Keystone Symposia meetings, whether in-person or virtual, are important venues to connect editors with scientists to facilitate publication for both parties. At the upcoming “Optimizing Nutrition for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health“eSymposia, Dr. Sri Devi Narasimhan, Deputy Editor for Cell, will be searching for science at the intersection of development, immunology, microbiome science, neurobiology and more for stories to feature in Cell journals. Here Dr. Narasimhan shares what she looks forward to at the meeting, and how to connect with her about your work!
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What is your role at Cell Press?
Dr. Narasimhan: As Deputy Editor at the journal Cell, I’m responsible for overseeing day-to-day journal editorial operations, strategic effort on journal content and team management as well as leading diversity and gender equity efforts. I also lead cross-journal communication and collaboration efforts across Cell Press journals. I handle papers across the journal’s topic scope and serve as the strategy lead for Cell’s Microbiology, Immunology and Metabolism content.
Why are you attending this conference? What do you hope to get out of it?
Dr. Narasimhan: I’m excited about this conference as I feel it is an important and much needed topic worthy of a major platform such as Keystone Symposia.
“Maternal and infant health have tremendous implications for development and disease later in life and generally women’s health and biology has been less studied, less prioritized and less funded.”
Scientifically, this brings together a plethora of fields and topic areas, and I’m especially interested in science that’s focused on uniquely human/primate biology as well as translational and clinical work. I aspire to learn a lot and meet experts from disciplines and institutes I am not familiar with. I’m here to learn and walking in less as an editor and more as an eager student wanting to take in the discussions and the data.
How does this conference fit into the research landscape of the field?
Dr. Narasimhan: There’s much interest in understanding early life maternal-fetal interactions, especially in the context of immunology, microbiome science, neuroscience and of course development so it actually has a bearing for a whole number of disciplines.
What do you enjoy most about attending Keystone Symposia conferences?
Dr. Narasimhan: My own background and training has been interdisciplinary in nature and my work at a journal like Cell means that I work a lot on papers and with scientists who are not restricted to a specific field or area. Keystone Symposia meetings usually have something for a broader audience, from those stepping into a new field to learn more to those who find their own fields broadening into new horizons.
Why is it important for editors to attend Keystone Symposia meetings?
Dr. Narasimhan: This is how we connect with the community, especially students, postdocs and early career researchers.
“This is the platform to speak candidly, discuss all aspects of science and publishing and learn about exciting work at its conception. Most importantly this is where we also are able to get valuable feedback and the pulse of the community.”
How do you make the most out of Keystone Symposia meetings you attend?
Dr. Narasimhan: I prioritize the talks and make sure I check out the poster sessions. I schedule lots of meeting one on one and drink way too much coffee as a result, but the interactions make the 3-5 days exhilarating.
What are the exciting things happening at your journal right now?
Dr. Narasimhan: We are very excited about our efforts to improve gender equity and diversity – this includes our advisory board, reviewer and author pools, frontmatter content, capturing the voices reflective of our very diverse and global community. It is not an easy endeavor when visibility is not equal and current landscape is so skewed, but we hope to be able to work with the community to make a difference where we can.
What’s your top tip for a scientist looking to publish in your journal?
Dr. Narasimhan: It is never too early to connect with a Cell editor (email, twitter) and don’t go by hearsay or long-standing assumptions! Examples – The length of a Cell paper can be anywhere from 2 (I can personally vouch for this) to 7 figures, mechanism doesn’t always need to be in there, we care a lot about clinical and translational papers, we can talk to you even in the earliest stages of a project or paper – it doesn’t have to be formatted (we are formatting agnostic for submission!) or finalized with figures to just discuss it with an editor. Most importantly editors at Cell Press talk to one another regularly and we are committed to helping you find a strong home for the paper.
What’s the best way for attendees to get in touch with you at the meeting?
Dr. Narasimhan: Drop me an email at email@example.com or get in touch via LinkedIn or Twitter (@Sri_Baqri)