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Molecular & Cellular Proteomics names new editor-in-chief

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology announced today that Ileana Cristea, professor of molecular biology and director of graduate studies at Princeton University, will be the next editor-in-chief of Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, one of the society’s three open-access, peer-reviewed journals. Cristea’s five-year term will begin Aug. 12.

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology announced today that Ileana Cristea, professor of molecular biology and director of graduate studies at Princeton University, will be the next editor-in-chief of Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, one of the society’s three open-access, peer-reviewed journals. Cristea’s five-year term will begin Aug. 12.

Cristea has a long relationship with the journal. She has been a member of the editorial board since 2011, and she served as the editor for the MCP special issue, “Proteomics in Infectious Disease” in 2017.

Her research lies at the intersection of virology and proteomics. Cristea’s lab uses molecular virology, microscopy, mass spectrometry–based proteomics and bioinformatics to study the battle between virus and host cell during infection. She has developed proteomics-based approaches for characterizing, with spatial and temporal resolution, cellular processes that occur during viral infection.

Ann Stock, president of the ASBMB, said of Cristea: “As a virologist with a focus on proteomics and bioinformatics, Ileana appreciates the importance of maintaining rigorous standards in the reporting of mass spec data that has been a hallmark of MCP since its inception. At the same time, she recognizes the increasing capabilities and accessibility of the technology and desires to decrease barriers for participation of authors who might not identify themselves as experts in mass spectrometry but utilize proteomics in their research.”

Cristea has published many manuscripts, more than 20 of which appeared in MCP, including work on how DNA sensors distinguish between host and viral DNA to induce immune signaling during viral infection.

Cristea succeeds Alma Burlingame, MCP’s founding deputy editor and its second editor-in-chief. Burlingame is a professor of chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of California, San Francisco, and was named an ASBMB fellow in 2022. He will end his term after more than two decades of service to MCP.

“I have deep respect for our scientific community and am honored by the opportunity of becoming the editor-in-chief of MCP,” Cristea said. “The journal captures the versatility of proteomics and the breadth of its impact on multiple fields of research. It does this by providing a hub, at the highest level, for papers describing both technological developments and applications of proteomics to biological and medical studies.

“Having gained a reputation for representing excellence in proteomics research and for setting standards for the field, MCP also has an important educational component for our scientific community.”

Cristea is excited to bring her leadership and multidisciplinary expertise to the journal and proposes to implement programs to enhance the visibility and reach of MCP across fields.

Isabel Casas, the ASBMB’s publications director, said: “Dr. Cristea’s focus on awareness, visibility, outreach and education are quite unique; she has a very clear understanding of what MCP represents for the proteomics community while also wanting to increase awareness and visibility of the journal. She also brings a different perspective and understanding to how mass spectrometry and proteomics as a whole are applied to answer research questions.”

Cristea earned her master’s degree in medicinal chemistry in 1999 from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. She then completed a Ph.D. at the same institution, in partnership with the GSK toxicology research and development department. Cristea researched proteome changes during cell injury under the mentorship of Simon Gaskell, now chair of the Board of Governors at the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom, and Elizabeth George, now head of patient diversity at Labcorp. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry and Gaseous Ion Chemistry at Rockefeller University with Brian Chait, a professor of biochemistry, biophysics, chemical biology and structural biology. During her postdoctoral work, she began investigating the proteomics of host–pathogen interactions.

“In addition to being widely recognized as a leader in the field of proteomics,” Stock said, “Ileana is passionate about engaging the next generation of scientists and has proposed several exciting new initiatives to increase the visibility of MCP.”

Cristea has earned many awards including the National Institutes of Health Avant Garde Award, the Human Frontiers Science Program Young Investigator Award, the Early Career Award in Mass Spectrometry from the American Chemical Society, the American Society for Mass Spectrometry Research Award, the Mallinckrodt Scholar Award, the Human Proteome Organization Discovery Award in Proteomic Sciences, and the Princeton University Graduate Mentoring Award. She is also a former President of the American Human Proteome Organization.

“We are fortunate to work in an exciting field of research that grows at a fast pace, in conjunction with rapid changes to diverse fields of biology,” Cristea said. “The communication between scientific fields is more extensive, and we are watching the development of a remarkable wave of multidisciplinary scientists who will revolutionize the paths to scientific discoveries. I am enthusiastic to help to bring to MCP a forward-looking vision for this fast-moving field of research. I believe that MCP offers an extraordinary platform for representing multidisciplinary research and for reaching across fields of research.”