Public Release: 

Biophysical Society names 2007 award recipients

Twelve members recognized for contributions to biophysics

Biophysical Society

Bethesda, MD -- The Biophysical Society is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2007 Society awards. The twelve recipients will receive their awards at the Biophysical Society's 51st Annual Meeting on Monday March 5, 2007 at the Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland. The awardees are:

Klaus Gawrisch, National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, will receive the Avanti Award in Lipids for his outstanding contributions to our understanding of lipid biophysics through groundbreaking work in the development of NMR techniques for characterization of lipid structure and dynamics, and for his seminal and influential contributions to the modern picture of highly unsaturated lipids. Dr. Gawrisch works as a mentor and collaborator for many junior investigators;

Ken A. Dill, University of California, San Francisco, will receive the Distinguished Service Award; for his long and continuous work on behalf of the Biophysical Society, and biophysics in general, that has ranged from service as president of the Society to his recent efforts as chair of the Public Affairs Committee;

John Steven Olson, Rice University, will receive the Emily M. Gray Award for his outstanding contributions to education in biophysics. He has had significant impact on many undergraduate and graduate students through teaching, mentoring, organizing programs between universities to promote biophysics training, and his ability to engage both scientists and non-scientists through his lectures;

Clara Franzini-Armstrong, University of Pennsylvania, will receive the Founders Award for her outstanding achievement in Biophysics by significantly contributing to our understanding of the excitation-coupling mechanism of striated muscles through her ultrastructural analyses of muscle, and the correlation of the structure with the physiological EC coupling mechanism;

Taekjip Ha, University of Illinois, will receive the Michael and Kate Barany Award for Young Investigators for his development and application of novel single molecule physical methods and techniques, and for his ground-breaking discoveries in the single molecule research field. Dr. Ha co-invented the single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer methods, and is well recognized for his work in manipulating single molecules to elevate their behavior and interactions;

Howard C. Berg, Harvard University, will receive the Single Molecule Award for his biophysical studies of single bacterial motors and other seminal contributions to this field; and;

Katlina Hristova, Johns Hopkins University, will receive the Margaret Oakley Dayhoff Award for her extraordinary and outstanding scientific achievements in Biophysics research, specifically, for her work on lipid bilayers and protein folding at bilayer surfaces, valuable for applications in biology and medicine. This award is given to a junior woman scientist of promise in the field of biophysics, who has not yet reached a position of high recognition within the structures of academic society. The award also honors he memory of Dr. Margaret Dayhoff, former President of the Biophysical Society, Professor of Biophysics at Georgetown University, and Director of Research at the National Biomedical Research Foundation.

In addition, five Biophysical Society members have been named to the 2007 class of Society Fellows. They are:

Steven G. Boxer, Stanford University, for his seminal contributions and advancement of the field of biophysics through his groundbreaking research in several areas: supported membranes, Stark effect spectroscopy of proteins, properties of autofluorescent proteins, and photosynthetic reaction centers. The impact of his research offers scientific progress, and has influenced theoretical and experimental researchers. Many prominent biophysicists from his lab have impacted industry and academia;

Maurizio Brunori, University of Rome, La Sapienza, for over 40 years of work in biochemistry and biophysics of metalloproteins and electron transfer reactions, with discoveries on the structure, function, evolution, and dynamics of heme proteins; and for his valiant efforts in bridging biophysics across nations;

William A. Cramer, Purdue University, for his enthusiastic contributions to the field of biophysics research and education, and his world renowned impact on the study of membrane protein structure and function, photosynthetic processes, and membrane transport;

Elliot L. Elson, Washington University, St. Louis, for his creative, pioneering, influential work in biophysics and for significantly extending our understanding of the dynamics of biological macromolecules, cells, and tissues; and for his development of novel techniques to study these systems. Dr. Elson has been committed to promote and spread new, innovative ideas and methods throughout the scientific world; and

George P. Hess, Cornell University, for his long and distinguished career in the application of biophysics in understanding biological processes, and the expansion of the field of biophysics through his research regarding the function and mechanism of protein-mediated reactions, by developing and then applying innovative techniques. Also, for his achievement in interdisciplinary research and educational activities influencing students and scientists at all levels.


The Biophysical Society, founded in 1956, is a professional, scientific society established to encourage development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics. The Society promotes growth in this expanding field through its annual meeting, monthly journal, and committee and outreach activities. Its nearly 8000 members are located throughout the U.S. and the world, where they teach and conduct research in colleges, universities, laboratories, government agencies, and industry. For more information on the society or the 2007 annual meeting, visit

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