At Baltimore!

Hello to fellow biophysicists at Baltimore and those who are following the annual meeting through this blog and other platforms. This is my first post on the official Society blog – so I guess a bit of introduction is in order. I have been a Biophysical Society member since 2001 and attended (with three exceptions in San Antonio ’03, Baltimore ’07 and Long Beach ’08) all the meetings from San Francisco ’02 onwards. Needless to mention, the Biophysical Society annual meet is amongst my favorite  scientific conferences attend.

My research career has taken me in a few different directions – I started out investigating membrane protein conformational changes in anion transporters using kinetic and fluorescence methods. Thereafter I shifted to cell biology and development of fluorescent probes for in-situ real-time investigation of spatio-temporal regulation of cellular enzymes. Another shift (which involved physically continents) found me researching mechanosensitive ion channels using fluorescent microscopy techniques. Currently, I am employed in a small biotechnology company based out of San Diego developing novel platforms for low-noise ion channel current measurements and their application in various fields such as next-generation DNA sequencing. But, the underlying thread from all these diverse research endeavors has been the use of biophysical techniques, and hence the fact that I keep coming back to this annual meeting.

As expected, I am quite excited this year. This meeting is great not just for the science, but for the opportunity to meet up with numerous old acquaintances in the field (many of whom I had first met at the conference itself). And apart from the science and networking, this year there is the added incentive to cover the meeting from a blogger’s perspective.

So I shall also try to try to talk as much science as possible during the meeting through the blog here and through tweets from the account: @omespeak. (And do follow the hashtag #bps2011/#bps2011am for everything related to this year’s annual meeting)

[The only issue could be internet connectivity. Connection at my hotel, while free, is really very slow (serious déjà vu from dial-up modem days) and apparently wi-fi is not free and available only in certain areas at the convention center. Still, I will strive to bring as much coverage as possible.]

On to the subgroup meetings on Saturday.

PS: In non-science news, , I arrived in Baltimore this (Friday) evening, and followed the recommendation for  Pale St Ale House, conveniently located right opposite the convention center. As a craft-brew snob aficionado, and a home-brewer, I had to check out the place. The food was okay, but the beers were quite good – especially if you enjoy the understated style of British Pale Ales. The cask-conditioned Extra Special Bitter and the nitrogen-smooth pour of Coventry Ale are particularly recommended.


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