An interview with BMC Biomedical Engineering Section Editor, Prof Alan Lefor

It’s been over a month since BMC Biomedical Engineering opened for submissions and while we prepare for our content launch, we proudly present an interview with the Section Editor for the ‘medical technologies, robotics and rehabilitation engineering’ section, Prof Alan Lefor. In this interview Prof Alan Lefor, discusses the motivation behind launching BMC Biomedical Engineering, his vision for the journal and some tips for our authors.

Prof Alan Lefor

BMC Biomedical Engineering has already started to accept submissions, what’s the reason to create an open access journal in biomedical engineering?

Biomedical engineering is applied science at the intersection of caring for people. Nothing could be more exciting. It is hoped that BMC Biomedical Engineering, as an open access journal, will provide a new and welcoming forum for research from a wide range of investigators, contributing to progress in this important field.

As one of the journal’s Section Editors, what is your vision for the journal?

My vision for the journal is to present quality science in the field of biomedical engineering. That is the single most important requirement. I hope that we will attract authors from all over the world, from the many disciplines that contribute to the field of biomedical engineering.

This journal should not only be a place to present one’s research, but over time it will become a resource for anyone who wants to know the latest and greatest developments in the field to support and stimulate new research endeavors. In the future, BMC Biomedical Engineering will be the premier journal in the field.

What kind of articles are encouraged?

We encourage the submission of all articles, of all types, that represent research in the broad field of biomedical engineering. Please refer to our detailed submission guidelines, for more instructions on how to prepare your submission, including style and formatting rules for all article types.

How can I know if my article is in line with BMC Biomedical Engineering?

Authors can find descriptions for the scopes of our sections here. Beyond that, it is very difficult to prepare a list of pre-requisites for an article. We trust the authors to decide if their work is in line with this field. Most importantly we believe in our trusted editorial process with experienced peer reviewers as the final arbiter of what should be published in BMC Biomedical Engineering.

I think this new journal will stimulate both new clinical developments and new scientific developments.

What can be done to increase the chances of acceptance before submission? Any tips?

The most important factor for acceptance is that the article (for a research paper) answers an important scientific question and that the study is designed and conducted appropriately to answer that question. Secondarily, authors must take great care in the preparation of the manuscript with regard to format and language usage. The instructions to authors must be followed with meticulous attention to detail.

Compared with other journals in the field, what are the differences in positioning of BMC Biomedical Engineering?

I believe that BMC Biomedical Engineering is uniquely positioned in part because of the section structure of the journal. The six sections of the journal certainly represent the most exciting areas within the broad field of biomedical engineering. This structure benefits both authors and readers with the assurance that the papers are evaluated by the editorial process relative to these six sections.

Can you describe what BMC Biomedical Engineering means to you?

As a clinician, I am interested in anything with the potential to benefit patients. Everything I do is seen through that lens. As a basic scientist, I am excited by anything that is new and interesting. BMC Biomedical Engineering is at the nexus of these two passions in my life and I think this new journal will stimulate both new clinical developments and new scientific developments. It is a great honor and privilege for me to be a part of this endeavor.

Can you briefly describe your research interests relevant to the field and your relationship with BMC?

I have devoted my career to the care of patients, and in support of that, I have a long history in clinical research, basic biomedical research, basic scientific research and education. These areas of interest give me a uniquely broad perspective on patient care and biomedical research.

I have a deep and long-standing interest in the applications of computers to biomedical research and have conducted studies on tumor models with the hope of improving the understanding of tumor progression. In addition, I was a pioneer in the field of laparoscopic surgery and have a long clinical history of work in this field, including robotics.

I have also enjoyed a long relationship with BMC Cancer, first as a Deputy Section Editor and then as a Consulting Editor. I strongly support and deeply respect the conduct and transparency of the editorial process which is part of the BMC journals. This process is deeply embedded in the DNA of BMC Biomedical Engineering, which benefits our authors, our readers and ultimately most important, our patients who depend on us to advance this field and improve their lives.

Prof Alan Lefor

Alan Kawarai Lefor is Professor of Surgery at Jichi Medical University in Tochigi, Japan. He received the MD from SUNY Upstate Medical School (1982) and completed a residency in General Surgery (1989) and a fellowship in Surgical Oncology at the NIH (1985-87). He received an MPH from UCLA (1999). He moved to his current position at Jichi Medical University in 2007 where his research interests are Surgical Oncology and Surgical Education.

He is the author of over 500 publications and 12 textbooks in English and Japanese. In March 2015, he received a PhD in Theoretical Astrophysics from Tohoku University in Sendai Japan, with a dissertation entitled “Comparative Studies of Strong Gravitational Lens Models”, and is a Visiting Scientist at Tohoku University, continuing studies in astrophysics.

He has served in the editorial board of BMC Cancer as Consulting Editor since 2017 and he is one of the founding Editors for BMC Biomedical Engineering, where he serves as Section Editor since 2018.

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