eLife editorial leadership expands with expertise in cancer epidemiology, infectious disease and biophysics

Three Reviewing Editors have been promoted to eLife’s leadership team.
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eLife is pleased to welcome three new Senior Editors to its leadership team, supporting submissions in some of the open-access journal’s growing research areas.

Eduardo Franco from McGill University, Canada, Neil Ferguson from Imperial College London, UK, and Cynthia Wolberger from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, US, bring expertise in their respective fields of cancer epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology and biophysics.

Eduardo Franco, McGill University

They will be responsible for handling manuscripts in a timely manner, operating in concert with the other working scientists who serve as eLife editors, as well as the organisation’s early-career advisors, governing board and executive staff, to help realise eLife’s mission to accelerate discovery.

In addition to his role as Chairman of the Department of Oncology at McGill University, Eduardo Franco is James McGill Professor in the same department and in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics.

His research during the last 33 years has focused on a variety of topics, including: molecular epidemiology and the prevention of cervical cancer and human papillomavirus-associated diseases; prostate, endometrium and childhood tumours; studies of methods for evaluating the effectiveness of cancer-screening strategies; and studies of societal and clinical influences on patient survival.

“I’m thrilled to have been appointed as Senior Editor for eLife,” Franco says. “The journal publishes a broad range of research within cancer biology, epidemiology and prevention, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to help raise its profile further in these areas, as well as in other clinical and global health topics.”

Neil Ferguson, Imperial College London

Neil Ferguson, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London, undertakes research on the epidemiological factors and population processes that shape the spread of infectious diseases.

A key practical focus of Ferguson’s research is the analysis and optimisation of intervention strategies aimed at reducing disease transmission or burden. He also works in developing statistical and mathematical tools to mine epidemiological data more effectively, to improve prediction of disease trends and the assessment of the impact of control programmes.

“With growing urban populations, increased air travel and a changing climate accelerating the spread of new and existing infectious diseases, we need to ensure that the necessary research is available as soon as possible to help inform prevention strategies,” Ferguson says. “eLife’s efficient approach to peer review and publication will play a crucial role in this process, ensuring everyone has access to the findings they need, when they need them, and I’m pleased to be a part of that process.”

Cynthia Wolberger, Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine

Cynthia Wolberger serves as Professor of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on structural biology, ubiquitin signaling and regulation of transcription.

In particular, Wolberger studies how DNA-packaging proteins – which coil DNA into neat, compact bundles in the cell – turn genes on or off and maintain proper organisation of the genome. These DNA-packaging proteins, known as histones, are called to action by the attachment of chemical tags, such as the ubiquitin protein or acetyl chemical groups. Wolberger studies the large protein complexes that attach, remove and recognise these histone tags using X-ray crystallography – a technique that allows researchers to develop three-dimensional models of proteins.

She says: “I’ve been inspired by eLife’s innovative approach to peer review from the start. I’m excited to be involved in driving it forward and, hopefully, making it a norm within scientific publishing in the future.”

eLife’s Senior Editors are responsible for maintaining the high quality and broad scope of the work published in the journal, as well as championing its unique approach to peer review.

They decide, in consultation with members of the Board of Reviewing Editors (BRE), whether a paper should be sent for peer review. All manuscripts selected for review are assigned to an appropriate BRE who recruits additional reviewers. The reviewers then consult with one another, once their reviews are in, to finalise the decision and form a consolidated set of comments for the author.

For more information about eLife’s consultative approach to peer review, visit https://elifesciences.org/about/peer-review.

To learn more about Franco, Ferguson and Wolberger, see https://elifesciences.org/about/people.

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eLife aims to help scientists accelerate discovery by operating a platform for research communication that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours in science. We publish important research in all areas of the life and biomedical sciences, which is selected and evaluated by working scientists and made freely available online without delay. eLife also invests in innovation through open-source tool development to accelerate research communication and discovery. Our work is guided by the communities we serve. eLife is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, the Wellcome Trust and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. Learn more at https://elifesciences.org/about.