Keynote Speakers

Adriaan Bax

National Institutes of Health


Adriaan (Ad) Bax is a Dutch-American molecular biophysicist. He was born in the Netherlands and conducted most of his PhD research under the mentorship of Ray Freeman at Oxford University. He currently is the Chief of the Section on Biophysical NMR Spectroscopy at the National Institutes of Health. Bax is a pioneer in the development of advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments for the study of structure and dynamics of isotopically enriched proteins. Much of his recent work focuses on folding and misfolding of proteins, related to amyloid diseases. In 2002 he was elected a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and in 2018 he was awarded the Welch Award in Chemistry.

Alana Ogata

University of Toronto


Alana Ogata joined the University of Toronto as an Assistant Professor in the summer of 2021 and is jointly appointed in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences at UTM. As an NSF GFRP fellow, Alana completed her PhD under Dr. Reginald Penner at UC Irvine focused on the development of simple and rapid biosensors based on polymer nanomaterials. Alana was then a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Joe Patterson at UC Irvine focused on studying the formation mechanisms of metal-organic frameworks by cryotransmission electron microscopy. Alana was then a NIH T32 postdoctoral fellow at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, under Dr. David Walt, leading COVID19 research using ultrasensitive protein assays to study SARS-CoV-2 antigens in patients, pediatrics, and vaccinated health care workers. Alana now leads a research program at UTM that aims to develop new analytical technologies using bioinspired nanomaterials for applications in disease diagnostics and solve challenges facing women’s health, and has been awarded the 2022 John Polanyi Prize in Chemistry and the Connaught New Researcher Award.

Gonca Erdemci-Tandogan

Western University


Dr. Gonca Erdemci-Tandogan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western University. Her research focuses on theoretical and computational biophysics with specific expertise in modelling mechanics of cells and tissues, and viruses. She received her Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Riverside, where she studied the physics of self-assembly of virus particles, specifically the role of the genome and membrane during viral assembly. After her Ph.D., she worked as a postdoctoral associate at Syracuse University, investigating the mechanisms underlying tissue and organ formation. She was then a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, where, in close collaborations with experimentalists, she continued to develop verifiable mathematical models and predictions to study the role of tissue mechanics on various embryonic developmental processes. Based on her contributions to the field she was selected as a Rising Star in Engineering in Health by Columbia University. In addition to research, she has been committed to increasing inclusiveness in science by organizing outreach programs, initiating groups for underrepresented scientists and a mentoring program.

Kresten Lindorff-Larsen

Københavns Universitet


Kresten Lindorff-Larsen trained as a biochemist at the University of Copenhagen and Carlsberg Laboratory, and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in 2004 under the supervision of Prof. Christopher M. Dobson. He then moved on to become an assistant professor in Copenhagen before joining D. E. Shaw Research in New York in 2007. He returned to Copenhagen in 2011, where he now serves as a Professor of Computational Protein Biophysics at the Linderstrøm-Lang Centre For Protein Science. He received the Danish Independent Research Councils’ Young Researchers’ Award in 2006, was a co-recipient of the 2009 Gordon Bell Prize and has received several prestigious grants including a Hallas-Møller stipend (2011), a Sapere Aude starting grant (2012), and most recently a Novo Nordisk Foundation challenge programme grant (2019), where he is the director of the PRISM (Protein Interactions and Stability in Medicine and Genomics) centre. Current research interests include developing and applying computational methods for studying the structure and dynamics of proteins, and the integration of biophysics and genomics research. 

Paul Cremer

Pennsylvania State University


Paul Cremer received his PhD in Chemistry from UC-Berkeley in 1996. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University from 1996 – 1998 before starting his independent career as an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University in 1998. He moved to Penn State University in 2013 where he is currently the J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Natural Science, Professor of Chemistry, and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The Cremer laboratory works at the crossroads of biological interfaces, nanomaterials, spectroscopy, and microfluidics. Biophysical and bioanalytical studies are tied together through the employment of lab-on-a-chip platforms which enable high throughput/low sample volume analysis. In particular, the Cremer laboratory explores the role that ions, osmolytes and small molecules play on the  properties of lipid membranes, polymers, intrinsically disordered proteins, as well as the association of native, folded protein structures. These studies have provided molecular level mechanistic information on the ability of ions from the Hofmeister and Irving Williams series to influence processes ranging from liquid-liquid phase separation to interfacial water structure reorganization.

Zoya Leonenko

University of Waterloo


Dr. Leonenko joined University of Waterloo in 2007 and leads a nanoscale biophysics research group which uses atomic force microscopy (AFM), Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) and other physical methods, such as surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and nanopore electrophysiology (BLM) to study biophysics of lipid membranes and membrane – protein interactions, applications of lipid membranes in bio-nanotechnology, molecular neuroscience and quantum biology.

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