Since 1981, the School has been introducing the students to various vantage points and aspects of the physics, chemistry and structure of biological and soft matter systems. One umbrella term to describe the School focus is molecular biophysics. The students and lecturers come from rather diverse scientific communities, as illustrated with the figure. The lecturers will describe related problems and discuss approaches to their solutions and the students will receive hands-on training in e.g. (check Workshops page):
- spectroscopies (NMR, EPR, FTIR, Raman…)
- microscopies (AFM, TEM, fluorescence techniques, super resolution…)
- diffraction methods
- computational solutions, modeling and simulations
- biochemical kinetics methods, electrophysiology methods etc…
The School is intended for young scientists (primarily Ph.D. students) at the beginning of their academic careers who are interested in the fundamental study of molecular biophysics: the structures of biomacromolecular, nucleic acid/protein complexes and assemblies (ribosomes, viruses, chromatin), quaternary protein structures; protein aggregation, conformational dynamics, folded and intrinsically disordered proteins, enzymatic activity—small molecule recognition, biomacromolecular interactions, bioenergetics and single molecule biophysics.
In addition to the School’s inherent role in the transfer of knowledge and ideas, we emphasize its catalytic role in arranging future research collaborations, joint projects, visits and postdoc positions – and friendships. Since the 11th Schools the attendance is about 70-80 Ph.D. students, from 20+ countries in Europe and some beyond. Usually 2/3 of the students presented the poster, of which about 20 give also a short talk. About 15-20 lecturers come mostly from Europe, but speakers beyond Europe have also participated.
The School, future and past
With the legacy of Prof. Pifat-Mrzljak in mind, it is the intention of the organizers to position this school as a biennial event, complementary to, rather than competing with, relevant international activities, e.g., the Regional Biophysics Conference or the EBSA Biophysics Course. Since 2014 the School was also coorganized as a training event for different COST Actions.
We remind that for more than 30 years, the school was chaired by the late Prof. Greta Pifat-Mrzljak, an eminent Croatian biophysicist and recipient of the American Biophysical Society’s Emily M. Gray Award, and is generally regarded as one of the best of its kind in Europe. Through the years, it has been attended by more than one thousand Ph.D. students and postdocs interested in becoming acquainted with the state-of-the-art in biophysics. The lecturers have always been of the highest quality, including top scientists in their respective disciplines and several Nobel laureates.