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Editor Named for New ACS Journal

Laura Kiessling will shepherd ACS Chemical Biology to debut

by Stu Borman
May 9, 2005 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 83, Issue 19


Laura L. Kiessling, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has been named the first editor of the American Chemical Society's new journal on the chemistry-biology interface, ACS Chemical Biology.

"Laura Kiessling's advocacy for this field and her vision of its future make her the ideal candidate to lead the ACS's efforts to serve chemical biologists as they expand the frontiers of science," says ACS Senior Product Development Manager Jennifer Cho. "We fully expect her editorship of ACS Chemical Biology to usher in a new beginning for the society at the chemistry-biology interface."

Kiessling did her undergraduate work in chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and carried out research on organic synthesis there with chemistry professor William R. Roush, now at Scripps Florida, in Jupiter. She earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at Yale University, where she studied the synthesis of antitumor natural products with chemistry professor Stuart L. Schreiber, now at Harvard University. She did postdoctoral work in chemistry professor Peter B. Dervan's group at California Institute of Technology, where she focused on DNA triple-helix formation. She joined the Wisconsin faculty in 1991. Since then, her work has garnered numerous honors, including a 1999 MacArthur Foundation fellowship.

In addition to her professorships, Kiessling is director of the University of Wisconsin's Keck Center for Chemical Genomics and of its NIH-funded Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program. Her research focuses on biomolecular recognition, the chemistry and biology of protein-carbohydrate interactions, and signal transduction processes.

She will now shepherd ACS Chemical Biology to its launch, scheduled for January 2006. "We hope the journal will galvanize and expand the chemical biology community," Kiessling says. In addition to attracting papers on some of the best scientific work in the field, she says, the journal will also publish commentaries and reviews "that highlight selected papers and analyze important research directions. We're hoping to get input from the community on other features that might be exciting to them."

The journal could face major challenges as it competes for papers and readers with several other chemical biology journals. Schreiber, a founding coeditor of the first-established publication in the field, Chemistry & Biology, says: "I wish Laura Kiessling and ACS--and for that matter, [editor] Terry Sheppard and Nature Publishing Group, who are starting Nature Chemical Biology--the very best of success. It's exciting to see the growth of this area, which I suspect is the basis of the new journals. Chemical biology is now a field being fueled by audacious ideas from a new generation of fearless chemists."



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