Congratulations, 2019 Walter lab Graduates!
(l to r) Drs. Aylin Göke, Kelly Crotty, Sandra Torres, Mable Lam & Aditya Anand
Congratulations 2018 Walter lab graduates Jordan Tsai and Weihan Li!
Congratulations to Walter lab Graduate Student Alumni, Jodi Nunnari, on her election to the National Academy of Sciences!
Peter’s 2016 ASCB President’s Columns
ASCB President’s Column – November 2016
On Publishing and the Sneetches: A Wake-up Call?* by Peter Walter & Dyche Mullins
Two institutions—learned societies and scientific journals—midwifed a scientific revolution in the 17th century that still dominates our professional lives today. Learned societies like the ASCB remain relevant because they provide forums for sharing results, discussing the practice of science, and projecting our voices to the public and the policymakers. Scientific journals still disseminate our work, but in the Internet-connected world of the 21st century this is no longer their critical function. Journals remain relevant today almost entirely because they provide a playing field for scientific and professional competition: To claim credit for a discovery, we publish it in a peer-reviewed journal; to get a job in academia or money to run a lab, we present piles of these published papers to universities and funding agencies. Publishing is so embedded in the practice of science that whoever controls the journals controls access to the entire profession. It is, therefore, worth examining to whom we have entrusted the keys to the kingdom of science …
ASCB President Column / October 2016 – “On Research Funding and the Power of Youth” By Arshad Desai, Peter Walter and Tony Hyman
A person who has not made his great contribution to science before the age of thirty will never do so.” While this quip of Albert Einstein’s certainly does not generally apply to cell biologists, it is well recognized that innovation in science and technology tends to be driven by youth. We only have to look at pioneers of Silicon Valley, physics at the turn of the 20th century, or the average age at which Nobel prize winners perform their ground-breaking work (Figure 1) to remind ourselves that any society that wishes to push true innovation needs to enable its young investigators. Tangibly, it needs to fund their research based on promise, and it needs to promote their paths to early independence …
ACSB President Column / June 2016 – “On Careers and 42” By Peter Walter
What is the secret to a successful career in science?” is a question that I often encounter when meeting with students and postdocs at various institutions. It is a loaded question to which there is no tangible answer, and I always enjoy the discussion that follows …
Reproducibility in scientific research has recently become a hot topic of immense importance to our community. Reports on the unreliability of published research have severely tarnished the image of our profession, as exemplified by an article entitled “How science goes wrong” published in the The Economist in 2013.4 Publishing bad science is bad for all of us. As a community we need to realize the importance of this issue and the major efforts that are underway to respond. In 2014, the ASCB convened a task force that issued a white paper,5 which includes tangible and constructive recommendations on how to improve current publication methods and standards, to ensure the publication of high-quality data. This is an excellent, must-read document, and I urge every researcher and publisher to implement its recommendations …
What is the Unfolded Protein Response? Got 3 minutes?
The animated video titled “What is the Unfolded Protein Response?” provides a simple explanation for a complex biological process. The unfolded protein response is the basis for a broad range of disease research, including diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, typically not an easily understandable concept for the general public. This video targeted a 12th-grade comprehension level to make this concept accessible to a wider science audience.