- Burnett School College of Medicine
Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences professor Dr. Saleh Naser has been named editor-in-chief of the World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), his first opportunity to lead a medical journal. Dr. Naser, who specializes in Crohn’s disease research, has served as associate editor for a dozen other journals, all focused on the field of gastroenterology.
“When you do something for 20 years, it’s not just a habit, it becomes your life.” Dr. Naser said. “Gastroenterology is very special to me because you can use knowledge and expertise to improve the lives of others.”
The editorship comes as Dr. Naser’s lab is participating in a clinical trial with RedHill BioPharma. The trial is testing Dr. Naser’s patented system of detecting a bacteria that he believes causes Crohn’s. a chronic inflammatory intestinal disease. The trial is examining whether detection of the bacteria and subsequent antibiotic treatments can ease the debilitating symptoms of the disease.
Despite his busy research and teaching schedule, Dr. Naser is eager to take on the new leadership role with the World Journal of Gastroenterology. “The editor-in-chief really controls the vision and scope of the journal,” he said. “They recruit appropriate associate editors and look at the long-term future of the journal.”
WJC is currently ranked 34th of 74 gastroenterology journals in terms of its scientific impact. Dr. Naser’s goal is to bring the publication into the top 25 before the end of his four-year tenure at editor.
Dr. Richard Peppler, the College of Medicine’s associate dean for faculty and academic affairs, noted that the national recognition of leading a medical journal increases the medical school’s visibility in research, which increases opportunities for research funding and grants. “It’s a nice feather in his cap, as well as for the department and the university,” Dr. Peppler said of Dr. Naser’s accomplishment. “There are only so many journals around, and for one of our faculty to be selected is outstanding.”
In the end, Dr. Naser said he hopes the editorship will have a positive impact on his work to help patients suffering from conditions like Chron’s disease. “It’s not about me, it’s really about helping others,” he said. “And that’s really what counts the most.”