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GT Celebrates the Rising Young Stars of Science


Where do you go for inspiration? Some people look to the advice of Nobel laureates, or to the wisdom of elders, or even to the poetry of a Sufi mystic.

Those of us in this field are no different — though, admittedly, the advice of Nobel laureates has been a bit subpar lately (ahem, Dr. Watson). From time to time, we remember to look not to the luminaries who have already made their reputations, but to the next generations rising through the ranks.

It is to promote that sense of inspiration that we proudly offer this second annual special edition of Genome Technology, dedicated to introducing you to a fleet of promising young scientists just getting their careers off the ground. These are, as we like to call them, “Tomorrow's PIs” — and they come to us by way of recommendations from the leading PIs of today. We offer a sincere thank you to the highly regarded scientists who not only took the time to respond to our requests for nominations, but also put such care and thought into their suggestions.

This group of young investigators (our definition: no more than five years into a faculty position) is truly an accomplished lot. We present them here in one-page profiles, grouped by research focus. I only wish we could've had space for all the scientists who were recommended to us, but if you keep an eye on our website you’ll find that those we simply couldn’t include in the magazine will be profiled in our weekly young investigator spotlight.

I suspect that as you approach this issue, your inclination will be to skip directly to the research category most relevant to your own work (after, of course, you scan through all the photos to see how many of the people you already know). But it would be a real loss if you stopped there. I encourage you to keep this issue around and peruse all the profiles when you have a chance — there's not a single person in the pages to follow who isn't doing impressive and thought-provoking work.

There is something I have known for years and, at the risk of encouraging a coup d’état, here it is in writing: I have the best job in the whole field. Really. This edition of GT is just one example — imagine, getting to call on all these rising young stars and just soaking up the intellect and eagerness as they describe their research and their hopes and expectations about what will shape the community in the years to come. I hope you enjoy what came out of that as much as I enjoyed doing it.

That might make it sound as though I completed this issue on my own, and nothing could be further from the truth. Like last year's version, this issue was managed by the capable Matt Dublin, who kept us all on track and made sure that our final group of scientists represented a diverse range of backgrounds, skills, and interests. And kudos to Ciara Curtin and Jeanene Swanson, who were responsible for a tremendous amount of the reporting and writing for this issue.

Finally, I would like to thank the advertisers in this issue. While they had, as usual, no influence on any of the editorial parts of this magazine, their contributions made it possible for us to give a travel stipend honorarium to each of the rising stars profiled here.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.