I am excited by the launch of EMBO Molecular Medicine, which marks a new era in the activities of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). The Journal offers a new vehicle for exploration of one of the most promising frontiers in the life sciences. At the same time, for me personally, it also completes a circle with regard to my scientific interests. After training in the 1980s as a medical doctor (with the aim of becoming a hepatologist), I became—at a time when medicine was still more an ‘empirical art’ than a hard science—more and more fascinated by the power of molecular biology. My fascination took me deeply into mechanistic molecular aspects of (post‐transcriptional) gene regulation, and considerably further away from medicine than I had anticipated. However, with a growing appreciation of the potential of ‘Molecular Medicine’, I benefited from astute observations made in ‘the clinic’ that gave rise to new and important insights into basic mechanisms of gene regulation. β‐Thalassaemia and nonsense‐mediated (mRNA) decay as well as thrombophilia and altered mRNA 3′‐end processing are personal examples of discoveries that emerged from ‘the clinic’ rather than from the study of model systems.
»The journal offers a new vehicle for exploration of one of the most promising frontiers in the life sciences.«
Conversely, the opportunities of ‘bench‐to‐bedside’ research are far better known, and my group actively pursues these in the context of diseases of iron metabolism such as overload and anaemias.
EMBO as a basic life science organization is known for its commitment to excellence, recognition and fostering of scientific talent and last but not the least collegiality. The launch of EMBO Molecular Medicine is an open invitation to clinical scientists to become a part of the EMBO community.
»The launch of EMBO Molecular Medicine is an open invitation to clinical scientists to become part of the EMBO community.«
This invitation opens up a precious intellectual and collegial resource to the clinical community, but at the same time, I am absolutely convinced that the success of EMBO Molecular Medicine critically depends on the active embracement of our new Journal by clinicians. Basic researchers and clinicians alike have much to gain from sharing their complementary expertise and resources, and from developing common values. Only jointly can we conquer what is likely to be the most exciting frontier in life sciences research of coming decades. I will do everything I can to support this conquest.
Come, join the EMBO Molecular Medicine community!
Matthias W. Hentze
↵† Matthias Hentze is a Senior Editor of the Journal and is at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.
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