Credit: Sue S. Yom/ASTRO
ARLINGTON, Va., December 9, 2020 — The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) announced today that Sue S. Yom, MD, PhD, FASTRO, will become the new editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics (Red Journal), ASTRO’s flagship scientific journal. Dr. Yom, who is a vice chair and distinguished professor of radiation oncology as well as professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, will begin her five-year term on January 1, 2022.
A longtime member of the Red Journal editorial team and current Deputy Editor, Dr. Yom developed multiple concepts for the publication, such as a structured peer review format, an option for authors to submit scientific letters and content features including Gray Zone clinical case studies and the Statistics for the People section and podcast. She also is an accomplished researcher who has authored or co-authored more than 250 published books, chapters and journal articles.
When she begins her term, Dr. Yom will be only the second female editor-in-chief of a major journal in the radiological and imaging sciences. The Red Journal was ranked 10 of 134 journals in the Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging category in the most recent Web of Science Group Journal Citation Report, and only one of the top 10 journals in this category is currently led by a female editor-in-chief.
Dr. Yom will succeed Anthony Zietman, MD, FASTRO, who has served as editor-in-chief since 2012. Previously with Dr. Zietman, Dr. Yom worked to diversify the journal’s editorial board and reach parity with the specialty on female, international, and underrepresented minority representation. “We made a very conscious decision to recruit the best early and mid-career scientists into editorial positions, especially those who might be traditionally overlooked for leadership roles,” she explained. Women now constitute 40% of the journal’s editorial board members. A dedicated educator and mentor, Dr. Yom established the journal’s Resident Peer Review Training program, which has graduated three classes of residents. “I believe that our journals have a unique, critical role to play in mentoring and developing the next generation of researchers and leaders in radiation oncology,” she said.
Under Dr. Yom’s leadership, the Red Journal will continue to provide a forum for top scientific research and the highest-level discussion of issues confronting the fields of radiation oncology, radiation biology and medical physics. Recent publications help guide the specialty as it continues to provide cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic, including international consensus recommendations to adapt cancer treatment during the pandemic – one of these from a task force led by Dr. Yom – as well as on-the-ground reports from the initial outbreaks in Italy and Switzerland and the first peer-reviewed report of low-dose whole-lung radiation therapy for COVID-19 pneumonia. Dr. Yom also wrote the lead editorial for the recent special issue, Radiation Oncology: Through and Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“Dr. Yom is an internationally known leader in radiation oncology, and she has helped move our field forward through her impressive track record in research, global outreach, teaching and mentoring, and leadership of the Red Journal,” said ASTRO President Laura Dawson, MD, FASTRO. “I support Dr. Yom’s vision for the journal to continue to feature the best scientific research and discussion of issues confronting our field, including those that are controversial, and to facilitate mentoring of the next generation of leaders in radiation oncology. Her out-of-the-box thinking is evident. She is an advocate for diversity, and she helps elevate everyone she interacts with.”
Dr. Yom also established the journal’s social media committee and plans to expand the Red Journal’s global reach and interconnectivity through social media and other channels, such as partnerships with other organizations, vodcasts (video podcasts) and increased interactive content for various audiences. Articles that have gained traction on social media in the past year include studies on bell-ringing ceremonies after cancer treatment and the evolution of radiation oncology in Pakistan, as well as articles on the side effects of breast cancer treatment and dosing and timing for prostate radiation.
Above all, Dr. Yom sees the journal as a critically important channel to advance novel science and practice-changing clinical trials affecting radiation oncology, in addition to providing research and commentary on social imperatives such as disparities, global health, education and medical ethics. “Since my time in residency, I cannot recall a time I have been away from the Red Journal,” she said. “It has been my go-to source of education, understanding of events in our field and inspiration to do more for the profession. Medicine is a well of technological and scientific marvels, as well as ethical and moral questions that go to the heart of how we see and shape our society. These will remain our core issues at the Red Journal.”
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is the world’s largest radiation oncology society, with more than 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. The Society is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health policy standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. ASTRO publishes three medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics, Practical Radiation Oncology and Advances in Radiation Oncology; developed and maintains an extensive patient website, RT Answers; and created the nonprofit foundation Radiation Oncology Institute. To learn more about ASTRO, visit our website and follow us on our blog, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.