JCB’s motto has long been “By the scientists, for the scientists,” and we want to take this opportunity to welcome five new scientists who have joined the JCB community over the past twelve months. To keep up with the ever-evolving field of cell biology, JCB regularly seeks out respected and dedicated members of the community to join our editorial board so that the fairness, timeliness, and quality of the peer review process is maintained across every area of cell biology, from the traditional to the cutting edge. We thank these new members—and all of our existing board members—for their efforts on behalf of the journal and the cell biology community.
Synaptic assembly and neural circuit formation
Daniel A. Colón-Ramos is Associate Professor in the Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration, and Repair Program and the Department of Cell Biology at Yale University. His group studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms that orchestrate neural circuit formation in the C. elegans brain. By combining genetic, molecular, biochemical, behavioral, and imaging techniques, they examine the decisions that single neurons make in the living, developing animal as they choose their synaptic partners to form functional circuits in the nematode brain. They also study, in vivo, how connections established during development change during behavior and learning. Daniel completed his AB in biology at Harvard University and his PhD at Duke University with Sally Kornbluth, where he studied the cellular mechanisms that instruct programmed cell death. He then trained at Stanford University under the mentorship of Kang Shen studying synaptic specificity. He is also an adjunct professor in the Institute of Neurobiology at the University of Puerto Rico. PHOTO COURTESY OF YALE UNIVERSITY
DNA damage repair and signaling
Daniel Durocher’s main interest lies in understanding how cells maintain genome integrity, with a particular emphasis on the detection, signaling, and repair of DNA double-strand breaks in the context of chromatin. After obtaining his PhD from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, he moved to Cambridge (UK) to train as a postdoc with Steve Jackson where he discovered that FHA domains organize DNA damage signaling by recognizing phosphothreonine-containing epitopes. He moved back to Canada in 2001 to set up his own research group at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. He is also Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. He continues to investigate how cells detect, signal, and repair DNA lesions and is interested in understanding how chromatin organizes the repair of DNA lesions. PHOTO COURTESY OF MOUNT SINAI HOSPITAL
Cytoskeletal mechanics and force generation
Margaret Gardel’s research focuses on the cytoskeletal machines that regulate cell adhesion, contractility, and migration. She obtained her PhD in physics at Harvard University working with Dave Weitz to study the mechanical response of cross-linked F-actin networks in vitro. She then transitioned into cell biology by doing a postdoc with Clare Waterman at The Scripps Research Institute, where she developed a means to measure cell traction forces and actin retrograde flow dynamics to study the molecular clutch of focal adhesions. Margaret is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Physics, the James Franck Institute, and the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics at the University of Chicago. Her current research group has two interrelated thrusts. The first is to understand how the actin cytoskeleton regulates cell adhesion and cellular force generation. The second is to reconstitute dynamic actin networks in vitro as a means to understand basic physical principles of the cytoskeleton. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Biological membranes and ion transport
Sergio Grinstein completed his PhD in 1976 at the Centro de Investigacion in Mexico City. He then spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, followed by a year in the Department of Biochemistry at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He currently works at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, where he was Head of the Program in Cell Biology from 1987 to 2007, and he has been Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto since 1988. Sergio’s research revolves around two main areas: the regulation of intracellular pH and the molecular mechanisms underlying phagocytosis and bacterial invasion. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMIRA KLIP
Meiosis and homologous recombination
Neil Hunter obtained his PhD from Oxford University where he studied the roles of DNA mismatch correction in regulating homologous recombination and imposing a barrier to recombination between sibling species. His postdoctoral studies at Harvard University led to the identification of novel joint-molecule recombination intermediates during meiosis. Neil is now Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at UC Davis and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Research in his laboratory employs molecular, biochemical, and cytological approaches using budding yeast and mouse systems. Current focuses include understanding the processes that mediate formation and resolution of joint molecules and the regulation of meiotic recombination by post-translational protein modification. PHOTO COURTESY OF NEIL HUNTER
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