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BJ Paper of the Year Award

César A. Ramírez-Sarmiento is the recipient of the Biophysical Journal Paper of the Year Award for his article, “Differential Local Stability Governs the Metamorphic Fold Switch of Bacterial Virulence Factor RfaH.” Ramírez-Sarmiento is an assistant professor at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Institute for Biological and Medical Engineering, Santiago, Chile.

The Biophysical Journal presents this award to a young investigator for their excellent contribution to science published in the journal within the last year. Upon notification of the award, Dr. Ramírez-Sarmiento responded, “I am surprised and profoundly honored to receive this award from the Biophysical Journal, one of my favorite scientific journals. This award is a recognition of the amazing research performed by the students and postdocs who have opted to work alongside me, and to the trust of many international collaborators that have helped us putting our research forward.”

In this article the authors combine molecular dynamics and structural biology to unveil hotspots that differentially stabilize both inactive and active states of the protein RfaH. Their findings provide insights that will guide the design of inhibitors blocking RfaH action. The work was a collaboration with several authors: Pablo Galaz-Davison, José Alejandro Molina, Steve Silletti, Elizabeth A. Komives, Stefan H. Knauer, and Irina Artsimovitch.

This paper was nominated by Associate Editor Elizabeth Rhoades who chose it because “it addresses a very topical subject in the molecular basis of conformational switching in a chameleon domain in the RfaH protein. Classical biophysical approaches — HDXMS and NMR combined with MD simulations — are used to pinpoint the residues involved in stabilization of each of the structurally distinct inactive and active conformations of this domain and highlight the importance of dynamics in the function of this protein.”

The honor includes a monetary award and a plaque. In addition, Ramírez-Sarmiento will speak about his research as part of the Biophysical Journal Symposium, Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM EST, during the BPS Annual Meeting. 

Biophysicists Address COVID-19 Challenges
Submission deadline: December 15

COVID-19 treatments and vaccines rely on fundamental understanding of the complex viral apparatus, from the protein exterior to the RNA viral genome. Better mathematical analysis to understand the spread of infections and how many factors influence such disease spread is also needed. Biophysicists have been at the forefront of these multidisciplinary efforts, with research on the basic biophysical elements of the viral machinery, drug and vaccine design, infection analysis, and more.

Biophysical Journal invites original article contributions from scientists working to advance the understanding of all aspects of the COVID-19 disease and the SARS-CoV-2 virus on multiple scales, levels, and points of view using novel experimental, mathematical, statistical, and computational approaches.

The journal will publish a collection of articles received by the early deadline of September 15. A second collection of papers submitted by the December 15 deadline will then be published. All papers on this topic will also be collected into a virtual issue in 2021.

If you are interested in contributing or have questions about this special issue, please contact Tamar Schlick.

Editors: Tamar Schlick, Eric J. Sundberg, Susan J. Schroeder, M. Madan Babu

Note: Last chance to register for the Free BPS Symposium “Biophysicists Address COVID-19 Challenges,” on October 29 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM EDT.

Phase Separation in Nucleic Acid Biochemistry and
Signal Transduction

Submission deadline extended to November 1

The Biophysical Journal invites contributions that treat any aspect of the relevance of phase separation to biology. These could include new experimental results, critical reviews of the state of the field, guides to the design and interpretation of experiments, explorations of the basic principles underlying phase separation, qualitative and quantitative explorations of the consequences of phase separation for biology, or historical perspectives on the development of current models.

If you are interested in contributing or have questions about the special issue, please contact Jason Kahn.

Editors: Jason Kahn, Rohit Pappu, Edward Lemke

Teaching and Learning during COVID-19
Deadline for submissions: January 27, 2021

The Biophysicist, as the Biophysical Society open access journal of biophysics education, invites the submission of papers for a special issue on how COVID-19 has impacted and changed teaching and learning during the pandemic. Submissions can be made in all article categories: Research Articles, Reports, or contributions to the Student Forum. Please consult the journal for a recent example of a Research Article on a lab module for learning about virus assembly and an example of a Student Forum contribution on biophysics in isolation. 

The journal Editors welcome papers that address online teaching, virtual and hybrid labs, remote teaching tools, distance research, and adapting teaching modules for the science of COVID-19. In addition, we also encourage reports that describe biophysics educational materials that use COVID-19 as an example to highlight biophysical principles.

Research articles should address the novel pedagogical aspects of biophysics teaching as stated in our author guidelines.

If you are interested in contributing but have questions, contact Editor-in-Chief Sam Safran.

Biophysical Journal Symposium
For the first time, the BPS Annual Meeting will feature a symposium to highlight a sampling of the best science recently published in Biophysical Journal. Editor-in-Chief Jane Dyson along with Associate Editors have selected outstanding research on a range of subjects for presentation. Plan to attend this session Wednesday, February 24, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM EST, to hear about recent work from leaders in biophysics. 

Chair: Editor-in-Chief Jane Dyson, Scripps Research Institute, USA

X-ray Structural Analysis of Single Adult Cardiomyocytes: Tomographic Imaging and Microdiffraction
Marius Reichardt, Charlotte Neuhaus, Jan-David Nicolas, Marten Bernhardt, Karl Toischer, Tim Salditt

Different Vinculin Binding Sites Use the Same Mechanism to Regulate Directional Force Transduction
Carleen Kluger, Lukas Braun, Steffen M. Sedlak, Diana A. Pippig, Magnus S. Bauer, Ken Miller, Lukas F. Milles, Hermann E. Gaub, Viola Vogel

Dynamic Crowding Regulates Transcription
Anne R. Shim, Rikkert J. Nap, Kai Huang, Luay M. Almassalha, Hiroaki Matsuda, Vadim Backman, Igal Szleifer

Differential Local Stability Governs the Metamorphic Fold Switch of Bacterial Virulence Factor RfaH
Pablo Galaz-Davison, Jose Alejandro Molina, Steve Silletti, Elizabeth A. Komives, Stefan H. Knauer, Arina Artsimovitch, Cesar A. Ramirez-Sarmiento

Meet the Editors
Join the conversation with Editors of the Society’s journals: Biophysical JournalThe Biophysicist, and Biophysical Reports. These leading scientists will discuss their respective journals, explain why BPS journals are the best place for your work, and answer your questions about how to get your work published. Mark your calendar for Thursday, February 25, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST.

  Biophysics of Calcium: New Collection from Biophysical Journal
Biophysical Journal has released a new article collection, Biophysics of Calcium. 
Changes in intracellular Ca2+ is a pervasive phenomenon in biology that regulates such diverse physiological processes as muscle contraction, neurotransmitter and hormone release, and gene expression. Dysregulation of Ca2+ signaling underlies diseases including cardiac arrhythmias, diabetes, and neurological disorders. Unresolved questions regarding mechanisms underlying the spatio-temporal dynamics of Ca2+ signals, how they are decoded by cellular proteins, and how their dysregulation leads to disease are particularly amenable to biophysical experimental tools and analytical methods.Editor Henry Colecraft has selected a collection of papers from recent issues of Biophysical Journal dealing with the biophysics of calcium that span Ca2+ regulation of single ion channels to Ca2+-dependent disease processes in patients. 
View the entire library of BJ article collections.