Barbara Kahn is the quintessential physician-scientist. Dr. Kahn, of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, is best known for elucidating molecular mechanisms of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and insulin resistance, with a particular emphasis on the role of the adipocyte in regulating glucose metabolism. In this interview by JCI Editor at Large Ushma Neill, Dr. Kahn discusses her work and history, including tales of going to Studio 54 with Andy Warhol.
Sir Marc Feldmann, Lasker awardee in 2003 for his role in discovering anti-TNF therapy, acts as interviewer, speaking with the two recipients of the 2019 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, Max D. Cooper of Emory University and Jacques Miller of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Drs. Miller and Cooper identified and defined the function of T and B cells, uncovering the organizing principle of the adaptive immune system.
Cell biologist Elaine Fuchs of the Rockefeller University is best known for revolutionizing the molecular and genetic study of skin. Her research has shed light on dermatologic disorders and all aspects of skin growth and regeneration. Her more recent work in stem cell biology has revealed broad paradigms that regulate tissue regenerative stem cells across the body, and the mechanisms she has described have major ramifications in cancer and regenerative medicine.
Lucy Shapiro, of Stanford University, is a renowned molecular and developmental biologist whose work has answered the fundamental questions underlying the genetic and molecular decision-making process that directs an asymmetric cell division yielding daughter cells with different cell fates. Shapiro’s insights helped launch the field of systems biology, and more recently, her work has led to the development of novel antifungal drugs.
JCI Editor at Large Ushma S. Neill interviews the geneticist, innovator, and entrepreneur George Church, of Harvard and MIT. Dr. Church developed the methods for the first genome sequencing, and his subsequent work has brought down the price of sequencing over 10-million-fold. His was one of the two research groups that first got CRISPR/Cas9 to work for precise gene editing in human cells by a homologous recombination, and he has been behind countless other scientific innovations and disruptions, specifically in the world of precision genome sequencing.