New editor-in-chief named for ASCB’s basic research journal

The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) is excited to announce that Matthew D. Welch has been selected to be the new editor-in-chief of its online peer-reviewed basic scientific research journal, Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC), effective January 1, 2020. Welch is a professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. The current editor-in-chief, David G. Drubin, will step down when his second term is over at the end of 2019.

Welch states that he is “honored and excited to take on this role” and hopes to further “leverage the amazing scientific strength and diversity of the ASCB community to sustain and grow the quality of the Society’s journal.” Welch notes that “MBoC is our journal, and I look forward to working with ASCB members to implement innovations that will best serve our community’s needs. By focusing on quality and service, opening access, broadening the scope, and experimenting with new modes of content delivery, MBoC can be a go-to forum for communicating cell biology research. As scientific publishing evolves, I believe MBoC will be well positioned for the future.”

Welch brings two decades of experience serving as a member of the editorial boards of many respected scientific journals, including being on the Board of Reviewing Editors for MBoC since 2006.

Sandra Schmid, who chaired the search committee for the job and who is herself a past editor-in-chief of the journal, noted that the landscape of research publishing is in transition. She says Welch has the skills and enthusiasm to capitalize on MBoC’s unique strengths.

“Change is in the wind for scientific publication, and Matt brings just the kind of experience, transformative leadership, and vision that MBoC needs to build on its success and position itself for a new future,” said Schmid, the Cecil H. Green Distinguished Professor in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Chair of the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

“ASCB is fortunate to have Matt stepping into this critical role,” said ASCB CEO Erika Shugart. “Based on his participation in ASCB activities, including membership on the Women in Cell Biology Committee, he has shown that he is committed to the strategic goals of the Society to expand the centrality of cell biology and to support the promotion of inclusiveness.”

Welch has been a longtime member of ASCB, joining the Society in 1994 when he was a postdoctoral fellow. He was chosen to be an ASCB Fellow in 2018.  In addition, he was named a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2017 and received the R.R. Bensley Award in Cell Biology from the American Association of Anatomists.  In 2018, he became Division Head of Cell and Development Biology at UC Berkeley, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1998.  Welch has published nearly 80 scientific papers and given dozens of invited talks worldwide related to his work on the intricacies of the actin cytoskeleton.

Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC) is an online journal published twice monthly and owned by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). It publishes articles and essays that report the results of original research and present conceptual advances of broad interest and significance within all areas of cell biology, genetics, and developmental biology. MBoC offers fast, fair, and constructive review of manuscripts. Articles are freely accessible two months after publication. Access earlier than two months is available through subscription or membership in the ASCB.

About the Author:

Mary Spiro is ASCB's Strategic Communications Manager.