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Reviewers of the quarter

Molecular Medicine would like to recognize the efforts of its exceptional peer reviewers, for their excellent service. The following individuals have exceeded expectations as far as acceptance rate, the number of completed reviews, and timeliness, for each of the listed three-month periods. The journal cannot succeed without its peer reviewers, and we thank the hard-working members of our network.

Fourth quarter of 2019

Monowar Aziz, PhD
Assistant Professor
Center for Immunology and Inflammation
The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research

Assistant Professor
Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine

Professor Monowar Aziz

My research interest is centered on the discovery of novel pathophysiology of inflammatory disease conditions, e.g., sepsis, ischemia-reperfusion (I/R), and acute lung injury by elucidating the effects of PAMPs and DAMPs like extracellular cold-inducible RNA-binding protein on neutrophil heterogeneity.  I am also interested in elucidating novel therapeutic avenues by using the immunoregulatory properties of B-1a cells for controlling exaggerated inflammation and organ injuries caused by sepsis, shock or I/R injury. 

Third quarter of 2019

Dr Vidyanand Anaparti
Manitoba Center for Proteomics and Systems Biology
Department of Internal Medicine
University of Manitoba

Dr Sen Peng
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)

Dr Sen Peng

Dr Peng's research focuses on designing and applying bioinformatics techniques to identify biomarkers and mechanisms underlying human cancer diseases such as brain and pancreatic cancers. He has progressively developed, tested, and implemented analytical pipelines for processing, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of next-generation sequencing (NGS) data and other complex biological data sets using state-of-art tools. These methods & frameworks may be used, for example, to uncover cancer-specific somatic mutations that may be contributing to carcinogenesis, to identify molecular sub-classification of cancers with applications for more accurate therapeutic selection, and to predict patients’ treatment response on the basis of mutational and mRNA expression profiles.

Professor Jason Plemel
Department of Medicine
Division of Neurology
University of Alberta

Professor Jason Plemel

PD Dr Andreas H. Wagner
Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology
Division of Cardiovascular Physiology
Heidelberg University

Dr Andreas H. WagnerPD Dr Wagner's field of interests include reactive oxygen species as signaling molecules, oxidative posttranslational protein modi-fications and their ability to regulate redox enzyme activity, development of nucleic acid-based therapeutics for the treatment of heart failure and Marfan syndrome, experimental cardiovascular physiology focusing on biomechanical phenotype regulation in vascular cells, and endothelial cell-platelet-leukocyte interactions in the early phase of atherosclerosis.

Second quarter of 2019

Professor Rory R. Koenen
CARIM – School for Cardiovascular Diseases
Department of Biochemistry
Maastricht University

Professor Rory R. KoenenProfessor Koenen studied biochemistry in Sittard (B.Sc.) and at the Radboud University in Nijmegen (M.Sc.),   the Netherlands from 1993-1999. He completed the training programme 'Vascular Biology, Cardiac Function and Adaptation, Thrombosis and Hemostasis' (2003) and his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences (2005) at the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University, The Netherlands. He then moved to the Institute of Molecular Cardiovascular Research at RWTH Aachen University in 2003, chaired by Christian Weber where he was granted a tenured faculty position in 2008. In 2011, Dr. Koenen moved along with Christian Weber to Munich and continued his work at the Institute for Preventive Cardiology (IPEK) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany before moving back to CARIM in 2012 as the recipient of a VIDI grant. He is currently a tenured associate professor at CARIM.

He is currently investigating the inflammatory functions of platelets and the role of particular inflammatory molecules in vascular disease. A VIDI grant was awarded to a project that aims to characterize the molecular aspects of chemokine secretion from platelets and the role of this secretion in cardiovascular diseases. Inflammatory leukocyte recruitment is currently studied from the viewpoint of the endothelial cells. Here, the versatility of a particular adhesion molecule, termed JAM-A, is in special focus. JAM-A can be redistributed from intercellular junction pools to the apical cell surface. Thus, JAM-A can rapidly become available for leukocyte recruitment. This process was found to drive monocyte recruitment during atherosclerotic plaque development. 

Previously focusing mainly on atherosclerosis, the topic of his research will slightly shift towards flow- induced vascular remodelling and vascular disorders that occur on a shorter time scale, such as venous thrombosis. In addition, he will set up novel methods for early diagnosis of vascular disease, including functionalized antibodies against chemokines and against JAM-A for SPECT measurements. Moreover, ELISA-based methods have been established for determining soluble JAM-A, CCL5 and CXCL4 in biologic specimen and studies are ongoing to (further) establish these molecules as biomarkers. In addition, he is setting up a research line focusing on extracellular vesicles from platelets, which affect the behavior and phenotype of other cells. 

First quarter of 2019

Dr Nethaji Muniraj
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University

Dr Nethaji Muniraj

Dr Muniraj's research is primarily focused on different aspects of breast carcinogenesis and autophagy. His research interests include cancer cell signaling; bioactive compounds in cancer therapy; adipocyte-macrophage-breast cancer tumor microenvironment; adipocyte browning; and macrophage polarization.

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