Emerging Biotech Leader Olha Brovarets attends 63rd Biophysical Society Meeting in Baltimore

Olha Brovarets -Biophysical Society Mtg

Thousands of participants from around the world, from early career researchers to world renown scientists, hundreds of lectures and thousands of poster presentations on the latest research (some of which haven’t been published yet!) being done in different branches of biophysics, from molecular to cell, using state-of-the-art equipment and methods – experimental and theoretical, virtual and computations – all this was at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society that was held this year at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. The sponsors included ACS Omega, Beckman Coulter Life Sciences, Bruker Corporation, Chroma Technology, Hamamatsu Corporation, Journal of Cell Science, among others.

Many relevant topics in the field of biophysics were presented at the event, in particular the study of the structure and conformation of proteins; structure of membrane proteins; functions, cofactors and post-translational modifications of enzymes; research into medicinal products; the formation of proteins; chromatin and nucleotides; replication, recombination and DNA repair; physico-chemistry of membranes; structure of membranes; ion channels in membranes; the heart muscle; cell mechanics; membrane transporters; cellular signaling and metabolic interactions; molecular-dynamic calculations; calculation methods and bioinformatics; bioengineering; biosensors; spectroscopic research; spectroscopy of single molecules, and many and many others. More information about the research being done by the conference participants can be found in the special issue of the Biophysical Journal (2019, Volume 116, Issue 3, Supplement 1, Pages S1-580).

There were also sessions and workshops on Science Communications by AAAS, writing grants for the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation, the Brexit & Science: Consequences for Research Funding and Immigration Flows, Biophysical Education, How to Create Your Dream Career, Career Development Center Workshop and women in science.

There was also a Student Research Achievement Award (SRAA) Poster Competition), Biophysical Journal Editorial Board Dinner and Biophysical Society (BPS) Subgroups Meetings, New Member Welcome Coffee, Travel Awardee Reception, Awards and 2019 Biophysical Society Lecture, lecture by Carol Robinson, University of Oxford, UK, Biophysics Austria Meeting, the Biophysical Society of Canada Mixer, the Korean Biophysicists Meeting, the Society for Latinoamerican Biophysicists Meeting, Dinner Meet-Ups, as well as a presentation of activities within the framework of the Biophysical Week (March 25-29, 2019); BPS thematic meeting that will take place in France, Italy and Peru in 2019, and the 64 thAnnual Meeting of the Biophysical Society that will be held in San Diego, CA, on February 15-19, 2010. All the events were accessible via a special app: www.core-apps.com/dl/bpsevents.

Representatives of leading publications, science journals and books were also in attendance, including Springer Nature, Cell Press, AIP publishing, IOP Publishing, Journal of Biological Chemistry (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ASBMB), Royal Society Publishing, The Company of Biologist, The Journal of Physiology, Taylor and Francis, and others. BPS presented its new journal “The Biophysicist” (editor in chief: Prof. Samuel Safran, Weizmann Institute of Science), which it started publishing just this year.

There were demonstrations of state-of-the-art equipment costing from several hundred dollars to several hundred thousands dollars: spectroscopes (microscopes, lasers, cameras), crystallographs, fluorescents, electrophysiological, supplies and software for data analysis, imaging and biophysical studies from leading companies on the world market – DNASTAR Inc., Carl Zeiss Microscopy LLC, Nikon Instruments Inc, Bruker Corporation and many others.

I was overwhelmed by everything I saw and heard about the endless opportunities for realizing my scientific ideas. I was particularly impressed by the modern equipment presented by Biotek Instruments Inc. and Allen Institute for Cell Science that allows you to visualize a living cell and “peek” at the processes occurring in them.

I was also very excited to hear from one of the participants that not only had he read my publications, but he was citing my research in his own work.

I also learned about the BPS Ambassador Program and Networking event aimed to better represent the international BPS community, establish stronger bonds throughout the world and create a global network of BPS members who will serve as local Society resources in their specific countries. This inspired me to apply to these programs in order to become an Ambassador and also organize a one-day meeting with young Ukrainian scientists with the preliminary title “Advances in Biophysics.”

My dream to attend this conference and present the results of our research (Biophysical Journal, February 2019, P. 75a, 10.1016/j.bpj.2018.11.446) became a reality thanks to the support of the US–Ukraine Foundation Biotech Initiative and the Emerging Biotech Leaders Awards Program.

I am sincerely grateful to the members of the Ukrainian diaspora in the US, USUF Co-Founder Nadia K. McConnell, Biotech Initiative sponsor Irene Joseph, and USUF Chairman of the Board Ambassador Roman Popadiuk for their support of the biophysical sector in Ukraine and this unique opportunity to attend an international conference to mark Ukraine on the world map of fundamental science!

Let’s Challenge the World Together ♥♥♥

-Olha Brovarets