eLife Latest: Announcing our new board members

With their extensive range of experience and perspectives, our new board members will help direct eLife in its mission to transform research communication.

eLife is pleased to welcome four new appointments to our Board of Directors: Federico (Fede) Pelisch, from the University of Dundee, Scotland, UK; Jane McKeating, from the University of Oxford, UK; Freddie Quek, from Times Higher Education; and Joanne Hackett, from IQVIA.

They join at an exciting time for eLife, as we switch to our new model of publishing that eliminates accept/reject decisions after peer review and focuses on the public review and assessment of preprints. The model is a major milestone towards our vision for a future where a diverse, global community of scientists and researchers produces open and trusted results for the benefit of all. We are also working to make this vision a reality through our open-source technology development efforts and community engagement activities, all feeding into our overarching ‘publish, review, curate’ mission that puts preprints first.

The new board members were selected following an open call to scientists across the world with a proven track record in open science. The nominating committee included representatives from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Wellcome, along with Prachee Avasthi, Chair of eLife’s Board of Directors.

Avasthi says: “We are delighted to welcome these four exceptional individuals to the eLife board. With the progressive perspective on research communication that our new scientific members Fede and Jane bring, to Joanne’s extensive global experience across academic, business and clinical institutions, and Freddie’s work in scholarly publishing technology, they are well placed to help steer eLife forward in its mission. We’re excited to work with them to realise a more open and inclusive future for science.”

Fede Pelisch is a Principal Investigator at the School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee. An advocate for preprints and open science, Fede has been a member of the PreLights community, acted as a bioRxiv affiliate, and participated on eLife’s Board of Reviewing Editors. He received his PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has performed most of his postdoctoral studies at the University of Dundee. There he started his independent research program as a Medical Research Council Career Development Fellow, using the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to study the regulation of chromosome segregation in oocytes.

Speaking about his appointment at eLife, Fede says: “I am extremely excited to be part of the change in scientific publishing that eLife has been bringing about over recent years. There has been an increasing sense of awareness about the many flaws in scientific publishing and communication, but positive initiatives have been emerging and gaining momentum. Within these, the level of disruption has varied between different forums. I feel that we all want disruption, but we are, in a way, also allergic to change. So I look forward to participating in discussions with the broad scientific community to help eLife bring about more positive change, learn during the ride, and hopefully see a net movement towards a fairer, more open way of sharing research.”

Jane McKeating is Professor of Molecular Virology at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, UK. With over 30 years of experience in academic research, she provides valuable insights into the challenges of scientific publishing. Her research focuses on early events in virus replication and understanding how oxygen and circadian signalling pathways define host susceptibility to viruses, with a focus on hepatitis and respiratory pathogens. Jane is committed to empowering the next generation of scientists through education and advocacy work, and has a desire to leverage her institutional decision-making roles to affect policy and cultural change for the better.

Talking about her appointment to the eLife board, Jane says: “eLife has a reputation for the open-access publishing of high-quality scientific discoveries that are widely read and respected in the academic community. I am delighted to join the board and share my experiences with like-minded colleagues and to work together to bring much-needed change to academic publishing.”

Freddie Quek is Chief Technology Officer at Times Higher Education, where he is responsible for data-driven products and solutions such as the SDG Impact Rankings which helps organisations to measure themselves against the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. He is a multiple award-winning global technology leader who has worked in the UK, US and Singapore across higher education, publishing, insurance, travel and other services industries. In his spare time, Freddie is a Research Associate at Henley Business School, studying how technology leadership can help organisations run and change the business at the same time. His years of experience with scholarly publishing technology, along with his desire to innovate in this area, means he is in a strong position to support eLife’s open-source technology efforts.

Freddie says: “No industry is immune to the pace and possibilities and the disruptive nature that digital technologies bring. I am excited to join eLife to find the sweet spot of what technology can enable and the disruptive thinking of the board to provide a different service and solution for the community it serves.”

Joanne Hackett is Head of Genomic and Precision Medicine at IQVIA. She is a clinical academic, entrepreneur, investor and strategist, with global experience spanning successful start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Joanne’s goal is to contribute to bringing novel, cost-effective and simple healthcare solutions to the world, and she is particularly keen on building the case for prevention, open science and citizen genomics. She enjoys sharing her experiences with the boards she sits on as well as companies she provides strategic advice to.

Joanne says: “It is a huge privilege for me to join the eLife board and I’m excited to get started. I have always felt there is a disconnect between the ‘triple helix’ – that is, academia, the clinical community and industry – and my experience in each sector can help provide insights into how we can harness the power of amazing science and make it useful for all.”

As eLife welcomes our new board members, we must sadly bid farewell to those who have recently stepped down. We would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to our former Chairman Toby Coppel, along with Christian Hernandez Gallardo, Robert Tjian and Nouria Hernandez, for their years of dedicated service to eLife and guiding us to where we are now. We wish them the very best in their future endeavours.


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