Keystone Symposia meetings are coveted venues for journal editors such as Kevin Davies, Ph.D., Executive Editor of The CRISPR Journal, to establish relationships with scientists and discover new insights, innovations, and directions in their research field. Their frequent attendance at meetings also provides attendees with valuable opportunities to network and ask editors face-to-face questions, which can facilitate the publication process for both parties.
Here, Kevin Davies, Ph.D., shares his excitement about attending the upcoming Engineering the Genome meeting in Banff, Canada, which showcases the latest technologies, advances, and applications in this transformative field.
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An interview with Executive Editor of The CRISPR Journal, Dr. Kevin Davies
Why are you attending this conference? What do you hope to get out of it?
Dr. Kevin Davies:
The Keystone Symposia Engineering the Genome conference is unquestionably one of the CRISPR and genome editing highlights of the year.
Superb talks, ample time to network and meet colleagues, and of course some unique recreational activities. Unfortunately, I’m an accident waiting to happen on skis.
How does this conference fit into the research landscape of the field?
Dr. Kevin Davies:
In short, “It’s so hot right now!”
What’s great about the genome engineering field is that we’re watching not one but two rocket ships take off:
- The rapid deployment of genome editing in the clinic, with very promising early results, is gratifying to everyone involved in the field.
- At the same time, we’re seeing major advances in basic research and the development of new technologies (such as prime editing) that appear destined to sustain if not accelerate that progress.
What sessions, speakers and/or special workshops are you most looking forward to and why?
Dr. Kevin Davies: Credit the organizers for introducing an ethics workshop in the program, as that has surprisingly been underplayed in some recent conferences. And it will be fascinating to hear what David Liu’s lab has been up to since the landmark publication of their prime editing paper last October.
We’re not looking for stories as much as meeting authors to encourage them (where appropriate) to consider our journal for validation and publication of their research. Now entering its third year, The CRISPR Journal welcomes papers on all facets of CRISPR biology and genome editing technology. The journal is indexed in MEDLINE and JCR, making it eligible for an Impact Factor.
What new directions and insights are you expecting to discover? What new frontiers are being addressed at this meeting?
Dr. Kevin Davies: I think the entire community is eager to hear of new findings in the clinical delivery of genome editing, as well as potential challenges that must be overcome. Just because we’ve seen dramatic successes in the past few years, we shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security or feel that this is easy.
How does this meeting fit into your publication’s recent coverage?
Dr. Kevin Davies:
The CRISPR Journal just published its first special issue on The Ethics of Human Genome Editing. I’m delighted to see an ethics discussion featured in this year’s program.
And the emphasis on new therapeutic applications appeals both to our journal and our sister journal, Human Gene Therapy, which has just undergone a major redesign for 2020.
About the Author:
Kevin Davies, PhD– Executive Editor, The CRISPR Journal
Kevin Davies is the founding Executive Editor of The CRISPR Journal. He is celebrating his 30th year in science publishing, a career that began at Nature, followed by the launch of Nature Genetics. He has also served as the Editor-in-Chief of Cell Press and the publisher of Chemical & Engineering News. In 2017, Kevin received a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship.
Kevin is the author of several books on the genomics revolution, including Cracking the Genome, The $1,000 Genome, and DNA: The Story of the Genetic Revolution (with James D. Watson & Andrew Berry). His new book, Editing Mankind, will be published by Pegasus Books in September 2020.