By Wendy Sarubbi | September 4, 2012 10:15 am

Dr. Henry Daniell, Pegasus Professor and holder of the Trustee Chair at the College of Medicine’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, has been named editor in chief of the prestigious international publication, Plant Biotechnology Journal.

Dr. Daniell is recognized around the globe for his work using genetically engineered plants to provide cures to diseases such as diabetes, cholera, hemophilia and malaria. Plant Biotechnology Journal is ranked fifth among 190 plant science journals by Web of Science database’s Impact Factor ranking, which grades journals on the basis of how frequently their articles are cited in scientific literature.

“I was quite pleased to get the phone call,” said Dr. Daniell, who was unanimously recommended for the position by the journal’s two boards. “It’s a big responsibility and will take more of my time, but it’s a unique opportunity to help in the field.”

Asked about his goals for the journal, Dr. Daniell said he wants to recruit more board members from universities, including the University of Central Florida, and from Asia and Africa, which are often hard hit by outbreaks of diseases such as polio and malaria. Plant-based vaccines would be a boon to millions of people in those areas because they would not require refrigeration or highly trained personnel to administer, and treatments would cost just pennies.

Dr. Daniell’s name will appear as editor in chief beginning in the January 2013 edition. He is scheduled to write an editorial about his plans for the journal in the October 2012 edition.

A key criterion in accepting the job is his pride in the University of Central Florida and the leadership at the College of Medicine, Dr. Daniell said.

“I want to tell the world that we are pioneers in this field,” he said.

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