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Vestigo: Issue 4

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Cover of Issue 4 of Vestigo, which shows a drawing by Kendra H. Oliver based on the structure of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug isoxicam when bound to COX-2, a human enzyme. The drawing shows a ribbon structure of COX-2, in white/gray, with isoxicam sitting on top of an alpha helix that goes from top to bottom of the page. The drug is in orange with some brown and blue regions. On either side of the drug/enzyme combo are two white/blue flowers, which represent stylized water molecules. The background is a dark navy. At the top of the image is the Vestigo logo (black with the dot of the i in yellow), with “Issue 4, 2022” printed over the g and “Vanderbilt University School of Medicine | Basic Sciences” below the title. On the bottom right are 3 article teasers that read as follows: “Page 22. Larry Marnett: The legacy of our first dean,” “Page 8. Mechanical forces make or break cell processes,” and “Page 28. Forging new paths: Becoming Vanderbilt’s first Black biomedical Ph.D.”
In celebration of Larry Marnett’s tenure as dean, this cover is dedicated to his work with COX-2, a human enzyme that is targeted by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This image, drawn by Kendra H. Oliver, is based on the structure of the NSAID isoxicam when bound to COX-2, a structure that Marnett’s lab determined nearly eight years ago (2014). Water molecules mediate a crucial aspect of this interaction at amino acid residues R120 and Y385. Oxicams (including isoxicam) are the only class of NSAIDs for which water-mediated binding to COX-2 is observed. The structure, including the water molecules, is essential for explaining the structure-activity of this series of drugs.


Editorial: From the dean

Pages 4: What’s new in science?

Pages 8: The push and pull of cells

Page 11: An institutional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

Page 12: An inward look into biochemistry

Page 15: How a Vanderbilt group of innovators set the bar in metabolism research

Page 18: Essential to their core

Page 20: Ushering in a new age of biomedical innovation at Vanderbilt

Page 22: The academic startup guy: Larry Marnett, founding dean of Basic Sciences

Page 25: From Albert Camus to biology: A road less traveled

Page 26: Core competency

Page 28: Pushing the boundaries of the academic ladder

Page 32: Accolade corner




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