C6. Commission on Biological Physics

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Report to the Council and Chairs meeting of IUPAP
Mexico City
September 2001

Report from the Commission C6 " Biological Physics"

The main activity was connected with the 4th International Conference on Biological Physics in Kyoto, Japan, July 30 to August 3, 2001. There were a number of new topics not covered in former conferences. There were symposia on i) Physical aspects of structural biology, ii) Physical aspects of cell biology, iii)Biological physics of ion transport, iv) Molecular motors, v) Photobiology and energy transduction, vi) Biological physics in post genomic era, vii) Physical approach to evolution, viii) Physics of Brain as an open system of information, ix) Single molecule biological physics & innovative techniques, x) Nonlinear nonequilibrium physics in living matters and xi) Life as complex system.

At this conference the commission C6 had a meeting on July 30th. The minutes of this meeting are given in the following:

Minutes of the meeting of IUPAP Commission C6

The list of the Commission members attending the meeting:

Parak, Fritz G,            (Germany)      chair
Austin, Robert H         (USA)           vice chair
Ormos Pal                  (Hungary)      secretary
Bisch Paulo M.           (Brasil)
Blomberg Claas          (Sweden)
Go Nobuhiro              (Japan)
Goldbeter Albert         (Belgium)
Krupyanskii Yurii         (Russia)
Peyrard Michel            (France)
Saran Anvil                  (India)

The agenda:

Yzuru Husimi, Secretary General of the Local Organizing Committee reported on the Kyoto ICBP 2001 (July 30-August 3) conference. The main numbers of the Conference are the following: Number of participants: 677 ( 181 Students), from Japan 497, outside Japan 180. Support was given to 25 people from developing countries and to 47 invited speakers.

There were 619 contributions ( 5 plenary lectures, 10 symposium lectures, 52 invited lectures, 6 oral presentations and 546 posters)

In evaluating the conference, the members made several general conclusions: i) The organization of the Conference was excellent in every respect, the members of the Commission expressed their appreciation to the local organizers. ii) The number of participants increased significantly since the last conference in Santa Fe, 1998. The fact indicates the growing interest towards the new areas covered by biological physics. The specific conclusions concerning the topics, the development of biological physics should be made in later discussions, after the closing of the conference. The large number of participants from the host country demonstrates the importance to vary the location of the conference. iii) The size achieved at this stage can be regarded as optimal for some time. A further growth would completely change the style and seems not practical at present.

2. The Commission agreed and decided that the next Conference on Biological Physics will be held in Göteborg, Sweden. The date of the conference is planned for 2004. Chairman of the conference will be Leif Mattson. According to Dr. Mattson Dr. Mats Jonson from the Physics Department of the Chalmers University and Dr. Jan Rydstrom and Dr. Tore Vanngard from the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Göteborg University are willing to serve in the local organisation. The fact that Dr. Mattson is not a member of the Commission is not regarded as a problem. However, the Local Organizing Committee has to be widened by members to represent the whole biological physics community of Sweden (including Dr. Blomberg, a C6 Commission member). The International Program Committee should include the C6 Commission members automatically, additional international and national members should be added later. The precise topics of the conference will be decided later, after a thorough evaluation of the present Kyoto Conference.

3. In the present time, the availability of large scale facilities becomes more and more important for experimental biological physics. Dr. Parak reported on his activity in the IUPAP "Working Group on Facilities for Condensed Matter Physics (WGFCMP)" with the subgroup "International Commission on the Future of Neutron Sources (ICFNS)" Efforts are necessary to secure the access to neutron sources for basic science and experiments out of the mainstream. In general, the presently escalating genomics projects are expected to induce a boom (development, building) of light sources. The expected large number of routine applications will exert a high load on these facilities. A major task of the representatives of biological physics is to secure access to these instruments for projects in basic biological physics.

4. General task of the Commission is to increase the presence and activity in the member countries. The interactions with the national physical societies (which are the members of IUPAP) should be further improved. The Commission Home Page has been started and is active now. All Commission members have been asked to provide information and ideas to make it more efficient.

5. The commission nominated the following persons for the election into the new commission:

Ormos, Pál              (Hungary)      for Chair
Onuchic, Jose N      (USA)           for Vice Chair
Nienhaus, Gerd U.   (Germany)     for Secretary

Blomberg, Clas         (Sweden)
Krupyanskiy, Yurii    (Russia)
Wortis, Michael         (Canada)
Bisch, Paulo M.         (Brasil)
Goldbeter, Albert      (Belgium)
Husimi, Yzuru            (Japan)
Torre V.                    (Italy)
Yathindra N.              ( India)

For the places of the members: Peyrard Michel and Shen Xun new members will be nominated later by the Commission.

Pál Ormos (secretary) and Fritz Parak (Chairman) of C6

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