From January 2023, Nature Reviews Bioengineering will publish high-quality commissioned Reviews, Perspectives and Comments, covering the full breadth of bioengineering, with a particular focus on application, translation and technology, that is, leveraging biological knowledge to engineer solutions for real-world applications.
In this blog post, Chief Editor, Christine Horejs, explains how the journal will meet the community’s needs.
Bioengineering is a rapidly evolving, cross-disciplinary field that involves engineering, biology, medicine, chemistry, physics, nanotechnology and computer science. Bioengineers develop tools, materials and devices to mimic, modify or control biological systems, to have a positive impact on health, society and the environment. Combining engineering principles with biological knowledge to address medical needs has contributed to the design of life-saving concepts, such as artificial organs, advanced prosthetics, surgical robots, point-of-care diagnostic devices and vaccines. The recent development of the lipid nanoparticle-mRNA COVID-19 vaccines showcases the importance of bioengineering in addressing key societal needs. Bioengineers also develop platforms for fundamental biology studies and drug screening, such as organs-on-chips, genetic engineering and imaging tools, as well as high-throughput techniques. In addition, emerging concepts, such as bioplastics, metabolic engineering, plant biotechnology and synthetic biology, will have a major role in addressing environmental pollution and climate change.
The bioengineering field has become a key enabler of medical breakthroughs, new biological insights, and sustainability concepts, reflected in many high-impact publications. However, this community does not yet have a dedicated Reviews journal. The timing is, therefore, ideal for the launch of Nature Reviews Bioengineering.
Nature Reviews Bioengineering aims to bring together scientists and engineers interested in the design of materials, tools, methods, technologies or devices to understand biological mechanisms, combat disease or address environmental issues; clinicians leveraging research outputs in bioengineering to improve human health; and readers interested in product development, technology transfer and translation. The journal will build bridges between these communities by publishing Reviews accessible to a broad audience, which discuss solutions to real-world problems and which consider translation in various settings, including low-resource settings. Given the applied nature of the field, our articles will further include distinct elements that outline the key issues that remain to be addressed to enable translation and technology transfer.
The journal also aims to highlight bioengineering approaches in the sustainable development goals framework, particularly good health and well-being, zero hunger, gender equality, reduced inequalities, responsible consumption and production and climate action. In addition, we seek to amplify diverse voices, provide a platform for discussion, debate and solution, and publish pieces that discuss commercial, ethical, legal and societal aspects of bioengineering research. We will publish all areas of bioengineering, including the work of scientists in academia and industry.
The journal will be managed by a professional team of PhD-level editors, who have extensive research backgrounds in different areas of bioengineering. The team will commission Reviews, Perspectives and Comments, edit manuscripts, organize peer-review, and liaise with art editors to produce high-quality articles covering the most significant advances in bioengineering, to become a trusted source of reference, concise overview, and timely comment across the field, and to reach the broadest possible audience. The editors will work closely with authors to ensure that Nature Reviews Bioengineering articles provide excellent resources for teaching and presentations, featuring seminal figures and concise and critical summaries of bioengineering research and translational efforts.
The editorial team will further promote interactions between researchers across disparate areas of the field, in academia and in more applied settings, striving to be an integral part of the worldwide bioengineering community by attending conferences and by visiting labs and institutions.
Nature Reviews Bioengineering will publish advances in all areas of bioengineering, including biomedicine and health, biology and environment, and devices and technologies. Our Reviews will also consider low-resource settings, translational aspects and technology transfer, reflecting the applied nature of the field. There are currently no high-impact review journals with similar scope to Nature Reviews Bioengineering. We are, therefore, confident that Nature Reviews Bioengineering fills a gap in the publishing landscape, and can act as a key agent in driving the field forward by providing authoritative and accessible accounts of the most important bioengineering advances, inspiring and supporting future research and translation into real-world scenarios.
About the author
Christine Horejs started at Springer Nature in 2017 as an editor for Nature Reviews Materials, rising to Chief editor in January 2021. Since January 2022, she has been heading the launch of Nature Reviews Bioengineering. Christine has an MSci and PhD in nanobiotechnology from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria. Her postdoc at Imperial College London, UK, investigated the extracellular matrix and cell–material interactions, and she conducted research at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, where she studied anti-fibrotic biomaterials in vivo.