Meet the new Access Microbiology Editors in Chief: Dr Georgios Efthimiou

Posted on November 2, 2021   by Microbiology Society

With Access Microbiology currently undergoing an exciting transformation into an open research platform, the Microbiology Society has appointed two new Editors-in-Chief for the platform, Dr Georgios Efthimiou (University of Hull, UK) and Dr Helina Marshall (Queen’s University Belfast, UK). Both of these Society members have been involved since the conception of the journal, developing their editorial skills as Editor Mentees and eventually Editors handling a host of diverse papers across microbiology. They have been deeply involved all through our consultation process over the future direction of the new open research platform and are longstanding members of the Microbiology Society. We are excited to see what the future brings with them at the helm. We spoke to Georgios about their career and aspirations for the platform.

I am currently a Lecturer in Microbiology, at the University of Hull. My group's main aim is to understand how natural products can affect microbial biofilm formation, either negatively or positively, preventing biofilm production by pathogenic microbes and boosting biofilm formation by beneficial microbes. The latter leads to better colonisation of probiotics, resulting in more effective interventions. We are also interested in optimising the metabolism of probiotic micro-organisms and identifying novel microbial products that are important for human health.

When did you first decide you wanted to do science?

When I was 12, I was fascinated by my chemistry kit and toy microscope. I think that’s when it started.

What is your biggest professional achievement?

In 2021, a paper based on my second postdoctoral project at Yale was published, showing the role of Toll-like receptor 7 in the development of Type 1 diabetes in mice and suggesting a mechanism.

What would you be doing in your career if you weren't a scientist? 

Writing science fiction and fantasy novels (there’s still time!).

What does it mean to you to be the Editor-in-Chief of Access Microbiology?  

Access Microbiology is a fantastic platform for communicating research findings and ideas about key microbiology topics. Playing a leading role in its activities and making decisions about its themes and policies is very fulfilling. It is really a great honour being in this post.

Why are Society journals important?

In a world full of predatory publishers, Society journals form a true oasis by offering a friendly, supportive environment and high editorial standards. In addition, publications that directly affect the public (e.g., pedagogy, outreach, commentary) are often free of charge.

Why do you think authors should be publishing their articles Open Access, and get involved with Publish and Read?

Research results need to be freely available to all, especially these related to medicine and public health or funded by the government. Authors who publish Open Access often receive more citations and achieve a stronger research impact. Publish and Read is a great way for institutions to save money and reduce administration burden. Also, authors benefit a lot from the transparent and frictionless Open Access experience that is provided by Publish and Read.

Access Microbiology will be converting to an open research platform in early 2022. Why is this such an exciting opportunity for the journal?

Converting from a classic-type journal to an open research platform will make manuscripts submitted to Access Microbiology more openly available for all. The article review process will be much easier to follow and to interact with.

What’s the best thing about being a member of the Microbiology Society?

Belonging to a diverse family of microbiologists, with common interests and dreams.

What do you think the future holds for microbiology?

I believe that microbial genomics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and systems biology approaches, together with good old lab-based work, will soon answer many important questions in the field of microbiology.