Meet the new Editors-in-Chief of Pathogens and Disease: Willa Huston (1 of 3!)


We are extraordinarily excited to announce that there will be THREE new Co-Editors-in-Chief of Pathogens and Disease. Here we introduce the first of our new Co-Editors-in-Chief: Associate Professor Wilhelmina (Willa) Huston, research group leader at the School of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia.

Dr Willa Huston, Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning), School of Life Sciences, UTS (Australia)

Her research is focussed on molecular microbiology of the intracellular pathogen Chlamydia, particularly how proteases function in the organism’s pathogenesis. She is especially interested in research into infectious diseases linked to infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease in women.

You can follow Willa on Twitter: @willaonthego

The other two Co-Editors-in-Chief will be introduced soon, so stay tuned for these announcements! We asked Willa a few questions on her background, research, and career to get you up to speed with this dynamic individual:

What encouraged you to pursue a career in the field of microbiology?

”I always thought I would be a Medical Doctor but I did undergraduate science and as soon as we started learning about microbiology I was hooked. I am still hooked, amazes me what microbes are capable of and how little we know about them!”

What inspired you to get involved with Pathogens and Disease, and what have been the highlights so far?

”I am passionate about sharing our science. My research is focused on pathogenesis, and Pathogens and Disease (PAD) is a great venue where we can see a lot of work from different perspectives on pathogenesis. It is exciting to be part of an editorial team where we have a mix of views and perspectives and a vision for where we can take our journal next.”

What do you think are the challenges being faced in the field today?

”The challenges we have is to keep up to date on all of the progress around the world. There is so much great science that we all miss in our busy lives. That is why one of our approaches as new editors of PAD is to increase the diversity of topics and geographical areas that are leading to papers in Pathogens and Disease. It is hard to keep up with your own discipline, we hope that by having more diverse work from all pathogens in the one journal our readers will learn from each other’s fields.”

How do you see this field/the journal developing in the future?

”I see the future will have more and more integration of technologies and methods into each research project with bigger impacts of cross-discipline work influencing disease related research.”

How would you describe Pathogens and Disease in three words?

”The place to go to share your pathogenesis research! (sorry not three words!)”

Do you think there are misconceptions regarding Pathogens and Disease – if so, what?

”I think people might think it is focused on bacteria, but we really want to see science on all pathogens in the journal. We also want to see papers from around the globe, this isn’t a journal restricted to one continent.”

What advice would you give to today’s early career researchers?

”Enjoy your time and opportunity to do science. Science is really important for our societies and planet so be proud of any science you do and focus on publishing it in the right spot that has the audience for your work.”

What is your favourite microbe, and why?

Chlamydia (of course!), because it is such an amazing microbe and the ultimate pathogen that isn’t always pathogenic! :)”

Check out our video on Chlamydia from our #52Microorganisms series below:

Browse through the latest editions of FEMS Pathogens and Disease 

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