In Memory of Mark A. Smith


Since 2011, the Editors' Award is known as the Mark A. Smith prize to pay tribute to Mark's long service to the Journal as a Handling Editor and recently Deputy Chief Editor, Reviews. Tragically, Mark was killed in a vehicle accident on December 19, 2010.

More informaiton on the Mark S. Smith Award, click here


The 2017 Mark A. Smith Prize Winner

2017 Smith

Congratulations to Scott Glen Canfield, for An isogenic blood-brain barrier model comprising brain endothelial cells, astrocytes, and neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells
Journal of Neurochemistry (2017) J Neurochem 140(6):874-888.
Scott G. Canfield, Matthew J. Stebbins, Bethsymarie Soto Morales, Shusaku W. Asai, Gad D. Vatine, Clive N. Svendsen, Sean P. Palecek, Eric V. Shusta.
doi: 10.1111/jnc.13923

Read the Editorial Highlight for this article:
The article makes a very important contribution to the understanding of the blood brain barrier (BBB). Canfield et al. used human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to derive endothelial cells, astrocytes, and neurons. Co-culture of those cells resulted in a human BBB model with excellent permeability characteristics, with transendothelial electrical resistances and passive permeabilities close to those found in vivo. This type of work is important because the integrity of the BBB is affected in several neurodegenerative disorders. Due of the intricate nature of the BBB it constitutes a major hurdle to deliver drugs or other potential therapeutic agents into the brain. The authors also showed that such models can be derived from a single patient, which is of special interest because it opens the possibility to monitor in the future the effects of individual mutations or polymorphisms on BBB function.

Scott Glen Canfield is currently an Assistant Professor in Cellular and Integrative Physiology at Indiana University School of Medicine in Terre Haute, Indiana. He has also co-authored a number of relevant articles in the field in the past.

The 2016 Mark A. Smith Prize Winner

MSA Sumin Jung

Congratulations to our 2016 Mark Smith Award winner,  Sunmin Jung (Seoul National University), for Dual-specificity phosphatase 26 (DUSP26) stimulates Aβ42 generation by promoting amyloid precursor protein axonal transport during hypoxia
Journal of Neurochemistry (2016) J Neurochem 137(5), 770-781.
Sunmin Jung, Jihoon Nah, Jonghee Han, Seon-Guk Choi, Hyunjoo Kim, Jaesang Park, Ha-Kyung Pyo, Yong-Keun Jung. DOI: 10.1111/jnc.13597

The article makes a very interesting contribution to the study of Aβ production in Alzheimer’s brain. Hypoxia is a known risk factor for AD and stimulates Aβ generation by γ-secretase; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Under hypoxic conditions, dual-specificity phosphatase 26 (DUSP26) regulates Aβ generation through changes in subcellular localization of the γ-secretase complex and its substrate C99. DUSP26 was identified as a novel γ-secretase regulator from a genome-wide functional screen using a cDNA expression library. Additionally, DUSP26 induced c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation for APP processing and axonal transport of C99. The results suggest that DUSP26 mediates hypoxia-induced Aβ generation through JNK activation, revealing a new regulator of γ-secretase-mediated APP processing under hypoxic conditions.

Sunmin Jung is working at Seoul National University, Department of Biological Science.


The 2015 Mark A. Smith Prize Winner

2015 Mark A Smith prizewinner Yuda Huo

Congratulations to Yuda Huo, for The deubiquitinating enzyme USP46 regulates AMPA receptor ubiquitination and trafficking
Journal of Neurochemistry (2015) J Neurochem 134(6), 1067–1080.
Yuda Huo, Natasha Khatri, Qingming Hou, James Gilbert, Guan Wang and Heng-Ye Man. DOI: 10.1111/jnc.13194
The article has broad relevance in the field of protein ubiquitination, a highly dynamic and reversible process, achieved via the balance between ubiquitination and deubiquitination. The glutamatergic AMPARs, which mediate most of the excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain, are known to be subjected to Nedd4-mediated ubiquitination; however, the deubiquitination process and the responsible deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) for mammalian AMPARs remain elusive. We find that AMPARs are subject to K63-type ubiquitination, and identify USP46 as the DUB for AMPARs. USP46 deubiquitinates AMPARs in vitro and in vivo. Up- or down-regulation of USP46 leads to changes in AMPAR ubiquitination, surface expression, and trafficking, as well as the strength of synaptic transmission. USP46-mediated regulation of AMPAR ubiquitination and turnover may play an important role in synaptic plasticity and brain function.

Yuda Huo has co-authored a number of relevant articles in the field in the past, using a variety of biochemical, molecular and cell biological as well as imaging methods. He is currently working at Boston University, USA under the guidance of Dr. Heng-ye Man to pursue his PhD degree in Neuroscience.

The 2014 Mark A. Smith Prize Winner

Averaimo photo 2014

Congratulations to Stefania Averaimo, PhD, for CLIC1 functional expression is required for cAMP-induced neurite elongation in post-natal mouse retinal ganglion cells (2014) J Neurochem 131(4), 444-456. Stefania Averaimo, Marta Gritti, Erica Barini, Laura Gasparini and Michele Mazzanti. DOI: 10.1111/jnc.12832

Dr. Averaimo is currently working at the University of Milan, Italy, in the department of Prof. Michele Mazzanti.


The 2013 Mark A. Smith Prize Winner

AJNC Hikita 2013

Congratulations to Takao Hikita, PhD, for Rac1-mediated indentation of resting neurons promotes the chain migration of new neurons in the rostral migratory stream of post-natal mouse brain J Neurochem 128(6), 790-797. Takao Hikita, Akihisa Ohno, Masato Sawada, Haruko Ota and Kazunobu Sawamoto. DOI: 10.1111/jnc.12518
Dr. Hikita earned his PhD in the Department of Cell Pharmacology at the Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan. He currently holds a PostDoc position at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim, Germany. The winning paper sheds light on cell migration mechanisms using cutting edge techniques such as live cell imaging, and thus has broad appeal and impact in the neurochemistry and neuroscience fields.


The 2012 Mark A. Smith Prize Winner


Congratulations to Sonya B. Dumanis, PhD, for "APOE genotype affects the pre-synaptic compartment of glutamatergic nerve terminals" J. Neurochem 124(1), 4-14.
(DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2012.07908.x)

Sonya B. Dumanis, Amanda M. DiBattista, Matthew Miessau, Charbel E. H. Moussa and G. William Rebeck.

The article was highlighted in “Apolipoprotein E Acts at Presynaptic Sites…Among Others” in the same issue.


The 2011 Mark A. Smith Prize Winner

joanne bailey  

Congratulations to Joanne L. Bailey, PhD, for "In vitro CNS tissue analogues formed by self-organization of reaggregated post-natal brain tissue", J. Neurochem. 117, 1020-1032.

Joanne L. Bailey, Vincent O’Connor, Matthew Hannah, Lindsay Hewlett, Thelma E. Biggs, Lars E. Sundstrom, Matt W. Findlay, and John E. Chad (2011).

This annual award recognizes the contribution of an outstanding young scientist to an exceptional research paper published in JNC. To be eligible, first or last authors must be 35 years or younger on the date of submission of the article and no more than 8 years beyond PhD. The Chief Editors selected this original article from >150 eligible papers that appeared 'early view' in 2011.

Dr.  Bailey earned a first-class honours degree from the University of Southampton in 2006 and completed her PhD in 2010. Currently, Joanne is a research fellow in Dr. Tracey Newman’s laboratory in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton.


The 2010 Mark A. Smith Prize Winner

JENNIE MarkASmith2010

Congratulations to Jennie Cederholm for Conformational changes in extracellular loop 2 associated with signal transduction in the glycine receptor, J. Neurochem. 115, 1245-1255. Jennie M. E. Cederholm, Nathan L. Absalom, Silas Sugiharto, Renate Griffith, Peter R. Schofield and Trevor M. Lewis (2010).