Monday, April 13, 2015

Author Manuscripts - clarification of PLoS Comp Biol's policy

Just a quick post. I and some colleagues recently submitted one of our papers "Steering Evolution with Combination Therapy to Prevent the Emergence of Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance" (which you can read a nice post on +Artem Kaznatcheev's blog here) to PLoS Computational Biology, and I was surprised that an option to submit a full 'author manuscript' wasn't present, but instead that we had to upload images separately, reformat and the like.  This surprised me, because the first time I submitted there, in a paper I wrote with +David Basanta and +Alexander Anderson I didn't remember having to do this. It might be that I just misread, but at the time I was confused.

So, I tweeted to them a quick question and it turns out they DO accept author manuscripts, but that their instructions are on the fritz right now!  

Anyways, they replied quickly with an email as well stating:

We allow a single PDF to be submitted at initial submission, although as the paper is subsequently revised, we require the manuscript to be submitted in separate parts to begin to prepare the manuscript for production. This is to avoid asking authors to do everything at once at acceptance, a process that can, in some instances, be a substantial task.
I understand that this is not clear on the author instructions and we are looking at ways of improving our instructions.

So - submit away. And, thank for the quick reply to PLoS CB... now it's just fingers crossed for our submission.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Healing Art of Pathology

Many apologies for the long delay in writing, residency training has been weighing heavily on my creative time - but this is coming to an end! In the realm of more good news, on July 1st I will assume the post of Clinical Instructor here at the Moffitt Cancer Center, concentrating my efforts on taking care of patients with sarcoma using radiation for one day per week. The balance of my time will be spent finishing my DPhil and pursuing the clinician-scientist track - a balance I hope to maintain for the rest of my career (life?).

Dendritic Swarm.

My relationship with the Sarcoma department here has been a very good one, and one that has transcended simply training and patient care. Immediately before I left for Oxford, my neighbor and friend +Ray Paul came to my house and asked me to feel a lump on his side...

It turned out that Ray had a myxofibrosarcoma, and a nasty one at that. Honestly, things looked pretty bleak for a while, but now, after 4 surgeries (flank, thigh, and two in the lung), two bouts of radiation therapy (flank and thigh), two clinical trials (immunotherapy and a novel tyrosine kinase inhibitor) he is NED - nearly 4 years later. Incredible, and wonderful.

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Much of Ray's story can be read on a previous post of mine on the +TEDMED  blog that discusses the healing power that Ray's own art had for him (updated here). A project he began, called My Sarcoma, during which Ray painted over the top of his OWN histology images, transformed Ray from a sick and dying patient back into a living and vibrant artist. Watching and participating was a real honor. This culminated in a beautiful opening of his art at Moffitt which received both local news attention and a national story shared with another Moffitt patient Michelle Boyd DeJong on the healing power of creativity.

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Each of the paintings that Ray has made during this journey has had more than just Ray's hands involved. Indeed, to make the paintings as you see them, a surgeon had to cut out his tumor, a pathologist had to stain and mount the tissue and a screen printer had to prepare the canvas. As an offshoot of this collaboration, our Sarcoma pathologist, Marilyn Bui, and Ray continued to talk and brainstorm, and a new project was born, a book entitled Healing Art of Pathology.

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Sponsored by the College of American Pathologists, this book will be a compilation of art derived from, or inspired by, pathology - the study of disease. They are seeking submissions now, with a deadline of September 1st from the art and medical world (including patients) the world over. More details can be found in the attached letter.

"Please send all submissions and/or address any questions to Caryn Tursky, CAP Press Acquisitions and  Development Editor, at by September 1, 2015. Please make the subject of the email “Healing Art Submission.”"

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Ray's project, My Sarcoma, featured here can be seen as well on his website