Issues of ASBMB Today


January   2014

The cover story of the January 2014 issue features Jennifer Fairman, the medical illustrator recruited to help produce a special issue of the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. Our editorial board chairman, Charles Brenner of the University of Iowa, demystifies faculty salaries, and contributor Joe Tiano of the National Institutes of Health shares advice and resources for making sure your digital footprint doesn’t hamper your job search. Journalist and photographer Michael Mira launches to reader-contributed part of our Open Letters series with “a belated love letter” to his first-grade science teacher. You probably noticed that we have a new logo. Find out more about our redesign.


February   2014

The cover story of the February 2014 issue is about white spot syndrome virus, which threatens shrimp and those who make their living cultivating them. Benjamin D. Caldwell, dean of the Missouri Western State University Graduate School, writes about what it’s like to become a member of the administration, or, as some say, to move over to “the dark side.” Our “Open Letters” series continues this month with a piece from Akshat Sharma, who submitted a version of a letter he once sent while applying to a science-writing program (before he decided to stick with immunology). For those of you considering attending the ASBMB’s symposium about massive online open courses at the annual meeting in San Diego in April, we have a roundtable-style Q&A with Joseph Provost and Michael J. Pikaart about the potential impacts of MOOCs and the implications for brick-and-mortar colleges and universities.


March   2014

In the cover story of the March 2014 issue, contributor Diedre Ribbens explores the causes of seasonal affective disorder, or the “winter blues.” Also, we offer two Q&As by science writer Rajendrani Mukhopadhyay: one with John Denu, a new associate editor at the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and one with Jonathan Weissman, the plenary lecturer for the ASBMB annual meeting next month in San Diego. In his “President’s Message,” Jeremy Berg analyzes the effects of the across-the-board federal budget cuts on investigators seeking R-series grants from the National Institutes of Health. And, on a related note, ASBMB’s public affairs director, Benjamin Corb, writes about why it’s so hard to secure increased research-funding appropriations even when politicians throughout the political spectrum agree on science’s value to the nation and humanity. Finally, we begin our coverage of the ASBMB annual award winners. We will feature the remaining winners next month.

Cover of the April 2014 issue of ASBMB Today

April   2014

In the cover story of the April 2014 issue, science writer Rajendrani Mukhopadhyay explores new research on the parasitic jewel wasp, which bewitches its prey with a special venom, turning it into a willing participant in its own demise. In a Retrospective article, colleagues remember Richard Hanson, a former ASBMB president and Journal of Biological Chemistry associate editor. In his “President’s Message,” Jeremy Berg evaluates the role of serendipity and asking the right research questions. Finally, we complete our coverage of the ASBMB annual award winners.

Cover of the May 2014 issue of ASBMB Today

May   2014

In the cover story of the May 2014 issue, science writer Rajendrani Mukhopadhyay talks with Norman Lewis of Washington State University. Lewis’ group is exploring how common trees can be engineered to produce high-value commodities. In one of his last columns as president of ASBMB, Jeremy Berg reviews two books that you might want to add to your summer reading list. Our Perspectives section is brimming with ideas and advice this month. Check out Philip Yeagle’s open letter of thanks to a special group of researchers, Andrew D. Hollenbach’s advice for Kirschstein NRSA grant applicants, and Brent R. Stockwell and Michael Cennamo’s article about “flipping” the biochemistry classroom at Columbia University.

Cover of the June/July 2014 issue of ASBMB Today

June   2014

In the cover story of the June/July 2014 issue of ASBMB Today, science writer Rajendrani Mukhopadhyay explores a longstanding controversy over how much vitamin D is enough for good health. While the Institute of Medicine raised the recommended daily intake to 600 IUs in 2011, some say the limit should be increased more in light of mounting (but not yet conclusive) evidence that vitamin D does a lot more than promote bone health. In his final column as president, Jeremy Berg reflects on the ASBMB annual meeting and announces his new blog, Datahound. Our Perspectives section is full of commentary about careers. Check out Bill Sullivan’s open letter to his parents about becoming an academic researcher, blogger Prof-like Substance’s thoughts about being a “cool professor” and Andrew D. Hollenbach’s essay about what it means to be a successful mentor. Plus, learn about a two-part course on science communication taught by Thomas O. Baldwin at the University of California, Riverside.


August   2014

In our cover story, we learn about Jennifer Doudna's groundbreaking work on CRISPR and Cas9 and about her close relationship with her lab manager, who she says has played a pivotal role in her group's success. Thinking about making the jump from a faculty position to a spot in your institution's administration? See our second article in a series about moving to "the dark side" by Benjamin D. Caldwell and Mary Huff. Meanwhile, contributor Andrew Hollenbach writes about overcoming a significant roadblock on his career path: panic attacks. And Milton J. Cormier and Richard O. McCann write about the role of the Cormier lab in the cloning and expression of the GFP gene. Last, but not least, don't miss the first "President's Message" by ASBMB President Steven McKnight, who, by the way, will participate in a live-streamed Q&A session Aug. 11. Get your questions ready!

ASBMB Today September 2014

September   2014

The September 2014 issue is chock-full of great reads! It marks the launch of an exciting series of articles about people who were trained in science but who have made their livings (and sometimes fortunes) in totally different professions. First up: punks who publish! In the second column of his presidency, Steve McKnight gives you his take on why the review process isn't what it should be. You'll notice we have included a number of obituaries for ASBMB members this month. One is about Roy P. Mackal, who chose a very different path than most biochemists. Lastly, we close out our Open Letters series with a piece by Kelly Hallstrom, who has some advice for the most recent cohort of graduate students. We hope you will enjoy — and share — the September issue!

ASBMB Today 201003

October   2014

The October issue continues our "Defying stereotypes" series of articles about people who were trained in science but who have made their names in other ways. In this issue, we feature Craig Breslow, a brainy baseball player who worked under scientist Joan Steitz at Yale University. We also have a feature on Michael Weiss at Case Western Reserve University, whose company, Thermalin Diabetes, is gearing up to do human trials of an ultraconcentrated, rapid-acting insulin analog. In our perspectives section, Bob Eisenberg of Rush University Medical Center asks, "Shouldn't we make biochemistry an exact science?" And we're proud to report that two ASBMB members won the 2014 Lasker award for their work on the unfolded protein response. We hope you will enjoy — and share — the October issue!


November   2014

The November issue has something for just about everyone. In the mood for something serious? Our big feature story is about thalidomide, a drug that in the 1950s was found to cause severe birth deformities but that today is used as a cancer therapy. Need a pick-me-up? This month's installment of our "Defying stereotypes" series profiles Nina Davuluri, a brainy beauty queen who advocates for STEM education. Like a little controversy? Read two reader responses to ASBMB President Steve McKnight's September column about study sections, and read McKnight's latest column defending his record when it comes to supporting early-career scientists. Need something super cool to post on social media? Check out these pretty images from the FASEB BioArt contest. Lastly, consider taking our reader survey so that we can better serve you. We hope you enjoy the November issue!


December   2014

Our Defying Stereotypes series continues with  two stories about women who've found ways to professionally blend science and art. Our science writer reports on how Smithsonian scientists are trying to figure out some little details that will make a big difference in their genomic research endeavor. ASBMB President Steve McKnight tells a story about "a triumph of science." Our intern, Maggie Kuo, profiles a graduate student who regularly appears on shows like "The View" to inspire the public to embrace and experiment with science. And, for those of you still doing holiday shopping, we scoured CafePress to find the best mugs for scientists.