Our Editorial Board Members are experts in their field and work closely with our in-house editors to ensure that all manuscripts are subject to the same editorial standards and journal policies. Editorial Board Members handle manuscripts within their areas of expertise, overseeing all aspects of the peer review process from submission to acceptance.
Editorial Board Members
Research interests: gene drive, mosquitoes, computational modeling, evolution, synthetic biology, genetic engineering
Jackson Champer is a faculty member at Peking University School of Life Sciences in the Center for Bioinformatics, which he joined in 2021 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University. He specializes in gene drives. These are engineered alleles that can bias inheritance in their favor to quickly spread throughout populations. They can be used to modify or suppress populations of disease vectors or invasive species, potentially providing great benefit to human health and the natural environment. Jackson studies gene drive in mosquitoes, fruit flies, and in computational simulations. He focuses on creating improved drives that can avoid resistance alleles and optionally be confined to target populations. Webpage.
Research interests: evolutionary cell biology, protistology, protist, eukaryogenesis, membrane-trafficking, endosomes, Golgi
Dr. Joel B. Dacks received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Dalhousie University (Canada), followed by postdoctoral research fellowships at the Natural History Museum (London) and the University of Cambridge. He joined the University of Alberta in 2008 where he is now a Full Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Dacks also holds a Research Scientist position at the Czech Academy of Sciences and an Honorary Professorship at the Centre for Life’s Origins and Evolution at University College London. His work examines the evolution of the eukaryotic membrane-trafficking system across various time scales from eukaryogenesis to modification and specialization in eukaryotic lineages. Partnering frequently with molecular cell biologists in diverse model systems, the Dacks Lab uses ‘omics level data and molecular evolutionary techniques to address questions of understanding the natural diversity and processes that gave rise to, and contribute to shape, the eukaryotic cell and its organelles. Webpage.
Research interests: Cancer metastasis; cell migration; mechanobiology
Greg Longmore is Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and Cell Biology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and director of the ICCE Institute, a multidisciplinary cancer research center dedicated to understanding tumor-environment communications that facilitate cancer progression. He also directs the Molecular Oncology section of the division of Oncology in the Department of Medicine and co-directs the basic science research program of the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University. He has been a member of multiple National Institutes for Health and American Cancer Society grant review panels, chairing at least three of these panels as well as a member of the Council for extramural grants at the American Cancer Society. His major research focus is to understand how tumor cells and their immediate environment communicate with one another to facilitate tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Webpage.
Research interests: Tumor Immunology; Tumor microenvironment; Tumor metabolism; Nuclear receptors
Shengtao Zhou is a professor in cancer biology, who uses systems biology approaches to tackle layers of complexity of tumor immunology heterogeneity during the evolution of cancer development and progression. These complexities include signaling and metabolic reprogramming, immune co-evolution and the master regulators of such cancer phenotypic plasticity. Webpage.
Research interests: C. elegans biology in general, developmental genetics and innate immunity, robustness, gene expression, epidermal stem cells, oomycetes
Dr. Michalis Barkoulas is an Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) at Imperial College London. Dr. Barkoulas completed his PhD at the University of Oxford working on plant developmental genetics in the Tsiantis lab. He was then introduced to C. elegans research while being a post-doc in the Félix lab at the École Normale Supérieure of Paris. His group at the Life Sciences Department of Imperial College focuses on addressing questions concerning the relationship between genotype and developmental phenotypes and biological robustness using an invertebrate model of epidermal stem cell patterning. More recently, the group has also been tackling questions in the field of host-pathogen interactions focusing on how nematodes recognise and respond to infection by natural pathogens. Webpage.
Research interests: transcription, epigenetic regulation, human embryonic stem cells, neural cell specification, neuronal differentiation
Our research focuses on defining gene regulatory networks (GRNs) that control neural cell specification, neurogenesis, and the generation of specific neuronal cell types. We are particularly interested in understanding how epigenetic regulation modulates these networks and how their dysregulation contributes to neurodevelopmental disorders and birth defects, including epilepsy, autism spectrum disorder, and neural tube defects. This work uses directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells), mouse models, and a wide range of cellular, molecular, and genomic approaches, to define roles for transcriptional and epigenetic regulation in shaping developmental transitions. Webpage.
Research interests: nervous system development, inner ear, stem cells, neurons, cell death, proliferation, iPS cells
Dr. Malgrange is research director at the University of Liege (Belgium) and vice-director of the GIGA research center (regrouping more than 600 persons working on life sciences porjects). Dr. Malgrange received a Pharm. D. diploma from the university of Paris XI (France) and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of Liege (Belgium).
Her research aimed at studying the molecular mechanisms regulating cell proliferation, differentiation, neuritic outgrowth and apoptosis during the development and regeneration of the inner ear and brain. Her team combines the use of transgenic mouse model and human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells as model systems. Webpage.
Research interests: Evolutionary genetics; population genetics; ecological genetics; mathematical evolutionary modelling; mobile genetic elements
John Brookfield is a Professor Emeritus in Evolutionary Genetics at the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham, following his retirement in 2020. His interests are in population and evolutionary genetics, with a particular focus on the evolution of the genome, and, in particular, mobile genetic elements. He has a long-standing interest in population genetics theory and mathematical genetics. He has interests in the use of DNA technology in forensic science and the interface between genetics and ecology. He has extensive experience on numerous editorial boards, and was the Managing Editor of Heredity from 2000-2003. His other work in assessment includes grant reviewing for numerous funding bodies, in the UK and internationally, and membership of grant review panels for the BBSRC and the NERC in the UK. He was also a member of the Biological Sciences subpanels in the 2001 and 2008 Research Assessment Exercises in the UK. Webpage.
Research interests: Molecular Anthropology; human and non-human primate evolutionary genetics
Cristian Capelli is a molecular anthropologist and population geneticists with an interest in the genetic history of primates, human and non-human. His work focuses on the characterization of the population structure and admixture of human populations in Europe and Africa, modern and ancient. More recently he extended his research in the investigation of the genomic variation present in the genus Papio, also exploring its relevance in understanding the evolutionary history of the genus Homo. He is currently Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Parma. Webpage.
Research interests: evolutionary cell biology and biochemistry of microbial eukaryotes; eukaryotic flagella and cilia; mitochondrial and peroxisomal metabolism in protists
Michael Ginger is a Professor of Biological Sciences and Dean for the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Huddersfield, UK. He holds a BSc and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Liverpool, UK. Following research positions at the Universities of Liverpool, Glasgow and Manchester, Michael held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship first at the University of Oxford, and subsequently at Lancaster University, UK. He moved in 2016 from Lancaster to the University of Huddersfield where he has been a Dean of School since 2019. Michael’s research interests lie with the evolutionary cell biology and biochemistry of microbial eukaryotes, particularly with respect to trypanosomatids and other euglenozoan protists. Recently, his interests have diversified to also include potential applications of anion-binding cryptand chemistry in biomedicine and environmental remediation. Webpage.
Research interests: Evolution of viruses; origin of life; origin of eukaryotes; evolutionary theory; computational genomics
Eugene V. Koonin is the leader of the Evolutionary Genomics Group at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NIH). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Academy of Microbiology and The European Molecular Biology Organization, and a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in 1983 from Moscow State University, joined the NIH in 1991 and became a Senior Investigator in 1996. His research interests focus on evolutionary genomics of prokaryotes, eukaryotes and viruses, host-parasite coevolution and general theory of the evolution of life. He is the author of about 1000 research papers and the book “The Logic of Chance: On the Nature and Origin of Biological Evolution”. Webpage.
Research interests: Whole genome duplication, macrosynteny, regulatory landscape, spiralians, phylogenomics, animals, body plans, genomics
My main research question focuses on the relationship between the diversity of genome organisations, the evolution of gene regulation during development and the establishment of animal body plans. After graduating from the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, I enrolled for a Phd at the University of Marseille focused on the phylogeny of spiralians and the enigmatic phylum of chaetognaths. During my postdoctoral work, in Oxford, I worked on whole genome duplications and their impact on gene regulation and organismal novelties, particularly using amphioxus as chordate sister group. I pursed on this topic during a stay at the Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology, in Japan, particularly focusing on the evolution of chromosomal architecture among animals. In 2019, I joined the Genetics, Evolution & Environment department at UCL. Webpage.
Research interests: Molecular evolution, venom, microRNA, post-transcriptional regulation, genomics
Yehu Moran studied from 2001-2010 at Tel Aviv University where he obtained a BSc in Life Sciences, MSc in Biochemistry and PhD working on sea anemone toxins. Then he moved to the Department of Molecular Evolution and Development at the University of Vienna to study as postdoctoral fellow supported by EMBO and Marie Curie actions the evolution of post-transcriptional regulation by microRNAs. At January 2014 he was appointed as a senior lecturer at the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior of the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and since the academic year 2017-2018 he is an Associate Professor in this department. He is currently a department head and his lab studies the evolution of complexity, focusing on biological systems such as venom and antiviral immunity, using the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis as a model organism. Webpage.
Research interests: Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Evolution, Developmental Genetics, Eco-Evo-Devo, Plasticity, Epigenetics, and Sociobiology
Rajendhran Rajakumar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, and cross-appointed in the Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, at the University of Ottawa (uOttawa). Dr. Rajakumar received his PhD at McGill University working with ants with Dr. Ehab Abouheif in the areas of developmental genetics & epigenetics within the emerging field of Ecological Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Eco-Evo-Devo). He next did a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology at the University of Florida with Dr. Martin Cohn, expanding his expertise to include vertebrate developmental genetics and Evo-Devo. Finally he did postdoctoral fellowships in the Department of Genetics of the Blavatnik institute at Harvard Medical School (HMS) with Dr. Norbert Perrimon where he trained with the classic genetics model Drosophila melanogaster. The main theme of his uOttawa lab is: how do environmental factors act on developmental processes, and how does the variation generated by this interaction lead to the evolution of biodiversity observed in nature. Webpage.
Research interests: Mathematical modelling; Evolutionary Game Theory; eco-evolutionary feedback; sexual selection; sexual conflict; sexual dimorphism; cooperation; mutualism; demography; microbial community dynamics
Xiang-Yi Li Richter performed her PhD-level research at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology and received her Dr. rer. nat. degree from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Kiel University in 2016. She did a postdoc in University of Zürich from 2016 to 2018. Since January 2019, she is a Principal Investigator at the Institute of Biology at the University of Neuchâtel, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. She has a long-standing interest and research expertise in applying Evolutionary Game Theory in understanding eco-evolutionary dynamics in different biological systems, from viruses and bacteria to birds and mammals. She is also interested in modelling the roles of sexual selection and sexual conflict in animal dispersal and life history evolution, and she combines mathematical modelling, computer simulations, and wet-lab experiments using customised 3D-printed devices and bioreactors to study microbial interactions and community dynamics. Webpage.
Gene Expression and Regulation
Research interests: chromatin biology, regulation by post-translational modification, mechanisms of gene expression, genome architecture, cellular stress responses
Dr. Erin Green is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Dr. Green received her PhD in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley working with Dr. Paul Kaufman and Dr. Karsten Weis in the areas of chromatin biology and genome regulation. She completed postdoctoral work at Stanford University with Dr. Or Gozani in chromatin regulation by histone post-translational modifications. Current research in the Green Lab at UMBC investigates the role for protein post-translational modifications in chromatin and cellular signaling pathways particularly in pathways that support cell survival and adaptation to stress. Webpage.
Research interests: gene regulation, 3'Untranslated Regions, miRNAs, Genomics, C. elegans, Alternative Polyadenylation, ncRNAs, RNAs
Dr. Mangone is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the School of Life Sciences and the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. His research centers on how eukaryotic RNA transcription is terminated and how messenger RNA is regulated on its way to expression into proteins, using the roundworm C. elegans as a model system. Dr. Mangone's approach combines high-throughput genomics, bioinformatics, genetics, biochemistry, and systems biology. Dr. Mangone received his Ph.D. from the Watson School of Biological Sciences (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory) in 2006. He was then a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology at New York University. He joined Arizona State University as faculty in 2011. Dr. Mangone is a member of the Genetics Society of America and the RNA Society, as well as the Director of the Biology Ph.D. program in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. Webpage.
Genetics and Genomics
Research interests: Mobile genetic elements; Nucleic Acid; Oligonucleotides; PCR; Copy Number Variation; Comparative Genomic Hybridization; Genome Walking
Ruslan Kalendar is a Professor in Biology. His interests are in molecular genetics, with a particular focus on the evolution of the genome, and, in particular, mobile genetic elements. He pursues a general interest in the evolutionary processes underlying the spread and diversification of mobile genetic elements and their inactive descendants in eucaryotic genomes. The application of gene- and retrotransposon-based variation in mapping, diversity analysis, and development of breeding tools. He has interests in the use of DNA technology in diagnostic research and software development and genomics and comparative bioinformatics (a search of repeats, DNA alignment and assembly, PCR primer design). He has extensive experience on numerous editorial boards (Frontiers in Plant Science, Frontiers in Genetics, BMC Plant Biology, BMC Genomic Data, Plos One, PeerJ). His other work in assessment includes grant reviewing for numerous funding bodies, in the EU and internationally. Webpage.
Research interests: evolutionary genomics, structural variation, primates, coral, gene duplication, phylogeny, speciation
Yafei Mao is an associate professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He has broad interests in ecological and evolutionary genomics. His research focuses on two main topics: structural variation (SV) and gene tree discordance (GTD). He combines experimental and computational approaches to investigate genome architectures of SV and GTD in corals and primates. His lab aims to understand how those architectures are associated with the origins of human genetic diseases and the adaptive evolution of corals and primates. Webpage.
Research interests: Plant genomics, Comparative genomics, Genetics, Polyploid genomes and evolution, Population genetics and domestication
Dr. Fei Shen is currently a tenured assistant professor at the Institute of Biotechnology, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences (BAAFS). He completed his doctoral work on horticulture genomics at China Agricultural University (CAU) and Edmund Mach Foundation (FEM, Italy). He has a great deal of experience with plant genomes and genome evolution. He has done a lot of genome projects, including apple, jasmine, plum, horseradish, etc. The genomic project covered the subjects of genome evolution, genome assembly, and genome resequencing (e.g. 3,000 rice genome sequencing). Besides, he also works to develop analytical tools that address complex genetic processes. More recently, his group Interests in 1) Comparative and evolutionary genomics: Employing a combination of comparative, computational, and experimental genomics approaches to address the mechanistic basis that underlies structural and functional genomic changes in flowering plants, with an emphasis on duplication-driven and transposon-mediated gene and genome evolution. 2) Genetic dissection of complex traits: Employing a combination of genomics, proteomics, molecular biology and genetics approaches to dissect complex traits of agronomic importance. Webpage.
Research interests: polyploid genomics and evolution, population genetics and domestication, epigenetics and 3D genomics, gene expression and regulation, cotton fiber.
Dr. Maojun Wang is a professor in Huazhong Agricultural University and a principal investigator in National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement. His group uses the cotton genus as a research model to investigate the regulatory mechanism of single-cell differentiation and development in plants, committed to improving fiber quality in cotton. He also has interests in the intertwining relationship between genome size evolution and reorganization of higher-order chromatin structure in plants. He extends his research to address some fundamental scientific questions in polyploid plants, such as the underlying mechanism of polyploid advantage in changing environments, using multidisciplinary approaches such as genomics, bioinformatics, molecular biology, genome editing and artificial intelligence. Webpage.
Research interests: Speciation genetics, genomics, gene regulatory network, cell lineage analysis, RNA modification
Zhongying Zhao is a professor in genome biology in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Hong Kong Baptist University. He uses genetics, genomic and systems biology approaches to dissect the mechanisms of hybrid incompatibilities. Empower by various types of sequencing technology, especially Nanopore DNA/RNA sequencing technologies, his lab focuses on developing genetics, genomic and computational tools and resources to make C. briggsae and its newly isolated sister species, C. nigoni, as an attractive model system for research into molecular mechanisms of hybrid incompatibility between the two nematode species. Leveraged on the automatic lineaging technique, his lab has also been establishing the gene regulatory network underlying the tissue/organ formation with single-cell resolution at one-minute interval during embryogenesis. Webpage.
Research interests: Jak/stat, lupus, rodent models, cytokine, interferon, t lymphocyte, regulatory T cell, autoimmune
Joseph Larkin III, PhD is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Florida in the department of Microbiology and Cell Science. Dr. Larkin received his BS in Microbiology and PhD in Immunology from the University of Florida. After completion of his postdoctoral training in a joint appointment with the University of Pennsylvania and the Wistar Institute, Dr. Larkin was invited back to the University of Florida as faculty. Dr. Larkin research focuses on the interplay jak/stat signal regulation in driving an autoimmune lymphocyte repertoir. Webpage.
Research interests: nutrition, appetite, life-history, aging, biostatistics, meta-analysis
I am a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney, Australia, and affiliated with the multidisciplinary Charles Perkins Centre. My technical skills are primarily in biostatistics, computational biology, and modelling. Originally from the UK, I completed my PhD at the University of Otago, New Zealand in 2013. Since moving to Australia, I have been working on questions related diet and organismal life-history. Initially my interest in these questions came from an eco-evolutionary perspective (the field of ‘nutritional ecology’). However, more recently I have also become interested in the biomedical facets, in particular, applications in appetite and healthy aging. Webpage.
Research interests: Microbiology, bacteria, microbial pathogenesis, bacterial competition, cell envelope, cell surface, membrane biogenesis, peptidoglycan, cell wall, protein translocation, bacterial conjugation, protein secretion, protein export, protein targeting, protein transport, bacteriophage, bacterial toxin, toxins, motility, flagellum
Eric Cascales completed his PhD studies at the Aix-Marseille University on the assembly and mechanism of action of the Tol-Pal system, a proton-driven molecular motor involved in cell envelope biogenesis, cell division and toxin uptake. After his PhD, he moves for his post-doctoral work at the Houston Medical School (University of Texas, Houston, TX, USA) in the Peter Christie's laboratory, where he worked on the Agrobacterium Type IV secretion system (T4SS), which is required for DNA transport via a conjugative mechanism. There, he defined the translocation pathway of the DNA across the cell envelope and provides information on the energetics controling DNA transport through the apparatus. He then obtained a CNRS position and started his laboratory in Marseille (France), developing new lines of studies regarding the architecture, assembly, mechanism of action and toxin tansport by the Type VI secretion system (T6SS), which uses a contractile mechanism to propel toxins into target cells. More recently, his lab started a new topic of research on the Type IX secretion system (T9SS), which is involved in pathogenesis and gliding motility. He was awarded the Bronze medal of the CNRS, and the prestigious Coup d'Elan pour la Recherche Scientifique of the Fondation Bettencourt-Schueller. Webpage.
Research interests: Drosophila, c. elegans, Bacillus thuringiensis, microbiota, invertebrate immunity, host defense, insect immunity, Lactobacillus, intestinal homeostasis, mechanism of infection, pathogen virulence, innate immunity; host-pathogen interactions, entomopathogens, insect endosymbionts, nutritional immunity, microbial interactions
Dr. Iatsenko is currently a Group Leader at Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany. He completed his PhD studies at Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology and the Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen in 2014 on the molecular mechanisms of Caenorhabditis elegans – Bacillus interactions. His post-doctoral work was performed at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne) in the lab of Bruno Lemaitre, where Dr. Iatsenko studied the mechanisms of insect defense mechanisms using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model. In his lab, Dr. Iatsenko continues to use Drosophila as a model organism and genetic approaches to investigate 1) the conserved mechanisms of innate immune responses, 2) the virulence strategies used by pathogens to overcome host defenses, 3) how the influence of resident microbial communities (microbiota) on host physiology and pathogen virulence affects the infection outcome. Webpage.
Molecular and Cell Biology
Research interests: Endosomal trafficking, Mechano-biology, Signalling, Self-Organization, developmental biology, Microscopy, Light-Sheet fluorescence microscopy, data analysis
Dr Senthil Arumugam obtained his PhD training in the lab of Prof Petra Schwille at the Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, focusing on self-organisation of proteins involved in bacterial cell division. His post-doctoral work in the labs of Prof Patricia Bassereau and Prof Ludger Johannes at the Curie Institute, Paris, France, focused on protein-membrane interactions and cellular trafficking. Dr Arumugam joined Single Molecule Science at the University of New South Wales as an independent group leader in September 2016 and established the Lattice Light-Sheet Imaging infrastructure with his research focused on endosomal trafficking.
At EMBL Australia at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Senthil spearheads an interdisciplinary group focussed on cellular physiology. Webpage.
Research interests: membrane fusion, single-molecule biophysics, sub-cellular dynamics, super-resolution imaging, nanoparticle assembly
Dr. Jiajie Diao received his PhD from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under Dr. Taekjip Ha in 2010. From 2011-2015, Dr. Diao was a postdoctoral associate and research specialist in Dr. Axel Brunger’s lab at Stanford University. At the end of 2015, Dr. Diao started his own lab at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Dr. Diao has developed a series of biophysical/biochemical methods to study membrane fusion at the single particle level, and led the development of multiple new molecular probes and super-resolution assays for quantitative analysis of sub-cellular dynamics. Furthermore, by using single molecule biophysical tools and molecular dynamics simulation, Dr. Diao has been systematically studying the functional and conformational dynamics of alpha-synuclein, a protein closely related to Parkinson's disease. Dr. Diao also has applied the single molecule FRET technique to imaging DNA modifications and the interaction between DNA and proteins. Finally, Dr. Diao also invented new physical/chemical techniques for the self-assembly of nanoparticles. Webpage.
Research interests: Tissue Mechanics, Cytoskeleton and cell cortex, Cell-cell interactions, Physics of biological systems, Tissue growth and morphogenesis, Tissue repair and regeneration
Yanlan Mao is a Group Leader and Professor of Developmental Biophysics at the Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London. After receiving her BA in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, she completed her PhD with Matthew Freeman at the MRC LMB in Cambridge on Drosophila cell signaling and epithelial patterning. During her postdoc with Nic Tapon at the CRUK London Research Institute (now Francis Crick Institute), she became interested in tissue mechanics and computational modeling approaches, and studied the role of mechanical forces in orienting cell divisions and controlling tissue shape. In 2014, Yanlan started her independent research group, and has continued to investigate the role of mechanical forces in tissue development, homeostasis and repair. She now holds an MRC Senior Fellowship, a Lister Institute Prize and an L’Oreal UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship. She was selected to join the EMBO Young Investigator Programme in 2018, and has received numerous awards for her work, including the Early Career Prize in Mechanobiology by the Biophysical Society, the BSCB Women in Cell Biology Early Career Medal, and the Royal Microscopic Society Life Sciences Medal. Webpage.
Research interests: Bioinformatics, Artificial intelligence, Microbiology, Chemical biology, Nuclei acids folding/structure, Aptamer, Biosensing
Dr. Yang Zhang is an Associate Professor at the College of Science at the Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen). Dr. Zhang received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, and a M.Phil from the University of Hong Kong. His research interest combines computational and experimental approaches for pathogen and cancer research. On the computational side, his group is both developing and applying the latest deep learning technologies to analyze a wide range of biological and biochemical data, including (i) developing Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered smart microscopic imaging to accelerate disease diagnostic and drug discovery. (ii) enabling deep learning techniques to be applied to omics data, (e.g. modeling of proteins, DNAs, miRNAs, LncRNAs, and mRNAs and their interactions, structures and/or dynamics in molecular, cellular and tissue level), for the discovery of novel diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets. (iii) the use of deep learning in cheminformatics and chemical biology in guiding drug discovery to target those therapeutic targets and fight against disease. On the experimental side, his group combines imaging, high-throughput sequencing, mass spectrometry, and chemical biology to mechanistically understand diseases at the molecular level by addressing the fundamental question of how those molecules shape the disease systematically. Webpage.
Research interests: neurobiology, cell adhesion molecules, synaptogenesis, neurodegeneration, host/pathogen interactions, genomics
Brian Ackley is a molecular geneticist and neurobiologist at The University of Kansas, Lawrence. His research group uses C. elegans as a model system. Brian started his fascination with C. elegans during his PhD at Northwestern University with Jim Kramer. It was there he found that the conserved collagen XIII protein was an axon guidance protein. During his postdoctoral training he went on to show that both collagen XVIII and nidogen separately are critical for the development of neuromuscular junctions. Since starting his independent position at KU, he has continued to study the molecular mechanisms that contribute to synapse formation, maintenance, and degeneration. Recently, his work has expanded to include host-pathogen interactions, specifically as a function of host physiology and genetic variation. Webpage.
Research interests: Neural circuits; neurodegeneration; therapeutics development; imaging tools
Dr Ko holds Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMedSci, 1st class) and Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) from CUHK. He pursued PhD in neuroscience under the supervision of Professor Thomas Mrsic-Flogel at University College London in the UK and won the runner-up award of the 2014 Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology based on his PhD works.
Dr Ko serves as a principal investigator at the Gerald Choa Neuroscience Center and the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Leading a team with expertise in biology, chemistry and engineering, his current research works focus on (i) gliovascular and neural circuit dysfunction in aging and neurodegeneration, and (ii) the development of neuroimaging tools. Webpage.
Research interests: Neuroscience, Cellular Neurophysiology, Neuropharmacology, Biophotonics
Jean-Pierre Mothet is Director of Research at CNRS (France). He graduated from the University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, in 1996 working with Dr. Ladislav Tauc. Then, he pursued postdoctoral research with Pr Solomon H. Snyder at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (USA). There he elucidated the functions and the synthesis pathway for a right-handed amino acid D-serine in the Mammalian brain. In 1999, he moved to the laboratory of Pr Jacopo Meldolesi (Italy) to study exocytosis of neurotransmitters. His team investigates the regulation of NMDA receptors by their co-agonists at synapses and circuits underlying memory formation in the context of healthy and pathological neuron-glia interactions. He also explores the mechanisms underlying gliotransmission, and its functional relevance for neuronal network dynamics. His research lies at the interface of Synapse Physiology, Neuropharmacology and Cell Biology with a strong connection with chemistry and physics for developing new optical tools. His research contributes to expand the importance of non-canonical right-handed amino acids in health and disease. He is a senior fellow of the University of Oxford (2018), a member of Academia Europaea (2020) and since 2021 a council member of the International Society for Neurochemistry. Webpage.
Research interests: brain development, rna localization, neural stem cells, neurodegeneration
Dr. Pilaz received a BA in Cognitive Sciences from University Lumiere and a PhD in Molecular Biology from University Claude Bernard in Lyon, France. After postdoctoral fellowships at Johns Hopkins University and Duke University, he started his own lab in the Pediatrics and Rare Diseases Group at Sanford Research in Sioux Falls, SD. The Pilaz lab uses the mouse model to study the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders caused by defects in embryonic cortical development. Current projects focus on (i) the regulation of neural stem cell proliferation (ii) neuronal migration and (iii) the maintenance and survival of neurons. Webpage.
Research interests: animal locomotion, animal behaviour, cognition, animal-plant interactions and applied ecology
Dr. Sridhar Ravi is a Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales in Canberra and leader of the Bio-Engineering Group. His interests are in biomechanics and neuroethology of aerial and aquatic locomotion in animals. Dr. Sridhar Ravi completed PhD from RMIT University in 2011. Between 2012 and 2014 he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology in Harvard University where he studied the flight of insects and birds in unsteady winds. From 2015 to 2018 Dr. Ravi worked in Chiba University and University of Bielefeld on JSPS Fellowship and Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship respectively. Here he conducted research on bio-inspired miniature flapping wing crafts and on neuroethology of flight and aerial navigation in bees. Dr Ravi returned to Australia in 2018 to join RMIT University as a Lecturer and in 2019 joined UNSW-Canberra as a Senior Lecturer. Dr Ravi's research overlaps engineering and biological sciences with an emphasis on using robotics as tools to seek insights into the sensorimotor systems of animals. Webpage.
Research interests: Zebrafish, Sensory Systems, Neural Development, Synaptogenesis, Axon, Dendrite
Since my days of undergraduate research I have been fascinated by how neurons can self-assemble into circuits with highly specialized forms and functions. My current research interests are focused on using modern neuroanatomical techniques to guide hypothesis-driven studies into the function of specific visual circuits. Zebrafish is the ideal model system in which to perform these studies due to 1) a simple larval nervous system, 2) availability of transgenics to target specific neuron types, and 3) optical transparency that enables non-invasive imaging and optogenetic stimulation. Current projects are aimed at defining the morphology and physiology of genetically identified neurons in the zebrafish midbrain. Webpage.
Research interests: integrative and comparative physiology, respiratory physiology, oxygen transport, hypoxia, physiological ecology
Dr. Heinrich is an Assistant Professor in the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine. She received her PhD in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine working with Dr. Timothy Bradley in the fields of comparative physiology and respiratory gas exchange in insects. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine with Dr. Frank Powell and Dr. Tatum Simonson where she studied human responses to hypoxia and environmental stress. Dr. Heinrich’s current research uses integrative physiological and genomic approaches to understand plasticity and adaptation to chronic hypoxia in environmental and clinical contexts. Her group uses a high-altitude exposure model to investigate the impact of chronic hypoxia on the control of breathing, immune function, and cardiovascular function. Webpage.
Research interests: skeletal muscle biology, muscle stem cells, muscle epigenetics, muscle microRNAs, muscle aging, myonuclei
Dr. Murach received a PhD in Human Bioenergetics from Ball State University and post-doctoral training in muscle stem cell biology at the University of Kentucky Center for Muscle Biology. He is currently in Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas and leads the Molecular Muscle Mass Regulation Laboratory. His research broadly pertains to adult skeletal muscle mass regulation in the context of exercise, aging, and disease. Dr. Murach uses human muscle samples, conditional and inducible genetic mouse models, cell culture approaches, and single cell/nucleus techniques to address his research questions. Webpage.
Research interests: Hypertension; aging; diabetes; angiogenesis; myocardial infarction; heart failure; atrial fibrillation; cardiac hypertrophy; vascular disease; calcium handling; microRNA; adrenergic receptors; vascular reactivity; thrombosis; excitation-contraction coupling; animal models; ischemia-reperfusion; arrhythmias; metabolic syndrome; endothelium; endothelial function; angiopoietin-like proteins; mitochondria; cardiac energetics; integrins; insulin resistance.
My lab studies the functional role of intracellular calcium fluxes and non-coding RNAs in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. During my training at Columbia University, I have elucidated the fundamental mechanisms underlying the key role of intracellular calcium release channels in heart failure and diabetes, both in patients and in preclinical models of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Webpage.
Research interests: Molecular Genetics, Plant-Pathogen Interaction and Crop Breeding
Sambasivam (Sam) Periyannan is an Associate Professor (Crop Molecular Genetics) at the University of Southern Queensland and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia. After completing PhD at the University of Sydney in 2011, Sam started his scientific career as a postdoctoral fellow (2011 – 2016) at CSIRO, where he eventually became an independent scientist in 2016 and led the Crop Resistance Genes team for 2019-2021. Sam’s research interest is centered on molecular genetics and plant pathology, focusing on understanding the interaction between cereal crops and its pathogens. Between 2017-2019, Sam took a secondment position at the Australian National University to complete the Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award project, where he extended his research further to understand the molecular interaction between Myrtaceae tree species and the myrtle rust pathogen. Webpage.
Research interests: Plant Secondary Metabolites; Transcriptional Regulation; Stress Biology; Plant Hormones; Plant genome; Crop Domestication; Population Genetics; Buckwheat; Arabidopsis; Underutilized Crops; Medical Plants; Forage Crops
Dr. Meiliang Zhou is a professor working in the Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (ICS-CAAS). Dr. Zhou obtained his Ph.D. in plant cell physiology (Prof.Dr. Johan Memelink's group) from Leiden University (Leiden, the Netherlands) and completed his postdoctoral work in Leiden University with Prof. Dr.Paul Hooykaas in plant molecular genetics and development group. His group in ICS-CAAS focuses on addressing questions concerning the relationship between plant nutritional values and stress biology. More recently, the group has also been aming at studying the molecualr mechanisms regulating secondary metabolites biosynthesis during crop and medical plant domestication using the methods of population genetics (GWAS and mGWAS) and omics assays. His group mainly uses the genus of Fagopyrum (Buckwheat) as a research model system. Webpage.
Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics
Research interests: Membrane transport mechanisms, membrane protein crystallography, ligand binding thermodynamics, bioenergetics of membrane transport
Lan Guan, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics, and Director of the Center for Membrane Protein Research, School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Texas, USA. She completed her postdoctoral training in membrane transport field at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute/University California, Los Angeles, mentored by the late Prof. H. Ronald Kaback. She has been a member of editorial board of Scientific Reports since 2015, and has authored 92 peer-reviewed research articles, reviews, and book chapters. Her laboratory has been focuses on cation-coupled nutrient cotransporters--their structures and coupling mechanisms using x-ray crystallography, thermodynamics, and other biochemical and biophysical techniques combined with genetic methods. Her research has made important contributions to our understanding of the core principles of the cation-coupled symport mechanisms. Her research projects are currently funded by NIH Grants. Webpage.
Research interests: natural products, biosynthetic pathways, metabolic engineering, enzyme engineering, fungal genomics, bioprospecting, drug discovery, antimicrobials
Dr. Haslinger is an Assistant Professor for Pharmaceutical Biology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She obtained her PhD in 2014 from the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and moved to MIT (USA) for her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Kristala Prather. Dr. Haslinger specializes in natural product biosynthesis and works towards elucidating and engineering biosynthetic pathways. Her research group uses bacteria and filamentous fungi as heterologous expression hosts as well as cell-free lysates to study enzymes and biosynthetic pathways. Webpage.
Research interests: protein folding; membrane proteins; mitochondrial outer membrane; thermodynamics; folding kinetics; beta-barrels; translocase complex; metabolite channel; membrane chaperone; protein misfolding; neurodegeneration; synuclein; protein-lipid interaction; membrane protein interactome; protein spectroscopy
Dr. Radhakrishnan Mahalakshmi is a Professor and leader of the Molecular Biophysics Laboratory at IISER Bhopal (India), and a Wellcome Trust – DBT India Alliance Senior Fellow. She studies the folding, function, and regulation of the three vital human mitochondrial outer membrane proteins, namely VDACs, TOM complex, and SAM complex, using biophysical tools and single molecule ensemble approaches. Her research also addresses dynamics of the mitochondrial interactome, with emphasis on the interaction mechanisms and misimport pathways of α-synuclein. The overarching goal of her research is to correlate molecular regulators of protein folding and function with misfolding-associated neurodegenerative diseases in humans. Webpage.