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EPL Poster Awards 2017 of the DPG Biological Physics Divison

Thanks to the support of the European Physics Letters Journal, we were able to award also this year poster awards, consisting of a certifcate and 250 Euro award money each,  to young researchers of the Biological Physics Divison for their poster presentations! The awards were presented during the general assembly by the speaker oft the division Helmut Grubmüller. The participants of the poster sessions voted for their favourites and the winners are:

  • Delf Kah, Department of Physics, Biophysics Group, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen Nuremberg for his poster on "Contractile performance of cardiac tissues under synchronized mechanical and electrical stimulation"
  • Fabian Knoch, Condensed Matter Theory Group, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz for his poster on "Bridging the gap between atomistic simulations and experimental investigations of mechanical unfolding"
  • Christine Linne, Dynamics of Fluid and Biological Interfaces Group, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen for her poster on "Light-activated flagella dynamics of Chlamydomonas in contact with a surface"
  • Manuela Denz, Institute for X-Ray Physics, Georg August University Göttingen for her poster on "A time-resolved study of intermediate filament assembly"


EPL prize Delf Kah EPL prize Fabian Knoch EPL prize Christine Linne EPL prize Manuela Denz  

Delf Kah

Fabian Knoch Christine Linne Manuela Denz

EPL Poster Awards 2016 of the DPG Biological Physics Division

We are very happy to announce this year's poster prize winners and thank the EPL Journal, in particular the Executive Editor Dr. Graeme Watt (IOP Publishing), for their support! The prizes were elected during the poster sessions by the participants. The prizes were awarded by the chairman of the Biological Physics Section Helmut Grubmüller during the general assembly to:

Monday Poster Session

  • 1st prize: Alexander Ohmann, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge (UK) for his poster on "Influence of cholesterol tags on structural properties of artificial DNA nanopores": 350 Euro
  • 2nd prize: Christian Bächer, Biofluid Simulation and Modeling Group, University of Bayreuth (DE) for his poster on "Cross-flow migration of drug delivery agents in constricted blood flow": 115 Euro

Wednesday Poster Session

  • 1st prize: Nicolas Thewes, Saarland University Saarbrücken (DE) for his poster on "Stochastic binding of Staphylococcus aureus": 350 Euro
  • 2nd prize: Gabriele Straass, 3rd Physics Institute, Georg August University Göttingen (DE) for her poster on "Mechanical coupling between the cytoskeleton and the nucleus": 115 Eur
  • 2nd prize: Tobias Meinert, Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), University of Freiburg (DE) for his poster on "Confocal light-sheet microscopy - separation of ballistic and diffusive fluorescence photons": 115 Euro


EPL prize Alexander Ohmann EPL prize Christian Baecher EPL prize Nicolas Thewes EPL prize Gabriele Straass EPL prize Tobias Meinert

Alexander Ohmann

Christian Baecher Nicolas Thewes Gabriele Straass Tobias Meinert


EPL Poster Awards 2015 of the DPG Biological Physics Division

At the 79th annual meeting of the DPG in Berlin 2015, Europhysics Letters and the Biological Physics Division of the German Physical Society awarded four prizes for outstanding scientific achievements in the context of the poster sessions. The awards went to

  1. Ms. Mirjam Schürmann - 1st prize (PhD student with Jochen Guck at TU Dresden)
  2. Mr. Jakob Tómas Bullerjahn - 1st prize (PhD student with Klaus Kroy at Universität Leipzig)
  3. Mr. Simon Christoph Stein - 2nd prize (PhD student with Jörg Enderlein at Universität Göttingen)
  4. Ms. Julia Strübig - 2nd prize (PhD student with Hans-Günther at Universität Bremen)

... selected by the 2015 Poster Award Committee (Stefan Klumpp, David Zwicker, Alexander Rohrbach, Ulrich Schwarz, Holger Kress, Moritz Kreysing, Kristian Franze).

Present at the award ceremony during the general assembly of the DPG biological physics division were: Graeme Watt (IOP Publishing), Prof. Jochen Guck (EPL Editor), and Prof. Stefan Diez (Speaker of the Biological Physics Division).

EPL prize Mirjam Schürmann EPL prize Jakob Tomas Bullerjahn EPL prize Simon Christoph Stein EPL prize Julia Strübig

Mirjam Schürmann
(presented to coauthor Paul Müller) 

Jakob Tómas Bullerjahn Simon Christoph Stein Julia Strübig

Laudatio Mirjam Schürmann

In her poster "All-optical realization of optical diffraction tomography" Mirjam Schürmann demonstrated a holographic method to measure a 3D refractive index map of suspended cells by combining holographic phase microscopy with cell rotation in a dual-beam laser trap. In the future, this innovative method will provide a fast (marker-free) readout for changes in the state of a cell that complements more traditional approaches such as FACS. In addition to these technological advances, the poster of Mirjam was nicely designed and she explained it very well and with great enthusiasm. (Laudatio written by Ulrich Schwarz)

Laudatio Jakob Tómas Bullerjahn

A first price is awarded to Jakob Bullerjahn (poster title: Theory of rapid force spectroscopy) who presented a recently developed analytical theory which provides expressions for the rupture force distributions of single molecular bonds. The strength of molecular bonds can be measured with dynamic force spectroscopy by inducing bond rupture with external loading. At low loading rates, the rupture force distributions can be analyzed using Kramers’ theory of spontaneous unbinding. The limit of high loading rates can be modeled with molecular dynamics simulations. Starting from a rigorous probabilistic model of bond dynamics, Jakob Bullerjahn and co-workers developed a unified systematic theory for rupture force distributions which is valid for slow and fast loading rates. The comparison with Brownian dynamics simulations showed that the theory is also valid for intermediate loading rates apart from a narrow region close to a critical loading rate. This work provides a precise tool for analyzing a very wide range of force spectroscopy data. (Laudatio written by Holger Kress)

Laudatio Simon Christoph Stein

In his poster “Improvements for Stochastic Optical Fluctuation Imaging (SOFI): Sub-pixel super-resolution images with a conventional wide-fild microscope” Simon Christoph Stein presented an extension of an unconventional super-resolution imaging method. SOFI requires not more than fast image acquistion with a conventional wide-fild setup and the analysis of the intensity flctuations from a sample, which is labeled with blinking emitters. In his poster he presents a new approach for creating subpixel resolution, artifact-free images and which is straightforward to implement. The poster is clearly structured, catches the eyes of the viewers and presents results of excellent quality. Simon explained complex science very clearly, thus motivating the viewer to learn more about his ideas, which could have a great impact on imaging based biophysical research in the future. (Laudatio written by Alexander Rohrbach)

Laudatio Julia Strübig

A second price is awarded to Julia Strübig for her contribution "Lateral filopodial movement in fibroblasts on microcontact-printed substrates". The very well structured poster, which nicely summarized how filopodia initiation was investigated in fibroblasts cultured on micropatterned substrates, was clearly explained by the presenter. Filopodia motion and retrograde flow velocities were analyzed, and the effect of interfering with molecular myosin motors investigated. It was concluded that lateral filopodia velocities are coupled to retrograde flow, which provides a handle on how cells can control filopodia formation and thus directed cell migration. (Laudatio written by Kristian Franze)


EPL Poster Awards 2014 of the DPG Biological Physics Division

At the 78th annual meeting of the DPG in Dresden 2014, Europhysics Letters and the Biological Physics Division of the German Physical Society awarded four prizes for outstanding scientific achievements in the context of the poster sessions. The awards went to

  1. Dr. André Düselder - 1st prize (Postdoc with Christoph Schmidt at Universität Göttingen)
  2. Dr. Martin Schorb - 1st prize (Postdoc with John Briggs at EMBL Heidelberg)
  3. Dr. Karin John - 2nd prize (Group Leader at University Grenoble)
  4. Ms. Stephanie Möllmert - 2nd prize (PhD student with Jochen Guck at TU Dresden)

... selected by the 2014 Poster Award Committee (Karin John, Cornelia Monzel, Timo Betz, Ulrich Schwarz, Aurelien Roux, Michael Schlierf).

Present at the award ceremony during the general assembly of the DPG biological physics division were: Dr. Olivia Roche (IOP Publishing), Prof. Udo Seifert (outgoing EPL Editor), Prof. Jochen Guck (EPL Editor), and Prof. Stefan Diez (Speaker of the Biological Physics Division).

EPL prize André Düselder EPL prize Martin Schorb EPL prize Karin John EPL prize Stephanie Möllmert
André Düselder Martin Schorb Karin John Stephanie Möllmert

Laudatio André Düselder

André Düselder (Poster Title: Directionality of Single Kinesin-5 Cin8 Molecules is Mediated by the Tail Domains) showed beautiful data on Cin8p, a kinesin-5 of the yeast spindle that has a specific tail domain. He showed that this tail domain dictates a unique behavior of Cin8p, that can switch direction of movement along the microtubule very quickly. By the combination of molecular biology tools, cell imaging techniques and biophysical single molecule measurements, André has shown a great versatility to come up with this surprising conclusion.(Laudatio written by Aurelien Roux)

Laudatio Martin Schorb

To decipher the precise process of endocytosis in living cell, Martin Schorb (Poster Title: Time-resolved electron tomography reveals how the plasma membrane is reshaped during endocytosis) combined electron microscopy with fluorescently tagged proteins to retrospectively rearrange the temporal course from membrane invagination to scission events. To understand this process an immense amount of data had to be aligned and reconstructed. Martin presented this very complex reconstruction process in a very accessible way even for non-specialists. This interdisciplinary project gives an impressive detail on the molecular as well as the morphologically level and the technique itself may give a wealth of new insight into the process of endocytosis. (Laudatio written by Stefan Diez)

Laudatio Karin John

Karin John showed on her poster (Poster Title: Nonlinear elasticity of cross-linked networks) two formalisms to described elastic properties of semi-flexible filament networks. She was able to express the elasticity of the material from 1-a statistical derivative approach, expressing the local changes of the network, then integrating over the volume, and 2-from a classical material science approach, computing the strain field. Surprisingly, she obtained similar expressions in both formalisms, that allow for direct comparisons of the 2 formalisms. By this unique theoretical strategy, Karin has tight links between different formalisms that will be very useful in the future to compare experiments. (Laudatio written by Aurelien Roux)

Laudatio Stephanie Möllmert

The question of spinal cord regeneration is among of the most urgent medical challenges. Stephanie Möllmert (Poster Title: AFM-based indentation measurements of adult zebrafish spinal cord tissue) used the Zebrafish as model system to study the mechanically implications in this process using optical and atomic force microscopy. The spatial resolved stiffness maps showed locally variable stiffness that give rise to the hypothesis that neuronal growth is favored by increased substrate rigidity, which was already observed in the context of similar systems. Stephanie combined a beautiful and clearly structured poster with an excellent presentation of the subject. (Laudatio written by Stefan Diez)


EPL Poster Awards 2013 of the DPG Biological Physics Division

At the 77th annual meeting of the DPG in Regensburg 2013, Europhysics Letters (represented by its editor-in-chief Prof. Schreiber) and the Biological Physics Division of the German Physical Society awarded two presentation awards for outstanding scientific achievements in the context of the poster sessions. The awards went to

  1. Mrs. Lena Nolte (Master student in the research group of Prof. Thomas Huser at Universität Bielefeld)
  2. Mr. Christian Westendorf (MPI DS, Göttingen, working with Profs. Bodenschatz and Beta)
EPL prize Lena Nolte EPL prize Christian Westendorf
Lena Nolte Christian Westendorf

Laudatio Lena Nolte

The first award goes to Lena Nolte (Master student in the research group of Prof. Thomas Huser at Universität Bielefeld) for her contribution "Non-Invasive Imaging and Quality Assessment of Artificial Cartilage". Lena combined several optical techniques to analyze the cartilage without special preparation or labeling. She demonstrated how cartilage cells (chondrocytes) can be visualized by coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) and the extracellular matrix (ECM) using Second Harmonic Generation (SHG). Using these techniques, it was possible to reconstruct images of a size of up to 1.5 cm x 7.5 cmith a spatial resolution down to 1 micrometer. Furthermore, spontaneous Raman scattering was applied to obtain Raman spectra from specific points of interest. This provides molecular information about the cartilage composition within these specific regions. It is expected that the demonstrated multiphoton microscopy system will be a powerful device to also reveal similarities and differences between natural and artificial cartilage in the future. Lena's most appealing poster as well as her clear presentation explained the approach and results in an excellent manner.

Laudatio Christian Westendorf

The second award goes to Christian Westendorf (MPIDS, Göttingen) for a collaborative work between the groups of E. Bodenschatz (Göttingen) and C. Beta (Postdam). The contribution named "The actin cytoskeleton of chemotactic amoebae operates close to the onset of oscillations" reports on the re-arrangement of the actin cytoskeleton in Dictyostelium discoidum cells in the course of chemotaxis. Using laser-induced uncaging of cAMP, local and transient stimuli have been provided to the cells and their subsequent response was monitored via fluorescent actin. Depending on the repetition rate of stimulation, a quasi-resonant oscillation of actin towards the cell's plasma membrane was observed that is key for the cell's movement towards the stimulus. The experimental data was in favorable agreement with a delay-equation which captures the essential time scale of biochemical signaling cascades that link the cell's locomotion to the sensing of food sources. Not only the scientific contents of poster but also the presentation of the results were excellent and therefore deserved BP's second poster award at the DPG spring meeting 2013.


EPL Poster Awards 2012 of the DPG Biological Physics Division

At the 76th annual meeting of the DPG in Berlin 2012, Europhysics Letters (represented by Prof. Schreiber, on the first two photos in the middle) and the Biological Physics Division of the German Physical Society (represented by Prof. Schwarz, on the photos on the left) awarded three presentation awards for outstanding scientific achievements in the context of the poster sessions. The three recipients have been selected by three different committees, each comprising at least three experienced scientists. The awards went to

  1. Mr. Dr. Tihamer Geyer, research scientist at the University of the Saarland at Saarbrücken (Helms group)
  2. Mrs. Sarah Schwarz G. Henriques, PhD student from the University of Göttingen (Köster group)
  3. Mrs. Olivia Stiehl, diploma student from the University of Bayreuth (Weiss group)
EPL prize Tihamer Geyer EPL prize Sarah Schwarz G. Henriques EPL prize Olivia Stiehl
Tihamer Geyer Sarah Schwarz G. Henriques Olivia Stiehl

Laudatio Dr. Tihamer Geyer

The first award goes to Dr. Tihamer Geyer (Universität des Saarlandes at Saarbrücken) for his contribution "A coarse-grained model for protein backbone dynamics". In his poster, Dr. Tihamer Geyer presented a new conceptual approach to study protein folding by a coarse-grained (mesoscale) approach that can be mapped easily and reproducibly back and forth to atomistic models. The dynamics of the model includes all relevant conservative forces and also respects hydrodynamics via an implicit scheme. With this approach, protein folding can be studied over several length and time scales with reasonable computational effort. The poster as well as his presentation explained the approach and results in a very clear manner.

Laudatio Sarah Schwarz G. Henriques

The second award goes to Mrs. Sarah Schwarz G. Henriques (Göttingen University) for her contribution “Force generation in blood platelets". In this study, Sarah Schwarz G. Henriques measured the force generated by individual blood platelets – cells, which are important in blot clotting where they contract fibrin networks and thus help to seal wounds. While there have recently been a number of studies looking at the contraction of the entire fibrin gel with platelets inside, this is the first study where the force generation of individual platelets has been measured, using traction force microscopy and fluorescence microscopy. The result is surprising because platelets contract uniformly and not as a force dipole, as was previously assumed. This is an important study as it sheds light on fundamental aspects of a physiologically relevant process, which was aesthetically well presented as a poster and convincingly explained in person by the awardee.

Laudatio Olivia Stiehl

The third award goes to Mrs. Olivia Stiehl (diploma student in the research group of Prof. Matthias Weiss at Universität Bayreuth) for her contribution "Kinetics of DNA hairpin-loops in crowded and non-crowded fluids". Using a combination of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and fluorescence energy transfer, Olivia Stiehl investigated the kinetics of thermally induced DNA hairpin-loop fluctuations. Thereby, she paid particular attention to the influence of macromolecular crowding on the time constant of opening/closing of the DNA loops as well as on the fraction of open DNA loops. It is expected that an improved understanding of the kinetics of hairpin loops may help to improve, for instance, the efficiency of antisense drugs. Olivia Stiehl's most appealing poster as well as her clear presentation explained the approach and results in an excellent manner.
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