An English-language instructor and an international traveller, Julie Vo brings years of experience in language and communication to her current role as the editorial coordinator of the STEM CELLS journal at AlphaMed Press. She currently manages the preproduction process from submission to peer review to file exportation, and works with the lineups, press releases, ethics concerns, and author queries.
After graduating from Colorado College with a bachelor’s degree in history (with a focus in premedicine studies) and a minor in Asian studies, Vo lived abroad for five years teaching English as a second language to children, college students, and adults in South Korea, China, and Turkey. On asking Vo what career path led her to the STM industry, she answered, “While I didn’t always know I wanted to work as a science editor, I guess you could say my educational background in science and the humanities did lead me here. I also was a student editor for a departmental newsletter; the interest in publishing began there on campus.”
Shortly after moving to Durham, North Carolina, Vo joined AlphaMed Press as the editorial assistant for The Oncologist, where she worked on the editorial team and learned about the peer-review process. About a year later, she was promoted to editorial coordinator for STEM CELLS. “I really enjoy working with authors around the world in helping to get their important work expertly reviewed, published, and shared in our international forum on stem cell research and development. Each accepted article adds to the ever-growing literature on this rapidly advancing field, with novel findings working to treat disease.” The challenges Vo faces in her role relate to balancing her time between day-to-day tasks to keep the journal running smoothly and staying up-to-date with new mandates, policies, and guidelines in her field to maintain research integrity.
She advises beginners in the field to be detail-oriented, organized, and good team players. “While I am still a newcomer to biomedical communication, what has worked for me is to take chances and to be a team player to make the most of any given experience. I have learned a lot from my colleagues simply by helping with different projects. Being exposed to the different facets of publishing has helped me find my own professional interests.”
Vo is thankful to CSE for the scholarship. “I felt very appreciative and became motivated to learn more about the organization. Having just returned from an informative first annual meeting, I can only speak of the helpful sessions and great new colleagues I met—thank you for exchanging stories and cases from your day jobs, as it has instilled confidence in what I’m doing as a newcomer to the field.”
Her non-work interests include traveling, photography, hiking, gardening, volunteering, reading in Chick Lit Book Club, and playing kickball. As far as recommending what to read or watch, Vo exclaimed, “Well, isn’t everyone already watching and/or reading Game of Thrones?”