4 February 2021 – Facundo Batista, who is a Professor at Harvard Medical School and the first Associate Director of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Cambridge/USA, takes up the appointment with immediate effect. He takes over from Bernd Pulverer, Head of Scientific Publishing at EMBO after a decade in the role, who will lead EMBO Reports as Chief Editor.
“I am delighted to serve the wider scientific community by joining The EMBO Journal as Chief Editor. It is an honor to partner with such an outstanding Editorial Board and excellent team of editors, who have continuously pioneered important new standards in scientific publishing. My goal is to build on the heritage of this flagship journal to better represent the biological sciences as they are practiced today, across disciplinary and international frontiers. I also hope to invite more early career scientists to share their expertise both in the review process and on the journal’s development,” comments Facundo Batista.
In the four decades since its launch in 1982, The EMBO Journal has maintained its standing as a leading community venue for the best life science research. The journal is dedicated to excellence in the quality, depth and breadth of the research it presents. A team of expert scientific editors works with an editorial board and peer reviewers from the international scientific community to select and publish consequential research of outstanding originality and interest to the journal’s global readership.
“The broad scope of The EMBO Journal mirrors the emergence of molecular biology as a discipline that transcends all biosciences research – from developmental biology and medical research to biophysics and structural biology,” says Bernd Pulverer, the outgoing Chief Editor. “Facundo’s global background and perspective are emblematic of the journal’s purview and outlook. His creativity will underscore the journal as a community-focused essential resource,” he adds.
The EMBO Journal has served as a laboratory for innovations in scientific publication. Over a decade ago, The EMBO Journal introduced the transparent peer review process: the journal publishes referee comments, author responses and editorial decision letters in full alongside the paper. This recently expanded to include the ‘Refereed Preprint’ concept, encouraging authors to associate journal referee reports with their preprints. The EMBO Journal encourages the deposition of minimally processed source data and provides a free service to curate and annotate figures, which enables direct search for data and experiments via the EMBO SourceData platform, making the papers and their data better findable.
The EMBO Journal publishes about half of the papers fully Open Access; the other half is freely accessible six months after publication. Journal income is used to cross-finance EMBO Press Open Access journals and parts of EMBO Programmes fostering life scientists at different career stages.
A video interview with Facundo Batista can be viewed at
Facundo D. Batista, PhD, is the Phillip T. and Susan M. Ragon Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Harvard Medical School and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard. He serves as the first Associate Director of the Ragon Institute.
Prof. Batista is a leader in B-cell biology and antibody responses. Historically, his group has focused on understanding B cell receptor (BCR) function, including BCR signaling dynamics, inhibitory and stimulatory regulation by co-receptors, and interactions with the cortical cytoskeleton. These studies challenged the previous conception of BCR activation as a mere receptor-ligand interaction, elucidating the complex interplay of membrane components that influence BCR function. Prof. Batista has also investigated B-cell activation in vivo, discovering the site at which antigen activates B cells in the lymph nodes and the role of other immune cells in that interaction.
Since joining the Ragon Institute in 2016, Prof. Batista’s focus has turned further toward applied immunology, including the creation of new technologies to inform rational vaccine design, but he has retained his interest in understanding the basic biology of B cells: recent work has primarily focused on the role of B-cell metabolism, including autophagy and mitochondrial metabolic reprogramming.
Prof. Batista has served on the editorial boards of various journals. He was elected to the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Young Investigator Programme in 2009 and granted EMBO Membership in 2013. He is also the recipient of the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award and a fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2018.
Prof. Batista was a Senior Group Leader at the London Research Institute, then became a Member of the Francis Crick Institute and a Professor at Imperial College London, UK. He trained with Michael Neuberger as an EMBO Postdoctoral Fellow at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, UK. Prof. Batista received his PhD from the International School of Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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About EMBO Press
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About the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard
The Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard was established in 2009 with a gift from the Phillip T. and Susan M. Ragon Foundation, with a collaborative scientific mission among these institutions to harness the immune system to combat and cure human diseases. Focusing on global infectious diseases, the Ragon Institute draws scientists, clinicians and engineers from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise to study and understand the immune system with the goal of benefiting patients.
For more information, visit www.ragoninstitute.org