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Cell Press Editor Shares Insight

Jul 17 2022

Posted In:

20/20 Blog

Palo Alto, CA — The editor of Cell Press’s Trends in Molecular Medicine, Claudia Willmes Ph.D., gave a lunchtime seminar to an audience of more than 75 researchers in the department of ophthalmology and across the Stanford University campus. 

Dr. Willmes talk focused on research writing and the “behind-the-scenes” process that takes place when manuscripts are submitted. She explained how editors manage submissions and shared several pearls on the best ways to communicate with editors. Dr. Willmes emphasized that she serves as an ambassador for the author’s work.

“An editor will read your entire paper,” Willmes said, “but your cover letter, title, and abstract are very important in capturing the editor’s interest. It’s similar to making a pitch on the television show ’Shark-tank’."

Vinit Mahajan M.D., Ph.D., Stanford professor and vice chair of ophthalmology research, organized the event to help demystify the submission process for trainees and research faculty.

He said, “Having a clear understanding of the submission process and what catches the eye of an editor can streamline the way researchers prepare manuscripts.” 

After her presentation, Dr. Willmes advised several faculty who gave her their ‘Shark-Tank’ pitch. 

Mahajan said, “Dr. Willmes is an exceptional editor who helped my lab craft a better paper on calpains in eye disease. Sharing her insights into scientific writing with ophthalmology faculty and trainees and researchers across Stanford campus was incredibly valuable."

Dr. Willmes also described her career path from scientist to editor and spoke with trainees interested in pursuing positions in scientific publishing. She earned her BSc and MSc in biomedical sciences at Philipps University Marburg in Germany and her Ph.D. from Charite University Hospital Berlin. Before working as an editor for Cell Press, she spent time as a post-doctoral researcher.