2024 Annual Meeting of the BSC

The 9th annual meeting of the Biophysical Society of Canada (BSC) will be held from May 21-24 2024, at the Université de Montréal, in Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Annual Meetings of the Biophysical Society of Canada

2024 BSC Meeting

Biophysical techniques and discoveries have revolutionized research and technological developments, allowing for the advancement of materials research, biotechnologies, biosensing, medicine, and pharmaceutical research. The annual meetings of the Biophysical Society of Canada provide a unique opportunity for students and researchers in academia and industry to learn about the most recent advances in Biophysics through invited lectures and student talks/posters, as well as exhibits by companies.

Register for our annual meeting to learn more about biophysics in Canada and worldwide. From membrane biophysics and lipids to biological nanostructures and emerging biophysical and nanotechnology tools, each conference boasts a great selection of keynote and invited speakers to provide attendees invaluable exposure to biophysical research and industry.

More information to come. Stay tuned!


BSC Speakers

Dr. Michael Woodside is a Professor of Physics at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, AB, Canada. He obtained Physics Specialist and Music Major degrees from the University of Toronto, ON, Canada, followed by a PhD in Physics from UC Berkeley, CA, USA, where he studied electron transport in nanostructures with scanned probe microscopy. He trained in single-molecule biophysics during a postdoc in the Biology Department at Stanford University before moving to Edmonton in 2006.

His research interests cover the intersection of physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine, centering on how individual biomolecules like proteins, DNA, and RNA self-assemble into complex structures. His work focuses on three themes: the fundamental physics of folding reactions, the relationship between folding and function in viral RNAs, and protein misfolding that causes disease. His work has led to new methods for measuring the energy landscapes that govern folding, insights into how viral RNA pseudoknots stimulate programmed ribosomal frameshifting, the first direct observation of misfolding in the proteins that cause “mad-cow” disease and ALS, and new approaches to probing the mechanism of action of drugs at the single-molecule level.

For his efforts, Dr. Woodside was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship — a first for the Faculty of Science and the first such honour for the University of Alberta in nearly 40 years. Dr. Woodside is a member of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology at the University of Alberta, as well as the Centre for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases.

Dr. Molly Shoichet completing her Ph.D in Polymer Science & Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA (1992), and was recruited to University of Toronto, ON, Canada after three years at CytoTherapeutics Inc. She is now the Michael E Charles Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto (a distinction held by less than 2% of the faculty), and has held the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering (2001-2020).

Dr. Shoichet is recognized as a world leader in the areas of polymer synthesis, biomaterials design and drug delivery in the nervous system and 3D hydrogel culture systems to model cancer. Due to her unique and interdisciplinary research program, Dr. Shoichet has been the recipient of 55 prestigious national and international awards and is the only person to be inducted into all three of Canada’s National Academies of Science of the Royal Society of Canada, Engineering and Health Sciences. Among her many awards she has received the order of Ontario (2011), North American Laureate for the L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science (2016), named foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering (2016), Killam Prize in Engineering (2017), inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada (2018), and elected to the UK Royal Society (2019). In 2020, Dr. Shoichet was awarded the NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal and won the Margolese National Brain Disorders Prize.

Professor Shoichet has published over 650 papers, patents, and abstracts, has given over 430 lectures worldwide and has trained over 220 scientists in the past 26 years. She currently leads a laboratory of 30 trainees and has founded four spin-off companies. She is also actively engaged in translational research and science outreach. In 2015, Dr. Shoichet launched a national social media initiative, Research2Reality, which shines a spotlight on Canadian research. She has also served as an inaugural member on the Science, Technology & Innovation Council and now serves on the Boards of Martinrea Inc, which is one of the largest tech incubators in North America.

Dr. Tamir Gonen obtained a PhD in Biological Science in 2002 from the University of Auckland, New Zealand for research with by Edward N. Baker and Joerg Kistler. Postdoctoral education was conducted at Harvard Medical School, MA, USA in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Walz from 2002 to 2005. He became an assistant Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine in 2005. He then became a group Leader at Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2011 where he began developing Microcrystal Electron Diffraction (MicroED) as a new method for structural biology. In 2017 Dr. Gonen moved his laboratory to the David Geffen School of Medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA as an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Professor of Biological Chemistry and Physiology, where he continues studying membrane protein structure and function using cryoEM and MicroED. With the microED, Dr. Gonen has pushed the boundaries of cryoEM and determined several previously unknown structures at resolutions better than 1Å. Dr. Gonen has authored more than 120 publications and several of his past trainees are now faculty around the world at top universities.

Dr. Gonen is member of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He received a Career Development Award from the American Diabetes Association and was an Early Career Scientist of HHMI. Dr. Gonen served on several study sections of the National Institutes of Health, and acted as ad hoc reviewer for several international funding agencies.

Dr. Pascale Legault received her PhD in Chemistry (option biophysics) from the University of Colorado at Boulder, CO, USA in 1995 and completed her post-doctoral studies at the University of Toronto, ON, Canada in 1998. She started her academic career in 2003 at the University of Georgia, in Athens, GA and after 5 years, moved to the Université de Montréal (UdeM), QC, Canada. She is currently Professor and Chair in the Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine Department at the UdeM and holds the UdeM Bristol-Myers Squibb Research Chair.

She has received several awards as a trainee as well as a faculty member, including a National Sciences Foundation Career Award and a Canada Research Chair in Structural Biology of RNA. Dr. Legault has made significant contributions in the general area of RNA structure and function, and her results have been consistently published in high-quality journals.

Dr. Legault’s laboratory is to address one of the key challenges of current biomedical sciences, which is to better understand the relationship between RNA structure and function as needed to exploit the potential of RNA for nanotechnology and biomedical applications. Using an integrative structural biology approach, Dr. Legault the two main research axes are 1) Structural, functional, and engineering studies of functional RNAs, including ribozymes and RNA viruses; 2) Functional and structural studies of the maturation of miRNAs associated with cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Gerhard Hummer studied physics at the University of Vienna, Austria. He received his PhD in 1992 for work at the University of Vienna, Austria, and the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany. He joined the Los Alamos National Laboratory (NM, USA), first as a postdoctoral fellow (1993-1996) and then as a group leader (1996-1999). In 1999, he moved to the National Institutes of Health (MD, USA), where he became Chief of the Theoretical Biophysics Section and Deputy Chief of the Laboratory of Chemical Physics, NIDDK. In 2013 he was appointed as scientific member and director at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt, Germany, where he heads the Department of Theoretical Biophysics. Since 2016, he is also Professor of Biophysics at the Goethe University in Frankfurt.

Dr. Hummer uses molecular simulations, integrative modeling and theory to study the structure, dynamics and function of biological systems at the molecular scale. Gerhard Hummer is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (2005), a Senior Fellow of the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (2015), a recipient of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics (2010), the Nancy Nossal Scientific Mentorship Award at the NIH (2010), and the ISQBP Award in Computational Biology (2022). He is an Elected Member of the German National Academy of Sciences

  • Dr. Filip Van Petegem | University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Arnold Mathijssen | University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Elitza Tocheva | University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Hans-Joachim Wieden | University of Manitoba
  • Dr. Eldon Emberly | Simon Fraser University
  • Dr. Gabor Balazsi | Stony Brook University
  • Dr. Anna Blakney | University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Gwynn Elfring | University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Lejla Zubcevic | University of Kansas
  • Dr. Danielle Tokarz | Saint Mary’s University
  • Dr. Francesca Vallese | Columbia University
  • Dr. Rachael (Ré) Mansbach’s | Concordia University
  • Dr. Gonca Erdemci-Tandogan | Western University
  • Dr. David Langelaan | Dalhousie University
  • Dr. Suzana K. Straus | University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Miranda Holmes-Cerfon | University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Nikki Weckman | University of Toronto