Biophysical Journal Editor’s Corner

BJ Goes Interactive

An exciting feature has been added to the Biophysical Journal (BJ) website. Now authors can upload MatLab FIG files and readers can view the interactive files via Science Direct. The FIG file format captures not only the visual information but also the underlying data, which makes it possible to view a figure at maximum accuracy at all levels of zoom and from all viewpoints, and also to download the data for validation or reuse. Submit your manuscript and MatLab files by going to Specific information about MatLab files can be found on the website under ‘Author Instructions’.






Know the Editors

Each month we feature a Biophysical Journal (BJ) editor and highlight a BJ section.

David Piston
Vanderbilt University
Associate Editor of the Cell
Biophysics Section
(beginning July 1)




Q: What is your area of research?

My lab works on molecular signaling mechanisms underlying the secretion of glycemicregulating hormones, in particular insulin and glucagon. A large part of our work focuses on the development and use of the quantitative microscopy methods needed for this research. We are also very interested in developing mathematical models that translate our molecular understanding into predictive models.

Q: As Associate Editor of the Cell Biophysics Section, can you tell us what type of papers BJ is looking for in that area?

Cell biophysics is a combination of established and evolving fields. In all cases, we are looking for papers that use biophysical approaches to obtain insights into biological mechanisms. One point I would like to stress is that the data, analysis, and interpretation should be as quantitative as possible. There is a lot of overlap with the membrane and systems biophysics sections, so I will likely be working closely with Lukas Tamm and Peter Hunter on papers at those interfaces. Of course, in some aspects of cell biophysics, new approaches such as single molecule imaging and super-resolution microscopy, are revolutionizing our quantitative cellular assays, and I think we would like to see those and similar techniques well-represented in the Journal.

Q: Why did you take on the role of Associate Editor?

I have always thought that the most important role of scientific societies is to promote and communicate research in their respective fields. For the Biophysical Society, this is through the Biophysical Journal. Over the years, the breadth and depth of biophysics has changed tremendously, and for the most part, I think the Journal has done a great job of reflecting those changes in our field, and giving voice to new ideas. I have been fortunate to participate with the Journal in many ways, including six years as chair of the Society’s Publications Committee. I was serving in my second stint as an editorial board member of BJ when Les Loew [BJ Editor-in-Chief] asked me to consider this AE role. To be asked to do this is a real honor, and despite the amount of work involved, I find it to be a great way to keep up with the broader field. Finally, I have greatly enjoyed getting to know a number of authors, reviewers, and editorial colleagues that I probably never would have met except through the Journal.

June 2013 Table of Contents