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Suzanne Scarlata


Lukas Tamm


Edward Egelman


Frances Separovic


Paul Axelsen


Olga Boudker

Jane Clarke

Bertrand Garcia-Moreno

Ruth Heidelberger

Kalina Hristova

Robert Nakamoto

Arthur Palmer

Gabriela Popescu

Joseph D. Puglisi

Michael Pusch

Erin Sheets

Joanna Swain

Biophysical Journal

Leslie Loew


Society Office

Ro Kampman

Executive Officer


Catie Curry

Beth Staehle

Ray Wolfe


Laura Phelan


Ellen Weiss

Public Affairs

Beth Staehle

Publisher's Forum


Biophysical Society Newsletter

(ISSN 0006-3495) is published

twelve times per year, January-

December, by the Biophysical

Society, 11400 Rockville Pike, Suite

800, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

Distributed to USA members

and other countries at no cost.

Canadian GST No. 898477062.

Postmaster: Send address changes

to Biophysical Society, 11400

Rockville Pike, Suite 800, Rockville,

MD 20852. Copyright © 2016 by

the Biophysical Society. Printed in

the United States of America.

All rights reserved.

President's Message

In the April newsletter, I wrote an article about ways to make more

funding available to researchers from The National Institutes of Health

(NIH) — although some ideas might be generalized to other agencies.

Here, I would like to summarize some of the responses that I’ve received

from you. Surprisingly, all of them were very positive. A few of you also

made additional comments that I would like to share with our member-

ship, and with NIH.

One member pointed out that when NIH makes its case to Congress for

funding, they should estimate the enormous amount of time and money

lost by scientists’ never-ending fights for funding. While I am sure that

they already do this, it might be nice to survey our membership for

estimates on their time spent writing grants versus doing research-related


Some investigators pointed out that NIH institutes do not clarify the nature of the science they

fund, but most of this confusion could be alleviated by calling program officers before working on a


There was a concern about the demographics of the Pioneer awardees in that at least half work at

Ivy League institutions and 90 percent work on either the East Coast or the West Coast. These

awards should be made available to all deserving scientists.

There were two ideas that many of you would like to see instituted.

1. Most would like to see the step cut-off (i.e., where all scores below a line are funded and all

above are not) eliminated. The general consensus is that tapering down the proposals that

are funded over at least 10 percentage points would be a good way to keep more investiga-

tors working in the lab rather than re-writing grants.

2. The idea of sunset funding is very appealing. Some older investigators are not ready for

retirement but don’t want to take funding away from young people. Keeping a senior lab

alive with only one technician or research associate would be a good solution. There were

several ideas of how to do this such as having a PI’s R01 extended over longer funding peri-

ods with decreased direct costs or having 4–5 year funds funding at a lower level.

If anyone has any other ideas, please send them to me at


Suzanne Scarlata

Jane Dyson

(Continued from page 1)

As part of her vision for the Journal, Dyson

intends to target turnaround times and attract-

ing submissions from new areas. She wants to

ensure efficiency and consistency in the review

and evaluation process across scientific areas,

and plans to continue the many excellent initia-

tives started by her predecessors.

“I am excited that Jane will become editor in

chief in 2017. The Society has been fortunate

to have had great editors leading BJ, and we are

continuing this tradition with Jane’s appoint-

ment. She will bring a new perspective and

thoughtful leadership at a time when scholarly

publishing is facing many changes and challeng-

es,” says Society President-Elect

Lukas Tamm