Get to Know Your Leaders: The Editors of JACC's Sister Journals

EDITOR'S NOTE (Jan. 8, 2016): The title of this journal has changed to JACC: Basic to Translational Science and the first issue will now be published in February 2016.

Getting to Know Your Leaders | The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) family continues to grow in both size and influence – now with five sister journals including the newest member of the JACC family, JACC: Basic Translational Research, which will begin publication in December 2015. The tremendous success and growth seen in the journals would not be possible without the efforts of the dedicated editors-in-chief. Cardiology sat down with each editor to learn a little more about themselves and their plans for the future of each journal.

Jagat Narula, MD, DM, PhD, MACC

Jagat NarulaGrowing up, Jagat Narula, MD, DM, PhD, MACC, editor-in-chief of JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, wanted to pursue a career in nuclear physics. "My grandfather, however, declared ‘my grandson is going to be a cardiologist,' and here I am," Narula says. "The interest in nuclear physics did weigh on my initial involvement with cardiovascular nuclear imaging," he adds. "I have applied imaging technology and strategy to understand the disease process better, from bench to bedside and from individual patient to population screening."

Narula received his cardiovascular training in India at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, before relocating to Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School where he completed cardiology, heart failure and transplantation, and nuclear cardiology fellowships. During that time, he became a fellow of the College. "Joining the ACC was like a dream," Narula says. He became involved with JACC in 2003 as an associate editor, and then became the editor-in-chief of JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging when it launched in 2007. Narula is also the executive editor of JACC under the leadership of Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC.

JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging was recently named the #7 journal among all cardiovascular journals in scientific impact. Looking forward, Narula plans to stay the course, make the journal even more clinically relevant, and hopes to "define the role of multimodality imaging as to what will be the right test, for the right patient at the right time." He ensures that the journal promotes appropriate use criteria and guideline-based practice.

Narula is currently the Philip J. and Harriet L. Goodhart Chair in Cardiology and the chief of cardiology at the St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals of Mount Sinai, and director of the cardiovascular imaging program for the Mount Sinai Health System. He is also the associate dean of research at the Arnhold Institute of Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NY. As a leader in the innovation of medical education, Narula, who won ACC's Gifted Educator Award in 2012, has been instrumental in introducing imaging as the pivotal part of medical education. He is often seen claiming that the days of stethoscope are numbered and the ultrasound must take over as the essential device for physical examination.

Spencer B. King, III, MD, MACC

Spencer KingSpencer B. King, III, MD, MACC, editor-in-chief of JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, credits his wife with first getting him involved in the College. "She was serving as the Hospitality Chair for one of the Annual Scientific Sessions in Atlanta. I was subsequently asked to be on multiple committees including the Credentials Committee and ultimately the Board of Trustees and finally my election as president of the College."

Now professor of medicine emeritus at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, King was always interested in science, but says it was mentors such as physiologist William F. Hamilton who perked his interest in studying the heart. After serving as the director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Emory University throughout the 1970s, King says it "was an obvious step to investigate interventional cardiology." He points to his recruitment of Andreas R. Gruentzig, MD, FACC, to join Emory's laboratory as the act that solidified his career in interventional cardiology. King went on to serve as the director of interventional cardiology at the Andreas Gruentzig Cardiovascular Center at Emory University from 1985 until 2000 and was the founding chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine Interventional Cardiology Boards.

King, the founding editor of JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, has high hopes for the future of the already influential journal. The publication, which first launched in 2008, is already the number one journal in the field of interventional cardiology in scientific impact and is currently the 6th most impactful among all cardiology journals worldwide. As a result, the journal will transition from publishing once a month to twice a month – with 24 issues a year beginning in 2016. According to King, the more frequent publication will "allow acceptance of some of the papers that we now would like to keep but have had to reluctantly pass on."

Outside of the cath lab and away from the editor's desk, King spends his time with his family, including his three grandchildren, and hits the links and gym. Additionally, he is a supporter of the McDuffie Center for Strings, a premier musical program at his alma mater, Mercer University in Macon, GA. "I am not a musician myself," King admits, "just a cheerleader for some truly outstanding ones."

Christopher M. O'Connor,MD, FACC

Christopher M. O'Connor,MD, FACC A lover of sports, Christopher M. O'Connor, MD, FACC, editor-in-chief of JACC: Heart Failure, believes his experience as a youth soccer coach for 20 years has given him experience that has assisted him in his role with the journal. "My exposure as a coach in sports has served me well," he says. "Working as an editor-in-chief has many parallels to being a successful coach." In addition to coaching, O'Connor spends his free time swimming competitively, skiing, jogging and cheering on his beloved Duke University Blue Devils.

However, the Blue Devils aren't the only thing about Duke University that O'Connor finds appealing. After earning his undergraduate and medical school degrees at the University of Maryland, O'Connor "was fascinated with the Duke cardiovascular databank, the use of large clinical databases, and the treatment strategies which were only in existence at that time at Duke University." It was there that he became interested in specializing in heart failure, and he acknowledges his mentors, Joseph C. Greenfield, Jr., MD, FACC, and Robert M. Califf, MD, MACC, in helping to guide him in that direction.

O'Connor, who recently took a senior leadership position as CEO and executive director of Inova Heart and Vascular Institute (IHVI) in Falls Church, VA, is aiming to expand the heart services and research footprint of the IHVI in Northern Virginia. He has been involved with the College since his entry into the cardiology field as a cardiovascular fellow. He attended every Annual Scientific Session during his fellowship and says he was "highly interested in the meetings as they veered towards clinical research and clinical investigation." O'Connor served as a co-chair of ACC.06, where he gained "great insight to the inner workings of the College, including their activities and mission."

In 2012, O'Connor reached out to Anthony N. DeMaria, MD, MACC, who was serving as the editor-in-chief of JACC, and expressed interest in serving on the editorial board of the journal. DeMaria suggested that he apply to the editorship of a new journal that would soon be joining the JACC family, JACC: Heart Failure. When the new journal launched in 2013, O'Connor was at the helm. He gives credit to his team of associate editors, saying he was taught as an intern under Eugene A. Stead, Jr., MD, FACC, to "surround yourself with people smarter than yourself and you will benefit from this in the long run."

"My goal is to make [JACC: Heart Failure] the preeminent journal as well as the preeminent mechanism of scientific communication in the area of heart failure," says O'Connor when asked about his goals for the journal over the upcoming years. "We will accomplish this through print, internet, and social media methods of communication. Our goal is to be transformative in the way that we communicate new information so that it is impactful, widespread and long lasting."

David J. Wilber, MD, FACC

David J WilburDavid J. Wilber, MD, FACC, editor-in-chief of JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology, one of the newer journals in the JACC family line-up, has many ideas for the future of the journal. The editorial board set out with the goal to have JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology become the journal of choice for practicing electrophysiologists by including only high-quality clinical and translational research.

After a successful launch this past April, the vision is to expand the online presence of JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology, making it a complete tool for practitioners. Available resources will include case discussions, opportunities to share ideas, and the latest technology. "It will be a website for everything from practice guidelines and new procedural requirements to training videos," explains Wilber.

Wilber believes it is important for the journal to be inclusive to all electrophysiologists, not just those who are well established in the world of electrophysiology, saying he hopes to "encourage younger and private practitioners to help determine the journal's content and direction."

Wilber currently serves as the George M. Eisenberg Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and has been the director of the Division of Cardiology and the Cardiovascular Institute at Loyola University Medical Center since 2001. An active clinician, he also holds the position of director of Clinical Electrophysiology.

Douglas L. Mann, MD, FACC

Douglas MannFor Douglas L. Mann, MD, FACC, editor-in-chief of JACC: Basic Translational Research – which will launch in December 2015 – music was his first love. A self-described "recovering" musician, Mann didn't make it professionally, but music has stayed with him. "I enjoy listening to all forms of music," he says, "and I love going to hear live jazz and classical music."

Even though medicine was "plan B," Mann says he feels fortunate to have found a job where he can combine two things he feels passionate about – the biological sciences and interacting with people. He says that becoming a translationalist was a very straightforward path. After beginning his basic science training, he found the most compelling parts of laboratory science to be those that allowed him to better understand how the treatments he was prescribing actually worked. "As physicians we are always trying to find better ways to treat patients," he explains. "As I learned more in the lab, I began to see how what I was doing could be used to meet unmet needs in the heart failure patients that I was caring for. Once I realized this potential, I began to think of ways to demonstrate what was happening in the lab in the patients I was taking care of. I never really saw a distinction between laboratory and clinical science – they were all part of the same fundamental interest. Today we call this translational medicine."

With the launch of JACC: Basic Translational Research, Mann plans to fulfill an unmet need for translationalists. "My hope is that the journal will allow the academic, industrial and regulatory communities to come together and ‘codify' many aspects of how we develop new therapies," he says, adding that he also hopes the journal will serve as a platform for accelerating the translation of new scientific discoveries into new therapies that improve clinical outcomes for patients afflicted with cardiovascular disease. He views the chance to lead this new journal as a unique opportunity to advance the field.

Currently the Lewin Chair and professor of medicine, cell biology and physiology and chief of the division of cardiology at the Washington University School of Medicine, and cardiologist-in-chief at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Mann says he became involved with the College after his time as a fellow when he became appreciative of the efforts the College made to help trainees receive the training they need. "Becoming an FACC after I finished my fellowship was something that I wanted to become because of the loyalty that I developed to the ACC for its support for all of us when we were in training," he says.

Keywords: Leadership, Publishing

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