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BMP’s Gang Han and Thoru Pederson featured in special edition of Small Methods journal

Date Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2018
By: Jim Fessenden, UMass Medical School Communications

Impressed by the multidisciplinary research in chemical biology, life sciences and medicine at UMass Medical School, Guangchen Xu, PhD, deputy editor of the journal Small Methods, invited UMMS scientists to contribute to a special issue.

Small Methods“This collection of papers spans a wide and emerging disciplinary range that includes biomedical engineering/materials science, frontiers in optical microscopy, and organic synthesis, as well as nanoparticle technology and a CRISPR‐twist on the DNA helix to suppress mutant gene expression,” said Gang Han, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, and Thoru Pederson, PhD, the Vitold Arnett Professor of Cell Biology and professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, in the journal.

“It is hoped that this special collection of articles conveys a glimpse of how multidisciplinary and innovative efforts from those in the fields of chemical biology, biomaterials and molecular imaging, as well as genomic sciences, converge and contribute to life‐science research. We anticipate that such a section in Small Methods will inspire readers to learn and discover more about some of the exciting and thought‐provoking research advances taking place at UMMS, leading to increasing future collaboration,” said Dr. Han.

The journal highlights the following research:

  • Jie Song, PhD, professor of orthopedics & physical rehabilitation, and Ben Zhang, PhD, postdoctoral associate in orthopedics & physical rehabilitation, present a comprehensive review of the cutting‐edge 3D‐printing techniques most commonly used for tissue engineering/restoration. These techniques include a wide variety of materials, such as bioceramics, natural biopolymers and synthetic thermoplastic polymers.
  • David Grunwald, PhD, associate professor of RNA therapeutics, reports on the use of single‐molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization (smFISH) in a 3D optical analysis of drosophila muscle.
  • Dr. Grunwald and Bernd Rieger, PhD, associate professor of applied sciences at Delft University of Technology, summarize recent studies employing fluorescence polarization control for the on–off switching of single molecules at cryogenic temperatures.
  • Dr. Pederson and Hanhui Ma, PhD, research specialist in biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, discuss CRISPR‐based selective inhibition of gene transcription to reveal the dynamic features of a cell nucleus nanobody that relate to myotonic dystrophy disease.
  • Dr. Han and Ling Huang, PhD, postdoctoral associate in biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, summarize the latest breakthroughs and thoughts on the design of organic near‐infrared nanoparticles that are biocompatible and rival their inorganic counterparts in optotheranostics.

Small Methods is focused on the highest quality and significant advances in biomedical sciences, chemistry, and physics, focused on the “small” scale (atomic, molecular, nano, micro, cellular).

For more about the Pederson lab, please go to