It is the fundamental work of red blood cell researchers to delve into the science behind some of the most serious and common diseases we encounter today, including cancer, malaria and blood disorders such as anemia, a condition over 1.5 billion people suffer from.
In 2017 two experts in red blood cell research, Professor Lars Kaestner of Saarland University and Professor Anna Bogdanova of the University of Zurich organized a Research Topic in Frontiers in Physiology, ‘The red cell life-cycle from erythropoiesis to clearance’. Following its overwhelmingly positive reception from the community it is our pleasure to announce that, with Lars and Anna as Specialty Chief Editors, Frontiers in Physiology has developed a new specialty section, ‘Red Blood Cell Physiology’, wholly dedicated to publishing red blood cell research.
Lars: Many people may have the impression that we have a complete and comprehensive knowledge of red blood cells…in contrast there are hundreds of unsolved clinical and basic science questions. This starts with the management of the most severe epidemic plagues like malaria and ends with rare diseases like neuroacantocytosis, just to name two examples.
Scientists publishing in the field and those seeking to easily access this research have faced significant barriers. The field is broad, made up of various pockets of wide-ranging expertise, from hematology and transfusion medicine to comparative physiology, membrane biophysics and experimental and theoretical physics. Until now, there has been no journal that specifically accommodates this research community, causing important findings to be scattered and difficult to locate.
Anna: Most journals focusing on hematology are largely clinical and dedicated to the problems of blood cancer. If there is a red cell section present, it is usually an “orphan” and is poorly represented. At present not a single journal is representing red cell research in all its heterogeneity… we want to collect all the various aspects of red cell research into one easily accessible information source. This will also foster interaction between experts, become a “helpdesk” for those in need of assistance and information in this area from patients to early stage researchers and clinicians.
All articles published in Red Blood Cell Physiology will be open access, freely accessible by the community around the world, a prospect Lars and Anna are both excited and enthusiastic about.
Lars: Although in scientific policy the journals impact factor is the measure of all things, in practice the availability and accessibility of published data is equally important for the authors and the readers… it is important to provide a common publication medium and a knowledge exchange platform for the entire community.
Anna: I first enrolled into a PhD program in St. Petersburg during the early 90’s and know very well how helpless and frustrated a young researcher may be having no access to scientific literature, or spending hours to access crucial information. Open access publishing is of key importance, using funding in a more effective way to move research forward faster.
As both Anna and Lars stand at the forefront of leading this new section, we asked what they aim to achieve as Specialty Chief Editors.
Anna: I hope this section will bring together all those working with red blood cells. Together we shall be more efficient and it will be a pleasure to share new and exciting findings with each other.
Lars: We have to admit that red blood cell research had a hard time at the turn of the century but it is growing again ever since. As a Specialty Chief Editor I want to engage the wider science community, empower researchers to contribute, and ultimately raise the profile of red blood cell research.
Frontiers in Physiology would like to extend a warm welcome to Professor Kaestner and Professor Bogdanova as new Specialty Chief Editors within the journal. We are further pleased to welcome our international board of Associate Editors:
Prof. Ingolf Bernhardt, Saarland University, Germany
Dr. Paola Bianchi, IRCCS, Italy
Dr. Robin van Bruggen, Sanquin Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dr. Lesley Bruce, Bristol Institute for Tranfusion Services, United Kingdom
Prof. Philippe Connes, University Claude Bernard Lyon, France
Assist. Prof. Angelo D’Alessandro, University of Colorado, USA
Assoc. Prof. Stefane Egée, CNRS, France
Dr. Wassim El Nemer, CNRS Paris, France
Dr. Dmitry Fedosov, Research Center Jülich, Germany
Prof. Eitan Fibach, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Prof. Lucia de Franceschi, University of Verona, Italy
Dr. Hélène Guizouarn, Institute of Biology Valrose, France
Dr. Yao Huang, Jinan University, China
Dr. Caroline le van Kim, CNRS Paris, France
Assoc. Prof. Marike von Lindern, Sanquin Amsterdam, Netherlands
Prof. Heimo Mairbäurl, University of Heidlberg, Germany
Prof. Luanne Peters, The Jackson Laboratory, USA
Dr. Alan Schechter, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, USA
Dr. Sergey Shevkoplyas, University of Houston, USA
Prof. Christian Wagner, Saarland University, Germany
Assoc. Prof. Richard van Wijk, University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands