Stefan Grimm, RIP

Moonlighting proteins. “The idea of one gene—one protein—one function has become too simple because increasing numbers of proteins are found to have two or more different functions.” [Constance J. Jeffery, 1999, Trends in Biochemical Sciences]

Mitochondria. “Mitochondria are undergoing a renaissance. The cellular power plant is now recognized as a key cellular signaling platform… A complex network is emerging involving metabolic intermediates, the roles of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response, and the interaction of mitochondria with other organelles and with the cellular autophagic system.” [Nuno Raimundo, Trends in Molecular Medicine, 2014]

Embryonic Development and Innate Immunity. “In Drosophila, the ground-breaking work of Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard had shown by unbiased mutagenesis experiments that the Dorsal [NF-kB] gene was involved in dorso-ventral patterning in the early embryo… Cleaved Spätzle then activates the type I transmembrane receptor Toll and triggers an intracellular series of events which result in the phosphorylation of the inhibitor protein Cactus [IkB], inducing its dissociation from Dorsal… Strikingly, the intracellular signalling cascades that lead to the activation of NF-κB during immune responses show marked similarities throughout evolution.”[Nobel Lecture, December 7, 2011 by Jules Hoffman]

IkB is a new moonlighting protein. Stefan Grimm and collaborators, last month: “IκΒα inhibits apoptosis at the outer mitochondrial membrane independently of NF‐κB retention” [Evangelos Pazarentzos et al., The EMBO Journal, 2014]. A summary of their findings in cartoon form is reproduced below.

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 9.14.12 PM

“Respiratory chain complex II as general sensor for apoptosis.”

Stefan Grimm. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 2013

“The ER-mitochondria interface: the social network of cell death.”

Stefan Grimm. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 2012

So far, I have only read through these examples from Stefan, a prolific scientist studying mitochondria. I read his papers following the news that just reached me.

“Imperial College London is to examine its staff policies after the death of an academic who was believed to have been placed under a performance review.” [Chris Parr reports in the Times Higher Education]

You will be missed Stefan. Briefing on the state of affairs in the UK academy starts counting its dead.

16 thoughts on “Stefan Grimm, RIP


  2. “Publish and perish at Imperial College London: the death of Stefan Grimm”
    by David Colquhoun

    “Wider lessons”
    by Kate Bowles

    “Grimm’s Tale”
    by blogger Plashing Vole

    Technocrats versus scientists – the managerial mindset in UK elite universities
    by Florian

  3. Read this and weep
    by Peter Cameron

    Death in Kensington
    by Kingston University London Dissenter

    Stressful Systems
    by Melonie Fullick

    Stefan Grimm and the British University system
    by Federico Calboli

  4. Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It is the little changes
    which will make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Reading all these comments, I wonder did anyone here really know Stefan????

    first of all: he was a human,
    a person with a heart in his chest
    who knew how to use his brain-muscle
    And only then scientist with the desire to help people,
    may they be friends, colleagues or the nameless ill suffering by cancer.

    But first of all: a human, and not some money and grant-fishing soulless robot.

    Being a friend since 1968, I miss him.

  6. Μου γράφει σήμερα το πρωί ο στενός μου φίλος από την Αυστραλία:

    “Αυτο το διαβαζα χτες μετα που μιλήσαμε, επεσε στα χερια μου απο αναδημοσιευση που εκανε η φιλη μου η Νικη Τρουλλινου (Συγγραφέας τωρα , δηκηγορος πριν και αγωνίστρια της γενιας του Πολυτεχνειου, θα σου αρεσε να την γνωρίσεις, ειναι Ηρακλειο). Ημουν στο στρατο τοτε αλλα την θυμαμαι την ιστορια, ο Παλληκαρης θα επρεπε να εχει τυψεις αλλα δεν νομιζω να εχει…. Για να μην πολυλογω , προσεχε τον εαυτο σου για να μπορεις να αγωνίζεσαι…

    Φιλια, τα αλλα απο κοντα.”

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