As a young assistant professor at the University of Washington in the late 1980s, Randall Moon stole into his quiet lab during a holiday break to run one experiment. He had a hunch that the INT-1 gene played a crucial role in development. It turned out he was right: In that one experiment he discovered a critical signaling pathway and the direction of his career for the next 15 years, which he writes about in "WNTer wonderland." "To go from asking a dumb question about why injecting this RNA could turn a frog into a two–headed frog, to having potential therapies for a wide range of diseases based on understanding that pathway, is a nice research arc," says Moon, now an HHMI investigator and professor of pharmacology at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Based in Philadelphia, Dustin Fenstermacher's photos have appeared in The New York Times,...
As a financial analyst at Lehman Brothers, Inc. for nearly 40 years, Frederick Frank has consulted for numerous pharmaceutical, biotech, and healthcare service providers. Now vice chairman and a director of the company, Frank also serves on several advisory boards, including that of the Harvard School of Public Health and of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Biomedical Innovation. In "Translational Disconnect," Frank and co-author Alan Walton write that it's time for the biotech industry to come up with ways to speed scientific innovation to the market. "When markets aren't accommodating, as has happened in the last few years, one has to design creative structures," says Frank.
Kerry Grens joined The Scientist in September 2006 as a staff writer. Since then, she investigated claims by a California company that they could breed hypoallergenic cats, tried to figure out what economic returns biomedical research provides, and reported on how a company is trying to use an unexpected neurological finding to develop new antidepressants. Grens recently left the magazine for WHYY in Philadelphia, where she'll be senior science reporter. It's a return to her roots: Before arriving at The Scientist, Grens was the health and science reporter for New Hampshire Public Radio. For a Notebook "Lab transformation," Grens traveled to a lab at the University of Maryland's Shady Grove campus, where researchers are trying to make a business of manipulating mosquito genomes. "Some of the most enjoyable aspects of reporting for The Scientist have been the in-person visits to cutting-edge laboratories," she says.