DNA inside the eukaryotic nucleus is hierarchically packaged to form chromatin fibers. This packaging changes in response to stimuli received by the cell, its differentiation state, cell cycle, and its own prior activities. Nevertheless, within this dense labyrinth, all aspects of DNA metabolism--replication, repair, recombination, transcription, transposition, and epigenetic modifications-- occur in, what appears, in healthy cells, to be a harmonious integration of function. In recent years, our ability to decipher the mechanisms that result in the integration of genome functions, probe its structural features, and elucidate its role in disease is undergoing a renaissance.
Numerous studies have shown that diversity indeed breeds innovation. Yet, science remains institutionally sexist. Despite making substantial gains in academia, women still remain a minority. Unfortunately, as with all human activity, studies have shown that novel concepts when introduced by minority groups—including women in science—are not uniformly adopted. Instead, the incorporation of such ideas depends on which group introduces it, as well as the composition of the ‘recipient’ majority group within a field. By offering a specific platform for women scientists, we hope to encourage new vantage points in this exciting field of interdisciplinary research of how genomes are organized and how they function.
The aim of this Research Topic is to highlight the exciting advances in our understanding of genomes and define the fascinating open questions. In addition, importantly, in the hopes of encouraging novelty we are specifically soliciting contributions where the senior author or first author identifies as a woman.
In this Research Topic we aim to highlight the work achieved/led by or impacting women written by leading scientists on any topic of genome organization and dynamics. We welcome range of article types, which could address, but is not limited to the following suggestions:
- Perspectives on the future of Genome Organization and Dynamics
- Genome Organization Research and its impact on women, for example research focusing on the role of the X chromosome
- Articles spotlighting excellent female led contributions to the field of Genome Organization and dynamics
- Submissions from minority groups are encouraged as we aim to have a global representation.For this special collection, we would like to ask the lead or corresponding author to provide a short insight (max. 200 words) on their experience as a woman in academia. Frontiers will publish this excerpt following the conclusion of your article with the heading Women in Genome Organization and Dynamics: [Authors Name].
This could include any of the following:
● What do you consider your most important contribution to the field? How has this contribution been received in your field?
● For more senior researchers: As your career progresses, how has your view of the scientific system, and particularly the role of women scientists changed over time?
● For early career researchers: What are you most looking forward to about your future in scientific research?
● What questions regarding genome organization are you most excited about?
● How do you see the field of genomics changing (in terms of research or women) in the next 10-20 years?
● Do you think that your approach(es) to science would have been any different if you were male?
● What were the biggest obstacles you had to overcome? Did you ever have the impression that it would be easier/harder if you were male/ not female? (ex. Authorship decision, publication, see relevant article
● Have you ever felt that you get less support or recognition in professional events regarding your gender or identity? (your voice, opinion are less likely to be adopted…etc)
● What kind of prejudices, if any, do you feel that you routinely face?
For more Senior Researchers:
● How do you create a lab environment that equally fosters trainees of all genders?
● How do you stay in check with your own implicit biases about gender while training graduate students, serving on search committees, and teaching students?
Forward Looking Questions:
● What, if anything, would you like to see changed in the scientific system? What do you think people can engage or put efforts on minimizing gender inequality in academia?
● Do you have role models or important mentors from women in science? How do they inspire or support you in your genomic research?
● Do you have any suggestions as to how the academic research system can work to retain more women scientists and gender minorities?We strongly encourage the submission of manuscripts where the lead and/or corresponding author is female, and we recommend early career researchers to team up with senior female colleagues. However, we will welcome the submission of any article within the scope above irrespective of gender.