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Meet PLOS Biology Associate Editor, Richard Hodge

This month, we chatted with associate editor Richard Hodge. After starting his editorial career with PLOS ONE in 2019, Richard joined the PLOS Biology team in November 2020 and handles many of our molecular and structural biology submissions. Learn more about his research experience, favorite PLOS collections, hidden musical talents, and which scientists he’d invite to a dinner party.

What specific background and expertise do you bring to PLOS Biology?

I studied Biochemistry at university and then worked in cell biology during my PhD and post-doc years, in particular investigating the role of small GTPases in cancer progression. Now I handle the majority of our molecular and structural biology papers.

What led you to this career?

Whilst I enjoyed being at the bench, I realized that as I dove deeper into researching a narrower area of science, I was most interested in reading and keeping up to date with a broad variety of biological topics that were outside of my own research focus. I loved the idea of seeing the big picture and learning from different researchers’ discoveries. I also wanted to join PLOS specifically since I am passionate about open science publishing, and I am proud that the papers we publish are freely available to everyone!

I also wanted to join PLOS specifically since I am passionate about open science publishing, and I am proud that the papers we publish are freely available to everyone!

Do you have any favorite collections, projects, or collaborations from your time at PLOS so far? What makes them stand out?

Before I joined PLOS Biology last November, I was an editor at PLOS ONE. There, I launched several collections, including the Cancer Metastasis collection that I particularly enjoyed working on because of my background in cell migration/adhesion. I really enjoyed drafting the scope of the collection and working with our Guest Editors to curate the collection, and I think we published some really interesting papers.

What developments are occurring in Biology/ your field of expertise that excite you at this time?

The rapid pace of the technological developments in CRISPR gene editing tools. The applications of CRISPR are endless — CRISPR-Cas gene editors are now moving into the clinic and are also being used as drug discovery tools, so I am very interested to see how the technique will continue to push boundaries.

Do you have a hidden talent? What is it?

I play jazz clarinet! Not as fun as being able to solve a rubik’s cube or being double-jointed, but I think that counts.

If you could host a dinner party for a group of scientists, who would you invite and why? 

Great question! There are so many names to choose from, but I would probably go with Rosalind Franklin, Albert Einstein, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Craig Venter and my PhD supervisor Anne Ridley. That would be some party, some big personalities there and I think they bounce off each other really well! My favorite food is lasagna, so that would have to be on the menu. Now that I’m thinking about it I am sad that it can’t happen…

What’s on your reading list for the PLOS Biology community?

In PLOS BiologyIn your local library
Changes in chromatin accessibility ensure robust cell cycle exit in terminally differentiated cells

Lung Basal Stem Cells Rapidly Repair DNA Damage Using the Error-Prone Nonhomologous End-Joining Pathway

Aequorea’s secrets revealed: New fluorescent proteins with unique properties for bioimaging and biosensing

Cell-substrate adhesion drives Scar/WAVE activation and phosphorylation by a Ste20-family kinase, which controls pseudopod lifetime
Foundation, by Isaac Asimov

The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco

Moneyball, by Michael Lewis

The Chain, by Joy Richards

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