We take it for granted today that each hormone and other intercellular messenger have their own specific receptors. But this was not the case until the groundbreaking work of Jesse Roth and his colleagues. Roth is best known for his research on cell surface membrane receptors. His studies on the receptors for insulin, growth hormone, and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in the early 1970s became the model for many others.
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.