About the Editors
Italy, Rome and UK, Cambridge - Gerry Melino is Head of the Apoptosis & Cancer Laboratory, Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, UK; and Professor of Molecular Biology (Medicine), University of Rome "Tor Vergata". He was awarded the Academia Lincei "Feltrinelli" Prize, the highest distinction by the President of Italy. His scientific interest focuses upon programmed cell death in cancer and skin. On the epidermis he works on the molecular events leading to death of keratinocytes, both in animal models as well as in human pathologies. Gerry's major work investigates the two recently identified members of the p53 family – p63 and p73. The molecular events driven by DNA damage to elicit the function of p63/p73 is investigated in vitro (transcriptional targets, proteosomal degradation, inhibitors) as well in ad hoc transgenic animal models.
KEYWORDS: apoptosis; p63/p73; skin; DNA damage; transgenic animal models
Tak W Mak
Canada, Toronto - Tak W. Mak is the Director of the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and a University Professor in the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Immunology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Mak received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Alberta. His postdoctoral work was performed at the Ontario Cancer Institute under the supervision of Dr. Ernest McCulloch. Dr. Mak's research interests center on immune cell recognition/regulation, molecular mechanisms underlying the survival and death of normal or malignant cells, as well as the role of inflammation in the progression of autoimmune disease and cancer. He is best known as the lead scientist of the group that first cloned the genes of the human T cell antigen receptor, a discovery that provided essential insights into the molecular basis of cellular immunity. In addition, Dr. Mak has devoted a large portion of his research to investigating the pathogenesis of cancer. In particular, he is interested in mechanisms of metabolic transformation in order to identify potential targets for novel cancer therapeutics.
Dr. Mak has published over 800 peer-reviewed research papers and holds many patents. His many accomplishments have been recognized by the scientific community through numerous prestigious awards and honours, such as the, Emil von Behring Prize, Gairdner International Award, King Faisal International Prize for Medicine, Sloan Prize, and Novartis Immunology Prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), an Officer of the Orders of Ontario and Canada and a Fellow of American Association for Cancer Research Academy (USA).
KEYWORDS: T cell activation, cell signalling, apoptosis, cancer, microarray, tumour suppressors, immunology
Eric H Baehrecke
USA, Worcester - Eric Baehrecke obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation at the University of Utah during his postdoctoral studies. He was a faculty member of the University of Maryland from 1995-2007, and is currently a Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His team studies the regulation and function of autophagy in cell survival and cell death, and the mechanisms controlling non-apoptotic cell death.
KEYWORDS: autophagy, apoptosis, Drosophila
Richard A Knight
UK, London - Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Medical Molecular Biology Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, and member of the Apoptosis and Cancer Laboratory, Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, Leicester, UK. Scientific interests include all aspects of cell death, especially in relation to the p53 family, the role of STAT transcription factors in cell cycle control and apoptosis and the mechanisms of cytoprotection by the urocortins, particularly in cardiovascular and neuronal pathologies.
KEYWORDS: STAT; apoptosis; p73; urocortin; neurodegeneration
Australia, Melbourne - David Vaux is currently at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI), in Melbourne, Australia. He graduated in medicine from the University of Melbourne, before completing a PhD at WEHI, and a post-doc at Stanford. He is best known for his work on Bcl-2, having found in 1988 that it acted, unlike other oncogenes known at the time, to inhibit cell death, rather than promoting cell proliferation. By showing human Bcl-2 could inhibit developmental cell death in C. elegans, he showed that apoptosis and programmed cell death were the same, evolutionarily conserved process. He was among those who first identified the mammalian inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins, and their mammalian antagonists, such as Smac/Diablo. He is currently on the Scientific Advisory Board of TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals.
KEYWORDS: Bcl-2, IAP protein family, apoptosis