Milka Kostic Ph.D.

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

I am a passionate advocate for chemical biology, and its transformative ability to accelerate basic and translational discoveries on the chemistry-biology-medicine continuum. As the Chemical Biology Program Director at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, I put that passion into action and shape a unique chemical biology program focused on advancing basic science of cancer chemical biology as well as addressing challenging targets for cancer treatments and revolutionizing the science of cancer therapeutics. Prior to this role, I was the Editor of “Cell Chemical Biology” and “Structure“, two prominent journals in chemical biology and structural biology published by Cell Press, and an Editor of Cell Crosstalk Blog Platform. 

          My passions include promoting and advocating for structural and chemical biology, supporting women in science and career development for early career researchers, and experimenting with new ways to talk about and evaluate scientific achievements.

EXPERIENCE

Oct 2017 – now: Program Director, Chemical Biology Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School

  • Provide organizational and strategic (funding, publishing, communication, visibility, career coaching and development) leadership for chemical biology efforts at Dana-Farber.
  • Advocate for chemical biology and structural biology as fields, for status of women in science, for scientific rigor, reproducibility, accountability and ethical conduct in sciences, for public engagement, and for career development and wellness of early career researchers.

2017 – Sep 2017: Senior Editor, Structure and Cell Chemical Biology Editor, Cell CrossTalk blog

  • Define journals’ vision, mission and strategy, and lead the team of external editors to deliver on goals and priorities
  • Serve as the ambassador for Cell Chemical Biology and Structure in their communities and beyond, as well as a domain expert in these areas within Cell Press
  • Represent Cell Press at meetings, events, career fairs, workshops and virtual discussion forums on scientific publishing, editorial process, career development, and gender in science issues
  • Innovate and develop alternative publishing models and ways to communicate scientific information

2016 – 2017: Senior Editor, Structure and Cell Chemical Biology

  • Define journals’ vision and mission
  • Develop and execute journals’ strategy
  • Identify high-impact scientific research and recruit the most significant research and review content
  • Evaluate scientific research submitted to the journal or published elsewhere to understand broader trends and cutting edge developments
  • Build strong connections with the global scientific community (Editors, Editorial Board members, peer reviewers, authors and many others)
  • Attend scientific conferences to network and keep on top of most impactful science and scientists who are doing it
  • Oversee peer-review process and make decisions at each stage of the process at Cell Chemical Biology, and support the Editors of Structure
  • Handle complicated editorial decisions, rebuttals, disputes, and all issues related to ethics in publishing such as claims of plagiarism, misconduct, and figure manipulation
  • Develop and define Cell Press editorial policies relevant to structural biology, chemical biology and chemistry
  • Contribute to Cell Press strategic priorities through work on broader projects and across teams, and mentoring and coaching junior editors
  • Contribute to Elsevier-wide projects such as Gender Working Group
  • Promote Cell Press and Elsevier through outreach activities such as workshops for authors and blogging
  • Promote Cell Press and Elsevier through work with professional organization such as Council of Science Editors (CSE)
  • Promote editorial profession as an option for Ph.D. level scientists through mentoring, workshops, career fairs and round table discussions

2009 – 2016: Senior Editor, Structure and Chemistry & Biology Portfolio Manager, Chemical Biology

Cell Press, Elsevier, Cambridge, MA, USA

  • Define journals’ vision
  • Develop and execute journals’ strategy
  • Collaborate with external editors on all aspects of journal management
  • Recruit review and research content
  • Envision, develop, commission, edit and publish special issues
  • Publish research and review material of interest to chemical and structural biology communities
  • Oversee peer-review process and make independent decisions at each stage of the process at Cell Chemical Biology, and support the Editors of Structure
  • Handle complicated editorial decisions, rebuttals, disputes, and all issues related to ethics in publishing such as claims of plagiarism, misconduct, and figure manipulation
  • Build strong connections with the global scientific community (Editors, Editorial Board members, peer reviewers, authors and many others)
  • Lead chemical biology portfolio which over the years included Trends in Biochemical Sciences, Trends in Biotechnology, Trends in Genetics and Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
  • Manage and coach Trends editors
  • Develop and define Cell Press editorial policies relevant to structural biology and chemistry
  • Lead and execute company-wide projects such as Video Publication Guide for Authors
  • Organize conferences such as Cell Symposia on Human and Chemical Genetics and Lab Links on Protein Folding and Misfolding
  • Contribute to Cell Press strategic priorities through work on launching new journals (Cell Reports, Cell Systems and Chem, the new Cell Press chemistry journal) and developing review content strategy
  • Contribute to Elsevier-wide projects such as Ethics in Research & Publishing
  • Promote Cell Press and Elsevier through outreach activities such as workshops for authors
  • Promote Cell Press and Elsevier through work with professional organization such as Council of Science Editors (CSE)
  • Promote editorial profession as an option for Ph.D. level scientists through mentoring, workshops, career fairs and round table discussions
  • Promote importance of gender diversity in science through work with professional organizations such as Association for Women in Science (AWIS)
  • Initiated and led Biology in 3D, the official blog of the journal Structure
  • Served as the Acting Editor, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, Jan 2010 to May 2010
  • Served as the Acting Editor, Trends in Biotechnology, March 2011 to July 2011

2007 – 2009: Associate Editor, Structure and Chemistry & Biology Portfolio Coordinator, Chemical Biology

Cell Press, Elsevier, Cambridge, MA, USA

  • Manage the journals content
  • Oversee the peer-review process
  • Build strong connections with the scientific community
  • Publish cutting edge research and review material
  • Manage chemical biology portfolio which included Trends in Biotechnology, and Trends in Pharmacological Sciences.

2004 –2007: Postdoctoral Research Associate with Dr. Peter E. Wright and Dr. H. Jane Dyson

The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA

  • Structural and functional studies of the human homologue of the mouse double minute 2 (Hdm2) protein, a key regulator of p53 stability and activity
  • Investigation of heat shock protein Hsp90 interactions with co-chaperones and client proteins
  • Method development for studying large proteins assemblies by NMR

1999 – 2004: Ph.D. Research Assistant with Prof. Thomas C. Pochapsky

Department of Chemistry, Brandeis University

  • Structural, dynamic and functional studies of redox-dependent behavior of vertebrate-type ferredoxin
  • Development of rapid recycle 2D NMR experiments for sequence specific backbone assignments of paramagnetic metalloproteins
  • Structural and functional studies of E-1, enolase phosphatase

1997 – 1999: M.S. Research Assistant with Prof. Lidija Pfendt, Prof. Ivan Juranic and Prof. Gordana Popovic

Department of Chemistry, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Yugoslavia

  • Determination of acidity constants of p-substituted trans-aroylacrylic acids and correlation of structure and function

Summer 1998: Research project with Prof. Peter B. Armentrout

Department of Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

  • Determination of sequential bond energies of Ru(CO)n complexes, n =1-5, by collision-induced dissociation with Xe using guided-ion beam tandem mass spectrometry

11/1997 – 02/1998:  Practical training with Frank Agbemadzo, MD

Robert Koch Memorial Medical Laboratory, Kumasi, Ghana

  • Medical laboratory analysis of various medical samples

04/1997 – 09/1997:  Undergraduate research project with Prof. Lidija Pfendt and Prof. Gordana Popovic

Department of Chemistry, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Yugoslavia

  • Determination of acidity constants of p-substituted epoxy trans-aroylacylic acids

09/1996 – 10/1996  Undergraduate research training with Prof. Klára Kollár-Hunek

Department of Chemical Information Technology, Technical University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

EDUCATION

1999 – 2004            Ph.D. Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA

1997 – 1999            M.S. in Chemistry, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Yugoslavia (degree obtained July, 1999)

1993 – 1997            B.S. in Chemistry, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Yugoslavia

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • Sung Jean Park, Milka Kostic, and H. Jane Dyson “Dynamic Interaction of Hsp90 with Its Client”, J. Mol. Biol. 2011, 411, 158-173
  • H. Jane Dyson, Milka Kostic, Jeff Liu and Maria A. Martinez-Yamout “Hydrogen–deuterium exchange strategy for delineation of contact sites in protein complexes”, FEBS Lett. 2008, 582,1495-1500
  • Milka Kostic, Theresia Matt, Maria A. Martinez-Yamout, H. Jane Dyson and Peter E. Wright, “Solution Structure of the Hdm2 C2H2C4 RING, a Domain Critical for Ubiquitination of p53”, J. Mol. Biol. 2006, 363, 433-450
  • Milka Kostic and Thomas C. Pochapsky, “Letter to the Editor: chemical shift assignments of an enolase-phosphatase, E1, from Klebsiella oxytoca”, J. Biomol. NMR 2004, 30, 359-360
  • Milka Kostic, “Structural and Dynamical Studies of Metal Containing Proteins by NMR”, Ph.D. Thesis, 2004, Brandeis University, USA
  • Yalin Zhang, Melissa H. Heinsen, Milka Kostic, Gina M. Pagani, Thomas V. Riera, Iva Perovic, Lizbeth Hedstrom, Barry B. Snider and Thomas C. Pochapsky, “Analogs of 1-phosphonoxy-2,2-dihydroxy-3-oxo-5-(methylthio)-pentane, an acyclic intermediate in the methionine salvage pathway: a new preparation and characterization of activity with E1 enolase/phosphatase from Klebsiella oxytoca”, Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2004, 12, 3847-3855.
  • Milka Kostic, Rita Bernhardt and Thomas C. Pochapsky, “A Conserved Histidine in Vertebrate-Type Ferredoxins Is Critical for Redox-Dependent Dynamics”, Biochemistrv 2003, 42, 8171-8182
  • Milka Kostic and Thomas C. Pochapsky, “Structure and Dynamics of Paramagnetic Proteins by NMR”, ACS Symposium Series 858, Joshua Telser, editor, 2003, 214-226
  • Milka Kostic, Susan Sondej Pochapsky and Thomas C. Pochapsky, “Rapid Recycle 13C’, 15N and 13C, 13C’ Heteronuclear and Homonuclear Multiple Quantum Coherence Detection for Resonance Assignments in Paramagnetic Proteins: Example of Ni2+ -Containing Acireductone Dioxygenase”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2002, 124, 9054-9055
  • Milka Kostic, Susan Sondej Pochapsky, John Obenauer, Huaping Mo, Gina M. Pagani, Robert Pejchal and Thomas C. Pochapsky, “Comparison of Functional Domains in Vertebrate-Type Ferredoxins”, Biochemistry 2002, 41, 5978-5989
  • Thomas C. Pochapsky, Milka Kostic, Nitin Jain and Robert Pejchal, “Redox-Dependent Conformational Selection in Cys4Fe2S2 Ferredoxin” Biochemistry 2001, 40, 5602-5614
  • Pfendt Lidija, Popovic Gordana, Kostic Milka, Stevovic Ljubomir, Drakulic Branko and Juranic Ivan, “Determination and Structural Correlation of pKa Values of p-Substituted trans-b-Aroylacrylic Acids” J. Chem Res. (S) 2000, 6, 260-261
  • Pfendt, L., Popovic, G., Kostic, M., Stevovic, Lj., Drakulic, B., and Juranic, I. “Determination and Structural Correlation of the pKa of p-Substituted trans-2,3-Epoxy-4-Oxo-4-Phenylbutanoic Acids” J. Serb. Chem. Soc. 2000, 65, 781-788

Science outreach/professional development publications

  • Milka Kostic (2014) From Bench to the Great Unknown: Career Transition into the World of Scientific Publishing, AWIS Magazine, April 2014 issue
http://www.awis.org/news/174041/From-Bench-to-the-Great-Unknown-Career-Transition-into-the-World-of-Scientific-Publishing.htm
  • Milka Kostić (2009). Živi kompasi – priča o magnetotaktičnim bakterijama. Hemijski pregled, 50(4), 86-95. (English title: LIVE COMPASSES: A TALE OF MAGNETOTACTIC BACTERIA)
http://scindeks.ceon.rs/article.aspx?query=ISSID%26and%267683&page=0&sort=8&stype=0&backurl=%2fissue.aspx%3fissue%3d7683)

Publications as the Editor of Structure and Cell Chemical Biology

  • Milka Kostic (2016), That’s a Wrap, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 1439
  • Milka Kostic (2016), From Glioblastoma to Hepatitis C: It’s a Metabolism Thing, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 1315-1316
  • Milka Kostic (2016), RAF Inhibitors, Fishing Bacterial Transporters Out of Metagenomes, and Yeast-Based, Industrial Scale Production of Isoprenoids, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 1171-1172
  • Milka Kostic (2016), It Takes a Megalopolis to Relaunch a Journal: A Story of Gratitude, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 1037-1038
  • Milka Kostic, Craig M. Crews, Christian Hertweck, Kevan Shokat & Hiroaki Suga (2016), From Powerful Review Articles to Research Breakthroughs, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 883-884
  • Milka Kostic (2016), Stem Cell Hydrogel, Jump-starting Zika Drug Discovery, and Engineering RNA Recognition, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 885-886
  • Milka Kostic (2016), Itaconate and Inflammation, miRs in Zebrafish Embryos, and SHP2 Inhibitor, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 747-748
  • Milka Kostic (2016), From SubPAR to PAR, into the cryoEM, and More Macrolides, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 635-636
  • Milka Kostic (2016), Of Tangerines, Asparagus, and Nonprotein Biomolecules, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 529-530
  • Milka Kostic (2016) Speaking “Germ-anish”, Reprograming Translation, and Drugs in Action, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 427-428
  • Milka Kostic, Craig M. Crews, Christian Hertweck, Kevan Shokat & Hiroaki Suga (2016) Our Advisors, Our Ambassadors, Our Editorial Board Members, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 311-312
  • Milka Kostic (2016) Systems, Solutions and an Intriguing Link, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 313-314
  • Milka Kostic, Craig M. Crews, Christian Hertweck, Kevan Shokat & Hiroaki Suga (2016) Voices of Chemical Biology, Charting the Next Decade, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 199
  • Milka Kostic (2016) Structure of a DNAzyme, Destroying p53 Amyloids, and a Nuclear Receptor for Cholesterol, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 200-201
  • Milka Kostic, Craig M. Crews, Christian Hertweck, Kevan Shokat & Hiroaki Suga (2016) Cell Chemical Biology: Home of Exciting Chemical Biology, Cell Chemical Biology 23, 1-2
  • Milka Kostic (2015) Vitamin C as Cancer Destroyer, Investigating Sulfhydration, and the Variability in CFTR Interactome, Chem. Biol. 22, 1575-1576
  • Milka Kostic (2015) Dissecting How Mtb Makes Its Wall, Buffering Endosomal pH, and Discovery of Ribocil, Chem. Biol. 22, 1415-1416
  • Milka Kostic (2015) Pushing Cancer Cells over the Edge, Following Transcription Where Tin Leads, and Why Bugs Make Antibiotics, Chem. Biol. 22, 1157-1158
  • Milka Kostic (2015) Targeting Malaria, Mutagenic Power of 5-chlorocytosine, and Rethinking Ribosomes, Chem. Biol. 22, 977-978
  • Milka Kostic (2015) Ubiquinone Biosynthesis, Bacterial GPS, and Circular Lipid Network, Chem. Biol. 22, 803-804
  • Milka Kostic (2015) Power of tRNA Fragments, Journey into the Oral Cavity Microbiome, and Controlling TRPV1, Chem. Biol. 22, 683-684
  • Milka Kostic (2015) Deadly Gasses as a Source of Life, HIF-Independent Hypoxia Story, and a More Radical SAM Enzyme, Chem. Biol. 22, 561-562
  • Christopher D. Lima, Andrej Sali & Milka Kostic (2015)Growing an Editorial Board for an Ever Expanding Field, Structure 23, 605
  • Milka Kostic (2015) Bile Acids, Chemical Libraries, Ebola Virus, and Bacterial Uracil, Chem. Biol. 22, 427-428
  • Milka Kostic (2015) Building with DNA, New PTM, Profiling BH3 Mimics, and Pluripotency Lost, Chem. Biol. 22, 429-430
  • Milka Kostic (2015) New Antibiotic, Unexpected Antiviral, IP7 in Cancer, and Better Dyes, Chem. Biol. 22, 159-160
  • Milka Kostic (2015) “Eau de Rotten Eggs,” Toxic Language, and Caps for Bacterial RNA, Chem. Biol. 22, 1-2
  • Milka Kostic (2014) NCI-DREAM Project, XNAzymes, and Galactolipids in Plant Resistance, Chem. Biol. 21, 1597-1598
  • Milka Kostic (2014) Artificial Cells, Targeting Obesity, Proteases for Synthetic Biology, and Membrane Lipids in Action, Chem. Biol. 21, 1417-1418
  • Milka Kostic (2014) HTS for SMFS, Organohalide Respiration, New Epigenetic Mark, and a Decoy Receptor, Chem. Biol. 21, 1255-1256
  • Craig Crews, Christian Hertweck, Hiroaki Suga, Kevan Shokat & Milka Kostic (2014) Reflecting on the Past and Looking Forward to the Future of Bridging Chemistry and Biology, Chem. Biol. 21, 1035-1036
  • Milka Kostic (2014) cGAS Dinucleotide, Cl− in Apoptosis, AhR in Infection, and a Probe for SETD7, Chem. Biol. 21, 1037-1038
  • Milka Kostic (2014) Synthetic pH Sensor, Protein Nanomaterials, Metabolites in Stem Cells, and DNA Barcodes, Chem. Biol. 21, 915-916
  • Milka Kostic (2014) Antigenic Peptides, Brain Imaging by CUBIC, and Mitochondrial Lipid Mediator Production, Chem. Biol. 21, 563-564
  • Milka Kostic (2014) Drug Toxicity, Deadly Glioblastoma, Genome Editing, and p53-Iron Link, Chem. Biol. 21, 431-432
  • Milka Kostic (2014) In the Limelight: Ras, Ebola, Deubiquitinase, and Acetyl-CoA, Chem. Biol. 21, 307-308
  • Milka Kostic (2014) From Malaria to Worms, Chem. Biol. 21, 165-166
  • Christopher D. Lima, Andrej Sali & Milka Kostic (2013) Celebrating 20 Years of Structure, Structure 21, 1477-1478
  • Craig Crews, Kevan Shokat, Horiaki Suga, & Milka Kostic (2012) News from the Chemistry & Biology Editorial Team, Chem. Biol. 19, 1355
  • Christopher D. Lima, Andrej Sali & Milka Kostic (2011) Structure Meets the Membrane, Structure 19, 1347
  • Craig Crews, Kevan Shokat, Wolfgang Wohlleben & Milka Kostic (2011) Chemistry & Biology Editors Announce Changes to the Editorial Team, Chem. Biol. 18, 141
  • Craig Crews, Michael Famulok, Kevan Shokat, Wolfgang Wohlleben & Milka Kostic (2009) Something Old, Something New, Chem. Biol. 17, 909
  • Michael Famulok, Kevan Shokat, Wolfgang Wohlleben & Milka Kostic (2008) News from Chemistry & Biology, Chem. Biol. 15, 639
  • Milka Kostic (2008) Molecular Biology Select, Cell 133, 197-199
  • Andrej Sali, Christopher D. Lima & Milka Kostic (2007) Structural Genomics, Structure 15, 1341

Selection of Blog Posts

On LinkedIn

  1. 6 Steps to a Remarkable Scientific Paper
  2. Chemical probes – whose responsibility are they anyway?
  3. FIVE TOXIC MYTHS ABOUT GRADUATE SCHOOL – A SURVIVAL GUIDE

On Cell CrossTalk (all posts can be found at: http://crosstalk.cell.com/blog/)

  1. State of Reproducibility in Structural Biology
  2. Getting Your Paper Published with as Little Frustrations as Possible Series
  3. Postdocs and grad students: Overworked and underpaid, so why volunteer?
  4. Why Do Editors Go to Scientific Conferences
  5. Moving from conversation to action on gender equality
  6. Gender equality in science: Think globally, act locally
  7. Tips for giving a successful scientific presentation

For plant-based cooking tips, techniques and recipes see: 

Eat the Vegan Rainbow, on Word Press