The Traveling Biophysicist

I struggle with good planning during conference meetings. We are only in a host city for a limited amount of time, and we are expected to not only engage in meaningful scientific discussion but also explore the surrounding community. This is my third time at a Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, and I do not yet have a solution.

As a simulationist, I of course find a good comparison between this problem and the one of the traveling salesperson. The traveling salesperson is the story of some unfortunate individual who, starting from home, is expected to go between a number of cities spaced out in a certain geometry and visit each city only once (hopefully making a sale) before returning home. This is directly relatable to our experience as conference attendees. Starting from the Ernest N. Morial Conference Center (or your hotel if you wish), you must not only work to your way to all posters, platform sessions, and symposia you’re interested in but also find your way to the most popular tourist destinations: Bourbon Street, Café du Monde, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome—how can you possibly manage this?

The problem presented by the traveling salesperson is one of note to computational scientists. It’s in the class of NP-complete problems, meaning that (in colloquial terms) this problem is very, very difficult and takes a lot of time to solve. Protein folding is another example of an NP-complete problem. To my students, I like to present a naïve (and classical) brute-force algorithm to fold proteins illustrating this point. You presume that you have a protein 100 amino acids in length, and you take the backbone phi and psi angles as the only interesting structural feature of this protein. Very ignorantly, you assume that each phi and psi angle can only adopt 3 possible conformations (a quite dramatic simplification). Excluding one phi and one psi angle from the termini, you can say that the protein therefore can adopt 3198 conformations. If your (somewhat old) computer takes 0.33×10-9 seconds to sample a single conformation, then you are expecting 2.8×1096 years of simulation time to go through all possible conformations. This is a very long time (much longer than the age of the current universe) and is therefore unthinkable to address computationally.

As biophysicists, we know that protein folding does not occur in a brute-force manner. Levinthal’s paradox, in a few words, stipulates that protein folding must be a directed and nonrandom process. In reality, proteins fold along a pathway driven by energetic and entropic demands. Likewise, there must be a way to direct our exploration of conformational space within the city of New Orleans—how can we minimize our travel along our trajectory through the city?

Despite the scientist in me wanting to construct an energetic function that considers my position and affinity to proximal points of interest, I know that I will not solve this problem during this year’s meeting. As the only alternative, I am more inclined to follow the fate of the randomly folding peptide, often at times making arbitrary choices out of sheer convenience. Yet, the desire within me remains to optimize my time and achieve true efficiency. Maybe next year.

Chris Lockhart

7 Things To Do In New Orleans Before You Leave: A Biophysicist’s Guide

We find ourselves immersed in New Orleans, Louisiana, an old city with an abundance of history. As our time remaining at the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting 2017 dwindles, it’s important to ask ourselves what local experiences we’ve missed. Maybe it’s just me, but as a tourist I have an eternal struggle to find authentic experiences. But according to the Atlantic, authentic experiences don’t exist. Among many reasons, they cite the “traveler quantum effect” in causing this: because we are tourists, the mere fact of our being results in inauthenticity. Once we accept this, we can shrug off any doubts about experiencing “true” New Orleans, and we can focus on simply having fun. Here’s a list of 7 arguably “fun” activities to do after a day at the convention center.

1. Walk Along the Mississippi River
The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is situated right next to the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk. When you’re done with the day’s sessions, enter the mall and continue walking north until you exit the mall again. Continue north along the choppy waters of the Mississippi. Along the way, you’ll be pleasantly serenaded by street music and will eventually find the Steamboat Natchez (which offers a dinner jazz cruise). Once you see Jackson Square on your left, stop.

2. Beignets at Café du Monde
You’re at the river. Before crossing Decatur Street to get to Jackson Square, you’ll find Café du Monde. This locale is known for its beignets and café au lait. Sadly, I attempted to visit the café Sunday morning but was beset by an incredibly long line. If you brave the wait, when you receive your beignet, you can ponder about the ratio of sugar to bread. How much is enough? Hopefully the answer you’ll find is similar to the answer I arrived at during previous visits to New Orleans: there is never enough. If you’re besmitten by the beignets, you can even buy the mix for home use!

3. Pirate Alley
After crossing Decatur Street and making your way through Jackson Square, you should turn left at the cathedral and then immediately right into Pirate Alley. I won’t distract you with the historical details, but this quaint alley is also one of the most allegedly haunted in New Orleans. As you walk through the alley and contemplate the existence of ghosts, be sure to stop at Pirates Alley Café.

4. See the Dueling Pianists at Pat O’Brien’s
Once through Pirate Alley, turn left onto Royal Street and then right onto St. Peter Street. On the left you’ll find Pat O’Brien’s, known for their dueling pianos and hurricane cocktail. Sunday evening I found myself at Pat O’Brien’s and quickly lost myself in the music. As one of the pianists belted out the lyric to the Eagles’ song “Hotel California” that “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”, I checked my watch and realized that too much time had passed. Beware: Pat O’Brien’s resists the flow of time.

5. Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Once sufficiently sated by piano renditions of the golden oldies, you can walk just up St. Peter Street to the Preservation Hall. Every evening at 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm they put on a performance featuring the world-renowned Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Tickets cost $15 per person and are first-come first-served (you must wait in line before the performance). The music is boisterous jazz from another era that shouldn’t be missed. If you have time, I definitely recommend going.

6. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar
Once you exit Preservation Hall, continue up St. Peters Street and then turn right on Bourbon Street. Walk 3 or 4 blocks and then you’ll find Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar on the left. This bar is quite old (built between 1722 and 1732) and is claimed to be the oldest bar in the United States. Interestingly, the bar is lit by candles, which give it a very mellow atmosphere.

7. Frenchman Street
After Lafitte’s, continue along Bourbon Street until it becomes Pauger Street and then take a right on Dauphine Street. You’ll walk two blocks and then be on Frenchman, which is acclaimed for its jazz and nightlife. I will leave you to explore on your own here. When you’re done, order an Uber back to your hotel rather than taking the long walk back. Why not?

You will notice that this route avoids the heart of Bourbon Street. If you want to subject yourself to Bourbon Street crowds (see my previous post), I recommend stopping by the Musical Legends Park with its jazz at night. There is also a cocktail bar called the 21st Amendment—my favorite bar in the city—just off Bourbon Street on Iberville Street that has good late night jazz. If you have some time in the morning, I recommend trying brunch at the Court of Two Sisters, which operates from 9am-3pm. Finally, if you wish to mobilize yourself, I recommend taking a ride on the streetcar through the Garden District and appreciating the gorgeous buildings you’ll see along the way.

Chris Lockhart

“Keep Going”: a take home inspiration from Graduate Student Breakfast

Eating breakfast and getting inspired? That’s the best possible start of the day for a graduate student. Two panelists at the Graduate Student Breakfast, Dr. Jeanne  Small from Quantum Northwest and Dr. Hugo Sanabria from Clemson University shared their inspiring life stories that many of us could relate to.

“Keep going, because science needs you” was one message resonated over and over again during the entire breakfast session and even later, on my head.

It was an excellent opportunity for the graduate students to share their questions and concerns with two senior scientists and seeking advice. Questions were about recovering from frustration, work- life balance, plans after graduation and many more. Both the panelists emphasized on finding passion in ones’ own research, it’s hard to make a real change otherwise. “If you don’t have passion for your research, you are not doing it right”, said Dr. Sanabria.

Dr. Small shared her experience of pursuing her graduate studies and academic career as a Professor against all the odds which was very motivational, specially for young female scientists. She also epitomized how she used   her parental skills to her class while teaching and later, on her career at her own company. Every skill set that you develop can be utilized in many ways -was her message towards us.

After the session, few of us had a chance to talk to Dr. Small and to me, that was the best part. An Iranian student shared her frustration in the changed situation for past few weeks. It was heart wrenching to all of us. Besides all the pressure of graduate research life and uncertainty about next career goal, this extra tension must be unbearable to those, who are going through it right now.

“No matter what, keep going, because science needs you, we need you” was Dr. Smalls’ compassionate response to her and to all of us. And that was the most inspiring conversion I was part of   in this BPS till now.

Later on, I went to a platform talk that I have been planning to attend since the beginning. But to everyone’s surprise, the presenter was someone else, the PI of the student who was originally planning to present. But she could not come because of her Iranian passport and traveling from outside USA.She canceled her flight during the executive order and did not feel welcomed to book it again. But that could not bar her excellent work to be presented at the BPS. It was another vibe of Dr. Smalls’ message ” No matter what, keep going, because science needs you” , to me.

This BPS has been very reassuring to me as an international student. I feel welcomed again after a while. I now know, I will keep going, no matter what.


Bourbon Street and Macromolecular Crowding

On Saturday evening a parade—the Krewe du Vieux—bore its way through the French Quarter, featuring a menagerie of individuals dressed in a wide array of colorful outfits. In particular, the Krewe du Vieux is known for its satirical element, taking on politics with a rather heavy dose of absurdity. Of course, as is to be expected for any sort of Mardi Gras event, the streets were lined with eager observers. But crowds are no stranger to the French Quarter: anyone who has walked down Bourbon Street at night can attest to the dense thicket that inevitably grounds movement to a halt in some places. To the layperson, these crowds represent something crossed between a delight and a nuisance. To a biophysicist, these crowds provide a particularly interesting case study—what can we learn about biophysics from observing the crowds of Bourbon Street?

With crowds comes disorder and ultimately, in New Orleans particularly, debauchery. It’s no secret that excessive macromolecular crowding has potentially deleterious effects on proteins, resulting in their misfolding and loss of native function. Here, at least in part, I’m talking about amyloidogenic diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Proteins (or peptides) such as Aβ, which are typically benign in isolation, can aggregate under high concentration conditions and form toxic plaques. This applies as well to many other proteins, which will aggregate and misfold beyond a certain critical macromolecular concentration.

The viscosity of the cellular milieu is noted in the Biophysical Journal Best of 2016 volume, which attendees of the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting 2017 received as part of their welcome materials bag. In the first article of this volume, Jennifer L. Ross wrote about the so-called “dark matter” of biology—components within the cell that are difficult to measure yet have potentially profound effects. Along this vein, we must remember that biomolecules do not exist in isolation. To some degree, crowding effects within the cell are tolerated and can even help a protein collapse into its native state. As Dr. Ross surmises, in some fashion cells may even be able to exert control over local crowding. Chaperones, for instance, allow some degree of control as misfolded proteins are able to be reconfigured back into their native conformations.

The topic of crowding is covered several times over the course of this year’s meeting. For instance, on Tuesday at 12:10 PM in room 206/207, Jeanne Stachowiak will be discussing the impact of membrane-protein crowding on spontaneous membrane fission events, and a poster by Niraja Kedia on Monday will present research into the effect of crowding agents on Aβ oligomer structure. If your interest is piqued, consult this year’s program, and you’ll be happy to find that there are many other platforms and posters relevant to this topic.

As a final word, I recommend that you embrace the opportunity to extract comparisons between the vibrant city around us and biophysics. Whether gazing upon the Mississippi River and dreaming of fluid dynamics (a bit on the nose?), channeling yourself from one side of the city to another across the transport machinery that is the New Orleans streetcar, or dreaming of a crowded cellular environment while amidst the throes of people stumbling down Bourbon Street, there exist parallels between macro- and microscopic life. Go out, explore, (be safe), and have fun.

Chris Lockhart

Cardinal Directions of New Orleans

Hello Everyone!

I thought I’d stat off blogging with a little lighthearted information about New Orleans.  I was fortunate enough to spend some time working in Bill Wimley’s lab at Tulane a few years ago and I got used to how to orient myself in NOLA.  For those people visiting for the first time please note that it’s a little funny to describe directions as: North, South, East, and West.  Local directions are as such:

Downtown (where you are likely currently)

Uptown (Where the beautiful Audobon Park is located among many other sights)

Lakeside (Towards Lake Pontchartrain and, in my opinion, very good seafood restaurants)


Riverside (Towards the Mississippi, scenic views, riverboat tours and outdoor places to relax)

Hopefully this provides you with a little bit of orientation and ability to interact with the residents of NOLA to determine where you want to go!



Introducing the 2017 BPS Annual Meeting Bloggers

Once again, we are lucky to have several meeting attendees serving as Guest Bloggers during the upcoming 61st BPS Annual Meeting.   These individuals will be coming to New Orleans from around the world and with a variety of research backgrounds and experiences.  They will be providing you with their take on the Meeting’s events throughout the week. Please check back regularly to see what is going on-we are so lucky to have them!

pictureforbpsblogellenaveryEllen Avery is a master’s student in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She specializes in the field of cardiac electrophysiology under the supervision of Dr. Shetuan Zhang. This is her first time at the BPS annual meeting, and she looks forward to meeting other biophysics enthusiasts that share her love of cardiac ion channels. She is excited to attend the networking and career development events in search of advice, as she anticipates searching for PhD supervisors and planning for a career in biophysics.

Outside of the lab, Ellen loves staying active by going to spin class, running outside, and walking her dog, Penny. Ellen has been known to run outside in the dead of winter, in Canada, so you can bet she’ll be getting outside and taking full advantage of the warm New Orleans weather while at the BPS meeting! Ellen also loves music and has played the flute for 12 years, so she hopes to hunt down some jazzy tunes on Bourbon Street while in town. Stay tuned for posts about food related adventures as well—as an avid foodie, Ellen plans to eat her way through the Big Easy one bowl of gumbo at a time.

Ellen is presenting at the Ion Channels, Pharmacology and Disease II poster session on Wednesday, February 15th, between 2:45 and 3:45 pm in Hall B2-C. She encourages blog readers to drop by her poster and keep her company!

David Bunck
is a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology with Prof. davidbunckJames Heath. He is working on developing small molecules that rationally perturb the energy landscape of target proteins. He is excited to attend BPS 2017 for the great conversations at the poster session that range gritty experimental details to broader perspectives on a range of fields. On the swag circuit, he is looking forward to the Thor Labs and Avanti Polar Lipids T-shirts. Krewe du Vieux, Bourbon Street, and the World War II museum are also on the top of his list to visit.

David will be giving a talk on Monday, 13 February at 10:00 AM (Room 208/209) in the Protein Stability, Folding, and Chaperones II Platform session on modulating the folding landscape of superoxide dismutase 1, a protein implicated in Lou Gehrig’s disease. You can follow him on Twitter @dnbunck.

gumpperGreetings! I am Kristyn Gumpper, a 5th year PhD Candidate in Biomedical Sciences at The Ohio State University. My research interests lie in cell physiology, specifically in the transport of cytoplasmic vesicles driven by TRIM family proteins. My goal is to be a Professor of Biology at a liberal arts institution, similar to my undergraduate school, Allegheny College. I am looking forward to a variety of things at the BPS Annual Meeting including: the application of new and emerging methods, networking with potential employers, presenting my research during the poster competition, and colleagues, and learning how I can be successful in the next stages of my career, amongst other things. I am extremely excited that this meeting is in New Orleans, LA because it is a chance for me to visit a new and historical city while also engaging in high-quality scientific discussions. Staying in the French Quarter, although a little walk away from the conference, will allow me a chance to experience the local culture and, of course, the food. I look forward to trying real Cajun cuisine. I just hope it is not too spicy! Although I am traveling to “N’Awlins” for the science, I hope I will have time to take at least one historical tour while I am here!

My name is Chitrak Gupta and I am a graduate student studying structural biology, biomolecular simulation and data science at West Virginia University.  BPS provides me the opportunity to discuss my research with scientists with different areas of expertise. Last two BPS meetings has been extremely fruitful in this regard, and I am looking forward to another exciting BPS annual meeting. Additionally, being a guest blogger for BPS is an excellent opportunity for me to showcase my writing skills and communicate with a broader audience.  I was a guest blogger for BPS 2015 and 2016 Annual Meetings. My blogs from the previous meetings can be found at the following link

I am expecting this BPS meeting to be extremely busy for me. However, I am a foodie and enjoy trying out different cuisines.  I also love to travel. This BPS would be my first time at New Orleans, and I am hoping to find some time for local sightseeing. Definitely want to see the National WWII Museum.

I am scheduled to present my poster on Tuesday, February 14th, from 2:45 to 3:45 PM.

herneisen_alMy name is Alice Herneisen and I am a senior undergraduate student at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, double majoring in biology and chemistry. I intend to pursue graduate studies in biophysics and structural biology. (In fact, I’ll be coming to the Annual Meeting directly after two interviews!) My current research uses EPR spectroscopy to investigate the structure and dynamics a membrane protein, influenza A M2. The M2 protein has a surprising array of functions encoded in its short, 97-residue sequence. While many biophysical studies have investigated the transmembrane and membrane-proximal region of M2, less is known about the conformation and dynamics of the remaining residues of the C-terminal cytoplasmic tail. I will present a poster on our research, which has characterized a part of this region at the residue-specific level.

This is my first time to the Annual Meeting – actually, it’s my first academic conference! I do have the good fortune to attend the meeting with two other undergraduates who also work in the lab. I attend a liberal arts college, so I look forward to meeting graduate students, faculty, independent researchers, and of course other undergraduate students. I also intend to take advantage of the networking opportunities offered at this year’s Meeting. This is a big meeting for me – there will be more attendees than the entire student population at my school – so I hope that this blog will encourage me to try new things and reflect on my experiences.

I will be presenting a poster, Site-Directed Spin-Labeling EPR Spectroscopy of the Cytoplasmic Tail of Influenza A M2, at the Undergraduate Mixer and Poster Fest from 4-5 PM on Saturday, Feb. 11, and as a part of the Membrane Protein Structures II session from 11:30-12:30 on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

When I am not in the lab, I like to play ultimate Frisbee! I even have an alter ego team nickname.

iwanickiMartin Iwanicki is a third year PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is studying protein design and engineering.  This is his first Biophysical Society Meeting, so he is excited to participate in the meeting both as a poster presenter and as a blogger. At BPS17, he is looking forward to attending the symposia, learning about new topics within biophysics, and meeting other scientists/graduate students. During his free time, he hopes to check out the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, the National WWII Museum, eat delicious food, and also, try to catch some pre-Mardi Gras festivities! His sister recently visited New Orleans and has given him a to-do list of what restaurants to try out every night (don’t worry – he’ll make sure to include what he eats in his blog posts for all you foodies).  Outside of science, Martin enjoys playing piano and flute, spending time with his recently adopted kittens (the cutest kittens in the world), traveling, eating new food, and kayaking. Martin will be presenting a poster on Monday, February 13, from 2:45-3:45 PM. Please stop by and visit!


jahanMerina Jahan is a fourth year Graduate Student at the University of South Carolina. Her research work focuses on Molecular modeling of biomaterials for advanced drug delivery and biosensing. She has been working on designing aptamers and polymers with a statistical thermodynamic approach. She is looking forward to learn about new advancements in computational drug design and molecular modeling in this meeting. She also plans to attend the sessions related to Career development.

She loves traveling. Her favorite time of the year is mid-fall with beautiful colors everywhere when she could have a long drive across the magnificently and vibrantly colorful Blue Ridge Mountains. She also loves to eat, specially Bangladeshi cuisine – food from her homeland. And being a food lover, she also likes to cook, but her food does not get “a soul” like they do at home.

This is the second BPS meeting for Merina and she is even more excited this time to have New Orleans, the city of Mardi Gras as the venue. She wants to walk around the famous Bourbon Street and the Jackson Square during her stay at the meeting. She will also look out for restaurants to try the local cuisine.

Merina has a presentation in the “Computational Methods and Bio-informatics” session titling “Molecular design of a nanoparticle-polymer conjugated drug delivery system for PD-166793 in cardiovascular repair”   on February 12 Sunday at 5.15pm.

chrislockhartChristopher Lockhart is a postdoctoral fellow at George Mason University, where he uses replica-exchange molecular dynamics simulations to probe the binding of the Alzheimer’s disease Aβ peptide to model lipid bilayers. At the Biophysical Society 61st Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Christopher is looking forward to interacting with other researchers who work in the field of biomolecular simulations and learning about how their simulations have been used to gain novel insight into biology—particularly amyloidogenic diseases. During his stay in New Orleans, aside from participating in the conference, Christopher plans to engage in quintessential activities such as walking down Bourbon Street at night, eating beignets for breakfast at Café Du Monde, and asking the elusive question: “Why is Blue Dog blue?”

Christopher is presenting a poster on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 1:45 PM. This poster will investigate the difference in binding of the Aβ peptide to the zwitterionic DMPC bilayer with or without calcium salt and the anionic DMPS bilayer. During the meeting, you can keep up with Christopher by following him on Twitter @doclockh.

mittalMy name is Shriyaa Mittal.  I am a second year graduate student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I was a computer scientist but got blown away when I was first introduced to molecular biology and the Smith-Waterman algorithm in my bioinformatics class 4 years ago. Since then I have been working on the periphery of biophysics and now getting my PhD researching protein conformational dynamics via computational simulations. Apart from research, I paint (but do not draw) and have recently taken to learning Latin where I am the only graduate student in a class of freshmen and sophomores.

I will be giving a talk titled “Optimal Probes: An Efficient Method To Select DEER Distance Restraints Using Machine Learning” on February 14 (Tuesday), 11:45 AM at the Membrane Protein Dynamics Platform session.

prithviraj_nandigrami_photoMy name is  Prithviraj Nandigrami and I am a PhD candidate in biophysics at  Kent State University.  My specialty areas are physics, computational biophysics, statistical physics, and molecular dynamics simulations.  At the Meeting, I am most looking forward to the career fair, poster sessions, and all the talks relevant to my research area. I am also very much looking forward to networking with peers as well as experts in the field. I plan on defending my PhD Dissertation during Summer 2017. I am actively looking for Postdoctoral positions and believe this meeting will be great opportunity to find potential employers. I am presenting a poster on my work on Sunday, February 12, 1:45 – 3:45 PM. The title of my poster is: “Thermodynamic and kinetic representations of cooperative allosteric binding in calmodulin.”

I also plan on exploring downtown New Orleans and possibly going on a river cruise. I  want to visit local area attractions and explore Southern cuisine! This will be my first time in New Orleans!

When I am not in the lab, I like to swim, play racquetball, watch movies, listen to music.

ariane2Ariane Nunes-Alves is a PhD student at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, where she studies protein unfolding and ligand unbinding through molecular dynamics simulations. This is the second time she attends a BPS Annual Meeting. One of the things she enjoyed the most in her first time at BPS was the poster sessions, where she met new people and got in touch with new ideas. She is interested in learning more about ion channels and transporters, so she is looking forward for the Permeation and Transport subgroup meeting on Saturday and for the platform sessions about ion channels and transporters this year. At BPS17, she also expects to make contacts for a future postdoc position outside Brazil.

Ariane is scheduled to present her work ‘Weighted ensemble of pathways for ligand unbinding from T4 lysozyme’ in the Protein-Small Molecule Interactions platform session on Tuesday February 14th.

In New Orleans, Ariane is planning to visit the French quarter to see the old buildings and to walk along the famous Mississippi River.

Besides science, Ariane also enjoys coffee, wine, Greek sculptures, traveling, watching French movies and reading.

schifferMy name is Jamie Schiffer. I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment. My research focuses deciphering the roles of biological species and molecules in climate change based on atomic level insight from simulations. As a passionate writer and reader, I have found that integrating science, arts, and communication has helped me improve each of these skills individually. Outside of science and work, I enjoy cooking, frequenting breweries and wineries with friends and family, and teaching/practicing yoga.


weidemanHello Everyone!  My name is Gregory Wiedman.  I am a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Public Health Research Institute at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.  I study Peptides and short Oligonucleotides, specifically those generated by means of combinatorial chemistry.  I am attending the 61st Annual Biophysical Society Meeting to present my recent work on small molecule aptamers, and I will give a poster presentation during the Sunday evening poster session on Nucleic Acids.  Science outreach and bringing science to the public is especially important to me.  While in NOLA I hope to try to spend some time speaking to people and presenting outside of the conference.  I encourage everyone to do the same; don’t just leave your science back at the convention center but take it out with you wherever you go!  I hope to meet a lot of you at the conference and I’m sure that it will be a great opportunity to share our common excitement for biophysics!  If you’d like to keep in touch or keep updated with what I’m doing please feel free to follow my blog at: See you in New Orleans!  Cheers!  Greg





Eat like a local in New Orleans!

We asked 61st Annual Meeting attendees and Biophysical Society members who live in New Orleans for their favorite places to eat and the attractions you shouldn’t miss. See their recommendations below!


The Ruby Slipper Cafe
139 South Cortez Street
Monday-Friday 7am – 2pm
Saturday & Sunday 7am – 3pm

Willa Jean
611 O’Keefe Avenue
Daily 7am – 9pm

Manhattan Jack
4930 Prytania Street
Daily 6:30am – 6pm

Mother’s Restaurant
401 Poydras Street
Daily 7am – 10pm
“Can be busy but they turn it around quickly. Good southern breakfast.”


Landry’s Seafood
8000 Lakeshore Drive
Sunday-Thursday 11am – 9:30pm
Friday-Saturday 11am – 10:30pm

1330 Prytania Street
Monday-Friday 11am – 10pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am – 10pm
“Vegan cuisine.”

Cochon Butcher
930 Tchoupitoulas Street
Monday-Thursday 10am – 10pm
Friday-Saturday 10am – 11pm
Sunday 10am – 4pm
“Everyone will recommend this place, but it is a MUST. Gets very busy, so be flexible.”

St. James Cheese Company
641 Tchoupitoulas Street
Monday-Thursday 11am – 7pm
Friday-Saturday 11am – 9pm
Closed Sunday

Central Grocery & Deli
923 Decatur Street
Daily 9am – 5pm
“If you’ve got time, Central Grocery in the French Quarter for a muffaletta is a fixture.”


Doris Metropolitan
620 Chartres Street
Lunch: Friday-Sunday 12 noon – 2:30pm
Dinner: Daily 5:30pm – 10:30pm

Marcello’s Restaurant & Wine Bar
715 St. Charles Avenue
Monday-Friday 11:30am – 10pm
Saturday 5pm – 10pm
Closed Sunday

625 Chartres Street
Dinner: Monday-Thursday 5:30pm – 11pm
Friday-Saturday 5:30pm – 12 midnight
Sunday 5:30pm – 10pm
Brunch: Friday-Sunday 10:30am – 2:30pm

Paladar 511
511 Marigny Street
Dinner: Wednesday-Monday 5:30pm – 10pm
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10am – 2pm

Peche Seafood Grill
800 Magazine Street
Monday-Thursday 11am – 10pm
Friday-Saturday 11am – 11pm
Closed Sunday

1330 Prytania Street
Monday-Friday 11am – 10pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am – 10pm
“Vegan cuisine”

Emeril’s New Orleans
800 Tchoupitoulas Street
Lunch: Monday-Friday 11:30am – 2pm
Dinner: Daily 6pm – 10pm
“A classic treat, and while pricey, less expensive than many high end NOLA restaurants.”

Palace Café
605 Canal Street
Breakfast: Monday-Friday 8am – 11am
Lunch: Monday-Friday 11:30am – 2:30pm
Dinner: Daily 5:30pm – til
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10:30am – 2:30pm
“The little brother of Commander’s Palace and is good at accommodating groups with notice.”

Budget Eats

Stein’s Market and Deli
2207 Magazine Street
Tuesday-Friday 7am – 7pm
Saturday & Sunday 9am – 5pm
Closed Monday

Central Grocery & Deli
923 Decatur Street
Daily 9am – 5pm
“If you’ve got time, Central Grocery in the French Quarter for a muffaletta is a fixture.”

Felipe’s Mexican Taqueria
301 N. Peters Street
Sunday-Tuesday, Thursday 11am – 11pm
Wednesday 11am – 1am
Friday & Saturday 11am – 2am

The Company Burger
Girod Street at Rampart Street
Daily 11am – 10pm

Verti Marte
1201 Royal Street
Daily 24 hours

Dat Dog
601 Frenchmen Street
Sunday-Tuesday 11am – 12am
Friday & Saturday 11am – 3am

Mint Modern Vietnamese
5100 Freret Street
Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday 11am – 9pm
Friday & Saturday 11am – 10pm
Closed Monday

Coop’s Place
1109 Decatur Street
Daily 11am – til
“Be ready to wait in a line, but there’s a line for a reason.”

Can’t Miss Attractions

City Park & Sculpture Garden
1 Palm Drive
Large urban park featuring botanical gardens, open-air sculpture garden, and antique wooden carousel.

Café du Monde
800 Decatur Street
Daily 24 hours
Famous coffee and beignets

Lake Pontchartrain

Frenchmen Street
The live music capital of New Orleans

Royal Street
Epicenter of local art

Magazine Street
Shopping, architecture, and museums

St. Louis Cathedral
615 Pere Antoine Alley
Historic church

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
Washington Avenue & Prytania Street
Monday-Friday 7am – 2:30pm
Saturday 7am – 12 noon
Historic cemetery with above ground crypts

Krewe de Vieux parade
French Quarter
Saturday, February 11, 6:30pm
“It is the kickoff of the Carnival season in NOLA and the only parade that gets to go through the French Quarter. Not for the faint of heart.”

NOLA Brewery
3001 Tchoupitoulas Street
Daily 8am – 5pm

Hot Tin Rooftop Bar
in the Pontchartrain Hotel
2031 St. Charles Avenue
Monday-Thursday 4pm – 12 midnight
Friday & Saturday 2pm – 2am
Sunday 2pm – 12 midnight
“The recently renovated Pontchartrain Hotel was a historical hangout for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ernest Hemingway, and Tennessee Williams. The new rooftop bar offers one of the best views of the city.”