Task Force on Education & Capacity Building

Last modified: February 9, 2015

The objectives of this task force are to develop educational resources in biophysics and to promote the development of biophysics in scientifically less developed countries – Africa being an area of particular importance.


(A) Optimizing How we Use the Web for Providing Educational Resources

(B) Optimizing Biophysics Development in Africa.”

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?


The Convenor of this Task Force is Associate Professor M.A.K. (Bill) Williams

Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University

Palmerston North, New Zealand

Email m.williams@massey.ac.nz

Website http://www.biophysics.ac.nz

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