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By Jeffrey Carson (Vice-president/president-elect of BEMS) and Micaela Liberti (EBEA Council Member)

At BioEM 2009 in Davos, a total of 87 student papers were presented. Of the 87 papers, 21 were presented in the platform category and 66 were presented in the poster category. The total student paper count at BioEM 2009 represented a record number when compared to past BEMS or Joint BEMS/EBEA meetings (Fig. 1). Of particular significance was the dramatic increase in the number ofstudent papers at BioEM 2009 in Davos compared to BioEM 2005 in Dublin. Compared to BioEM 2005, the number of student papers increased by 32% at BioEM 2009.

Figure 1

Figure 1. Graph indicating year versus student participation at the BEMS (2006, 2007, 2008) and BEMS/EBEA joint meeting (2005, 2009)

The student award process was coordinated by Drs. Jeffrey Carson (BEMS representative) and Micaela Liberti (EBEA representative). The process began by identifying student papers in the technical program several weeks before the meeting. Each student paper was assigned to one of 6 subject areas: risk/epidemiology, human studies, medical applications, mechanisms, dosimetry, and in vitro/in vivo.

Figure 2

Figure 2. Breakdown of student papers by study area.

Prior to the start of BioEM 2009, Board and Council members from BEMS and EBEA, respectively, were provided student evaluation packages. Each package contained a list of 4 to 8 student presentations for evaluation grouped by subject area. Packages also contained score sheets used to evaluate each presentation. The evaluation sheets were closely scrutinized and approved by the BEMS Board and the EBEA Council prior to the meeting.

Each student paper was judged on a number of criteria including: quality of the presentation, scientific content, scientific quality, and ability to answer questions. Several questions were incorporated into the evaluation sheets to minimize the potential for issues related to judges being in conflict of interest with respect to the student presentation.

The evaluation packages were distributed by the Board and Council Members to qualified colleagues on the first day of BioEM 2009. Board and Council members also held back one or more packages so that they could participate as judges. The approach resulted in the participation participation of 86 judges in the student evaluation process. Furthermore, the approach to judge selection ensured that papers within each subject area were evaluated by meeting attendees with suitable expertise and qualifications. The participation by more than 80 expert judges from a multitude of disciplines and the use of standardized score sheets ensured that the student evaluations were performed to the best of each Society’s ability. As the meeting progressed and student presentations were evaluated, evaluation packages were returned and the score for each student from each judge was entered into a spreadsheet. Prior to the close of the meeting, scores for all student presentations were entered and validated. Validation was performed by Drs Carson and Liberti, acting co-chairs of BioEM 2009 Awards Committee. In total, 443 scores were received, which resulted in an average of five separate evaluations per student paper. The individual scores for each student were then averaged. The average scores were sorted from highest to lowest and the top four scores in each category (oral or poster) were used to assign the awards based on rank. The ranked list was further reviewed and validated by the Award Committees of EBEA and BEMS. The awards were then announced prior to the closing ceremony by Drs. Carson and Liberti. The winning students were welcomed on stage by the Technical Program Co-Chairs, Drs. Dariusz Leszczynski and Guglielmo D’Inzeo.

Each award consisted of a certificate and a cash prize $500 USD for first, $300 for second, $200 for second and $100 for fourth place.

Both EBEA and BEMS commend and thank the students who participated and presented research results at BioEM 2009 in Davos. The record number of student papers compared to previous meetings is a healthy sign that that the number of young researchers in bioelectromagnetics is growing. Everyone looks forward to seeing the students return to present new research results at future meetings.


First Place Platform Presentation:

Manuel Murbach, IT’IS Foundation, Zeughausstrasse 43, 8004 Zurich, Switzerland
Preceptor: Niels Kuster

Manuel Murbach
Preceptor: Niels Kuster

2nd Place Platform Presentation:

Marie-Christine Gosselin, IT’IS Foundation
Preceptor: Niels Kuster

2nd Place Poster Presentation:

Sven Kuehn, IT’IS Foundation
Preceptor: Niels Kuster

3rd Place Platform Presentation:

Michael Corbacio, Lawson Health Research Institute 268 Grosvenor St., London, Ontario
Preceptor: Alexandre Legros, Alex W. Thomas

3rd Place Poster Presentation:

Christian Beyer, ETZ K 87 , Zurich, 8092 , Switzerland
Preceptor: Ilian Jelesarov, Philipp Christen, Jürg Fröhlich

4th Place Platform Presentation:

Patrizia Frei, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at Swiss Tropical Institute Basel, Steinengraben 49, Basel, Switzerland CH-4051
Preceptor: Martin Röösli

4th Place Poster Presentation

Marie-Christine Gosselin, IT’IS Foundation
Preceptor: Niels Kuster

Michael Murphy Editor’s note: Michael Murphy assumed the presidency of BEMS during the recent Davos meeting. For those who are unfamiliar with Mike and his work, here is a short bio and vision statement from the 2008 ballot when he was elected to office.

Michael R. Murphy received a BS in psychology in 1967 from Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA, and a PhD in neuroscience from MIT, Cambridge, MA, in 1972. After a 2 year Postdoc at the Smithsonian Institution in ethology, he spent 8 years at the National Institute of Mental Health conducting original research in neuroethology. During his years working on animal behavior he was the author of two cover articles in Science and did field research in Syria, Israel, and Romania. In 1982, he returned to his home town for a position with the U.S. Air Force, first working on prophylactics/treatments for chemical warfare agents, and then moving to radio frequency biological effects in 1992. From 1994-2004, Mike was Chief of the USAF Radio Frequency Radiation Branch. In addition to RFR research communication, transition, and management, he directly contributed to research on the biological effects of millimeter waves and UWB/HPM/nano pulses. Mike is an author or coauthor of over 225 research publications, book chapters, abstracts, and technical reports. He served on the International Advisory Committee for the World Health Organization project on EMF for 10 years. He has chaired two multi-year, multi-national panels for the NATO Research and Technology Organization. He led his Branch in the organization of the 1999 NATO RFR Dosimetry meeting in Slovenia, the 2000 WHO EMF Project & ICNIRP meeting in San Antonio, ElectroMed 2003, an international meeting on non-thermal medical applications of EM Energy, and the 2004 Asia-Pacific EMF Conference in Bangkok. He negotiated the transfer of the ElectroMed group into a regular part of BEMS.

He is a member of the IEEE Society on the Socialis active in the IEEE International Committee for Electromagnetic Safety, for which he serves as International Liaison and Membership Committee Chair. Mike has been recipient of many awards from the USAF, the most prestigious of which has been the 2002 Air Force Science and Engineering Award for Exploratory or Advanced Technology Development. In 2003 he was the recipient of the IEEE Standards Board Medallion and the 2004 International Award. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Directed Energy Professional Society. In 1995, he conceived and initiated the Air Force Workshop in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society and organized and moderated this Sunday custom for 10 years. Mike is currently the Scientific Director, Directed Energy Bioeffects Division, where his purview includes both laser and RF bioeffects and protection.

Vision Statement

The Bioelectromagnetics Society is the world’s premier organization on the interaction of electromagnetic energy with biological systems and this status carries much responsibility. Our first responsibility is to uncompromising, high quality science and science communication. Beyond this foundation, we must pioneer a path between enabling safe new uses of electromagnetic energy and protecting society and the environment from the potential risks of such use. I view service as your president as an opportunity to meet these responsibilities and to give back to a society that has given so much to me. Some of my emphasis and goals during the next three years are:

  • Leadership: I will seek a broad range of members to volunteer to run and serve as officers and Board Members of the society. I will encourage mentorship of the next generation of BEMS leaders. I also support a position of Student Representative on the Board of Directors.
  • Long Term Planning: Our last Long Range Plan was approved in Feb 2005. It is time to review and update it. I will work on the Long Term Planning Committee throughout my tenure as Vice-President, President, and Past-President. This critical committee has usually been composed of senior leaders; I support its expansionto include some young members of our society.
  • Membership and Sponsorship: I will develop a flexible PowerPoint presentation, a poster, and a brochure for advertising and promoting BEMS. These materials will be used to solicit new Members, new contributors to our Journal, and sponsors of our meetings. I envision that these materials will be easy to modify to the occasion. The Board of Directors will solicit requests to submit abstracts to meetings for a talk on the Bioelectromagnetics Society and then approve these requests. These materials will also be used to explain the Society and solicit new sponsors for our meetings.
  • Management: I will work closely with your elected officers and Board of Directors to manage the Society’s affairs responsibly to continue to build a strong, vital, financially secure, international organization.
  • Annual Meetings: My guiding principals for our Annual meetings will be (1) scientific quality; (2) diversity and inclusiveness; (3) responsive to the demographics and interests of the membership; and (4) fun.

By Jeffrey Carson (Vice-president/president-elect of BEMS) and Micaela Liberti (EBEA Council Member)
At BioEM 2009 in Davos, a total of 87 student papers were presented. Of the 87 papers, 21 were presented in the platform category and 66 were presented in the poster
category. The total student paper count at BioEM 2009 represented a record number when compared to past BEMS or Joint BEMS/EBEA meetings (Fig. 1). Of particular
significance was the dramatic increase in the number
of student papers at BioEM 2009 in Davos compared
to BioEM 2005 in Dublin. Compared to BioEM 2005,
the number of student papers increased by 32% at BioEM


Leena H. Korpinen1,2 and Rauno J. Pääkkönen3
1Environmental Health, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland
2Faculty of Medicine, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
3Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Tampere, Finland

Summary of research published in Biolelectromagnetics, Vol. 30, No. 6, pp. 431-437.

Before we started the study, some people told us that they experienced headaches or other symptoms when they used mobile phones. In addition, some researchers in other countries had published compilations of symptoms connected with the use of electrical devices reported by subjects in their studies.  In our earlier studies we had also noticed problems with the usability of those devices.
The aim of our paper was to present the working-age population’s self-reported physical symptoms associated with using mobile phones and other electrical devices. We used the qualitative method to analyze the answers to an open-ended question in a questionnaire, which included questions about the possible influence of new technical equipment on health. Our aim was to also create subgroups of respondents for different self-reported symptoms which are associated with mobile phones and other electrical devices.
When we designed the questionnaire, we only wanted to ask about symptoms which are generally known in medicine. Therefore, we did not ask about electric hypersensitivity in the formulated questions. We thought that it was better to use "open questions" in which the subjects can explain in their own words what possible symptoms they got from the mobile phones.

The questionnaire was sent to 15,000 addresses. A total of 6121 (41%) responses were received and 1300 respondents (about 21%) answered the open-ended question ‘other observations concerning technology and health.’ We identified from the open-ended questions three categories: (1) subjects with different self-reported symptoms which they associated with using mobile phones (headache, earache, or warmth sensations), (2) subjects who had skin symptoms when they stayed in front of a computer screen, (3) subjects who mentioned physical symptoms associated with using mobile phones and other electrical devices. The total prevalence of self-reported physical symptoms associated with using mobile phones and other electrical devices was 0.7%. Although this percentage cannot be compared directly to the results of other studies, it is significantly less than what has been reported by other researchers.

This paper is important to bioelectromagnetics research because many subjects have doubts that their symptoms are related to electromagnetic fields from mobile phones or other devices. It is important to study how they describe the symptoms and the connection to the devices. Then it might be possible to find out the reasons for their symptoms and to do appropriate studies. Our paper can provide new ideas and knowledge for other research groups in the same area. For example, other groups can compare their results to our results, obtained using the qualitative method.

David J. Muehsam and Arthur A. Pilla

Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University and Orthopaedics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY


Summary of research published in Biolelectromagnetics, Vol. 30, No. 6, pp. 462-488:

  • Part I - Thermal noise is an essential component of AC/DC effects on bound ion trajectory (p 462-475)
  • Part II - Secondary transduction mechanisms and measures of reactivity (p 476-488)

These papers add to our previous studies (Bioelectromagnetics, 1996;17:89-99, Bioelectrochem Bioenerg., 1994;35:71-9), which showed how the Lorenz force could affect the dynamics of an ion bound in a molecular cleft in the presence of thermal noise as a possible explanation of weak static magnetic field bioeffects. Those publications were inspired by Edmonds (Bioelectrochem Bioenerg., 1993;30:3-12) who proposed Larmor precession as a mechanism for the detection of static and alternating magnetic fields, but did not include the effects of thermal noise. However, it really all started with a paper published in 1984 in Science by Liboff et al. which quite conclusively demonstrated that magnetic fields, per se, could affect the rate of division of living cells in culture.

To rationalize these findings, Abe Liboff proposed the Ion Cyclotron Resonance (ICR) model, which was closely followed by the Ion Parametric Resonance (IPR) model developed by Lednev. Both models predicted certain combinations of very weak AC/DC magnetic fields would have peak effects at resonances based upon the charge to mass ratio of the suspected target ion.  Although both the ICR and IPR models have been criticized on theoretical grounds, resonances predicted at or near the cyclotron frequency have been observed. In fact, an effective bone growth stimulator, designed to help heal recalcitrant bone fractures, was developed using ICR predictions. It is in use today.

The Lorentz force model presented in these papers attempts to provide an alternate, and perhaps more physically realistic, explanation of weak AC/DC magnetic field bioeffects. Here, the solution of the equation of motion for a charged particle bound in a binding potential showed that the thermal component of the motion itself undergoes angular rotation around the magnetic field axis at the Larmor frequency. Thus, thermal noise does not destroy the coherence of the oscillator motion and render the dynamics random. Rather, thermal noise appears to play an essential role in the biological detection of weak magnetic fields. Charged ions in binding sites undergo thermally induced oscillations in the infrared frequency range, with the resultant velocities sufficient for a Lorentz force effect from weak AC/DC magnetic fields. The resulting trajectory of the bound ion is thus determined by the magnetic field environment in the presence of thermal noise, offering a means to modulate biochemical reactions. We have suggested a geometric method for a measure of reactivity based upon the classical oscillator trajectory, and applied the results to parallel and perpendicular AC/DC field combinations, with differing resonance regimes found for each. Resonances were shown to be dependent upon the ensemble of initial conditions and binding lifetime and were obtained through averaging over incident AC phases. AC resonance frequencies were shown to be dependent upon the ratio of AC/DC amplitudes and biochemical kinetics via binding lifetime, and were predicted to occur both at the Larmor frequency, and also at other frequencies,

Several approaches to testing the model were presented. Among these, scanning AC amplitude at fixed frequency and DC amplitude provided an acceptable description of experimental data reported for a test of the IPR model on Ca2+ membrane flux. A measure of reactivity based upon the angular position of the bound oscillator results in an AC/DC amplitude response closely fitting experimental observations and predictions of the IPR model. Other physically meaningful measures are discussed, none of which require the assumptions most often employed in the ICR and IPR models, such as multiple ionic targets, hydrogen triggering or arbitrary combinations of Bessel functions. The only required parameter is the desorption rate constant of the assumed ion target, which can normally be obtained from the literature.

There are clearly many measures of reactivity which may be employed in the Lorentz model, and we are continuing to pursue the more promising approaches. For example, a purely geometric measure of reactivity predicts previous experiments, and yields a close fit to IPR results. The Bessel function expansion of this geometric measure consists of coefficients determined uniquely by the classical orbit, rather than chosen arbitrarily, as in the IPR model, suggesting a more parsimonious explanation of weak AC and DC magnetic field bioeffects. In the final analysis, the underlying mathematics is a straightforward analysis of the classical dynamics of a bound particle in a magnetic field.

We note that the biological effects of weak electromagnetic fields result from signaling. This means there is unlikely to be a linear relationship between a field effect on ion binding and the end biological effect (e.g., ion transport, differentiation, proliferation, tissue repair, pain relief) which is usually many, many steps downstream of the site of action of the magnetic field. For this reason, verification of any model purporting to predict weak AC/DC magnetic field effects must be performed with great care to isolate the primary target of interaction. This could be accomplished by performing studies as a function of the concentration of the ion target, which has only been reported in very few studies. 

Authors wishing to present papers at the BEMS 32nd Annual Meeting in Seoul, Korea (June 14-18, 2010) should submit a short 100-word summary and a 2-page abstract electronically to on or before January 15th, 2010.


In order to provide notification of paper assignments early enough for all authors to obtain discounted travel arrangements, there will be no extension of this deadline. Any abstracts received after the deadline might be considered, at the discretion of TPC Chairs, only for poster presentation.

To view the current program, please visit the meeting website at:

The Bioelectromagnetics Society newsletter is published and distributed to all members of the Society. Institutions and libraries may subscribe to the newsletter at an annual cost of $85USD.

The newsletter serves as a forum for ideas and discussion of issues related to bioelectromagnetics research. Contributions may include news items, meeting reports, short notes on reseach, book reviews, and relevant items of historical or other interest. All submissions must be signed. While it is understood that contributions by individual authors reflect the views of the contributor, the editors may require that contributing writers submit a statement of affiliation and/or disclosure of possible conflict of interest at the time an article is submitted for consideration. Advertisements included in the newsletter are not to be considered endorsed by the Society.

To submit items for the newsletter, please send electronic files to or or (by surface mail) to:

The Bioelectromagnetics Society 2412 Cobblestone Way

Frederick, MD 21702-2626 USA

BEMS Newsletter Editor, Janie Page, is an independent consultant in Oakland, CA. Tel. (510) 917-2074.

For other Society business or information, contact: Gloria Parsley, Executive Director, Tel. (301) 663-4252; FAX: (301) 694-4948, or see the BEMS Web site:


Authored by: Jeffrey Carson

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Student Awards 2009: Sven Kuehn

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