Biophysical Journal Editor’s Corner

Articles in Biophysical Journal by Nobel Winners

In last month’s issue of the Newsletter, the Society congratulated four Society members who won the Nobel Prizes in 2013, Martin Karplus, Arieh Warshel, Michael Levitt, and James E. Rothman. Visit to access a list of articles published by these Nobelists in Biophysical Journal.

New & Notables

Each issue of BJ contains New & Notable articles, which highlight papers in the Journal. Visit the website to view the New & Notable pieces and related articles.

New & Notable: Mechanical Players—The Role of Intermediate Filaments in Cell Mechanics and Organization, by Markus J. Buehler, which highlights the paper The Role of Vimentin Intermediate Filaments in Cortical and Cytoplasmic Mechanics, Ming Guo, Allen J. Ehrlicher, Saleemulla Mahammad, Hilary Fabich, Mikkel H. Jensen, Jeffrey R. Moore, Jeffrey J. Fredberg, Robert D. Goldman, David A. Weitz

New & Notable: Being Squeezed into the Right Place within the Egg Shell, Karen Alim, which highlights Mechanical Cues in the Early Embryogenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans, Rolf Fickentscher, Philipp Struntz, Matthias Weiss

Know the Editors

Each month this section of the Newsletter highlights a BJ editor.

Randall L. Rasmusson
State University of New York, Buffalo
Editor for Channels and Transporters Section

Q: What is your area of research?
My research interest is in ion channels and their quantitative integration into cellular and organ level function. We use experimentation in combination with mathematical models to develop an understanding of ion channel function across various levels of functional organization. We use electrophysiology, along with molecular biology to elucidate the molecular basis of ion channel gating. We use experimental data to develop molecularly-based Markov-type kinetic models of ion channel gating and conformation-specific drug action. The strength of these Markov models is that they are based on disparate forms of data including structural studies, mutagenesis and kinetic analysis. This significantly improves their relevance and reliability when they are incorporated into integrated models of cellular function. This is important in understanding how channelopathies (e.g., long QT syndrome in the heart) can lead to altered repolarization, propagation and reentry in cardiac cells and tissue. Model predictions at the higher levels of organization are validated using a variety of approaches such as transgenic mice and stem cell derived cardiac myocytes. This multi-level experimental validation gives us a better understanding of the consequences of channelopathies in cardiac and neuronal function. This integrated approach requires far more data and insight than one laboratory can manage. Fortunately, I have had many excellent collaborators over the years. These colleagues have made pursuing these very broad research interests enjoyable as well as possible.