Carnegie Mellon University
November 24, 2020

Deserno Wins Thompson Award from Biophysical Society

By Jocelyn Duffy

Jocelyn Duffy
  • Associate Dean for Communications
  • 412-268-9982

Biological Physicist Markus Deserno has been awarded the 2021 Thomas E. Thompson Award from the Biophysical Society's Membrane Structure and Function Subgroup. He will receive the award at the virtual meeting of the Biophysical Society in February.

The Thompson Award recognizes an outstanding contribution in the field of membrane structure and function. Deserno was recognized for his use of theory and simple models to discover fundamental properties of membranes and his unique ability to connect abstract theoretical concepts to real-life functional processes.

A professor of physics and member of Carnegie Mellon's Biophysics Group, Deserno's work focuses on the physical problems that occur within the context of molecular cell biology. He develops coarse-grained simulations of cells' lipid membranes and the molecules that interact with those membranes to carry out vital processes. Through these simulations, Deserno has been able to explain a number of cellular processes, including dynamin-driven membrane fission and viral assembly.

"I am very honored to receive this award from the community I call my scientific home. I am also grateful for the many talented students and postdocs who have chosen to work with me over the years and whose brilliant research is also being recognized here," said Deserno.

The award celebrates the legacy of Thomas E. Thompson, a pioneer in the field of membrane structure and assembly, and a former president of the Biophysical Society and editor-in-chief of the Biophysical Journal.

Founded in 1958, the Biophysical Society leads the development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics through its meetings, publications and outreach activities. The Membrane Structure and Function Subgroup promotes and advances knowledge about the biophysical properties of lipids, membranes and membrane associated molecules, including membrane proteins.