2021's First Journal Club
The January 21 Journal Club will feature the paper:
"The N-glycome regulates the endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition"
Authors: Dionna M. Kasper, Jaren Hintzen, Yinyu Wu, Joey J. Ghersi, Hanna K. Mandl, Kevin E. Salinas, William Armero, Zhiheng He, Ying Sheng, Yixuan Xie, Daniel W. Heindel, Eon Joo Park, William C. Sessa, Lara K. Mahal, Carlito Lebrilla, Karen K. Hirschi*, Stefania Nicoli*
Originally published in Science, Dec 04, 2020 - Vol 370, Issue 6521, pp. 1186-1191
The journal club features a 30-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A. This month we are very excited to have the paper's author, Dr. Dionna Kasper, Yale University, as the presenter!
Our journal clubs are sponsored by the NAVBO Education Committee and are organized and moderated by committee member, William Hughes from the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Journal Clubs are limited to active/current NAVBO members. The registration link can be found in the Journal Club's forum on our web site: https://www.navbo.org/forum/01-21journal-club. You can also post comments, questions, etc. here before the presentation so that they can be addressed during the presentation and of course following the presentation to continue the conversation.
The session will be recorded, so register even if you can't attend the live presentation and receive a link to the recording automatically.
Consider joining us!
Join us for our next webinar featuring Karen Hirschi, University of Virginia. Her presentation, titled "Regulation of Endothelial Cell Specialization" will take place on
February 18, 2021.
For more details and to register,
On March 4, we will welcome Guillermo Oliver
of Northwestern University. His presentation is titled, "Lymphatics in organ growth and repair." More information is here
Request for NAVBO Session Proposals
Organize and Moderate an Online Session
This is an opportunity to organize and moderate a session for NAVBO's New Online Symposia Series. We are seeking proposals from current regular members.
Our online meeting formats have proven to be very successful both before and during the pandemic; we believe that they will continue to be successful!
For several years we have sought session proposals for inclusion in the annual meeting. However, this limited us to choosing only one or two proposals for presentation. By moving this function to a bimonthly online forum, we will broaden the scope of the audience, provide opportunities to more members and provide the much requested free time to the annual meeting attendees.
We are asking our current regular members* to propose a 1-1.5 hour session with three speakers in a field that is relevant to the vascular biology community. Proposals will be reviewed and selected by a committee.
We believe that this will be a great way to cover the broad scope of material within the vascular biology field.
Submit your proposal today at:
(if the pdf doesn't open automatically, click the download icon within your browser, then choose Open with Adobe Acrobat)
* Current regular members: independent investigators whose membership is up to date.
Lab of the Month - January 2021
The Lab of Dr. Song Hu
First, I want to thank the NAVBO Education Committee for inviting me to contribute to the Lessons Learned series, which gives me an opportunity to reflect on my professional development in the past few years during this unusual holiday season.
I started my own research program at the University of Virginia in 2013 and was recently recruited back to my alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis. I am an imaging scientist and biomedical engineer by training, and I am thankful to my mentors, collaborators, and colleagues at Washington University and the University of Virginia, who introduced me to cerebrovascular and cardiovascular research and have helped me leverage the impact of our imaging technologies in these exciting fields.
Making the transition from a trainee in a well-established lab to a junior PI who was expected to build a new research program from scratch is probably one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced in my career. Looking back, I have made some right moves but also many mistakes. I would like to take this opportunity to share some of them with those who are expecting or in the process of this transition.
Establish your own niche as early as possible. One question that you might have been repeatedly asked during faculty interviews is how you will distinguish yourself from your mentors (and peers). Indeed, identifying and establishing your own niche early in your career is key to a successful transition to an independent PI. One important piece of advice I have received is that you want to work on something that only you can do or you can do best.
Be focused but open-minded when starting your research program. As a new PI, you are likely to have access to very limited resources. Thus, be selective in your initial projects and focus on those that can best help establish your own niche. That said, be open-minded and listen to others. A core technology of our lab, which led to our first publication and helped me identify myself in the field, was inspired by my long-term collaborator, Shayn Peirce-Cottler. Through our discussions, it became clear to me that in vascular research, different technologies have been applied to assess different aspects of the microcirculation. The discrepancy in spatiotemporal resolution and contrast mechanism makes it a real challenge to integrate them to form a comprehensive view. Focusing our efforts to address this unmet challenge led to the development of multi-parametric photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) and broad applications in brain and cardiovascular diseases.
Do not let money sway your hiring decision. As repeatedly mentioned in this series, hiring is often a big challenge for new PIs. So, if you see talents, go for them without hesitation. Limited funding might be a constraint for many of us, but do not let it sway your decision. You can always find a way to support them, and your investment will be paid off!
Find the right balance between hands-on and hands-off mentoring. Different PIs have different mentoring styles, and there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. One thing that I feel important is to find a proper balance between hands-on and hands-off mentoring. Getting more involved in the initial stage can help trainees quickly adapt to a new research environment/direction and pick up necessary research skills. Gradually backing off will give them more room to experiment their own ideas, learn how to be independent, and take initiative.
Be strategic when expanding your research program. Once you pass the “surviving stage”, the next step is to thrive and transform. Be strategic when making the next moves. Always remind yourself of the big picture—where you see your lab in 5 to 10 years—and invest your efforts accordingly and wisely.
Let application drive technology development. Working at the interface of imaging and biomedicine, I would also like to share some of my own thoughts with those who aim to advance biomedicine through technology development. To date, some of the best technologies developed in our lab have been driven by important biomedical questions—the multi-parametric PAM for comprehensive characterization of the microvasculature, the head-restrained PAM for functional-metabolic imaging of the awake behaving brain, and the integrated fluorescence and photoacoustic microscopy for mechanistic understanding of the neurovascular unit. Make time out of your busy schedule to read literature, attend conferences and seminars, and exchange ideas with your collaborators, colleagues, and trainees. Identify questions that you are excited about and uniquely positioned to tackle, and make a difference using your technologies!
I hope that you find some of the lessons I learned over the years helpful, as I did when reading this series. Getting through the pandemic, we have faced unprecedented challenges, both professionally and personally. I hope you have found a way to maintain the work-life balance. Wish you a healthy and prosperous Year 2021!
FASEB webinar to highlight careers beyond academia
Number of doctorates awarded in STEM fields has steadily increased in the U.S., but, as of 2015, less than 20% of STEM PhD graduates secured tenure-track positions within 5 years of graduating. This trend underscores the importance of making professional development resources available to STEM PhDs to prepare them for jobs outside of the academy. To help meet this need, FASEB will sponsor “Supporting the Whole Scientist: Careers Beyond Academia,” a webinar featuring Maria Dahlberg (NASEM), Beka Layton (UNC Chapel Hill), and Peter Espenshade (Johns Hopkins), who will discuss ideas on how institutions and PIs can better support trainees seeking non-academic career paths. You can register here
for this event, to be held January 28, 2021, 2:00–3:00 PM (ET), as well others in FASEB’s series covering science policy, advocacy, and more.
Summer Training for Junior Faculty
Programs to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research (PRIDE)
The PRIDE Summer Institute Program in Cardiovascular Disease Comorbidities, Genetics and Epidemiology to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research is now accepting applications. Space is limited for the 2021 mentored summer training programs so apply early!
Eligible applicants are junior-level faculty or scientists with a background that is under-represented in the biomedical or health sciences, and are United States Citizens or Permanent Residents. Research interests should be compatible with those of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) disorders.
Our All-Expense paid Summer Institute program with effective mentored training opportunities to enhance the research skills and to promote the scientific and career development of trainees with a research interest in Cardiovascular disease Comorbidities, Genetics and Epidemiology.
Trainees will learn effective strategies for preparing, submitting and obtaining external grant funding for research, including extensive tips on best practices.
Welcome to our New Members:
Manuel Perez, Florida International University
Andrew Spearman, Medical College of Wisconsin
Harvard Medical School Seminars in Vascular Biology
Organized by several NAVBO members (Peter Libby, Michael Gimbrone, Masanori Aikawa, Guillermo Garcia-Cardena, and Patricia D'Amore), this seminar series offers weekly talks on Thursdays at 4:30 PM (ET). Here's what's coming up this month:
Manuel Mayr, MD, PhD
King's College London
SARS-CoV-2 RNAemia and Associated Changes in the Plasma Proteome: Links between Systemic and Vascular Inflammation
Mete Civelek, PhD
University of Virginia
Systems Genetics of Atherosclerosis-relevant Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Phenotypes
Alex Arenas, PhD
Universitat Rovira i Virgili
A Validated Single-Cell-Based Strategy to Identify Diagnostic and Therapeutic Targets in Complex Diseases
Recent Publications by NAVBO Members
Transcriptional profiling of leukocytes in critically ill COVID19 patients: implications for interferon response and coagulation
Intensive Care Medicine Experimental
Background: COVID19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and has been associated with severe inflammation leading to organ dysfunction and mortality. Our aim was to profile the transcriptome in leukocytes from critically ill patients positive for COVID19 compared to those negative for COVID19 to better understand the COVID19-associated host response. Read more
Phosphoinositide Signaling and Mechanotransduction in Cardiovascular Biology and Disease
Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Phosphoinositides, which are membrane-bound phospholipids, are critical signaling molecules located at the interface between the extracellular matrix, cell membrane, and cytoskeleton. Phosphoinositides are essential regulators of many biological and cellular processes, including but not limited to cell migration, proliferation, survival, and differentiation, as well as cytoskeletal rearrangements and actin dynamics. Read more
Desperate times drive creative approaches to global medical need
Ian Sample, writing in The Guardian
(15 Dec 2020), describes the costly upside of the efforts required to effectively combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which necessitated a extraordinary global collaboration that has led to novel vaccines, therapeutic approaches, and the promise of new discoveries to come. Included is an account of novel steps taken by NIH Director Francis Collins to forge a partnership among the FDA, the CDC, and the largest pharmaceutical companies, aiming to set priorities and milestone accomplishments to accelerate COVID-19 therapeutic interventions and vaccines (“Activ”). Activ whittled an initial list of 640 potential therapies down to a number manageable by clinical trials, and the NIH advanced these to testing. A special federal appropriation was used to underwrite 100+ projects to develop rapid diagnostic testing. Within the month, the fruits of this labor are expected to enable an additional 2 million SARS-CoV2 tests per day.
Fellowship opportunity for women postdoctoral scientists
The 2021 L’Oréal USA For Women in Science program, founded on a belief that women in science have the power to change the world, is now accepting applications. This year’s fellowship program, conducted in partnership with AAAS, will provide five women postdoctoral scientists with $60,000 grants to support their contributions in STEM fields and encourage their service as role models for future generations. Now in its seventeenth year in the U.S., the For Women in Science program has awarded 85 postdoctoral women scientists over $4 million in grants. The 2020 winners included a bioengineer, diabetes researcher and a neuroscientist. Information on eligibility and the application process may be found here
ASH leads efforts to standardize clinical study of COVID-related thrombosis
Deborah M Siegal et al.
have published “A toolkit for the collection of thrombosis-related data elements in COVID-19 clinical studies” in the Dec 2020 issue of Blood Advances
. While thrombosis is regarded as a major complication of COVID-19, particularly in those with severe illness, differences in study design, patient populations, outcome ascertainment, and other parameters have limited the establishment of generalized prognostic criteria and treatment standards. To address these challenges, a task force of the American Society of Hematology, in collaboration with a similar group from the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis, have developed sets of standardized data elements in critical clinical domains. The authors maintain that use of such standardized variables in multiple clinical studies should enhance comparison of results among them.
January Journal Club
Call for Session Proposals
Lab of the Month
Spotlight on Trainees
Summer Training Program
Calendar of Events
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VB2020 Guest Societies
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Vascular Biology Publications Alert Now Available by Subscription
The NAVBO Vascular Biology Publications Alert will now be available to non-members for a $55 a year subscription. If you would like to receive this alert, but are not a member, please contact Danielle at firstname.lastname@example.org.