The following news releases were written for the Journal of Biological Chemistry. From 2009 to 2001, I was the journal’s managing editor for special projects. In 2015, I was named communications director for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, which publishes the journal and two others.
Public release date: 1-July-2015
The Journal of Biological Chemistry today welcomed F. Peter Guengerich of Vanderbilt University as the journal’s interim editor-in-chief. Guengerich’s appointment was announced as the five-year term of Martha Fedor of The Scripps Research Institute came to a close.
Public release date: 23-Jun-2011
Finding is a feather in the cap for researchers
studying birds’ big, powerful eyes
Say what you will about bird brains, but our feathered friends sure have us — and all the other animals on the planet — beat in the vision department, and that has a bit to do with how their brains develop.
Public release date: 25-Apr-2011
Laying bare the not-so-sweet tale
of a sugar and its role in the spread of cancer
Cancer has a mighty big bag of tricks that it uses to evade the body’s natural defense mechanisms and proliferate. Among those tricks is one that allows tumor cells to turn the intricate and extensive system of lymphatic vessels into something of a highway to metastasis. Yet research unveiled this week may aid in the development of therapeutics that will put the brakes on such cancer spread, and the researchers who completed the study say the findings may extend to other lymphatic disorders.
Public release date: 7-Apr-2011
Findings may help keep pancreatic disease off the menu
Timing is everything. That’s especially true when it comes to the activation of enzymes created by the pancreas to break down food. When the timing is right, those enzymes are activated only when they reach the gut, where they get to work releasing and distributing nutrients that we need to survive. If the timing is wrong and the enzymes are activated too soon, they break down the pancreas itself, which is painful and sometimes fatal. Fortunately, most of the time the body is a master timekeeper and has a game plan for what to do if a signaling misfire activates those enzymes too soon. But sometimes even those natural defense mechanisms aren’t enough to thwart pancreatitis, making the pursuit of a better understanding of the enzymes’ behavior a high priority for patients and physicians.
Public release date: 23-Mar-2011
Molecular muscle: Small parts of a big protein
play key roles in building tissues
We all know the adage: A little bit of a good thing can go a long way. Now researchers in London are reporting that might also be true for a large protein associated with wound healing.
Public release date: 28-Feb-2011
Researchers develop curious snapshot
of powerful retinal pigment and its partners
In a Journal of Biological Chemistry “Paper of the Week,” a Berlin-based team reports that it has uncovered surprising new details about a key protein-protein interaction in the retina that contributes to the exquisite sensitivity of vision. Additionally, they say, the proteins involved represent the best-studied model of how other senses and countless other physiological functions are controlled.
Public release date: 11-Jan-2011
Study details how protein made by HPV
teams up on and thwarts protective human protein
An international team of researchers is reporting that it has uncovered new information about human papillomavirus that one day may aid in the development of drugs to eliminate the cervical-cancer-causing infection.
Public Release: 6-Dec-2010
Journal of Biological Chemistry names new editor-in-chief
The Journal of Biological Chemistry announced today that Martha Fedor, a faculty member at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., has been named the journal’s next editor-in-chief.
Public Release: 6-Oct-2010
New findings pull back curtain on relationship
between iron and Alzheimer’s disease
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers say they have determined how iron contributes to the production of brain-destroying plaques found in Alzheimer’s patients.
Public Release: 4-Oct-2010
Journal of Biological Chemistry editor-in-chief
calls for new leadership search
The longtime editor-in-chief of The Journal of Biological Chemistry has asked that a search begin for a new leader to take the reins of the journal in 2011.
Public Release: 11-Aug-2010
Using bone marrow stem cells to treat
critically ill patients on verge of respiratory failure
Researchers are reporting this week new study results they say provide further evidence of the therapeutic potential of stem cells derived from bone marrow for patients suffering from acute lung injury, one of the most common causes of respiratory failure in intensive care units.
Public Release: 29-Jul-2010
Snake venom studies yield insights for development
of therapies for heart disease and cancer
Researchers seeking to learn more about stroke by studying how the body responds to toxins in snake venom are this week releasing new findings that they hope will aid in the development of therapies for heart disease and, surprisingly, cancer.
Public Release: 13-Jul-2010
In the ring: Researchers fighting bacterial infections
zero in on microorganism’s soft spots
In any battle, sizing up one’s opponent is a critical first step. For researchers fighting a bacterial infection, that means assessing every nook and cranny of the malicious microorganism and identifying which to attack. In Spain, scientists are devising maneuvers they hope will take out bacteria at their molecular knees, and they are optimistic a recent advance will yield therapies for a number of infections, including antibiotic-resistant strains delivering blow after blow across the globe.
Public Release: 7-Jul-2010
Researchers demystifying cellular communications hubs in neurons
It’s safe to say that cilia, the hairlike appendages jutting out from the smooth surfaces of most mammalian cells, have long been misunderstood — underestimated, even.
Public Release: 20-Apr-2010
Scientists sever molecular signals
that prolific parasite uses to puppeteer cells
Scientists studying a cunning parasite that has commandeered the cells of almost half the world’s human population have begun to zero in on the molecular signals that must be severed to free the organism’s cellular hostages.
Public Release: 16-Apr-2010
Chinese scientists discover marker indicating
the developmental potential of stem cells
Researchers in China are reporting that they have found a way to determine which somatic cells — or differentiated body cells — that have been reprogrammed into a primordial, embryonic-like state are the most viable for therapeutic applications.
Public Release: 9-Apr-2010
Significant findings about protein architecture
may aid in drug design, generation of nanomaterials
Researchers in Singapore are reporting this week that they have gleaned key insights into the architecture of a protein that controls iron levels in almost all organisms. Their study culminated in one of the first successful attempts to take apart a complex biological nanostructure and isolate the rules that govern its natural formation.
Public Release: 1-Mar-2010
Preventing or reversing inflammation after heart attack,
stroke may require two-pronged approach
Researchers at Albany Medical College are releasing results of a study this week that they say will help refocus the search for new drug targets aimed at preventing or reversing the devastating tissue inflammation that results after heart attack and stroke.
Public Release: 1-Mar-2010
Researchers determine how ATP, molecule bearing
‘the fuel of life,’ is broken down in cells
Researchers at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center have figured out how ATP is broken down in cells, providing for the first time a clear picture of the key reaction that allows cells in all living things to function and flourish. Discovered some 80 years ago, adenosine triphosphate is said to be second in biological importance only to DNA.
Public Release: 25-Jan-2010
Researchers correct the record about behavior
of important human protein tied to cancer
In a study to be published this week, a research team is challenging a prevailing belief about the behavior of a human protein linked to the formation of cancer, possibly breathing new life into the search for therapies that will inhibit that protein from “turning on” genes involved in abnormal cell proliferation.
Public Release: 15-Jan-2010
Scientists hope to end sleeping sickness
by making parasite that causes it self-destruct
After many years of study, a team of researchers is releasing data today that it hopes will lead to new drug therapies that will kill the family of parasites that causes a deadly trio of insect-borne diseases and has afflicted inhabitants of underdeveloped and developing nations for centuries.
Public Release: 4-Jan-2010
Researchers pin down long-elusive protein
that’s essential to ‘life as we know it’
A team of researchers is being recognized for devising a new way to study a human protein that long has evaded close scrutiny by scientists investigating its role in the communication of important genetic messages inside a cell’s nucleus to workhorse molecules found elsewhere.
Public Release: 4-Jan-2010
New research findings may help stop
age-related macular degeneration at the molecular level
Researchers at University College London say they have gleaned a key insight into the molecular beginnings of age-related macular degeneration, the No. 1 cause of vision loss in the elderly, by determining how two key proteins interact to naturally prevent the onset of the condition.