Biophysical Journal Editor’s Corner

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1. Pay less.
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2. Get noticed.
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Know the Editors

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

Lukas Tamm
University of Virginia,
Associate Editor of the Membranes Section




Q: What is your area of research?

In my laboratory, we study the structure and function of membrane proteins and their interaction with lipids by NMR, single molecule fluorescence, and other spectroscopic methods. My lab solved the first NMR structure of a larger polytopic membrane protein in 2001 and has since determined three more NMR structures of relatively large membrane proteins. We have focused on structure determinations, folding, and lipid interactions of outer membrane proteins of Gram-negative bacteria. We also have a long-term interest in resolving the mechanisms of membrane fusion in virus entry and synaptic neurotransmitter release. We are focusing on structure-function relationships of the membrane-bound fusion domains of influenza, human immunodeficiency, and Ebola viruses. More recently we also became interested in resolving how the folding and assembly of neuronal SNARE proteins is coupled to synaptic vesicle fusion, which occurs on the millisecond timescale. NMR, single molecule fluorescence, and supported bilayer technologies are merged in these projects to find answers to pertinent questions of how membrane fusion is controlled in these systems.

Q: As Associate Editor of the Membranes section, what type of papers is BJ looking for in that area?

BJ is looking for any interesting papers in the field of membrane biophysics that make a significant impact in their area. Whether focusing entirely on lipids, proteins, both, or on larger systems, BJ editors are interested in evaluating the best papers as long as they address an important biophysical question of membrane biology, or develop an important method that could be used to address such questions. All biophysical approaches—experimental, computational, theoretical, or hybrid—that are applied to an important problem are welcome in the journal.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of being an Associate Editor?

There are many rewarding moments of being an associate editor, but perhaps the most rewarding is to facilitate the dissemination of the best biophysics to the scientific community. Biophysics has continuously renewed itself and is at the forefront of mechanistic molecular biological scientific discovery. BJ has played a major role in this process for many decades and it is my privilege to be part of it.

May 2013 Table of Contents