The Science Behind the Image Contest Winners: Fluorescent Muscles in Living C. elegans

The BPS Art of Science Image Contest took place again this year, during the 61st Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The image that won third place was submitted by Ryan Littlefield, assistant professor, Department of Biology, University of South Alabama. Littlefield took some time to provide information about the image and the science it represents.


How did you compose this image?

Usually these C. elegans worms move around quite vigorously.  I added muscimol to prevent muscle contraction.  I picked three different types of worms that appear red only, green only, and red and green (which appear mostly yellow) and mixed them together on a thin pad of agarose.  The worms in the image all happened to clump together, resulting in a nice demonstration of the different color patterns.  I collected Z-stacks for each of the fields of view on an Andor spinning disk confocal microscope.  Using ImageJ software, I then made projections for the images that included the body wall muscle of the worms and pair-wise stitching of about six different projections.

What do you love about this image? 

The juxtaposition of all three types of transgenic worms being next to each other was very striking. The image includes all the different regions of the worms in various orientations, shows many of the different muscle types in these worms, and shows how the muscle cells fit together.

What do you want viewers to see or think about when they view this image?

The striated myofibrils in these worms are beautifully organized along their lengths, and it naturally raises the question of how this organization is achieved. In addition, the different muscle types show the viewer that there is a lot of diversity along the length of these 1mm worms.

How does this image reflect your scientific research?

I am interested in how actin and myosin become organized into functional, contractile bundles. In particular, I am interested in how actin filament lengths are specified in striated muscle.  In these worms, I modified an isoform of muscle myosin and tropomodulin with fluorescent proteins (mCherry and GFP, respectively) to determine how thin filaments are organized within these muscles.

What are some real-world applications of your research?

Both the uniformity of and specific lengths of actin filaments are important components of muscle physiology. Misregulation of actin filament lengths may be important factor in diseases including cardio- and skeletal and myopathies.  In addition, muscle damage from extended spaceflight, sarcopenia from aging, and acute muscle injuries may be slowed or prevented by interventions that prevent actin filament lengths from changing.

How does your research apply to those who are not working in your specific field?

Striated myofibrils are a dramatic example of a dynamic, self-organizing biological system that is attuned to a specific function (contraction).  Similar mechanisms for functional self-organization may also be used for other contractile actomyosin bundles, such as stress fibers and contractile fibers in smooth muscle, and for other dynamic cytoskeletal systems, such as flagella and microtubules in the mitotic spindle.


The Science Behind the Image Contest Winners: Group II Intron Ribozyme

The BPS Art of Science Image Contest took place again this year, during the 61st Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The winning image was submitted by Giulia Palermo, a postdoctoral fellow in the group of J. Andrew McCammon at the University of California, San Diego. A team of three scientists composed the image:  Giulia Palermo created the original design, Amelia Palermo (ETH, Zurich) made the handmade painting, and Lorenzo Casalino (SISSA, Trieste) performed digital manipulation on the picture. Giulia Palermo took some time to provide information about the image and the science it represents.


With this picture we would like to send as the main message that Physics and Art try to interpret the beauty of Nature in different ways but there is a natural overlap between these disciplines, which could lead to wonderful discoveries and amazing beauty.

Group II intron ribozyme perform self-splicing reactions. In the picture, two scissors are used to represent this mechanism. What we like about this image is how a handmade painting could capture the fundamental aspects of the mechanistic action of the system. Besides the beauty of handmade painting, we enjoyed our teamwork and, fostered by the passion for this research, we have been motivated to submit this image to the Art of Science Image Contest.

This image has been inspired by the work we have done in the group of Prof. Alessandra Magistrato (SISSA, Trieste), in collaboration with Prof. Ursula Rothlisberger (EPFL), which resulted in the publication of our research in the Journal of American Chemical Society and in the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, while other equally exciting results are in preparation for publication. Below, we report details of our publications:

  1. Casalino, G. Palermo, U. Rothlisberger and A. Magistrato. Who Activates the Nucleophile in Ribozyme Catalysis? An Answer from the Splicing Mechanism of Group II Introns. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 1034.
  1. Casalino, G. Palermo, N. Abdurakhmonova, U. Rothlisberger and A. Magistrato. Development of Site-specific Mg-RNA Force Field Parameters: A Dream or Reality? Guidelines from Combined Molecular Dynamics and Quantum Mechanics Simulations. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2017, 13, 340–352.

My research exploits advanced computational methods – based on classical and quantum molecular dynamics (MD), novel cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) refinement – and their integration with experiments to unravel the function and improve biological applications of key protein/nucleic acids complexes directly responsible for gene regulation, with important therapeutic applications for cancer treatment and genetic diseases. As a next-generation computational biophysicist, I aim at going beyond the current limits of time scale and system size of biomolecular simulations, unraveling the function of increasingly realistic biological systems of extreme biological importance, contributing in their applications for effective translational research.

The World Health Organization reported that ~8.2 million citizens die each year for cancer, while genetic diseases affect millions of people. As such, the clarification of the fundamental mechanisms responsible of gene expression and of their therapeutic implications is of key urgency to society.  By using advanced computational methods and by their integration with experiments, I seek to unravel the function and improve applications of biological systems of extreme importance. My current interest – as a post-doc in McCammon’s lab at UCSD – is in the clarification of the mechanistic function of the CRISPR-Cas9 system via computational methods. Additionally, I am interested in long non-coding RNA, which regulates gene expression, and in intriguing protein/DNA systems, whose mechanistic function is at the basis of genetic inheritance.

“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.


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.”

2017 BPS Bridging Funds Travel Grant

In an effort to assist members in the current difficult funding situation, the Membership Committee is accepting applications for the Bridging Funds Travel Grant for the second year.


BPS understands that while some resources are limited, networking and staying up-to-date with current research is important to our members. This grant is designed to provide support to regular members who would normally attend the Annual Meeting, but cannot due to a temporary lack of funding. We encourage independent and principal investigators to apply for this travel grant to help alleviate some meeting costs.

Applicants must be 2017 members by the October 3, 2016 abstract deadline, presenting or senior author on an abstract submitted for the Annual Meeting, and must be actively seeking funding.

For more information about Bridging Funds and the other travel awards, visit the Travel Awards page.

Everything You Need to Know about BPS Travel Awards for the 2017 Annual Meeting

A month remains before the abstract and travel award deadlines for the Biophysical Society’s 61st Annual Meeting, being held in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 11-15, 2017. If you are a student, postdoc, early or mid-career scientist looking for a little extra funding to attend the Annual Meeting, be sure to apply for a BPS Travel Award. Check out the FAQ below to learn more about the application process.

What is the Travel Award application deadline?

October 5. Remember: You MUST submit an abstract by October 3 in order to be eligible for a Travel Award.

Can I submit any part of my application late?

No. ALL parts of your application are due by the October 5 deadline – including your letters of recommendation! Start asking your advisers for references now, and be sure to read each award’s description so you know exactly what is required.

I think I’m qualified for more than one award. Can I apply for multiple awards?

Yes, you can apply for multiple travel awards, as many as you are eligible for. However, you can only be selected to WIN one award.

 Oops! I forgot to submit my abstract by October 3. But I am going to submit a late abstract! Can I still apply for a Travel Award?

No. Only abstracts submitted by the regular abstract deadline (October 3) will be eligible for a Travel Award.

I am a co-author on an abstract, but not a presenting author. Can I apply for a Travel Award?

In most cases, no. For all Education, CID, and International awards, you MUST be a presenting author on the abstract. If you are not a presenting author, your abstract will be marked as ineligible. This also applies to CPOW awards for postdocs. For the mid-career CPOW award and the Bridging Funds, you must be a co-author or presenting author on a submitted abstract.

When will I find out if I won?
You will be notified on the outcome of your application via email by November 23. Be sure to check your spam folder if you don’t see the email.

My adviser would rather send the letter of recommendation directly to you. Where exactly should he/she send it?

Letters of recommendation can be emailed to All letters must be received by the October 5 deadline.

 I am not a US citizen, but I am still a minority researching in the US. Why can’t I apply for the CID Travel Award?

Because the CID Travel Awards are funded by an NIH grant, only US citizens or permanent US residents are eligible. Be sure to check out the Education or CPOW awards to see if you qualify.

I am currently a graduate student. However, by the time of the Annual Meeting I will be a postdoc. What award should I apply for?

You should apply for the awards that fits your career level as of October 5. In this case, you must apply as a graduate student.

I am no longer a student or a postdoc. Am I eligible for a Travel Award?

CID, CPOW, International Relations Committee travel awards and Bridging Funds are available for junior, senior, and/or mid-career scientists. Please check eligibility requirements online to see if you qualify for any of these awards.


Have additional questions? Please contact the Society Office at (240)-290-5600 or