IUPAB Task Force on Structural Biology


The Task Force on Structural Biology has been established to promote communication among researchers in structural biology, in particular X-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance and 3D electron microscopy. The aims of the task force are:

Capacity building in structural biology, particularly in developing countries
Dissemination of information by creating an on-line Bulletin Board
Organizing training programs for scientists in established laboratories, with local support for their stay by the host laboratory
Organizing workshops for researchers in developing regions in close collaboration with the IUPAB Task Force on Capacity Building & Education.
To maintain liaison with other Unions and the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) or other scientific organizations, with a view to cooperating in sponsoring joint conferences or participating in joint projects when need arises.

The names of renowned experts in the field, who are members of Council, include:

John Baenziger (Canada)

Erick Dufourc (France)

Juan Carmelo Gomez Fernandez (Spain)

Ch. Mohan Rao (India)

Zihe Rao (China)

Frances Separovic (Australia)

Trevor Sewell (South Africa)


The above Councillors will be members of the Task Force in Structural Biology.
Prof. Frances Separovic, Councillor of IUPAB, will act as Convenor of this Task Force. School of Chemistry. phone:+61 3 9035 7539 or 8344 2447. University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia. Email: fs@unimelb.edu.au  website: http://separovic.chemistry.unimelb.edu.au
The Task Force will arrange a workshop before the next Congress in 2019.
The Task Force will post regular progress reports for inclusion in IUPAB News.
The Task Force will engage in cooperative projects with other sister Unions and organizations such as IUBMB, IUCr, IUPAC, IUPAP and others.
The Task Force will assist the organizers of IUPAB Congresses in planning presentations in Structural Biology by nominating possible speakers and appropriate topics for Symposia and nominees for IUPAB awards.

Report on Task Force on Education & Capacity Building, from Professor M.A.K. (Bill) Williams, Convenor

Report on Activity to 2014

Much has gone on in the spirit of the education taskforce – workshops and support of conferences (See Reviews on Website and in IUPAB Updates). These events are coordinated and successfully run locally with IUPAB contributing financial support and the time of its members.

Successful Schools and Workshops have been funded to the following extent:

Brazil $10,000;  Czech Republic $5,000;   Bulgaria $6,000;  Serbia $3,000

Brazil $12,000;  China $3000;  India $3,000;  Portugal $5,000;  Russia $6,000;  Spain $9,000

Supporting the educational goals of Biophysics is central to IUPAB not just through the Taskforce. The “Taskforce” has contributed through providing aid to audiences with their investigation of Biophysics on the web, and by organizing Education sessions at Conferences.

A small “IUPAB” section was trialled on a New Zealand Biophysics website (www.biophysics.ac.nz). Biophysical Reviews was highlighted and links were provided to some interesting on-line resources, including a talk by Philip Nelson on Keeping the Physics in Biophysics and fascinating animations of biophysics in action at Molecular Movies.

IUPAB Education Committee

Two Education presentations and workshop discussions were held at the 2014 conference in Brisbane on August 5 and August 6.

Workshop 1: Tuesday 1:00pm – 2:00pm. Chair: Cristobal Dos Remedios

How to Make Progress in Medical Biophysics Research on a Limited Budget.

Cris demonstrated how freely-available internet websites can be used to identify the cellular and subcellular locations of a large number of proteins. He used the specific example of how FHL2 protein expression can be located in human heart muscle using the Human Protein Atlas (https://www.google.com.au/webhp?sourceid=chrome- instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=human+protein+atlas).

He then demonstrated how resources such as the tissue microarrays available at the Sydney Heart Bank website(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23856366 can be quickly accessed to determine if FHL2 expression changes in heart failure. Information about gene mutations, animal-specific isoforms and protein sequences and functions are available at the (http://www.expasy.org/).

For further information contact Cris by email: cris.dosremedios@sydney.edu.au.

Workshop 2: Wednesday 1:00pm – 2:00pm Chair: Martin (Bill) Williams

The Future of Biophysics

Bill discussed the fact that Biological physics has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years, and key to maintaining its success is its ability to attract not only students, but also new researchers, at all stages of their careers, into the field.

Informal discussions addressed: How do we inspire young scientists to take an interest in biophysics? What 10 Top-tips can we give Physicists embarking on studying Biology and Biologists embarking on studying Physics? How can freely available web resources be best used to educate both budding biophysicists and the general public? And How do we get the balance right between the breadth and depth of the physics and the biology?