The Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology, in publication since 1985, covers the most significant developments in the field of cell and developmental biology, including structure, function, and organization of the cell, development and evolution of the cell as it relates to single and multicellular organisms, and models and tools of molecular biology.
It is an exciting opportunity for me to assume editorial leadership for the Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology (ARCDB). I am taking the baton from Randy Schekman, who led the journal for nearly 20 years and firmly established the ARCDB as the “preeminent review forum for serious and in-depth discussion of modern cell and developmental biology” (as noted in his introduction to the 1998 volume), in the spirit of the first two Editors, George Palade and Jim Spudich. We are enormously grateful to Randy for his unwavering stewardship of the ARCDB and to Larry Goldstein, who served for many years as the Associate Editor. Our Editorial Committee's expertise spans many areas of cell and developmental biology. The Committee includes Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz and Alex Schier, who are Associate Editors, and Paola Arlotta, Tony Hunter, Sandy Johnson, Philippa Marrack, Erin Schuman, and Hao Yu. Editorial guidance and discipline are provided by Shirley Park, our Production Editor. We are always on the outlook for emerging topics and any topic in the area of cell and developmental biology that can benefit from an in-depth and scholarly review. As is apparent by the great list of review articles in this year's volume, the Editorial Committee views cell and developmental biology in its broadest sense. Indeed, at this stage of the postgenomic era, it seems that “all biology is cell biology.” Understanding how the genome is organized and how the body functions requires that we know everything about the common and distinct activities of more than several hundred cell types that make up our bodies. This knowledge can reveal new secrets of nature's ability to invent and adapt. With insightful, well-edited, and beautifully illustrated reviews, we hope to continue the tradition of bringing in-depth, reliable information to researchers in the lab and classroom that withstands the temptation of fashion and hype for the sake of explaining the present status of a field based on data.
Beginning with the introduction to the 2000 volume, Randy addressed, in each volume of the ARCDB, different societal, governance, or political issues related to the conduct of science. I always looked forward to reading his opinions and would like to continue the tradition. For this year's introduction, I chose to reflect on these past introductions by quoting excerpts from them, as they so pointedly present achievements and struggles of the past 20 years in the arena of science. (Please refer to the published introductions for the complete exposés.)