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Welcome to the first issue of 2014, an event that is made much more significant by the fact that this marks the stepping down of Richard Perham as Editor-in-Chief of the FEBS Journal, after 15 years at the helm. Richard has given truly sterling service to the journal, having edited over 400 issues, and has successfully overseen numerous changes to the journal in this time, including the re-branding of the journal in 2005 (from the then European Journal of Biochemistry), the introduction of Special Issues, Virtual Issues and many other developments. Richard leaves the journal in a very healthy position, with a rising number and quality of submissions, a steadily increasing impact and an excellent editorial board and editorial team. I have only known Richard a relatively short time but that has been more than enough to appreciate his many fine qualities as an editor, a scientist, as well as a gentleman in the true sense. Peter Parham's short essay on Richard's stellar career summarizes his many contributions to scientific life much better than I could [1]. Although the phrase ‘he will be a difficult act to follow’ is much overused, it is certainly true in this instance. We wish Richard much success in his future endeavors.

As the incoming Editor-in-Chief, I plan to build upon the developments that Richard instigated, as well as introduce some new initiatives. The Special Issue series, which are typically centered on a major meeting in the field, have proven to be very popular since this was introduced in 2011. To date, we have published special issues on Phosphatases [2], Toxins [3] Systems Biology [4], Myogenesis [5], and Protein Structure & Proteomics [6], among other topics. We have several Special Issues in the pipeline for 2014 on Cell Death, Epigenetics and celebrating the International Year of Crystallography, and we would welcome suggestions from readers for other topics to cover in future.

We will be introducing a new ‘state-of-the-art’ Minireview Series where leaders in particular research areas will give their personal perspectives on major unsolved questions and key issues that remain to be addressed in their respective fields. I also aim to strengthen our coverage of research areas that are currently somewhat underrepresented in the FEBS Journal, including (but certainly not limited to): autophagy, cell death, cell cycle, DNA damage and DNA repair, epigenetics, inflammation, infection and immunity, oncogenesis, organelle dynamics, protein modification and degradation, signal transduction and other areas of broad biological interest. I would especially encourage submissions in these areas to ensure that we publish across the whole spectrum of molecular and cellular life sciences.

As regular readers will know, the FEBS Journal is a multidisciplinary one and endeavors to cover the full breadth of research being conducted within the molecular life sciences. In addition to the greater visibility that comes with publishing in a multidisciplinary journal, the FEBS Journal offers many additional benefits to authors. These include: rapid peer review, rapid publication upon acceptance, and no page or color figure charges. More importantly, the FEBS Journal offers high visibility of published papers due to the relatively small number of articles published in each issue. Help us to continue to build the profile and prestige of the FEBS Journal by submitting your excellent papers for consideration.

In this issue we have many excellent papers and we also begin a new initiative, ‘Editor's choice’, where we have selected one paper for particular mention, with an accompanying summary by the handling editor. The Editor's choice paper in this issue concerns LRRK2-stimulated phosphorylation of tau by GSK-3 β which has implications for Parkinson's Disease [7]. We also have papers on the role of Survivin in resistance to cis-platin therapy in cancer [8], an analysis of the positional bias of mutations during affinity maturation of antibodies [9], as well as an excellent review by Geoffrey Faulkner and colleagues on the possible links between retrotransposons and cancer [10].

In conclusion, I am honored and excited to be taking up the baton from Richard Perham as the new Editor-in-Chief of the FEBS Journal. I look forward to the challenge of building upon Richard's considerable legacy at the journal to increase the breadth of areas that we publish in, as well as to continue to build the quality and impact of the papers we publish. In this regard, I would greatly encourage submission of your high quality manuscripts to the journal, as well as your suggestions for timely review topics and Special Issues. I look forward to meeting many of you at various conferences in the coming months and to working with you in developing the FEBS Journal into a leading multidisciplinary journal in the life sciences.

References

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Biography

  1. Top of page
  2. References
  3. Biography
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    Seamus J. Martin holds the Smurfit Chair of Medical Genetics at the Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He obtained his PhD under Tom Cotter at the National University of Ireland, followed by post-doctoral fellowships with Ivan Roitt at UCL, London, UK and Doug Green at The La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, California, USA. He works on all aspects of cell death control and is especially interested in the links between apoptosis, necrosis and inflammation. He received the GlaxoSmithKline Award of The Biochemical Society for his work on unraveling the caspase activation cascade and was elected to the Royal Irish Academy in 2006 and EMBO in 2009. He has served on the editorial boards of several journals and is the Editor-in-Chief of The FEBS Journal from 2014.