As spring returned to the southeastern U.S., St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. provided the site of the first Symposium on Biomolecular Structure, Dynamics and Function, April 27-29, 2012. More than 140 attendees from California to Massachusetts gathered for three days of discussing biophysical approaches to understanding mechanistic questions in a wide variety of experimental systems. The event was one of the six local networking events sponsored by the Biophysical Society’s Membership Committee in 2012.
Over 30 talks were presented throughout the symposium, including two plenary lectures from Chuck Sanders, Vanderbilt University and Brenda Schulman, St. Jude along with a mix of other faculty, postdocs and students. Keeping talks short – 15-25 minutes apiece – allowed speakers to cover a diversity of biophysical methods integrated with biochemical, cell biological and chemical approaches. Discussions were vibrant and engaged, demonstrating the merits of coalescing attendees with a wide range of technical backgrounds, but a common interest in biophysics.
In addition, two evening poster sessions allowed an additional 70 participants to discuss their work with attendees. Combined with Saturday afternoon tours of Memphis and after-hour discussions that continued to nearby restaurants, the meeting provided many diverse and exciting options for networking among attendees.
On behalf of the organizers, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to our sponsors including the Biophysical Society, Agilent Technologies, Bruker BioSpin & AXS, and Cambridge Isotope Laboratories. Kudos also to St. Jude and an outstanding local committee who handled all of the site logistics for a smooth and fun weekend of discussing science!
– Kevin Gardner, BPS Member