Volume 247, Issue 1 p. 8-9
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Developmental biology – more dynamic than ever!

Paul A. Trainor

Paul A. Trainor


Developmental Dynamics

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First published: 18 December 2017

The generation of complex, multicellular organisms of infinite form, originating from a single cell is a fascinating and remarkably dynamic biological process. Developmental anatomy or developmental biology affords an understanding of the properties of individual cells, their organization into tissues, organs, and organisms, their homeostasis and aging, repair and regeneration, and ultimately death. Although perhaps once considered descriptive, the concept of what is developmental anatomy and developmental biology has undergone as much change as the field itself. The foundational knowledge provided by these disciplines has directly influenced our understanding of organismal development and evolution as well as the etiology and pathogenesis of congenital disorders and adult onset disease. Developmental biology is interdisciplinary and has spawned the fields of stem cell biology and cellular reprogramming, giving them context and prevalence, while also setting the stage for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine in the treatment of disorders and disease.

But this represents just the beginning. Development is not dead! Far from it. In fact, interdisciplinary developmental biology is becoming more dynamic than ever. Every organism is a model organism, and we have only begun to scratch the surface of the mechanisms that regulate their biology. There is so much to learn from the fauna and flora surrounding us, that it is impossible to predict the foundational discoveries that lie ahead. Working at the intersection of development, evolution, and ecology is a unique opportunity to take advantage of this unlimited and largely untapped resource. All we need now are the right questions!

I am honored and excited to serve as the new Editor-in-Chief of Developmental Dynamics, a rigorous scientific journal that I have been associated with for many years as an author, reviewer, and associate editor. Developmental Dynamics, which was formerly the American Journal of Anatomy, has a distinguished 117-year record of publishing high-quality research, and was the first journal of the American Association of Anatomists, a scholarly society dedicated to scientific and education research advancement in the anatomical sciences.

I am very grateful to Dr. Parker Antin for his academic integrity and strong leadership of the Journal during the past 5 years in promoting novel discoveries on the mechanisms that control development, evolution, stem cell biology, and regeneration. This included publishing numerous exciting special issues ranging from model species, organogenesis, and signaling mechanisms, to this month's special issue on Development, Disease, and Repair of the Nervous System. Parker also successfully heralded the transition of Developmental Dynamics to being a digital only publication. I am delighted that Dr. Gary Schoenwolf and Connie Colbert will continue in their respective roles as manager of special projects, and editorial assistant, as this ensures a smooth transition and continued momentum for the Journal.

During my appointment as Editor-in-Chief, Developmental Dynamics will continue to publish the highest quality research. I am fortunate to be supported by an excellent team of Associate Editors and Editorial Board members who are recognized leaders in their fields, and as the nature of biology research continues to become more interdisciplinary, I look forward to welcoming new Associate Editors and Editorial Board members in emerging areas to strengthen the Journal.

In a world with many journals, there are several reasons to publish your research in Developmental Dynamics. Developmental Dynamics provides an international forum for novel discoveries, encompassing molecular and organismal studies, using any model system, with an emphasis on research observations that advance our understanding of development, evolution, disease, and repair. Developmental Dynamics has a lengthy history of publishing landmark papers in these fields.

Developmental Dynamics is editorially administered by active and engaged scientists for the benefit of the research community. Developmental Dynamics supports many research meetings, scientists, and awards, and as a society owned journal, generously returns its proceeds to support the anatomical sciences community through the American Association of Anatomists.

Developmental Dynamics accepts manuscripts for submission in any format, reviews them fairly and rapidly, and publishes them for free. There are no page or color charges, and article length, including the number of figures and references is not limited, providing a generous and flexible platform for your novel and significant research.

Developmental Dynamics is fully compliant with the current open access policies of major funding agencies including the NIH, HHMI, and Wellcome Trust. Over 5,000 institutions subscribe to Developmental Dynamics, providing a worldwide audience for your discoveries, while upcoming publishing advances from WILEY will further enhance the impact and reach of your research.

The first issue of Developmental Dynamics in 2018 is a special issue dedicated to Development, Disease, and Repair of the Nervous System. Guest edited by Nadean Brown, Artur Kania, and Yutaka Yoshida, the volume highlights, through original research articles and scholarly reviews, the fundamental importance and complexity of the nervous system and its susceptibility to developmental anomalies and disease, and makes for a fascinating read.

I look forward to welcoming your submissions and advancing your research discoveries. I also warmly invite input from our readers and contributors, especially as the Journal embraces emerging disciplines and model systems, and takes advantage of the rapidly changing world of publishing and knowledge dissemination.

  • Sincerely,

  • Paul A. Trainor

  • Editor-in-Chief

  • Developmental Dynamics