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At the end of the 2010 calendar year Rich Miller stepped down from the team of four Editors-in-Chief of Aging Cell. On this occasion, I was given an opportunity to say a few words about him and his role in the brief but decidedly up-beat and happy history of this journal.

When Tim Cowen and Marc Tatar started Aging Cell in October 2002, few would have predicted the truly spectacular success of this venture. After all, the relatively small field of biology of aging was already covered by several journals, and it is commonly believed that journals not representing a professional society centered on the same theme (and thus lacking assured subscriptions and a measure of loyalty from society members) are likely to have problems surviving. To make things worse, the most exciting advances in the biology of aging were more likely to be reported in general or cell biology journals than in journals specifically devoted to aging. Against these odds, Aging Cell thrived from the very beginning and continues to grow in both volume and prestige. Much of this growth took place during the past 5 years, during the tenure of Rich as one of the four Editors-in-Chief. I have no doubt that these advances, in significant measure, are because of his efforts and guidance, and his personal imprint on the editorial policies and the speed and efficiency of the editorial process.

In addition to the broad knowledge of the aging field, Rich brought to this position a long list of scientific accomplishments. These include important contributions to our understanding of immunosenescence, delving into the relationships between body size and longevity, demonstrating that long-lived mouse mutants have many indications of delayed aging, using cultured cells to show that the association of stress resistance with longevity applies to mammals, championing the use of genetically heterogeneous animals in aging research, and leading the Interventions Testing Program, which has produced some exciting results. These credentials are combined with an attitude and ability of getting things done. When I started collaborating with him in the late 90s, I soon realized that anyone who considered me a compulsive workaholic must not have met Rich. I often had a feeling that my e-mails to him were answered before I sent them, and if the original answer was an apology for a likely delay because of being on a different hemisphere in an icebreaker on the way to a good spot to photograph penguins (or something to this effect), a real, well thought-out answer usually followed in <24 h.

Rich’s promptness and work ethic coexist with a low tolerance for poorly formulated hypotheses, overreaching conclusions, or lack of scientific rigor (and little reluctance to express his concerns). I somehow suspect that with Rich’s name on the cover, few of the prospective authors would seriously consider submitting to Aging Cell a manuscript without all ‘i’s dotted and ‘t’s crossed, both literally and scientifically.

Rich joined the team of Editors-in-Chief in January 2006. The impact factor of Aging Cell was 6.01 for the year 2005 and now stands at 7.55. I believe I will not be presumptuous if I end these brief reflections with an expression of appreciation for a job well done, on behalf of the readers and the contributors to Aging Cell, and especially the entire editorial team. This is perhaps something for you and me to think about when we watch a gallery of spectacular wildlife photos during a coffee break at one of the upcoming meetings on the biology of aging.