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Margaret S. Cheung

Education and Positions: B.S. National Taiwan University, 1994; Ph.D. University of California, San Diego, 2003; Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Maryland, College Park, 2003 – 2006; Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Houston (UH), 2006 – 2012; Associate Professor of Physics, UH, 2012 – 2017; Professor of Physics, UH, 2017 – current; Senior Scientist and Outreach Director, Center for Theoretical Biological Physics, Rice University, 2012 – current; Structural Biologist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2020 – current; Faculty Fellow of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, 2020 – current.

Research Interests: Emergent protein assemblies in a cell; Principles for tuning target selectivity in signaling proteins; Molecular biophysics of learning and memory formation; Organization of protein-mediated actomyosin networks and cellular transport; Molecular design of artificial photosynthetic materials under extreme conditions

Honors and Awards: National Taiwan University Book Coupon Award, 1990 – 1991; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2003 – 2006; UH New Faculty Award, 2006; Texas Section of the American Physical Society (TSAPS), Robert S. Hyer Research Award, 2010; UH Excellence in Research and Scholarship (Assistant Professor), 2012; Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2013; UH Excellence in Research and Scholarship (Associate Professor), 2016; UH Moores Professorship, 2018; TSAPS, Robert S. Hyer Research Award, 2019.    

The Protein Society: Active Member since 1997

Service: Reviewer for funding agencies: National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and National Institutes of Health MSFD Study Section (2021); Associate Editor, Reviews of Modern Physics (2014 – present); Editorial Board, Biophysical Journal, (2018 – present); Guest Co-Editor, Current Opinions in Structural Biology - Folding and Binding, Vol. 66 (2021);  Founding Chair and Chair, Biopolymers in vivo Subgroup, Biophysical Society (2011 – 2012); Program Chair, Biopolymers in vivo Subgroup of the Biophysical Society Meeting (2016 – 2017); Member at large, Biopolymers in vivo Subgroup of the Biophysical Society Meeting (2018 – 2020);  Chair, Protein Folding Dynamics Gordon Research Conference (2020); Co-Organizer, National Science Foundation Virtual Workshop: Growing Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity for the Physics of Living Systems Student Research Network (2020); Member at large, Division of Biological Physics, American Physical Society (2010 – 2013); Chair line, Division of Biological Physics, American Physical Society (2020 – 2024).

Vision Statement: When I was a graduate student, my first experience attending a national conference was the Protein Society Annual Symposium in San Diego. I recalled that I enjoyed discussing protein sciences at the poster sessions with researchers from around the world. This experience has shown me how scientists from diverse expertise and backgrounds worked together to advance knowledge and solve challenging problems as a close-knit community while remaining open-minded for new ideas. As a protein-centered theorist, I have appreciated the synergies among experimentalists, theorists, and computational scientists who push the forefront of protein sciences from individual molecules to the emergent properties of proteins collectively working together. If elected, I will work to grow the Society membership by encouraging the participation of junior scientists and seeking the interest of established investigators from all over the world. I will promote our journal, Protein Science, to understand proteins across research areas in the broadest sense. I will work with the leadership of the Protein Society and make sure that the Society is viewed as a valuable community for all protein scientists by fostering diverse workshops and networking opportunities that are inclusive and equitable at the annual meetings.

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