Dr. Gayle Woloschak is a Professor of Radiation Oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is the Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Radiation Biology, published by Taylor & Francis.
We caught up with Dr. Woloschak about the journal, the field of radiation biology, and her tips for fellow journal editors.
About the editor
What’s your field of expertise?
My main area of expertise is radiation biology. I came to the field indirectly through studies of an animal model that had radiation sensitivity. After I went to my first Radiation Research Society meeting and came to meet many of the investigators in the field, I was drawn to it very strongly. I enjoy the community, the open discussions that take place, and the importance of the discipline to both medicine and health in general.
About the journal
How would you sum up International Journal of Radiation Biology in a sentence?
We publish cutting edge papers in the field of radiation research disciplines with an emphasis on radiation biology.
Where do you see the journal in ten years’ time?
I hope we are still publishing key papers in radiation research, but that we have more dynamic approaches for presentation including images in video format, interviews with the investigators, and an interactive approach for asking questions about the work.
Why did you set up a Twitter account for the journal, and what impact does it have?
This was the idea of Managing Editor Dianne Dixon with the hope of attracting more interest to the journal, especially from among the younger generation of scientists. It provides a means of disseminating information about the journal quickly and accurately.
About the research field
What are the key emerging research topics in your field?
Many of the technological advances that are flooding all areas of biology are having a big impact on radiation research: an explosion of data from informatics and data-sharing approaches, new single-cell analysis tools, and studies on exosomes and other means of intracellular communication. These new technologies will continue to improve sensitivity in the field as a whole.
What has been the most revolutionary development in radiation biology in the last decade?
Probably the effects of low dose radiation exposure that appear to be unique for low doses and not found at high doses, such as the bystander effect and delayed genomic instability. Clinically, the role of radiation in stimulating the immune system and its possible use in fighting cancer is important. Recent effects of space radiation even at low doses on the Central Nervous System have been identified, and new results examining mechanisms and consequences (especially for space travel) will prove very interesting in the years to come.
About everything else…
Do you have any tips or tricks to share with your fellow editors about being a journal editor?
The most important task is to get really good Associate Editors who are thoughtful, fair, and perform their tasks in a timely manner. This has been the biggest help for me in editing the journal efficiently and appropriately.