Journal of Cell Science (JCS) and its publisher, The Company of Biologists, have a strong focus on supporting early-career researchers (ECRs). We have implemented a number of initiatives to help researchers at the earlier stages of their careers, such as featuring first authors of published JCS papers in our First Person interviews, and profiling up-and-coming researchers in our Cell Scientists to Watch interview series. We also encourage our reviewers to name student and postdoc co-reviewers from their labs on their reports so these early-career scientists can get the recognition they deserve for their hard work. You may have also come across preLights – the preprint highlighting service run by ECRs and supported by The Company of Biologists. Even Mole, the mysterious JCS insectivore who imparts wise words on the life scientific in his ‘Sticky Wickets' column in the journal, put together a popular comic series on how to start your own lab (see Mole's Wow! So Now You Have Your Own Lab! A guide for the nervous or for the should-be-nervous).
We would therefore like to announce our latest endeavour to support the career development of scientists – the appointment of a diverse group of seven ECRs to our Editorial Advisory Board. We recognise each of these outstanding scientists as full members of our board, and will ask them to fill the same role as all other members: they will be asked to review or give advice on papers in their areas of expertise and give feedback on journal policies and development. We thank both these new appointees and our existing Editorial Advisory Board members for their invaluable service to Journal of Cell Science and the cell biology community.
Vaishnavi Ananthanarayanan is an Assistant Professor and Wellcome Trust/DBT-India Alliance Intermediate Fellow at the Centre for BioSystems Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Her lab's research is focused on quantitatively dissecting the role of microtubules and associated proteins in various cellular processes by employing high-resolution live-cell microscopy as the primary tool.
David Bryant is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, based at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute. David's research is focused on how cell polarity is generated in normal tissues, and how this is lost in prostate, ovarian and colorectal tumours. A central theme of the laboratory is understanding how a class of lipids, termed phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIPs), their regulators and effectors control cell polarisation. The lab makes extensive use of 3D culture to characterise this process.
Elif Nur Firat-Karalar
Elif Nur Firat-Karalar, who was recently appointed an EMBO Young Investigator, is an Assistant Professor in the Molecular Biology and Genetics department at Koc University, Turkey. The Firat-Karalar laboratory combines cell biology, biochemistry and proteomics approaches to study how centrosomes and cilia assemble and function in response to different stimuli and across different cell types, and how their deregulation causes developmental disorders such as ciliopathies. In particular, they focus on uncovering the mechanisms by which centriolar satellites regulate these processes in mammalian cells.
Ana García-Saéz is the Chair for Cell Biology and Genetics at the Institute for Genetics at the University of Cologne, Germany. Her research is focused on the study of dynamic membrane processes from a quantitative point of view. Ana's group has a special interest in the mitochondrial membrane alterations during apoptosis and the mechanism of action of the Bcl-2 proteins, as well as in the molecular mechanisms of plasma membrane permeabilization in other forms of regulated cell death. To address these problems, The García-Saéz group makes use of their expertise in membrane biophysics, advanced microscopy and single-molecule techniques.
Gerry Hammond is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. His lab studies mechanisms of membrane homeostasis in health and disease, with a focus on regulation by inositol lipids. Specific areas of research include inositol lipids in membrane contact site biology and lipid transfer, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signalling in cancer as well as the integration of plasma membrane functions by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) in normal and diseased states. The lab specializes in microscopy using optical biosensors and chemo/optogenetic approaches to study these problems in single living cells.
Lei Lu is an Assistant Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His lab studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of ciliary targeting and membrane trafficking at the Golgi complex. Lei's PhD student Viswanadh Madugula won the JCS Outstanding Paper Prize in 2016.
María Isabel Yuseff
María Isabel Yuseff is an Associate Professor at the P. Universidad Catolica de Chile and team leader of the Immune Cell Biology Lab. Her group is interested in understanding how cells of the immune system orchestrate cytoskeleton and organelle dynamics to promote their immune effector functions. They recently revealed two mechanisms that couple cell polarity to membrane trafficking at the B cell synapse, enabling B cells to become competent as antigen presenting cells. The first involves the exocyst complex and the second involves local protein degradation.