We are pleased to introduce the newest members of the JCB editorial board. We are grateful to these and all of our board members for their contributions to JCB and service to the cell biology community.
Greg Alushin is an Assistant Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Structural Biophysics and Mechanobiology at The Rockefeller University. He received his PhD in Biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012, where he worked with Eva Nogales to visualize structural transitions in tubulin underlying microtubule dynamic instability and protein complexes which form attachments between chromosomes and microtubules during mitosis. After a brief postdoc with Clare Waterman at the National Institutes of Health focused on the cell biology of the actin cytoskeleton and mechanical signal transduction, Greg established his lab there in 2013 as a faculty fellow before moving to Rockefeller in 2017. The Alushin lab uses cell biological, biophysical, and structural approaches to study how mechanical forces regulate cytoskeletal filaments and their partners to mediate cellular force sensing. Photo courtesy of The Rockefeller University.
Tamara Caspary is a mouse developmental biologist, and her research group uses forward and reverse genetics to identify and characterize genes that direct neural development. Her lab focuses on mutant lines that disrupt cilia-associated proteins and related signaling pathways—specifically on the cell biological roles of such proteins in relation to mechanisms underlying human disease. Currently a Professor of Human Genetics at Emory University, she received her PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and her postdoctoral training at the Sloan Kettering Institute. Photo courtesy of Jack Kearse, Emory Health Sciences Photography.
Çagla received her PhD from the European Molecular Biology Laboratories and University of Heidelberg, Germany, where she investigated the structure function relationship of metabotropic glutamate receptors. She was a postdoc at Stanford University Medical Center in the lab of Ben Barres, where she started her work on the molecular mechanisms that underlie astrocyte–neuron communication that controls synapse formation. In 2008, Çagla joined the Duke University School of Medicine where she is now an associate professor of Cell Biology, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Her lab investigates the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie synaptic connectivity in the central nervous system. They view astrocytes as an integral part of the synapse with roles in synapse development, function, and plasticity. Their research revealed important molecular and cellular mechanisms that mediate astrocyte–neuron signaling, which controls synapse formation and maturation. Currently, they are continuing to investigate the function of astrocyte–neuron communication in the normal mammalian brain and how problems in astrocyte–neuron communication contribute to the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegeneration. Photo courtesy of Çagla Eroglu.
Andrew Ewald is Professor and Director of Cell Biology in the Johns Hopkins Medical School and Co-Leader of the Cancer Invasion and Metastasis Program in the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. He earned his BS in Physics from Haverford College and his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from Caltech, working with Scott Fraser on imaging cell movements in early embryos. He then conducted postdoctoral research with Zena Werb at UCSF, focusing on epithelial morphogenesis and breast cancer invasion. He joined the Hopkins faculty in 2008 and his laboratory uses a combination of 3D culture, molecular genetics, bioinformatics, and engineering analysis to identify candidate molecular drivers of metastatic processes. They then validate the functional requirement for these regulators in murine cancer models and patient tumor tissue. He uses these tools to understand how cancer cells escape the primary tumor, access and survive within the vasculature, evade the immune system, and establish lethal tumors in distant organs. Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Laura Lackner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences at Northwestern University. She is interested in how spatial and dynamic organization within cells is achieved. As a model for intracellular organization, she studies the mechanisms that shape and position mitochondria. Laura received her BS in Life Science Chemistry from John Carroll University and her PhD in Molecular Biology from Case Western Reserve University, where she worked with Piet de Boer on the mechanism of division site selection in Escherichia coli. She went on to do her postdoctoral work with Jodi Nunnari at the University of California, Davis. In Jodi’s lab, she studied the mechanisms of mitochondrial division and positioning. She started her own laboratory in 2013, and her group is working to understand fundamental mechanisms used by cells to position mitochondria as well as form and regulate interorganelle contacts. Photo courtesy of Sadie Wignall.
Michael was awarded his PhD from La Trobe University with Mike Ryan, studying the assembly of mitochondrial protein complexes and how they break down in energy generation disorders. He conducted his post-doctoral studies in Richard Youle’s laboratory at the National Institutes of Health, focusing on the Parkinson's disease proteins PINK1 and Parkin, and their role in maintaining mitochondrial health through mitophagy. The work led to Michael receiving the 2013 ASBMB Boomerang Award. He joined the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (Monash University, Australia) in June 2014 as head of the Autophagy and Mitochondrial Quality Control laboratory. Michael was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2016–2019) and is currently Associate Professor at the Walter and Eliza Hall Research Institute (joined in 2022), where he is co-affiliated with Monash University. His lab uses multiple imaging modalities, including volumetric electron microscopy, combined with biochemistry, to understand the mechanisms of PINK1 and Parkin mitophagy, mitochondrial quality control, and the intricate cell biology behind autophagy. Photo courtesy of Michael Lazarou.
Kassandra Ori-McKenney is an Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of California, Davis. Kassandra performed her graduate work on the microtubule motor, cytoplasmic dynein in the lab of Richard Vallee at Columbia University. After receiving her PhD, she pursued her postdoctoral work with Yuh Nung Jan at the University of California, San Francisco, where she focused on the organization and regulation of the microtubule cytoskeleton during neuronal development. In January 2016, she joined the University of California, Davis, and her lab uses a combination of biochemical, single-molecule, and cell biology techniques to study how microtubule-associated proteins contribute to cellular health. Kassandra has received the March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Award, the Simons Foundation Pilot Grant, the Pew Biomedical Scholar Award, and a National Institutes of Health MIRA Grant. Photo courtesy of Hemang Patel.
Tatiana (Tanya) Petrova is Professor and Deputy Director of Fundamental research at the Department of oncology of the University of Lausanne and Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV). She is equally an Adjunct Scientist of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, whose Lausanne Branch is an integral part of the Department of Oncology. Tanya graduated in chemistry from Moscow State University and received her PhD from the University of Geneva. She conducted her postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Linda Van Eldik at Northwestern University Medical School and with Kari Alitalo at the University of Helsinki, where she studied mechanisms of lymphangiogenesis. She started her group in Helsinki before moving to Lausanne in 2008. Her research focuses on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the heterogeneity of endothelial cells and the functions of organ- and disease-specific lymphatic and blood vessels. Photo courtesy of Felix Imhof, UNIL.
Elçin Ünal is an associate professor in the Molecular and Cell Biology Department at the University of California, Berkeley. Ünal received her PhD from Johns Hopkins University with Doug Koshland, where she studied the regulation and function of cohesin complex during DNA damage response. For her postdoctoral studies with Angelika Amon at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ünal continued to use budding yeast as a model system, where she discovered that gametes produced from aged yeast cells are born “young,” providing the first evidence for natural resetting of aging clock. Ünal’s group studies various aspects of meiotic differentiation ranging from transcriptional control to organelle remodeling with the goal of understanding how gamete formation promotes cellular rejuvenation, and how the processes that ultimately drive cellular rejuvenation are controlled by the meiotic transcriptional program. Photo courtesy of the University of California, Berkeley, Molecular and Cell Biology Department.
Sara Wickström is a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine. She received her MD/PhD in 2004. After postdoctoral training with Reinhard Fässler at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich, Germany, she joined the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing (MPI-AGE) in Cologne as Group Leader in 2010. In 2018, her laboratory moved to the University of Helsinki, Finland where she was professor of Cell and Developmental Biology until 2022. Research in the Wickström lab aims to understand how mammalian epithelial tissues are generated and maintained, and in particular how mechanical forces and cellular interactions coordinate single stem cell behaviors to produce these structurally extremely robust yet highly dynamic tissues. Photo courtesy of MPI-AGE.
Bo Zhong is a Professor of Medical Research Institute and College of Life Sciences at Wuhan University, China. He received PhD degree in Cell Biology from Wuhan University in 2010 and did postdoctoral training at MD Anderson Cancer Center from 2010 to 2013. In 2013, he joined the faculty of College of Life Sciences at Wuhan University. Dr. Bo Zhong’s lab studies innate immunity, autoimmunity and tumor immunity with a focus on the ubiquitination and ubiquitin-like modifications and the signaling pathways of inflammatory cytokines. Photo courtesy of Bo Zhong.