Interviews with Outstanding Authors (2024)

Posted On 2024-04-01 16:29:06

In 2024, many authors make outstanding contributions to our journal. Their articles published with us have received very well feedback in the field and stimulate a lot of discussions and new insights among the peers.

Hereby, we would like to highlight some of our outstanding authors who have been making immense efforts in their research fields, with a brief interview of their unique perspectives and insightful views as authors.

Outstanding Authors (2024)

Giuseppe Autorino, Centre Hospitalier Universitare Vaudois, Switzerland

Elixabet Lopez-Lopez, The University of the Basque Country, Spain

Laila Pinto Coelho, The University of São Paulo, Brazil

Anas S. Alyazidi, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

Jena L. Miller, Johns Hopkins Center, USA

Andrew G. Miller, Duke University Medical Center, USA

Outstanding Author

Giuseppe Autorino

Dr. Giuseppe Autorino is a pediatric surgeon currently working at the CHUV in Lausanne. He graduated from the University of Naples Federico II and conducted his pediatric surgery residency in Naples, Italy. He was fascinated with all that concerned minimally invasive surgery and the application of new technologies: thanks to Naples’ department, he managed to discover his passion for pediatric urology and robotic surgery. The experience he had in the Pediatric and Orthopedic Surgery department in Bellinzona, Switzerland further confirmed his inclination and gave him a new perspective on conducting research activities. He is an active member of the ESPES society, through which he had the opportunity to meet brilliant minds who were an immense source of inspiration. Finally, he completed his residency with a master’s thesis on the use of ICG in varicocele treatment for children. A list of Dr. Autorino’s research works can be found here.

Dr. Giuseppe points out that academic writing is the base of modern Evidence-Based Medicine. Every time a colleague faces something he is unsure about, the first process to solve that specific patient’s problem is thorough research through international literature. Furthermore, with the evolution of analysis available to process numerous papers, it is possible to mitigate the scarcity of cases in certain branches of medicine and reach results that would be impossible for a single institution. Finally, thanks to international literature, the medical community can advance together, evolving and learning from potential mistakes.

Dr. Giuseppe believes that the first step to be a good writer is to being a good reader. Learning to understand a paper’s quality has become the first step in creating the basis to then develop new ideas that will be able to improve knowledge in the medical field. Moreover, the best authors are those able to transform an idea into a concrete project: it is important to have the ability to link an abstract idea to reality.

Data is the core of a scientific study. They should be crystal clear and available because data creates foundations on which the article is then developed. Thus, an article without clear data cannot be fully understood and useful. Available data on a paper allows the reader to verify the validity of the hypothesis brought forward in the paper,” Dr. Giuseppe says.

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Elixabet Lopez-Lopez

Dr. Elixabet Lopez-Lopez, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU and a Researcher affiliated with Biobizkaia Health Research Institute. She has dedicated her career so far to the search for pharmacogenomics markers to improve the treatment of pediatric oncology patients. During her PhD and postdoctoral training, at the UPV/EHU (Spain), Erasmus MC (The Netherlands), and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (USA), she studied gene and miRNA expression, methylation, SNPs and copy number alterations in association with methotrexate and vincristine response and toxicity in acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients. Nowadays, she is the PI of a research line centered on high throughput analysis of long non-coding RNAs as prognostic biomarkers in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and mentors undergraduate and postgraduate students. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Dr. Lopez-Lopez thinks that the following things are the elements a good academic paper should include. First, it should be well structured, so there is a great need to organize all thoughts prior to writing. In addition to that, it should be coherent, from the title to the conclusions, including all the sections of the document, and clarity, for the message to be well understood by the audience.

To Dr. Lopez-Lopez, academic writing is a hard part of research, but it is mandatory if researchers want to share their findings. There is a whole world between seeing raw data and a well-written manuscript, explaining all the work and thoughts that researchers have put into that project, which is worth the effort.

I think it is important to share the results to help science advance. This way, other scientists will benefit from the results we have obtained to design their projects. As I have already mentioned, it may be difficult to understand raw data without context, so a well-written paper is the key to the sharing process. Therefore, knowing the relevance that academic writing will have for the scientific community motivated me to contribute to the field,” Dr. Lopez-Lopez says.

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Laila Pinto Coelho

Laila Pinto Coelho, MD, is a board-certified general pediatrician based in São Paulo, Brazil, with affiliations to the University of São Paulo Faculty of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency at the University of São Paulo Faculty of Medicine and pursued further training through fellowships in Academic Pediatrics at McGill University's Children's Hospital in Montreal, Canada, and in Simulation-based Medical Education and Pediatrics at Montreal University's Sainte Justine Pediatric Hospital. Currently, she is dedicated to doctoral studies at the University of São Paulo University Faculty of Medicine, focusing on simulation-based medical education in pediatrics. Her recent projects include research on the utilization of rapid cycle deliberate practice in pediatric CPR training among pediatric residents and the implementation of distance simulation training for healthcare professionals.

In Dr. Coelho’s view, the essential elements of a quality academic paper consist of a pertinent and original research question, a clear and robust design and methodology, a precisely articulated narrative that upholds objectivity, adherence to ethical standards, and a structured approach to analysis. Additionally, transparency regarding the acknowledgment of strengths and limitations is deemed significant.Dr. Coelho thinks authors should be mindful of several considerations when preparing their writing. These include capturing the reader's attention effectively, ensuring readability through a structured and objective presentation, adhering to the prescribed guidelines provided by the publisher, and thoughtfully addressing any feedback provided by reviewers.

Writing a manuscript requires considerable time and effort, but it is worth it. Sharing findings with colleagues worldwide and the chance to make a positive impact in our field are fulfilling experiences,” Dr. Coelho says.

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Anas S. Alyazidi

Dr. Anas Alyazidi is a medical intern from the Faculty of Medicine at King Abdulaziz University and a member of the pediatric neurology research group at the Deanship of Scientific Research. He holds a special interest in child health and pediatric neurology since he began his academic journey. This interest started after he pursued training in pediatrics at several institutions. The experiences include elective training with EEG, epilepsy, neuromuscular, neuroimmunology, genetic, and ketogenic specialists at King Abdulaziz University, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, and the International Medical Center Hospital in Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This special interest has been reflected in his research activity, which started in 2021 and has resulted in more than 25 high-quality published articles. His research activity has recently focused on rare and ultra-rare diseases, especially genetic conditions with neurological manifestations that affect children. Among those genetic conditions are sodium channelopathies. His research endeavors have focused on practicing evidence-based medicine with compassionate care by understanding the underlying mechanisms of neurological disorders, describing updated epidemiology, and contributing novel findings in such conditions. A list of his research works can be found here.

Dr. Alyazidi believes academic writing plays an important role in the scientific community because it is an essential component of scientific communication and knowledge sharing, allowing scientists to communicate their results, ideas, and breakthroughs to a larger audience. On the other hand, research papers published in credible scientific journals are an important part of academic writing. Through these publications, scientists, physicians, and other professionals can learn about the methods, data analyses, and findings of other researchers. Academic writing advances cooperation, encourages the sharing of ideas, and advances scientific understanding by disseminating this information. The growth of intellectual discourse and scientific discourse is also aided by academic writing. Researchers often write review articles, opinion pieces, and commentaries that provide critical analyses of existing literature, propose new theories or hypotheses, and offer perspectives on emerging trends and challenges in the field which is of utmost importance in the field of medicine and contribute to the accumulative knowledge authors gained throughout history.

In Dr. Alyazidi’s view, keeping abreast of the most recent scientific developments is essential for medical writers to guarantee that their work adds novel and useful perspectives to the field. To keep up with new findings, he conducts thorough literature reviews regularly, based on the research project he has planned. He also aims to address knowledge gaps and areas that require new perspectives. Reading numerous articles, attending local and international conferences, and actively engaging in research networks are all parts of this process. By working with colleagues and expert researchers through these networks, he is able to stay updated, which is a particularly beneficial method for junior researchers when interacting with senior experts in the field. Moreover, engaging in discussions, attending conferences, and participating in research groups or consortiums with such expert researchers provide opportunities to exchange ideas, share findings, and learn about ongoing research projects. These interactions help him gain insights into cutting-edge research and emerging trends within child health and pediatric neurology.

Academic writing indeed requires a significant investment of time and effort. Nonetheless, I'm driven to participate in this demanding process by a few important factors. I always keep in mind that writing for academic purposes enables me to add to the body of knowledge. This inspires me, particularly when disseminating novel ideas, insights, and research findings through academic publications. I always remember that I can make a difference in various subjects through publications, and I see this as a chance to learn new things, broaden my horizons, and even make a positive impact in the lives of young and vulnerable children given my area of research. Besides, I find this to be a strong motivator. It also enables me to take an active part in the scientific community by sharing my work through publications and presentations and I can engage in discussions, receive feedback, and collaborate with fellow researchers. Ultimately, my motivation for academic writing stems from the desire to make a positive impact on the lives of children with neurological disorders,” says Dr. Alyazidi.

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Jena L. Miller

Dr. Jena Miller is a faculty at the Johns Hopkins Center for Fetal Therapy and Director of Obstetric Imaging with a wide range of training in fetal medicine and fetal therapy. She also serves as the Vice Chair of the North American Fetal Therapy Network. Her expertise includes operative fetoscopy, both minimally invasive and open maternal-fetal surgery for complex fetal conditions. Dr. Miller completed her undergraduate training at the University of North Florida followed by medical school and residency at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She completed a Maternal Fetal Medicine fellowship at the University of Maryland and pursued additional opportunities in fetal medicine in Europe. She is board-certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal Fetal Medicine. Her research interests span the spectrum of fetal intervention, including translational research to improve surgical techniques and patient-specific modeling for prenatal intervention. She serves as the co-principal investigator for the multi-center Renal Anhydramnios Fetal Therapy Trial.

Dr. Miller thinks academic writing is of utmost importance in sharing experiences and observations in clinical practice that can inform and improve care for families worldwide. Since fetal therapy is such a small niche and case numbers are often small, the importance of collaboration and dissemination of information is paramount. This fosters creativity and enables the community to innovate new methods for challenging situations, while also avoiding repeating errors.

From Dr. Miller’s perspective, the most important quality an author should possess, besides integrity, is making the data and message understandable and practical for the reader. Clearly conveying how the reader can incorporate the information into their practice or thought process is what she aims to achieve as an author.

Speaking of time allocation for academic writing out of daily work tasks, Dr. Miller shares, “There is never enough time to write all the papers. I begin by thinking about the big-picture message for a paper and the gap in the literature I want to address. To effectively write, I must block time to do the deep uninterrupted work to make a paper come together. I strive to be more efficient and productive, but it is a work in progress.

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)

Andrew G. Miller

Dr. Andrew G. Miller is the Associate Director of Respiratory Care Research for the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and a pediatric Respiratory Care Practitioner at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. He also serves as a section editor for Respiratory Care and is an adjunct professor at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. He is a Fellow of both the American Association for Respiratory Care and the Society of Critical Care Medicine. He is the author of over 90 peer-reviewed publications on a variety of respiratory care topics. His current focuses are on liberation from mechanical ventilation, critical pediatric asthma, and respiratory therapist wellbeing. He also provides peer review for several journals and is a co-chair of a clinical practice guideline for pediatric critical asthma. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dr. Miller believes academic writing is critical to communicating science and the results of research studies. All science is built upon prior knowledge and these results must be understandable by readers. Not only do authors need original studies, but also experts to help put the results in the context of what is known and what still needs to be investigated. This is where a nice editorial or narrative review can be helpful for readers.

From Dr. Miller’s perspective, authors should be intellectually curious, have received appropriate training on research methods, and be able to present their findings clearly. It is essential to ensure that the audience comprehends the work, not just experts in the field. Most successful authors are supported by great teams and it is critical that they can handle the team dynamics associated with teams to bring out the best in themselves and their teams.

Speaking of time allocation for academic writing out of daily work tasks, Dr. Miller says, “First, I am a respiratory therapist/scientist but I think it’s a major challenge for all clinicians/scientists. Clinical duties will usually take priority and it can be difficult to find time to write. What I find helpful is to block off time on my calendar with no meetings, turn off email/phone notifications, remove other distractions, and then try to work for 1-2 hours before taking a break. Distractions really delay us getting our work done as it can take 10-20 minutes to refocus on what we are doing. Prescheduling this time is a strategy I’ve found helpful along with setting deadlines to complete certain activities.”

(by Sasa Zhu, Brad Li)