Biophysical Journal Editor’s Corner

Quantitative Cell Biology in Biophysical Journal

Have you viewed Biophysical Journal’s (BJ) latest virtual issue on Quantitative Cell Biology? This online issue highlights some of the best papers published in this area in the last year. Visit www.biophysj.org to view the collection of articles.

Do you have an exciting paper in this area? Submit to BJ and take advantage of the journal’s broad readership to ensure your paper is seen by your peers.

Know the Editors

Each month this section of the Newsletter highlights two BJ editors.

1. James Sellers, NHBLI, National Institutes Health, Editor for Molecular Machines, Motors and Nanoscale Biophysics

Q: What is your area of research?

My research is in understanding the structure, function, and regulation of members of the myosin superfamily. Myosins are molecular motors that interact with actin to carry out a host of duties in cells. The superfamily now consists of more than 40 members and there is substantial variability in their function and properties. We have worked on myosins from about 11 different classes thanks to the ability to express the proteins in the baculovirus/Sf9 system. We use a variety of cell biological, biochemical, and biophysical techniques to study myosins, including steady state and transient kinetic approaches, in vitro motility assays, AFM, electron microscopy, optical trapping, single molecule imaging, live cell imaging, and super resolution light microscopic techniques. In addition, we use Drosophila as a model system to study myosin function in vivo. These techniques take us across a lot of disciplines, makes for an exciting work environment, and gives me pause when someone ask me to classify myself as a biochemist, biophysicist, or cell biologist. Our work has been very collaborative over the last decade and a half with wonderful colleagues at the NIH and at other institutions in the US and Europe.

2. Steven Wiley, Pacific Northwest National Lab, Editor for the Systems Biophysics Section

Q: What is your area of research?

I am interested in cell regulatory networks, especially from a biochemical and biophysical perspective. This includes both signal transduction as well as metabolic networks. I was trained in both biochemistry and cell biology and have always appreciated how the spatial distribution of components in cells can have a large influence on their activities. This inspired me to develop one of the first computer models of receptor endocytosis in the early 80s using an Apple II computer. Since then, I have expanded my research to include molecular biology, proteomics, transcriptomics as well as live cell imaging. In collaboration with the computer scientists here at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, I am working to integrate all of these different data types to develop predictive models of how mammalian cells respond to different growth factors, or in the case of microbes, how they respond to different environmental perturbations.