Editors & Staff
Tim Spencer, Executive Editor
Tim received his PhD from the City University of New York, where he studied the signaling mechanisms that underlie the promotion of axonal growth and regeneration following injury in the laboratory of Marie Filbin. He then moved to the laboratory of Chris Henderson at Columbia University, where he examined molecular markers of postnatal motor neuron maturation and elements of motor-specific disease. Tim served as a Senior Scientific Editor at Nature Neuroscience since 2011 before moving to RUP to become the Deputy Editor of the Journal of Cell Biology in 2016. He became Executive Editor in 2019.
Andrea Marat, Senior Scientific Editor, Reviews
Andrea did her PhD with Peter McPherson at McGill University in Montreal studying the regulation of membrane trafficking by Rab GTPases. She then moved to the laboratory of Volker Haucke in Berlin, where she examined mechanisms controlling mTORC1 signaling. Andrea joined the Rockefeller University Press in 2016 as a Scientific Editor at the Journal of Cell Biology. In addition to handling research manuscripts, Andrea is responsible for all Reviews and Perspectives published in the journal.
Tim Fessenden, Scientific Editor
Tim Fessenden received his PhD from the University of Chicago under the mentorship of Margaret Gardel, for his work on the cytoskeletal regulation of multicellular invasion. He then moved to MIT where he completed postdoctoral studies on tumor immunology and mechanisms of tumor sensing by dendritic cells. Tim joined the Journal of Cell Biology as a Scientific Editor in 2021.
Dan Simon, Scientific Editor
Dan received his PhD from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore where he investigated the functions and regulation of A-type lamins with Katherine Wilson. He then moved to Rockefeller University in New York for a postdoc with Michael Rout studying oncogenic defects at the Nuclear Pore Complex. Dan joined the Rockefeller University Press in 2020 as Scientific Editor at the Journal of Cell Biology.
Jodi Nunnari, Editor-in-Chief
Jodi Nunnari's postdoctoral work transformed the way scientists view mitochondria and helped found the field of mitochondrial dynamics. She performed pioneering studies that have revealed the molecular mechanisms underlying mitochondrial division and fusion. Jodi was trained as a chemist at the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH and obtained her PhD in pharmacology at Vanderbilt University, working with Lee Limbird. After her postdoctoral work in Peter Walter's laboratory at UCSF, she obtained an independent position at the University of California, Davis, ultimately becoming Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. In 2022, Jodi joined Altos Labs as a founding PI and retains an appointment at UC, Davis.
Arshad Desai, Editor
Arshad Desai studies the molecular mechanisms that ensure accurate distribution of the genome during cell division. He received his PhD in cell biology from UCSF, where he worked with Tim Mitchison on regulation of microtubule dynamics, and conducted his postdoctoral work with Tony Hyman at the EMBL Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute in Dresden. Since late 2002, he has been at UC San Diego and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, where his group has investigated many aspects of chromosome segregation and cell division, including the mechanisms underlying chromosome-spindle attachments, the coordination of mechanics and signaling during chromosome segregation, accuracy pathways that prevent chromosome loss, the epigenetic basis of centromere identity, and, in collaborative work, the role of centrosomes in chromosome segregation and cell cycle progression. He is a recipient of the ASCB Early Career Award and a Keith R. Porter Fellow.
Pier Paolo Di Fiore, Editor
Pier Paolo Di Fiore is the founder of IFOM, an internationally competitive research center, where he carries out most of his research. His work focuses on cancer, particularly on the mechanisms of signal transduction by growth factor receptors in tumors and the role of endocytosis in this process. He is Full Professor of General Pathology at Milan University, and he cofounded the European School of Medicine, which provides PhD programs in molecular medicine, medical nanotechnology, and bioethics. Di Fiore’s life’s work is widely recognized, as witnessed by more than 170 published papers. He was made an EMBO member in 1998 and has received numerous international awards.
Elaine Fuchs, Editor
Dr. Fuchs studies epithelial stem cells of the skin and how they function in homeostasis and wound repair. Her studies encompass the normal biology of skin stem cells and how these processes go awry in diseases. Dr. Fuchs received her BS in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1972 and her PhD in biochemistry in 1977 from Princeton University. She was a postdoc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1977 to 1980. Dr. Fuchs was the Amgen Professor of Basic Sciences at the University of Chicago before coming to The Rockefeller University in 2002. She was named the Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor the same year. She has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 1988. Dr. Fuchs has received numerous honors and awards, including the National Medal of Science in 2009 and the EB Wilson Award from the ASCB.
Anna Huttenlocher, Editor
Anna Huttenlocher studies the basic molecular mechanisms that regulate cell migration and is interested in the implications of these mechanisms to human disease. Her laboratory has pioneered approaches to visualize and manipulate cell motility and innate immunity in zebrafish. Dr. Huttenlocher received her BA from Oberlin College and MD from Harvard Medical School. She performed her postdoctoral work with Zena Werb and Caroline Damsky at UCSF and Rick Horwitz at the University of Illinois. She is now the Vilas Distinguished Research Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a recipient of a MIRA grant from NIGMS and was recently elected into the National Academy of Medicine.
Ian Macara, Editor
Ian Macara studies apical/basal polarity and its regulation in mammary gland morphogenesis and breast cancer. He received his BSc and PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Sheffield, UK, and his postdoctoral studies were with Lew Cantley at Harvard University. After teaching for 3 years at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, his first faculty position in the US was at the University of Rochester, where he discovered the interaction between PI kinase and tyrosine kinases. He subsequently spent 15 years at the University of Virginia, where he was a Harrison Distinguished Professor, working on nucleocytoplasmic transport mechanisms and epithelial cell polarity. He has served on the NCI Basic Sciences Council and ASCB Council. Since 2012 he has been Chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Ira Mellman, Editor
Ira Mellman came to Genentech in the spring of 2007 as Vice President of Research Oncology after more than 20 years as a faculty member at the Yale University School of Medicine, where he was chair of his department (Cell Biology), a member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, scientific director of the Yale Cancer Center, and Sterling Professor of Cell Biology and Immunobiology. Dr. Mellman has a BA from Oberlin College & Conservatory and a PhD in Genetics from Yale. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Rockefeller University with Ralph Steinman. His laboratory is known not only for advances in fundamental cell biology, particularly in the area of membrane traffic (including the discovery of endosomes), but also for applying these insights to understanding the cellular basis of the immune response. Of particular importance to cancer immunotherapy have been his laboratory’s pioneering contributions to elucidating how dendritic cells initiate immunity or maintain immune tolerance. Ira ran all oncology research at Genentech until the end of 2013, when he decided to concentrate his efforts on the rapidly developing area of cancer immunotherapy and became Vice President of Cancer Immunology. He remains a frustrated composer and songwriter, and has recorded two CDs in the little-known genre of “bio-rock.” Ira is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the European Molecular Biology Organization and is the former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cell Biology. He has also served on the editorial boards of Cell, the Journal of Experimental Medicine, EMBO Journal, and OncoImmunology, among others, and is the recipient of many named lectureships, honorary professorships, and awards, most recently Yale University’s Wilbur Lucius Cross medal. He also serves on the boards of the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer, President Obama’s Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, the American Society for Cell Biology, the Melanoma Research Foundation, and the Cancer Research Institute.
Ana Pombo, Editor
Ana Pombo investigates how the 3D folding of chromosomes influences gene expression in mammalian development and disease, and mechanisms of RNA polymerase II poising which prime genes for future activation. She received her DPhil from University of Oxford (1998, UK) where she pioneered high resolution imaging of transcription sites in mammalian nuclei. She was awarded the Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship (UK; 1998-2002), and started leading her research group in 2000 at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College London (UK). Her laboratory showed that Polycomb repression is associated with RNA polymerase II poising, and developed high-resolution cryoFISH approaches to study spatial relationships between genomic regions and nuclear landmarks. She was awarded the Robert Feulgen Prize 2007 for her contributions to imaging nuclear architecture. Her laboratory moved to the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology, at the Max Delbrueck Center (Berlin, Germany) in 2013, and she was appointed Professor (W3) at Humboldt University of Berlin. Her laboratory developed Genome Architecture Mapping, an orthogonal ligation-free approach to map chromatin contacts genome-wide.
Louis Reichardt, Editor
Louis Reichardt is Director of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. Prior to assuming this post, he was the Jack D. and DeLoris Lange endowed chair in cell physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, where he directed the neuroscience graduate program from 1988 to 2013 and the Herbert Boyer Program in Biological Sciences from 2000 to 2013. He gained his PhD from Stanford for studies on regulation of lambda repressor synthesis and carried out postdoctoral research in cellular neurobiology at Harvard. Reichardt's research has focused on neurotrophins, a family of secreted proteins that promote neuron survival, development, and function, and on several families of membrane proteins that promote nerve cell adhesion. His lab has contributed to understanding of the intracellular signaling pathways downstream of these proteins—including the Wnt pathway, which may play a role in autism spectrum disorders and other aspects of human behavior and disease.
Kenneth Yamada, Editor
Kenneth Yamada received MD and PhD degrees from Stanford University. After 15 years at the National Cancer Institute as a Section Chief, he moved to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the NIH. He is currently an NIH Distinguished Investigator and Chief, Cell Biology Section. Research in his laboratory focuses on the mechanisms of cell adhesion and three-dimensional cell migration, cell biology of integrins and extracellular matrix, and dynamics of mammalian organ morphogenesis. He has more than 400 publications, is an AAAS Fellow, and has served on the ASCB Council. Awards include the first Senior Investigator Award of the ASMB and the 2008 Distinguished Scientist Award of the AADR. He is a senior editor of The Journal of Cell Biology and Current Protocols in Cell Biology, and he serves as an associate editor or board member for many other journals.
Richard Youle, Editor
Dr. Youle is a Senior Investigator at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. He received an AB degree from Albion College and a PhD degree from the University of South Carolina. After postdoctoral work at the National Institute of Mental Health, he joined the Surgical Neurology Branch of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke as a PI, where he has developed and moved into clinical trials for new treatment strategies for brain tumors. His lab subsequently explored the molecular mechanisms of programmed cell death, showing how Bcl-2 family members participate with mitochondria to control cell survival. Most recently, his lab has discovered functions and interrelationships among proteins mutated in familial Parkinson’s disease. His current work focuses on molecular mechanisms of autophagy, mitochondrial quality control, and neurodegenerative disorders.
Hong Zhang, Editor
Dr. Zhang is a New Cornerstone Investigator, and an Investigator in the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received a PhD degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and had his postdoc training in the MGH Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Zhang’s lab demonstrated that during C. elegans embryogenesis, specialized protein aggregates, called PGL granules, are removed by autophagy in somatic cells. Using this as a model, his lab carried out the first systematic genetic screens in multicellular organisms and identified a set of metazoan-specific autophagy genes, called Epg genes. His lab further revealed that Epg genes act at steps unique to the autophagy pathway in multicellular organisms. Currently, the research in Dr. Zhang’s lab focuses on phase separation of autophagy proteins and regulators in various aspects of autophagy, including execution and regulation of autophagy and degradation of protein aggregates.
Lindsey Hollander, Managing Editor
Lindsey has been with the Press since 2005.
Elissa Hunter, Assistant Production Editor
Elissa Hunter joined Rockefeller University Press in July 2020 after more than a decade of working as a copy editor and proofreader, most recently at Marvel Entertainment and The Culture Trip. She has a BS in journalism from University of Florida, an MLIS from Pratt Institute, and no idea how she ended up with two science degrees.
Rochelle Ritacco, Preflight Editor
Rochelle is responsible for the preparation of figures for RUP publication—checking production quality, conforming style, and clarity of presentation. She is a skilled digital artist with expertise in many media applications. Rochelle began freelancing at RUP in 2007 and shortly thereafter joined the staff. Prior to RUP, she assisted the campus photographer at Monmouth University. Rochelle received her BA in communications from Seton Hill University and has completed two certificate programs, Digital Art (BCC) and Filmmaking (NYU). She is on the board of the Belmar Art Council. Rochelle lives along the dazzling north Jersey shore with her husband and daughter.
Laura Smith, Senior Preflight Editor
Laura began her career at The Rockefeller University in 1996 in the Office of Public Affairs. In 1997, she joined the RU Press as assistant to then director Michael Held. In 2002, under the guidance of Mike Rossner, Laura began image screening. She has since traveled abroad and throughout the United States training others in the detection of image manipulation. Laura lives in the Hudson Valley with her daughter and rescue kitty "Wiki".
Samantha Wolner, Senior Production Editor
Samantha joined Rockefeller University Press in January 2018. She was most recently a Production Editor at Cambridge University Press and has worked for art magazines and cultural museums. She received a BA from St. John’s University and an MA from Columbia University.