Though Bruce Alberts is well known for his work on the biochemistry of DNA replication and as the editor-in-chief of Science, he is also recognizable as the author of the seminal biology textbook Molecular Biology of the Cell. Alberts served as the president of the National Academy of Sciences for over a decade and is currently a professor at University of California, San Francisco. This year, his dedication to advancing science policy and education was recognized with the Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award. JCI’s editor-at-large Ushma Neill sat down with Alberts to talk about how his background in science shaped his later work as an educator and leader in science policy. They also discuss the challenges of improving science education through writing, editing, and policy making.
Alexander Rudensky’s research has defined regulatory T cells and the roles they play in autoimmunity, tolerance, allergies, infections, and cancer. After completing his PhD in Moscow in the early 1980s, Rudensky moved to the United States to study T cells under the mentorship of Charles Janeway. He is currently a professor of immunology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. JCI Editor at Large Ushma Neill interviews Dr. Rudensky about his childhood in the Soviet Union and his early interest in mathematics and science. He discusses the mentors and coworkers who have shaped his research interests over time, and speculates about the immunological discoveries we can expect in years to come.
Laurie Glimcher is a world-class immunologist who discovered the master transcription factors that direct immune cells to commit and activate. She has also discovered a key anabolic bone pathway and become an expert on ER stress and lipoprotein production. Most recently, Glimcher discovered a critical signaling pathway in both tumor cells and host immune responses. All the while, she’s acted as an academic leader, at Harvard School of Public Health and as dean of Weill Cornell Medical School, and she is about to take the reins of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as President and CEO.
Bert Vogelstein, MD, and Kenneth Kinzler, PhD, are codirectors of the Ludwig Center at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Vogelstein and Kinzler demonstrated that colorectal cancer results from the sequential accumulation of mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, establishing a paradigm for modern cancer genomics. Additionally, they discovered the tumor suppressors APC and TP53; they were the first to perform exomic sequencing in tumors; and they developed digital PCR. In an interview with JCI’s Editor-at-Large Ushma Neill, Vogelstein and Kinzler reflect on their career trajectories and past discoveries and discuss their goals as scientists.