More than a year after we began our partnership on Advanced Gut & Microbiome Research, we spoke with Professor Zongxin Ling, Chief Editor of the journal, about his research background and his thoughts on how microecology could be applied to the treatment of disease.
What is your background in this field?
I have worked in this field for 16 years, I specialize in microecology-host symbiosis and its pathogenic immuno-metabolic mechanisms, by carrying out the study in three aspects including the associated research in microecology-host health and diseases, probe into the microecology-host network interaction mechanisms, and the development and application of microecological modifiers.
What do you think is currently the hottest topic in this field?
At present the hot topics in the research field of microecology are mainly concentrated in the following aspects:
First, the in-depth analysis of flora functions and the interaction mechanisms between flora and its host: multi-omics technologies/single-cell sequencing technologies are both used to explore microbiome functions, and to predict the mechanisms of flora action, from a high-throughput perspective. However, the exploration of microbiome functions cannot stop at correlations, but needs to further utilize the research achievements of omics, to expound the interaction mechanisms between key functional microbes and their hosts, but currently this aspect remains a difficult point in this field.
Second, the comprehensive exploration of other microbiomes apart from the bacterial genome: In the recent decade, studies of microecology are mainly concentrated in bacterial microbiology, but little is known about the action and functions of the fungal genome and viral genome on host health and diseases, so to explore the action and mechanisms of other microbiomes apart from the bacterial genome, will effectively supplement the interaction between human body microecology and hosts.
Third, the utilization of the research achievements of microecology to carry out the early-warning and prediction of diseases, the research and development of targeted drugs, and the accurate intervention in nutrition, to finally achieve health promotion. Microecology and hosts closely interact throughout the whole life cycle, and microecological balance or imbalance will play an important role in the hosts’ health throughout their entire life. However, the development and application of new types of probiotics and postbiotics are still limited, so developing new specific microecological modifiers and the intervention measures in targeted nutrition aimed at specific diseases, will effectively achieve individual and accurate treatments for diseases.
What are the benefits of the journal being open access?
First, the publishing model of open access brings more exposure for the excellent achievements published in AGMR. Second, the model can increase the influence of the excellent research achievements on AGMR, because quality open access can bring more citations for journals and their authors. Last, the publishing model of open access lowers the threshold of knowledge dissemination, so it enables researchers in more fields to participate in it, hence promoting the application of findings.
What is the most important mission for the journal?
I think the most important mission of AGMR journal is to provide a leading professional academic communication platform for scholars around digestive diseases, microecology, nutrition and other related fields.
Can you introduce some of the key members of the editorial board?
The Honorary Editor-in-Chief of AGMR is Wei Chen, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the president of Jiangnan University, and also an outstanding scientist in the field of food science. The office of the Editor in Chief of the journal distinct from the honorary title as this post also handles manuscripts, is held by Professor Hang Xiao from the University of Massachusetts in the U.S.A., who is a highly cited scientist globally. In the team of the Editorial Board, there are also many professors from the top universities and research institutes in various locations around the world, among which, in the Chinese team of the Board.
Where do you see the journal in the future?
AGMR puts itself in the perspective of a first-rate journal in the fields of digestion, nutrition, and microbiology, and is dedicated to publishing high influence papers. The journal fills in gaps in the journals in the relevant fields, to achieve a qualitative leap in the peer fields.
What advice would you give an early career researcher beginning their career in academia?
Early career researchers should do scientific research steadily and diligently, to achieve results. In the face of an involution environment, ECRs should avoid impatience, and be able to master their own pace.
What is your top tip for authors wishing to submit to the journal?
The researchers in the fields of digestion, nutrition, and microbiology are welcome to submit to the journal. The submitted papers will undergo rigorous peer review, and accepted papers will be published quickly.
What advice would you give to someone seeking to become an Editorial Board Member of the Journal?
The researchers who have obtained excellent achievements in the fields of digestion, nutrition, and microbiology and who are fully enthusiastic about periodical work, are welcome to join the team of the Editorial Board of this journal, so that we can work together to build AGMR into a first-rate journal in the fields of digestion, nutrition, and microbiology.
This blog post is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). Illustration adapted from Adobe Stock by David Jury.