BPS Networking Event in the Bluegrass State

Kentucky biophysicists share their research during a poster session.

The Bluegrass Molecular Biophysics Networking Symposium was held at the University of Kentucky on Friday May 11, 2012. Over eighty biophysicists and other interested scientists attended. Participants were faculty, postdocs and students from ten universities located in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri and Illinois, plus Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

The symposium featured three plenary talks. Seth Robia (Loyola University, Chicago) discussed his work on calcium pumps in contracting cardiac muscle cells. Andrew Herr (University of Cincinnati) presented his work on proteins involved in zinc-induced intercellular adhesion in Staphyloccocal biofilms. Finally, Jason DeRouchey (University of Kentucky) presented work on DNA condensation, including the role of protamines in packaging DNA in sperm. There were also four short talks given by postdocs and students. These were selected from abstracts submitted for the poster session and were presented by Keita Uchida (Washington University, St. Louis), Amanda Siegel (Indiana University School of Medicine), Marina Malovichko (University of Louisville), and Adrianne Norris (University of Tennessee).

The lunch and poster session, featuring 38 posters, provided participants time to discuss biophysics-related research in the region. This was also an excellent opportunity for participants to make connections with other scientists.

The symposium concluded with two concurrent workshops. One on applying for jobs as a PI was led by Kenneth Campbell (University of Kentucky) and Seth Robia (Loyola University, Chicago). The second, on funding opportunities for biophysical science at the National Science Foundation, was led by David Rockcliffe, a Program Director in the BIO Directorate at the NSF.

This symposium was funded by a BPS networking grant, plus support from the University of Kentucky’s Center for Structural Biology, Center for Muscle Biology, Office of the Vice-President for Research, and Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry.

Many thanks to all who attended and to those who helped make the symposium a success.

– Trevor Creamer, BPS Member

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