This week's edition of BioNews will be the last with our current Genetics Editor, Ailsa Stevens, at the helm. Ailsa is leaving BioNews after three years with us, and is joining Cancer Research UK where she will work full-time as Science Press Officer. Of course, we wish her every success there. Ailsa started writing for BioNews as a volunteer while she was completing her Master's degree in Science Communication at Imperial College London. She became a part-time member of the BioNews editorial team later that year and was promoted to Genetics Editor in 2009.
In that time, Ailsa has written well over a hundred articles for BioNews on subjects as diverse as glow-in-the-dark cats, the genetic clue to a sweet tooth and parental orders for same-sex couples who use surrogacy, as well as longer articles for publication elsewhere. She also steered the editorial team through the BioNews website redevelopment and has nurtured and supported our growing team of volunteer writers, including our interns from University College London and King's College London. She - especially her sunny disposition and ability to stay remarkably calm in a crisis - will be much missed by all of us.
In her place, Dr Gabrielle Samuel takes over next week as Genetics Editor of BioNews. Gabby has volunteered for the Progress Educational Trust (the charity that publishes BioNews) since January 2010 and has already written several reviews for BioNews, including one on the 'Identity Project'. Gabrielle has a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Adelaide and an MA in Bioethics from Monash University (Australia). She has spent most of her career in academia, both genetics and the socio-ethical concerns surrounding genetics and other modern medical and reproductive issues like umbilical cord blood stem cells. Her research has provided Gabrielle with a broad understanding of genetics and the social, ethical and clinical issues arising from its use in society - including within reproductive technologies - making her the perfect fit for the role.
With Dr Gabrielle Samuel on board, working alongside Dr Kirsty Horsey (reproduction editor) and Dr Vivienne Raper (science editor), we are confident that BioNews will continue to provide excellent topical coverage of weekly news and developments in the areas of assisted reproduction and genetics, alongside comment and reviews, for many years to come. As always, our hope is to continue as a free service open to all, but this isn't always easy. If you wish boost our confidence, please consider making a donation to support the Progress Educational Trust today, click here.