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ASH’s Newest Editors-in-Chief Share Their Visions for Blood Neoplasia and Blood VTH

December 9, 2023

The editors-in-chief of ASH’s two new journals both say they want to serve the hematology community by showcasing more specialty content and sharing it in new and creative ways. 

After a competitive international search, the ASH Executive Committee selected Jonathan Licht, MD, and Keith McCrae, MD, to serve as the inaugural editors-in-chief of Blood Neoplasia and Blood Vessels, Thrombosis & Hemostasis (Blood VTH), respectively. Blood Neoplasia will focus on hematologic malignancies, while Blood VTH will focus on the clinical and mechanistic aspects of normal and abnormal hemostasis and vascular function. Set to launch in 2024, these open-access journals aim to address the gaps left by increases in the general pace of biomedical advances, submission volume, and NIH funding for hematologic research.  

In a recent edition of The Hematologist podcast (Episode 135), Editor-in-Chief Shaji Kumar, MD, sat down with Drs. Licht and McCrae to discuss their visions for the burgeoning specialty journals. While both editors acknowledged the need to establish their respective journals as purveyors of high-quality, rigorous, and reproducible research, each highlighted several unique areas of focus for the initial volumes. For Dr. Licht, these areas include racial and ethnic disparities in the spectra of genetic mutations involved in lymphoma and other blood malignancies, mutations leading to abnormalities in intermediate metabolism, and the persistence of malignant cells despite targeted/cytotoxic therapies. Dr. McCrae emphasized a need to focus on the rigor and reproducibility of laboratory diagnostics for disorders of hemostasis and thrombosis, citing the potential for a focused review on lupus anticoagulant testing. Beyond this, Dr. McCrae has expressed a desire to include vascular medicine specialists in all levels of Blood VTH, nothing the extensive collaboration and overlap in recent years. 

Given the ever-increasing numbers of journals and submissions, Drs. Licht and McCrae also said they are thinking about unique content types that might help to put Blood Neoplasia and Blood VTH on the map. Dr. Licht said he would like to introduce short (< 1,000 words) summaries of recent literature with annotations. Dr. McCrae said he is thinking about the possibility of mini podcasts of three to four minutes by first authors, affording busy clinicians the opportunity to “cover three to four papers on the drive home.” Dr. McCrae also shared his goal of attracting early-career investigators given the critical shortage of classical hematologists in the U.S.  

 Dr McCrae also shared a personal sentiment on being selected as an inaugural editors-in-chief. “What's really fun about this for me,” he said, “is to be able to really establish what the content of this journal will be. When I was selected, I wasn't quite sure how much leeway I would have, but I've had a lot of leeway, and I think to put my own ideas into a journal that will last probably much longer than me and sort of leave a bit of a legacy is something that I'd be very honored by and proud of.”  

Be sure to check out the schedule for the Blood Journals Studio for your chance to meet Drs. Licht and McCrae, along with the editors of Blood and Blood Advances. 

ASH Seeks Inaugural Editor-in-Chief for New Global Journal

ASH has begun the process of selecting an inaugural editor for Blood Global Hematology, a new open access, peer-reviewed journal that aims to publish high-quality research, local adaptions of clinical guidelines, and opinion articles that improve the lives of patients in low- and middle-income countries.

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