Courtney Aldrich Named Editor-in-Chief of ACS Infectious Diseases

Aug. 19, 2014

Courtney Aldrich, associate professor of medicinal chemistry, has been named editor-in-chief of the American Chemical Society's new, web-only journal ACS Infectious Diseases. With the first issue slated for publication in January 2015, the pioneering journal will meet a growing demand for a place to publish top-notch chemistry-focused infectious diseases research.

“Our vision is to develop a journal focused on diseases with a strong emphasis on the basic science that advances the field and lays the foundation for the clinical sciences,” said Aldrich.

ACS Infectious Diseases will be the first journal to highlight chemistry and its role in this multidisciplinary and collaborative research area — an area that usually is served by journals with a biology focus. But with the journal’s introduction, scientists like Aldrich, whose research focuses on discovering and developing new antibacterial agents for tuberculosis and multidrug resistant pathogens, will now have a high-quality chemistry journal in which they can publish their findings.

“Chemists have always played significant roles in infectious diseases starting with Louis Pasteur, who provided the first definitive evidence for the germ theory of diseases,” said Aldrich. “Today, chemical tools are increasingly used to study the fundamental biology of infectious diseases, including pathogenesis, host immunity and drug resistance.”

The time is right for a new journal that addresses this area of study. Infectious diseases are a major public health issue around the world. Every year, they are responsible for about one-third of all deaths — roughly 3.5 million people — according to the World Health Organization. Globally, over half a million people died from malaria, and about 1 million people died from tuberculosis in 2012. In the U.S., HIV, pneumonia and influenza are among the leading causes of infectious diseases deaths. New diseases are emerging, and those thought to be under control are re-emerging. Microbial resistance to known drugs is increasing, leaving physicians with few or no choices for treating many patients.

Key research areas for the monthly journal include:

  • Chemistry and bioactivity of antivirals, antibiotics and antiprotozoal agents
  • Mechanisms of action and drug resistance
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Characterization and validation of drug targets
  • Small-molecule antiviral adjuvants for vaccines

Manuscript submission will open in September.