UMB-BPS Student Chapter Holds Events for 2023 Biophysics Week

Written By: Juliet Obi, chapter president

The University of Maryland, Baltimore Biophysical Society (UMB-BPS) student chapter organized a series of events to mark the 2023 Biophysics Week, which was March 20-24.

As a lead up to Biophysics Week, we organized an outreach event to discuss coding in STEM with high school students enrolled in the UMB CURE Scholars program, which aims to provide middle and high school students in West Baltimore with competitive and rewarding research, health care, and STEM-related career opportunities. We taught the students about different protein modeling applications in drug design and how tools, such as the weather apps, rely on coding and modeling to make predictions.

To officially kick off the 2023 Biophysics Week, a coffee social was held in collaboration with the School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. To further promote the student chapter, we held a competition on Twitter called “We have a frame, let’s play a game.” Participants took pictures with a designed Biophysics Week photo frame and posted it to Twitter.  The participant with the highest number of likes received a gift card.

To wrap up Biophysics Week, we organized a computational biophysics lecture with two speakers, Dr. Wenbo Yu and Dr. Fabrizio Marinelli, who spoke on computational methods in molecular biophysics. Dr. Yu, a research assistant professor at the School of Pharmacy, gave a talk on different parametrization strategies of the CHARMM force field used in molecular dynamics simulations and how these strategies are employed in computer aided drug discovery. Dr. Marinelli, a staff scientist at the National Institutes of Health, spoke about the use of atomistic simulations and hydrogen-deuterium exchange-guided ensemble reweighting in elucidating the mechanism of action of a secondary active transporter of sodium and calcium ions.

The UMB-BPS e-board members thank all our chapter members and everyone who participated in the Biophysics Week events, and we look forward to organizing more of these events next year. Watch for our upcoming educational trivia event this month in collaboration with the UMB-AAPS student chapter. For any questions, collaborations or inquires on how to join our UMB-BPS student chapter, and follow us on Twitter @umb_bps to stay informed on all our activities.

Chapter Officers:

President: Juliet Obi
Vice President: Aarion Romany
Secretary: Ally Smith
Treasurer: Catherine Ladipo
Social Media Manager: Sheneil Black
Faculty Advisor: Daniel Deredge, PhD

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