The Biophysics of Neural Systems (BPNS) Study Section reviews applications on signal transduction in nerve, muscle, and other excitable cells with the primary focus on the structure and function of the proteins and transducers themselves. This includes basic studies of subunit structure, molecular dynamics, gating and selectivity, and second-messenger cascades. It also reviews basic biophysical studies of excitable membranes and their components, structure/function studies of proteins of neurodegeneration, the biophysical integration of neural function, mathematical modeling, and computational studies. General approaches may include molecular and structural biology, pharmacology, biophysics, electrophysiology, protein chemistry, imaging and labeling techniques. Studies reviewed in BNPS emphasize investigation of fundamental molecular mechanisms at the structural level in a neuroscience context. Basic neuroscience and disease-relevant applications are both included.
The List of Reviewers lists all present, whether standing members or temporary, to provide the full scope of expertise present on that date. Lists are posted 30 days before the meeting and are tentative, pending any last minute changes.
The membership panel is a list of chartered members only.
- Signal transduction molecules in neurons, glia, muscle, and excitable cells; sensory transducers; neuromodulators; voltage-gated and ligand-gated ion channels; gap junctions and connexins.
- Pathogenic proteins, abnormally folded proteins and/or protein aggregates such as beta Alzheimer’s disease (amyloid, tau, alpha-synuclein), Parkinson’s disease (parkin, etc.), transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (prions), Huntington’s disease (huntingtin), and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (superoxide dismutase).
- In vivo and in vitro model systems/approaches include, tissue slice, and tissue culture studies; molecular function in transgenic cells, cell lines, oocytes, artificial lipid bilayers, and other expression systems.
- Structure and function relationships in neural proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and their complexes; structural biology, including tomographic, crystallographic, spectroscopic, and imaging studies; three-dimensional structural analysis, including subunit multimerization, neural protein folding and misfolding, assembly and aggregation, protein dynamics and protein-ligand interactions; molecular modeling; constructs altered through molecular genetic and chemical means.
- Neural protein interactions; local physical interactions; regulation of function; kinetics; microdomains; biophysics of membrane interfaces.
- Biophysical integration of neural function; quantitative modeling of neural function, such as synaptic integration and spike encoding; mathematical modeling at the cellular and molecular level; theoretical and computational approaches to neural membranes and proteins.
- Voltage dependence, ligand-gating, and ionic selectivity; including patch-clamp and whole-cell electrophysiology studies; activation, inactivation, pharmacology, and related aspects of molecular regulation.
- Coupling to second messenger pathways, including G-proteins and other enzymatic effectors; cyclic nucleotides and lipid metabolites, and Ca2+; relevant enzyme pathways [kinases, phosphatases, phospholipases].
Shared Interests and Overlaps
Neurotransporters, Receptors, Channels and Calcium Signaling (NTRC) – BPNS and NTRC have shared interest in receptors, transporters and ion channels. NTRC reviews applications that emphasize the function of transporters, receptors, and ion channels at the cellular or systems levels. BPNS reviews applications investigating the structure/function of transporters, receptors, and ion channels at the molecular and atomic level.
Biochemistry and Biophysics of Membranes Study Section (BBM) - BPNS and BBM share interest in the structure-function and computational studies of membranes and associated proteins and receptors; BPNS reviews applications with a neuroscience focus, whereas BBM reviews more of the non-neuroscience related structure-function applications
Molecular Neuropharmacology and Signaling (MNPS) – BPNS and MNPS share an interest in neuronal receptors and G proteins. MNPS reviews applications that emphasize the molecular neuropharmacology of receptors and G-proteins at more of a cellular or systems level. BPNS reviews applications focusing on the structure and function of receptors and G-proteins at the molecular and atomic structural level.
Drug Discovery for the Nervous System Study Section [DDNS] – BPNS reviews applications that emphasize the structure-function aspects of drug discovery, whereas DDNS reviews those that include medicinal chemistry, pharmacokinetics, and efficacy studies.
Molecular and Integrative Signal Transduction study section (MIST) - BPNS and MIST have shared interest in the structure-function studies of receptors, G proteins, calcium channel and signaling complexes. BPNS typically reviews applications with a neuroscience focus, whereas MIST reviews more of the non-neuroscience related structure-function applications.
Cellular and Molecular Biology of Neurodegeneration (CMND) BPNS and CMND have shared interest in proteins of neurodegeneration. CMND reviews applications that focus more on neurodegeneration at the cell or systems levels. BPNS reviews applications investigating the structure-function of proteins of neurodegeneration at the molecular and atomic structural level.
Biology of the Visual System (BVS) - BPNS and BVS share interest in phototransduction molecules. BVS reviews applications involving the phototransduction cascade. BPNS reviews applications addressing the structure/function of visual pigments and associated proteins and their biophysical properties.