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Aksoy Named Editor of Journal on Tropical Medicine

October 09, 2009
by Michael Greenwood

Serap Aksoy, an authority on vector biology and the pathogen that causes sleeping sickness, has been named the lead editor of a scientific journal dedicated to neglected tropical diseases.

Aksoy is the new editor in chief of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, an open access, electronic journal that focuses on the pathology, epidemiology, prevention, treatment and control of diseases that are primarily found in developing countries. Topics include understudied diseases such as elephantiasis, river blindness, leprosy, hookworm, African sleeping sickness, Leishmaniasis and Chagas disease

The journal was launched in 2007 with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Aksoy joins Peter J. Hotez, a former YSPH faculty member who is now with George Washington University, as editor in chief. She formerly served at the journal’s deputy editor.

Aksoy said that one of her goals as editor will be to feature articles from researchers from as many disease endemic countries as possible.

“Despite the devastating impact of these diseases in the developing world and the good work we know that goes on in these countries, only a fraction of the papers we publish are submitted by disease endemic country authors” said Aksoy, Ph.D., professor and head of the division of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the School of Public Health.

Some of the research already featured in the journal has subsequently appeared in leading scientific and medical journals and in national and international media. Such coverage has elevated the awareness of diseases that in many cases are largely forgotten about in developed countries, she said. This attention, in turn, has put the diseases on the agendas of the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

Aksoy’s own research interests include the transmission of human African Trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness. She is conducting research to see if the tsetse fly, the disease’s vector, can be genetically altered so that it is unable to transmit the parasite that causes illness to humans and livestock.

In her role as editor, Aksoy will continue conducting manuscript writing workshops. The seminars explain the process of getting research published to young scientists, ethical considerations and common reasons why manuscripts are rejected.

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases is the newest of seven scientific and medical journals published by the Public Library of Science. Articles published in these community journals are immediately accessible for readers free of charge. Other School of Public Health faculty involved in the journal include Christian Tschudi and Diane McMahon-Pratt, both of whom serve as associate editors.

Submitted by Denise Meyer on August 03, 2012