Ph.D. Student Fabio Zegarra Receives Travel Award from Biophysical Society

Award Supports Travel to Society’s Annual Meeting in February

Fabio Zegarra, a third-year Ph.D. student in the University of Houston’s Department of Physics, is the winner of an Education Committee Travel Award from the Biophysical Society. The award provides travel support to attend the Biophysical Society's 60th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, California, February 27-March 2, 2016.

Biophysical SocietyRecipients of this competitive award, all of whom are students and postdoctoral fellows, are selected based on scientific merit. Each awardee will present their research during the meeting, will receive a travel grant, and will be recognized at a reception at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Zegarra will present a poster of his research entitled “The Combined Effect of Macromolecular Crowding and Chemical Interference on the Dynamics of Apoazurin Folding.” His advisor is Margaret Cheung, associate professor of physics in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Fabio Zegarra“I am studying the folding mechanism of apoazurin in an environment that mimics the interior of a cell,” Zegarra said. “My research is at the forefront of understanding protein folding in vivo under different conditions of chemical interference and macromolecular crowding.”

His long-term goal is to provide a realistic representation of the interior of a cell and to perform computational studies of protein folding in that environment.

According to the Society, the travel awards “recognize excellence in biophysics and promote greater interaction among biophysicists throughout the world.”

Students selected for this award must be members of the Biophysical Society and present an abstract in a poster or platform session at the Annual Meeting. The application process includes a letter of recommendation from their advisor as well as completion of questions related to their research project, including the long-range goal of the project and significance of the research.

The Biophysical Society, founded in 1958, is a professional, scientific society established to encourage development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics. Its 9,000 members are located throughout the U.S. and the world, where they teach and conduct research in colleges, universities, laboratories, government agencies, and industry.

- Kathy Major, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics