Category Archives: Partner of the Month

November Partner of the Month: Karger

Get to know an Editor-in-Chief: Brant E. lsakson (Journal of Vascular Research)

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was raised in the middle part of the United States, which is predominantly flat farmland. Even though I live on the East Coast of the US now, I am still nostalgic for that part of the US. I enjoy reading history, playing with my kids, coffee, and working outside.

2. You are a professor of molecular physiology and biological physics and part of an ambitious interdisciplinary research effort to understand how cells communicate. How did you become interested in your field?

I first became interested in cell-cell communication while an undergraduate student. I took an independent study class on endocrinology and thought it was fantastic! Because of this class, I applied to graduate school and worked on calcium signaling and gap junctions between cell types with Dr. Scott Boitano for my PhD, and further focused on heterocellular communication between the endothelium and smooth muscle during my post-doc with Dr. Brian Duling. Both professors were quite instrumental in fostering my passion for the topic. I have been hooked ever since, and cellular communication remains the essential theme of my lab.

3. Which other exciting developments are currently taking place in the field?

From a very biased perspective based on my science, I see purinergic signaling having a resurgence of interest and activity with a lot of high-impact work coming out in the pannexin and CALHM channel fields. Although the receptors for purinergic signaling have been known for some time, how the purinergic signal escapes the cell has been unknown. The discovery of non-red blood cell hemoglobin and its potential physiological roles has also been quite interesting.

4. What advice would you give to someone just starting their career?

Create your own niche and do something different, i.e., focus on being creative. I am an advocate of not following the canonical pathway, in life or science! Science can get weighed down by dogmatic assumptions. It’s your job to break free from those assumptions and make the novel discoveries.

5. What do you feel makes the Journal of Vascular Research special in the publishing landscape and are there papers you would like to see submitted to JVR?

JVR is one of the oldest journals dedicated to vascular research. The journal is run by active researchers who understand how important quality and reproducible science is to the scientific community to move forward. In terms of papers I would like to see in JVR, my preference would be for manuscripts with novel ideas that push the boundaries of our current vascular biology using new technology or testing new concepts. New methods, especially genetic models, would also be of great interest to JVR.

Brant E. Isakson, PhD
Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Resident Faculty of the Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center, UVA School of Medicine Pinn Scholar, University of Virginia School of Medicine

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October Partner of the Month: Finding Genius Podcast

Finding Geniuses, Feeding Curiosity

Weeding out the mediocre to reach the extraordinary—the top 0.1% of experts in research, academia, industry, and business. That’s step number one. Second, ask challenging questions that evoke compelling answers—the type of answers you don’t hear often, the type that could trigger whole paradigm shifts. Third, deliver it to you, whether you’re an expert yourself or a layperson who loves to learn.

October 2020 marks Richard Jacobs’s fourth anniversary of following these three seemingly simple steps. Initially, Jacobs focused on ‘round-the-corner’ technologies, including cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, 3D bioprinting, and more. How can cryptocurrency lead to a more transparent form of governance? Are swarm-based predictive insights being implemented in new entertainment products? Is life extension possible with bioengineered organs? These questions are just a snippet of the wide range of tech-based topics explored by Jacobs and his guests, in what was then titled Future Tech Podcast.

Impelled by a major personal health crisis in 2017, Jacobs began gearing the episodes toward topics in health, medicine, and bioscience. This led him to interview nearly 100 experts on sleep science and related issues, such as the connection between dentistry and snoring, and how the bacteria in your gut could be keeping you up at night. He’s heard from countless authoritative voices on the latest in cancer research, genetics and epigenetics, the microbiome, oral and systemic health, thyroid health, and how the mind affects the body—especially when it comes to stress and anxiety.

A new title seemed fitting; not only did the old one too narrowly capture the breadth of information discoverable through the podcast, but it failed to underscore what Jacobs was really doing: searching for information from the best and the brightest in the world, and finding geniuses. Finding Genius Podcast emerged in mid-2019.

Jacobs’s most recent endeavor on the podcast has been to dig deeply into the topic of viruses, far beyond the definitions you’ll find in a Google search. He’s interviewing 30+ researchers, academics, and clinicians to get their take on a set of provocative questions. Are viruses alive, and if so, does that necessitate self-awareness? Do viruses communicate and coordinate with one other to invade and replicate within host cells? How have viruses played a role in evolution, adaptation, and speciation? Are viruses actually responsible for building host immunity, as opposed to only breaking it down? The answers to these questions and more will be used to create a uniquely informative and palatable compendium of perspectives and data about viruses.

Good questions lead to good answers, which in turn lead to even better questions; it’s this positive feedback loop of curiosity and knowledge that fuels Finding Genius Podcast, and appeals to a growing number of listeners. Don’t wait for the next episode; visit Finding Genius Podcast and type a word or three in the search bar. Diet. Robots with muscles. History and COVID-19. Meditation. Microbiome and cancer. Whatever you choose, it’s a near guarantee that you’ll learn something new.

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Partner of the Month: The Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine (FAIM)

The Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine (FAIM) provides a service to the field of alternative and integrative medicine by educating the public with cutting edge information through collaboration with experts in the field and by assisting researchers and practitioners in research evaluating promising therapies and theories in natural health care.  The FAIM website serves as an umbrella for experts in all areas listed in the website Health Topics to share the latest in natural medicine.  This information is offered free to the public at large.

FAIM strives to promote education and research in the areas of new frontiers in science and technology in natural health care.  This would include health related discoveries which hold promise and efficacy.  FAIM publishes these reports on the FAIM website and communicates the research findings reaching the public and professionals.

Research of technologies that are sometimes considered unconventional, still hold the potential of contributing to the paradigm shift in medicine and thus offer a platform to be researched to confirm efficacy.  Documenting these technologies offers a service to natural health care and the future.

Progress in the field of complementary and alternative medicine is frustratingly slow. This is due, in part, to practitioners who lack preliminary data beyond patient testimonials. Slow progress may also be attributed to limited financial resources and inadequate research capacity.  Therefore, FAIM provides a service to the field by assisting researchers and practitioners in collecting outcome data.

FAIM is committed to research to obtain the most valuable data. Knowing the limitations of research due to funding restrictions, FAIM is developing collaborations with research facilities nationally and internationally where it can conduct research on therapies and technologies. In the case of international collaborations, the research would benefit the country from the knowledge revealed.  This research could lead the way towards real breakthroughs in world health.  FAIM is eager to collaborate with groups within and outside the U.S. who have the research capacity and interest in advancing investigations of non-toxic, innovative, and cost-effective therapies for conditions with a large public health impact.

Goals:

Public and Professional Education

Collaborate with experts in the field to disseminate accurate and reliable information on natural health care therapies, theories, technologies, and principles through the FAIM website, FAIM Facebook page, and other avenues.

Investigation

Search the world for effective, nontoxic, and low-cost alternative medical therapies with the assistance of National and International Resource Coordinators.  Attend conferences and do site visits so as to investigate the latest in natural health care options.

Research

Participate in research with medical facilities, laboratories, foundations, hospitals, and universities for the development of studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of a therapy or technology and document outcome data.

Implementation

Disseminate information aligned with our mission on new frontiers in science and medicine through published research, the FAIM website, and FAIM Facebook page and encourage adoption of cost effective therapies.

For more information go to www.faim.org

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