New Co-Editor-in-Chief for JOE and JME
|We are delighted that Professor Ruth Andrew will join the joint Editorial Board of Journal of Endocrinology (JOE) and Journal of Molecular Endocrinology (JME) as Co-Editor-in-Chief from 1 January 2024. Professor Andrew is Chair of Pharmaceutical Endocrinology at the Queen's Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, UK.
We caught up with Professor Andrew to learn about her career journey to date, including her vision for the journals.
Tell us about yourself and your research interests
I trained as a pharmacist, and then in my PhD, specialised in applications of analytical chemistry to explore hormone action – first, studying hormones of the adrenal medulla, and later, the cortex. My research has explored enzymes which modulate the balance of active and inactive glucocorticoids within tissues and how these can modify metabolism and inflammation. I’m also interested in the role of these enzymes as drugs targets. I still work closely in applied analytical chemistry and my group are working to establish new technologies to help us measure hormones in small quantities under dynamic circumstances and in more unusual and less accessible tissue settings.
What have been your career highlights so far?
I’ve very much enjoyed translating studies of the role of 5alpha-reductases from cells in animal models, through to experimental human studies and population science. Initial observations that mice lacking 5alpha-reductase 1 were more prone to metabolic dysfunction, led to a series of population-wide studies showing that men taking 5alpha-reductase inhibitors are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes. It has been very rewarding to be involved with studies that can inform clinical practice and these studies are ongoing. I particularly enjoy seeing the students who have worked on these projects blossom in their own careers. I’m heavily involved in technology innovations in my field. I currently work with a technique called mass spectrometry imaging, and my group have explored the ways mass spectrometry can be applied to visualise steroid hormones in the tissue and cellular setting. It’s exciting to work at the boundaries of technology – every few years you can achieve something that was previously out of reach, which is highly stimulating, if a little expensive!
What motivated you to become Co-Editor-in-Chief for JOE and JME?
I am passionate about working to support the Society for Endocrinology. I have enjoyed roles of Editor for the British Journal of Pharmacology and Talanta, and more recently, a Specialty Chief Editor with Frontiers in Endocrinology. I particularly enjoyed the more strategic elements of taking over a subsection. I felt the time was right to move into the Co-Editor-in-Chief role and wanted to carry it out in a way that would benefit the Society. These are challenging times in publishing with changes towards open access, and the journal portfolio is essential to the Society, so I am pleased to be able to contribute.
Can you tell us about how the Society for Endocrinology has supported you throughout your career?
The Society has supported me in so many ways. I joined when I started my first postdoc and it granted me travel funds to attend SfE BES, and also present my work abroad. Over time, I’ve wanted to be more involved with the Society’s activities. I joined the Science Committee in 2008. It was really inspiring to be involved in governance of science and provision of opportunities rather than just ‘eyes-down’ on my own project.
Regularly attending SfE BES has opened doors to a network of friends and colleagues. I’ve enjoyed having the agency to design events for the meeting, such as the Career development workshop and seeing the positive impact on the attendees, while also building my own transferable and soft skills. Over the years, the Society has also supported my students and early-career team members. This year alone, two of my team have attended highly-specialised scientific training programmes, internationally, through the Society’s help. It makes my day when they dash through my door, excited about being awarded their grants and the opportunities they unleash. The Bioscientifica Trust was also pivotal in supporting one of my PhD students to fully achieve their potential in the Covid academic recovery period.
I’ve tried to sustain my involvement through roles on the Programme and Finance committees for example, and I am currently the General Secretary for the Society. In the role, I am also a non-executive director in Bioscientifica and I enjoy being part of the evolving strategy for publishing. Having a knowledge of the Society and Bioscientifica allows you to see how the parts of the jigsaw fit together for mutual benefit.
Did you know?
Bioscientifica redistributes any profits from publication in its journals back to the Society for Endocrinology. In 2022, almost a third of the Society’s activities were funded by Bioscientifica publishing so I am highly motivated to help them succeed.
What is your vision for JOE and JME and how do you hope to help shape the journals?
I would like to see these journals become the first choice for authors publishing preclinical and in vitro studies in endocrinology. For that, we need to continue to offer authors an excellent experience, while building their strong reputation for fairness and robust assessment. I think we have to consider the scope of the types of science we publish to meet the changing landscape of research e.g. systems biology, machine learning, and ensure we have experience in our Editorial Board to fairly assess such research.
What research would like to see submitted to the journals?
The journals are key knowledge bases for basic sciences, both in the in vitro and in vivo fields. We are moving into an era where we can reap the rewards of working closely with physical scientists e.g. data science and computational modelling. This is more developed in clinical research but we should be engaging with authors interfacing in these fields and others such as imaging.
What advice would you give to researchers looking to submit their work to JOE and JME?
Always consider submitting to us, and if in doubt, speak to us – we are always keen to discuss interesting research. Endocrinology has a wide remit and outreach so we will be as inclusive as possible. Our primary goal is to attract manuscripts with robust science. The outcomes of experiments aren’t always what we expect and sometimes valuable studies are the negative ones, but well-executed science that enhances understanding in a field should always be published.
To find out more about publishing in the journals, email firstname.lastname@example.org.