Q&A with Tony Rhodes, editor-in-chief of the British Journal of Biomedical Science

As the official journal of the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), the British Journal of Biomedical Science (BJBS) is committed to publishing new and innovative research and technology on the diagnosis and management of disease. Professor Tony Rhodes, the journal’s editor-in-chief, takes pride in BJBS’s reputation as the journal of the practicing biomedical scientist. Tony took on the role of editor-in-chief in 2021 when the journal transitioned to open access with Frontiers.

Having had a successful career as a biomedical scientist in the NHS in London, Tony moved to academia in 2003 and has held various professorial posts since, both in the UK and in Malaysia.

Ahead of IBMS Congress, where there will be the chance to meet Tony, here’s an opportunity to get to know the person behind BJBS.

Credit: Frontiers

Who inspired you most as a student?

Many lecturers inspired me when I was a student, but I greatly admired my PhD supervisor, Prof. Bharat Jasani from the University of Wales College of Medicine, for his scientific understanding, inquisitiveness along with his kind and calm personality.

What can you tell us about the first paper you published?

My first paper is probably the best one that I’ve published. It had a simple yet slightly controversial message, questioning the reliability of laboratories in the mid-1990s to use immunohistochemistry in the detection of oestrogen receptors in breast cancer. It was highly cited, which opened many opportunities for me at the time.

What do you like doing in your spare time?

I am still managing to do a bit of running. I ran the TMBT Ultra-Trail Race in Borneo twice: this September and in 2019. TMBT stands for ‘The Most Beautiful Thing’, which is the local name for Mount Kinabalu. With beautiful vistas and a total of nearly three thousand meters of ascent over 50km, it has been aptly referred to as ‘Beautiful and Brutal’. I first did it before the lockdowns. This September I managed to reduce the total time by one hour!

If you could wake up tomorrow with a new skill, what would it be?

To be able to write a novel. I think that would be a fantastic skill to have, to write a story that people would enjoy reading.

What’s your signature dish?

Some people ‘live to eat’, I am more of an ‘eat to live’ type of person. My signature dish is my only dish: steamed rice, stir-fried chicken and vegetables, usually broccoli and carrots, with oyster sauce and some chili if I am feeling brave.

What’s your favorite sports team?

Manchester United. When I was a boy growing up in Yorkshire in the 60’s two teams dominated: Leeds and Manchester United. I chose the latter. I like to think it was because of their style of play in the era of the Holy Trinity (Charlton, Law, and Best) but to be honest, it may have been because of the red strip.

What was the first album you owned?

Harvest, by Neil Young, a birthday present from my girlfriend at the time.

If any fictional character could join your lab, who would it be and why?

Dirty Harry, the Clint Eastwood film character, would be a useful team member to have. Why? Because we shouldn’t take things too seriously!

IBMS Congress 2023 

Meet professor Tony Rhodes at the upcoming IBMS Congress 2023 on 25-28 September in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Join Tony at the IBMS stand (#R1) between 5 and 6pm on Tuesday (26th) and Wednesday (27 th) during the happy hours. 

The IBMS Congress is a forum for discussion in the biomedical science community, gathering more than three thousand scientists from around the globe. It is an opportunity to progress professional skills and knowledge by choosing from over 300 lectures across 13 disciplines. 

About the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) 

The Institute of Biomedical Science is a leading professional body for scientists, support staff, and students in the field of biomedical science. The society has over 21,000 members in 74 countries and has promoted and developed biomedical science for over 100 years. With the ambition to lead biomedical science into the future, IBMS also works with institutions to improve all aspects of the biomedical science profession. 

Publishing partnerships with Frontiers 

Did you know Frontiers forms partnerships with societies, launching new titles or transitioning existing journals to gold open access? Societies retain complete ownership of their journals while receiving support from a professional team, including a dedicated journal manager. Find the full list of our publishing partners.  

For more information about Frontiers’ publishing partnerships visit our website or read the team’s latest update.  

About Frontiers 

Frontiers is the 3rd most-cited and 6th largest research publisher. We publish groundbreaking discoveries by the world’s top experts. Scientists empower society and our mission is to accelerate scientific discovery by making science open. We place the researcher at the center of everything we do and enable the research community to develop the solutions we need to live healthy lives on a healthy planet. Featuring custom-built technology, artificial intelligence, and rigorous quality standards, our research articles have been viewed more than 2.1 billion times, reflecting the power of research that is open for all.