The editorial board is responsible for reviewing and editing of all manuscripts, as well as determining whether submissions are suitable for publication. The Editor-in-Chief reads all submissions to the journal. Reviewing is done by professional, PhD-level scientists. The Managing Editor assists the Editor-in-Chief in processing submissions and maintaining contact with scientists, especially with future authors.
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Duy Phan. Undergraduate Student at Johns Hopkins University.
Duy Phan studies Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University as a Michael R. Bloomberg Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar. Duy’s overall research goal is to understand the brain on a circuitry level by focusing on three specific areas: 1) Neural circuit formation during development, 2) Neural circuitry function, and 3) The plasticity and maintenance of circuits throughout life. Duy has established and developed the first-ever neural stem cell studies done in the Hattar lab at Johns Hopkins University. Ultimately, Duy hopes to translate these research findings into strategies that can help individuals to regain motor, cognitive, and mood functions that are perturbed in nervous system disorders. In his free time, Duy is a classical pianist and violinist, as well as a professional ballroom dance coach. Duy is also a technology enthusiast and designs websites (including Current Science Review).
Peeyush Shrivastava. Undergraduate Student at Ohio State University
Peeyush graduated high school with honors in three years, even after being on track to graduate as valedictorian. During this time, Shrivastava worked in multiple biophysics and cellular physiology laboratories on cutting-edge research dealing with a multitude of molecular mechanisms underlying cardiac arrhythmias. For this work, he was named one of the two Intel Science Talent Search Semifinalists in the state of Ohio, was named an Honorary Lifetime Fellow of the American Junior Academy of Sciences, and designated in Ohio as a John H. and Ruth Melvin Memorial STEM Scholar. An ambitious and dedicated scientist, Shrivastava works tirelessly to ensure that no one face the situation his grandfather did, suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Bipolar Disorder, Dementia, Severe Depression and cardiac physiology deficiencies. Shrivastava is also the Founder and CEO of Genetesis, a medical biotechnology company oriented towards personalizing the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac rhythm disorders. The company has been recognized as a winner of 43North, been named a Janssen Labs Company. Shrivastava is also the CSO of Proscia, where he leads business strategy for a cutting edge digital pathology platform. In 2014, he was named one of the 40 finalists for the Thiel Fellowship. In his spare time, he enjoys playing tennis and traveling the world.
Reviewing Editorial Board
Dr. Arthur Burghes, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at Ohio State University
Having received a Ph.D. from University of London and completed postdoctoral work at University of Toronto, Dr. Burghes is a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at the Ohio State University and an expert in the field of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) biology. The most common cause of infant mortality, SMA is characterized by loss of motor neurons and muscle atrophy. The cause of SMA is due to a deficiency in Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) protein levels. Dr. Burghes developed the first animal model of SMA and demonstrated that high copy numbers of the SMN2 gene can rescue the SMA mouse. Additionally, his lab is using this animal model of SMA to understand the cellular mechanism of motor neuron degeneration and to develop treatments for SMA. A high throughput screen to identify compounds that can activate has been started. It is hoped that these compounds can act as therapeutic reagents for SMA.
Dr. Thomas Gillingwater, BSC, MBA, Ph.D., FRMS, FAS, Professor of Neuroanatomy at Edinburgh University, Scotland, United Kingdom
Professor Gillingwater is Professor of Neuroanatomy at the University of Edinburgh and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Anatomy and Academic Editor of PLoS One. He also teaches gross human anatomy and neuronanatomy to medical students and MSc students.
Dr. Charles Hall, M.D., Ph.D., Clinical Faculty at Wright State University, Premier Health Clinical Neuroscience Institute
Charles W. Hall, MD, PhD graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 2000. He completed his residency in Neurology at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Hall completed a fellowship in EEG/Epilepsy at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Hall received his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Physiology from the University of Cincinnati. He is board-certified in neurology.
Dr. Samer Hattar, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University
For many years, it was assumed that rods and cones are the only photoreceptors capable of detecting light in the mammalian retina. However, research from several laboratories uncovered a third type of photoreceptor cell in the mammalian retina. These cells express the photopigment melanopsin first identified by Ignacio Provencio and colleagues, and were shown to be intrinsically photosensitive by David Berson and colleagues. Robert Lucas and colleagues were the first to show conclusively (yet indirectly) that the melanopsin cells absorb light maximally at different wavelength than those of rods and cones. We in close, fruitful and continuing collaborations with Robert Lucas and David Berson have shown that these cells target specifically non-image-forming centers in the brain including the suprachiasmatic nucleus (center for the circadian pacemaker), and the olivary pretectal nucleus (the area responsible for pupil constriction) among many others. The main purpose of our research is to understand both the mode of action of these newly identified photoreceptors, and the individual contributions of the rods, cones and these novel photoreceptors in signaling light for non-image-forming visual functions.
Dr. Umrao Monani, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
Our research interests center on two pediatric neurodegenerative diseases, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and Aromatic L-Amino Acid (AADC) Deficiency. SMA is a relatively common (carrier frequency of ~1 in 40) neuromuscular disorder caused by a deficiency of the SMN protein that results in spinal motor neuron degeneration. AADC deficiency is a multi-symptomatic disease caused by the inability to synthesize normal levels of the neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine. There is no effective cure for either disease. Available treatments are palliative at best. We use model mice to investigate the molecular and cellular basis of neurodegeneration in the two diseases. Current projects utilize a combination of genetics, cell biology and functional assays to determine 1) the cellular site(s) of action of the SMN protein, 2) novel pathways linking protein deficiency in the two diseases to neurodegeneration and 3) the developmental requirements of AADC and SMN in health and disease. It is expected that the results of these experiments will be instrumental in the design and implementation of safe and effective treatments for the disorders. We are also interested in exploring the role of the SMN protein in other neurodegenerative disorders. Establishing a link between SMN and these disorders is likely to shed light on more general mechanisms involved in the susceptibility and degeneration of neurons subjected to deficiencies in ubiquitously expressed proteins.
Dr. Judith Steen, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School
Judith Steen studied chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Toronto. She then studied mass spectrometry and cell biology under the mentorship of Peter Roepstorff (University of Southern Denmark) and Marc Kirschner (Harvard University), respectively.
Dr. Eduardo Tizzano, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics at Hospital Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain
Eduardo is a specialist in Pediatrics and Medical Genetic and the Principal Investigator of the U-705 CIBERER. He is devoted to diagnosis and research in SMA at the Hospital of Sant Pau of Barcelona, a reference Center for SMA diagnosis from all over Spain. His main areas of research include the characterization of SMA during human development, genotype-phenotype correlations and validation of biological markers. He is very active in academic and research activities at national and international levels collaborating with different neuromuscular and genetic centers. He has close liaisons to regional and national patient support groups. He was awarded with the Queen Sophia Prize for his cumulative clinical, research and social work in SMA. He also coordinates the SMA Registry, Biobank and clinical research in Spain with the purpose to define therapeutic targets for the disease.
Dr. Naoya Yamashita, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Yokohama City University, School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan
Born and raised in Japan, Naoya received his BS and MS in Biological Sciences from University of Tsukuba and his PhD in Medical Science from Yokohama City University. Naoya then became assistant professor at Yokohama City University, School of Medicine. He discovered novel molecular mechanism of dendritic development in the hippocampus induced by Semaphorin3A, one of the repulsive axon guidance molecule. Currently, in addition to being an Assistant Professor at Yokohama City University, Naoya is now studying how target-derived signal is propagated from distal axon to cell body in neurons in Dr. Rejji Kuruvilla’s lab at Johns Hopkins University with fellowship from JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) and Naito Foundation.