolina University
  David Warshaw University of Vermont
1991 Bernhard Brenner & University of Ulm
  Kathleen G. Morgan Harvard Medical School
1990 Kristine E. Kamm  University of Texas, South Western Medical Center
1989 James R. Sellers & National Institutes of Health
  Howard D. White Eastern Virginia Medical School
1988 Roger Craig & University of Massachusetts
  Frederic Fay University of Massachusetts
1987 Mike Reedy & Duke University
  Mark Schoenberg National Institutes of Health
1986 n/a  
1985 Richard L. Moss & University of Wisconsin
  Peter Vibert Brandeis University


2024 Symposium

Saturday, February 10, 2024
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania/p>

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2023 Symposium

Saturday, February 18, 2023
San Diego, California

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2022 Symposium

Saturday, February 19, 2022
San Francisco, California

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2021 Symposium

Saturday, February 22, 2021

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2020 Symposium

Saturday, February 15, 2020
San Diego, California

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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

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2013 Symposium

Saturday, February 2, 2013
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

View Program

2019 Michael Geeves  (University of Kent, UK)
Lessons from the Actin-myosin II Family; Docking, Mechanochemistry and Myopathies
2018 Wallace Marshall  (University of California, San Francisco)
Flagellar length control system: A paradigm for Organelle size regulartion
Professor E. Michael Ostap (University of Pennsylvania)
Molecular Characterization of a Membrane-Associated Cytoskeletal Motor Family 
James Spudich (Stanford University)
On the molecular basis of monogenic human hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathies
David M. Warshaw (University of Vermont)
Crossing the Bridge Between Muscle Contraction and Intracellular Cargo Transport
Ron Vale (University of California, San Francisco)
Motility mechanism of kinesin and dynein
Susan Gilbert (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York)
Kinesin-14: A league of their own
Kathleen M. Trybus (University of Vermont)
Building Complexity to Understand Myosin V Cargo Transport
Joe Howard (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany) 
Depolymerizing kinesins
Steven S. Rosenfeld (Columbia University, New York)
Motors, Movement, Malignancy and Metastasis
Kazuo Sutoh (Univ of Tokyo, Japan) 
The Old but Still Mysterious Motor Protein 
Roger Cooke (UCSF) 
A Random Walk through the Field of Motor Proteins 
Jim Sellers (NIH/NHLBI)
Touch your Toes! The Key to Myosin Regulation 
H. Lee Sweeney (Univ. of Penn) 
Myosin VI: A Kinesin Among Myosins 
John Kendrick-Jones (MRC)
Probing the Roles of Myosin VI in Membrane Dynamics and Transport Pathways in Cells 
Yale E. Goldman (Univ. of Penn)
Myosin Motors: The Original Smart Machines that Conserve Renewable 
Energy & Balance the Budget
Steven M. Block (Stanford Univ.)
E Pur Si Muove 
Edwin Taylor (Univ. of Chicago)
Theme and Variations 
Bob Simmons (Kings College, UK)
What Single Molecules are Trying to Tell Us 
Hugh Huxley (Brandeis Univ.)
Trying to Understand How Muscles Contract 
Carolyn Cohen (Brandeis Univ.) 
Myosin and More 
Thomas Pollard (The Salk Inst for Biological Studies)
Can Kinetics and Mass Action Account for the Dynamics of the Actin Cytoskeleton? 
Ken Holmes (Max-Planck Inst)
How Myosin Works! 
Clara Franzini-Armstrong (Univ. of Penn)
Structural Basis of E-C Coupling 
Susan Lowey (Brandeis Univ.) 
Light Chains Revisited 
Henry Epstein (Baylor College of Medicine)
Critical Processes in Early Muscle Development 
Andrew Somlyo (Univ. of Virginia)
Excitation-Contraction Coupling, Contractile Regulation and the Cross-Bridge Cycle in Real Muscle 
Evening Speaker: Toshio Yanagida (Osaka Univ.) 
Subgroup Chairs: Joseph Chalovich (East Carolina Univ.) and David Warshaw (Univ. Vermont) 
K. Campbell (Univ. of Iowa) 
Function Aspects of Dystrophin 
Thomas Pollard (Johns Hopkins Univ.) 
New Functions for Cytoplasmic Contractile Proteins 
Ralph Yount (Washington State Univ.) 
Protein Psychiatry: Glimpse into the Heads of Myosin 
James Spudich (Stanford Univ.) 
Myosin Structure and Function Explored by in vitro Movement Assays and Molecular Genetics 
D.J. DeRosier, (Brandeis Univ.) 
Edward D. Korn (NIH) 
Structure-Function Studies on the Acanthamoeba Myosin Isoenzymes: Mini-myosins make Mini-Muscles 
I. Gibbons (Univ. of Hawaii)
The Role of Dynein ATPase in Microtubule-based Motility 

Year Winner Institution  
2024 Mary Elting  North Carolina State University  
2023 Scott Forth Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  
2022  Radhika Subramanian  Harvard University  
2021  Marija Zanic  Vanderbilt University  
2020 Richard McKenney University of California, Davis  

Motility and Cytoskeleton Bylaws

Article I
Purpose: The purpose of the Motility and Cytoskeleton Subgroup is to advance and disseminate knowledge regarding the molecular functions and mechanisms of the cellular cytoskeleton and its associated motile and non-motile proteins, and the role of motion-generating processes in cells, tissue and whole organ function.

Article II

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


Article III
Dissolution: The Motility and Cytoskeleton 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: The annual Motility and Cytoskeleton Subgroup meeting and business meeting will be held in connection with the Annual Biophysical Society Meeting. Five percent of the members of the Motility and Cytoskeleton 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.


Article V

Officers: The officers of the Subgroup will be two Subgroup Chairs and two Chairs-Elect. The Chairs-Elect shall serve as such for one year beginning immediately after the annual meeting in which they are elected and will serve as Chairs the following year. Duties of the Chairs include organizing and conducting the annual Motility Subgroup meeting, apprising the Biophysical Society of the activities and needs of the Subgroup, advising the Society on matters related to biological motility, promoting and overseeing the student research award (SRAA) competition, and participating in activities that benefit the Subgroup and Society. Only Motility and Cytoskeleton Subgroup members are eligible for election as officers.


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 four Officers. 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.

Article VIII

Awards: An awards committee consisting of a Chair selected by the Executive 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. The Awards Committee Chair will serve a two-year term.


Article IX

Elections: Elections will be held electronically up to two weeks prior to the Subgroup’s business meeting. The two nominees 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 By-Law Article VII of the Biophysical Society.


Article X
Amendments to the Bylaws: Amendments should arise from the members of the Motility and Cytoskeleton 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.