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2009-2010

NATURE CELL BIOLOGY PAPERS:
Independent Labs Research Same Conclusion Regarding Skp2 Role
Two papers were published in the March 8 Advance On-line issue of the scientific journal Nature Cell Biology. The senior authors of both papers are BIDMC scientists. Both are researchers in BIDMC's Cancer Center, working to develop new cancer drugs. Their laboratories are located one floor apart in the Center for Life Sciences (CLS) building.

But the coincidences don't end there. It turns out that two and a half years ago, Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD, and Wenyi Wei, PhD, discovered by sheer chance that they were investigating the very same novel mechanism responsible for the overexpression of the Skp2 gene in many types of cancer.

You might say that great minds think alike.

"It was quite a twist of fate that these two papers were published in the same journal on the exact same day," says Pandolfi, who is now Director of Research in BIDMC's Cancer Center. "Wenyi and I arrived at our hypotheses completely independent of one another - in separate labs at separate institutions in different cities. Furthermore, our work was challenging much of the accepted thinking [in this area of cancer cell biology] governing how the AKT oncoprotein regulates the activity and function of the Skp2 E3 ubiquitin ligase protein."

In the sometimes fiercely competitive world of biomedicine, the dual publication of these papers is also the outcome of true scientific "sportsmanship."