Interviews with Outstanding Authors (2022)

Posted On 2022-08-30 17:29:00

In 2022, many authors bring new findings, practical information on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to thoracic disease to our journal. Their articles published with us have received very well feedback in the field and stimulate a lot of discussions and new insights among the peers.

Hereby, we would like to highlight some of our outstanding authors who have been making immense efforts in their research fields, with a brief interview of their unique perspectives and insightful views as authors.

Outstanding Authors (2022)

Carrie Kah-Lai Leong, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore

Michelle Li Wei Kam, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore

Seung Won Ra, Ulsan University Hospital, South Korea

Erik R. de Loos, Zuyderland medical center, the Netherlands

Nataniel H. Lester-Coll, University of Vermont, USA

Elena Prisciandaro, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Pauline Yeung Ng, The University of Hong Kong, China

Franziska W. Sitzmann, University Heart Center Hamburg, Germany

Joseph D. Phillips, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, USA

Masahiro Miyajima, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Japan

Hyun Koo Kim, Korea University College of Medicine, Korea

Alexander Kaserer, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland

Akira Iyoda, Toho University, Japan

Xiaodong Bao, Massachusetts General Hospital, USA

Kenneth M. Nugent, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, USA

Harry Etienne, Tenon University Hospital, France

Gabrielle Drevet, Louis Pradel Hospital, University Hospital of Lyon, France

Yuichi Saito, Teikyo University School of Medicine, Japan

Anil Pooran, University of Cape Town and Lung Institute, South Africa

Jun Hanaoka, Shiga University of Medical Science, Japan

Katsuhiro Okuda, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Japan

Min P. Kim, Houston Methodist Hospital, USA

Noriyuki Hirahara, Shimane University Faculty of Medicine, Japan

Samy Lachkar, Hôpital Charles Nicolle, France

Yoshiaki Takase, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine and Hospital, Japan

Edward D. Chan, National Jewish Health, USA

Kanokpan Ruangnapa, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand

Michelle H. Lee, Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine, USA

Ory Wiesel, The Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Piotr Skrzypczak, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland

Yoon-Mi Shin, Chungbuk National University Hospital, South Korea

Yojiro Yutaka, Kyoto University Hospital, Japan

Hitoshi Igai, Japanese Red Cross Maebashi Hospital, Japan

Maxens Decavèle, Groupe Hospitalier Universitaire APHP-Sorbonne Université, Hôpital Tenon, France

Kuang-Yih Wang, HOHO Biotech Co., Ltd., Taipei

Giuseppe Cardillo, Azienda Ospedaliera San Camillo Forlanini, Rome, Italy

Gin Tsen Chai, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore

Gabriella Kecskes, Petz A University Teaching Hospital, Győr, Hungary

Biniam Kidane, Health Sciences Centre, Canada

Carrie Kah-Lai Leong

Dr. Carrie Leong is currently a consultant at the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Singapore General Hospital and the Singhealth Duke-NUS Lung Center, Singapore. She will be embarking on an Interventional Pulmonology Fellowship at Duke University Medical Center, USA. Her clinical and research interests include pleural disease and pleuroscopy as well as interventional pulmonology.

To Dr. Leong, a good academic paper addresses an area of unmet need and aims to bridge gaps in our current knowledge. It builds on existing work in that area and answers clinical questions which will hopefully guide us in changing our practice for the better.

Academic writing often involves evidence synthesis. According to Dr. Leong, developing a focused question would be the initial step, followed by gathering and identifying available evidence from established sources. Assessing the quality and validity of the identified evidence, as well as how relevant they are to our research question at hand would also be important.

Dr. Leong believes that staying curious and asking how we can do things better for patients spurs us to ask questions, which are often the starting points for research. Enjoying the research journey rather than looking solely at the endpoint also keeps a fresh perspective on academic writing.

From an author’s perspective, Dr. Leong thinks reporting guidelines (e.g. STROBE and CONSORT) provide a means of standardization for authors, which then allows meaningful comparisons as well as data synthesis across different studies.

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Michelle Li Wei Kam

Dr. Michelle Kam is currently a Consultant Pulmonologist at the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore. She also serves as a visiting consultant at National Heart Centre, Singapore. Her subspecialty areas are in interstitial lung disease (ILD), orphan lung disease, pulmonary genetics and lung transplantation. Her main research interest is in ILD and pulmonary genetics. She is involved in both clinical and translational ILD research and has special interests in the molecular mechanisms and genetics of ILD, particularly in high-risk phenotypes and familial ILD. She established the first ILD biobank in Singapore and helped to establish the national ILD registry, which is a multi-center collaboration involving the main ILD centers in Singapore.

Speaking of the importance of academic writing, Dr. Kam points out that academic writing is an important means of communicating the knowledge one has gained and the evaluation and analysis of these findings. It promotes critical thinking for both writers and readers, which can lead to further discussion and hypothesis generation.

Academic writing often involves evidence synthesis. To Dr. Kam, one of the challenges in academic writing is synthesizing the vast amount of information and data that are available. But she believes that reputable journal sources, well-designed trials and reviews are always good starting points. Furthermore, cognitive bias can also give rise to a skewed selection and interpretation of evidence, so it is crucial to keep an open mind.

Academic writing takes a lot of time and effort. What motivates Dr. Kam to engage in academic writing is that academic writing provides opportunities for collaboration and exchanging of ideas which are great ways to learn new things and sometimes look at a topic or body of evidence from another perspective.

According to Dr. Kam, the ethics and conflicts of interests in research, particularly medical research, are becoming increasingly complex. The institutional review board (IRB) review process serves as a series of checks and balances to ensure that the trust that is placed in researchers is not threatened or breached.

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Seung Won Ra

Dr. Seung Won Ra is currently a Professor at the Division of Pulmonology, Department of Internal Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, South Korea. He obtained his PhD at University of Ulsan College of Medicine in 2014. He was a visiting scientist at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation, St. Paul’s Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada from March 2015 to February 2017. Dr. Ra won the the Minister of Health and Welfare Award in 2020. He is a research member of KOLD (Korean Obstructive Lung Disease) cohort, a member of Scientific Committee for formulating Korean airway diseases guideline, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)/Asthma/Pulmonary rehabilitation research group, Korean Academy of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease, a member of Korean Society of Critical Care Medicine, a member of American Thoracic Society, and a member of European Respiratory Society. Dr. Ra’s main research areas are COPD, asthma, bronchiectasis, and respiratory infection.

Speaking of the role that academic writing plays in science, Dr. Ra believes its role is to transform the knowledge of real world science into the written form to be able to share it with colleagues and the scientific community.

As an author, Dr. Ra states that creativity, perseverance, desire to share knowledge in order to make the world a better place, respectful mindset of the writing process, persuasiveness, being rational and reasonable are the qualities an author should possess.

Academic writing takes a lot of time and effort. Nevertheless, Dr. Ra enjoys his work being reviewed and critiqued by respected professionals worldwide. He says, “This gives me insight to potential improvements and innovations in my field.”

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Erik R. de Loos

Dr. Erik R. de Loos (1980) is a thoracic and trauma surgeon, working as a staff member at the department of surgery of Zuyderland Medical Center, Heerlen, the Netherlands, since 2011. His special interests are minimally invasive thoracic surgery, chest wall surgery and the treatment of thoracic, pelvic and acetabular injuries. Since 2015, he is vice-chair of the general surgical training programme and chair of the thoracic surgical training programme at his institution. He is actively involved in numerous national and international courses in the field of minimally invasive thoracic surgery, chest wall surgery and trauma surgery. He is a certified Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course director and board member of the Dutch ATLS Society on behalf of the Dutch association for trauma surgery (NVT). His research focusses mainly on minimally invasive thoracic surgery (uniportal VATS), chest wall pathologies including oncology, trauma and pectus deformities, and perioperative care. He successfully defended his thesis “Pectus excavatum: improvements in surgical care” and obtained a PhD degree at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. You may follow him on LinkedIn.

For Dr. de Loos, academic writing plays a crucial role in science. He believes that only by publishing the results of studies do they come available to a wide audience. This leads to improvement of patient care and outcomes and enables standardization. However, Dr. de Loos emphasizes that one has to remain critical at all times about all forms of bias, including publication bias.

Science advances rapidly day by day. To ensure his writing is up-to-date and can give new insights to the field of research, Dr. de Loos states that intensive and multidisciplinary collaboration helps his research team to remain up-to-date and inspires to gain new and innovative ideas. “Team play is the essence in research!” he says.

Academic writing takes a lot of time and effort. Speaking of the motivation to do academic writing, Dr. de Loos says, “By performing scientific research, our team is very motivated to look critically at our own clinical practice, treatment population and treatment results. It stimulates further improvement and innovation. It allows us to expand our network, facilitating collaboration with international experts in the field. Final publication of our articles in high-quality journals is very rewarding and motivates our research team to raise the bar even higher.

As an author, Dr. de Loos thinks it is extremely important to follow reporting guidelines (e.g. STROBE, CONSORT) during the preparation of manuscripts. “These guidelines serve multiple purposes. First, they help authors to write a structured manuscript, in which all parts of the conducted research are discussed, including inescapable limitations. Second, from the readers’ point of view, they contribute to high-quality literature which can be valued and interpreted in an unambiguous way,” he notes.

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Nataniel H. Lester-Coll

Dr. Nataniel H. Lester-Coll is a radiation oncologist at the University of Vermont, USA, with interests in clinical trials and health services research. Concerning the health services research, he studies cancer treatment trends and cost-effectiveness, using large databases and computational modeling. You could follow him on Twitter.

Speaking of the role that academic writing plays in science, Dr. Lester-Coll believes that all good ideas need to be communicated effectively in writing, or else their meaning is lost. This includes findings from scientific original research, as well as opinions and perspectives. He stresses that the writing must be clear, accurate and concise, and quoted the saying from Albert Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” In Dr. Lester-Coll’s opinion, research questions, hypotheses, study design, statistical analyses, and conclusions drawn must be written in clear, simple, and logical language. In addition to disseminating important findings into the scientific community, clear academic writing also prevents misinterpretations and misunderstandings of research findings in other contexts. “Simply put, if one can clearly explain their work, it will be understood by more people. Otherwise, it does not matter how rigorous or practice changing the study might be, as a disorganized manuscript will be uninterpretable, and could even lead to questioning of study findings,” he says.

Building off the discussion above on writing, Dr. Lester-Coll emphasizes that a good academic paper needs to be well-written, so that the rationale, design, methods, results and conclusions are clear, concise, and ideas are communicated logically. At the end of the introduction, the reader should have a clear idea as to why the study is being done, and what the research hypotheses are. The methods should be written in enough details (at times in a supplement) such that another researcher should be able to replicate the study. Key findings should be highlighted in the body of the manuscript. Tables and figures should be easily interpretable and stand alone from the body of the manuscript. The discussion is, in his opinion, the most important part of a good academic paper. Key findings should again be summarized, but placed into context their broader work, and limitations need to be fleshed out. A good academic paper will read logically from start to finish, and the reader should finish with a good understanding of why and how the study was done, what the key findings are, and how to interpret them.

To ensure his writing is up-to-date and can give new insights into the field of research, Dr. Lester-Coll involves in many academic activities, such as serving as a journal editor, journal reviewer, serving on committees where he needs to succinctly summarize research (e.g., Institutional Review Board), and he writes original research and perspective pieces.

Simply put, reading and writing scientific work is needed to improve one’s own writing. The more one does it, the easier it comes. In order to stay up to date on science, I subscribe to select journals I follow closely, I attend academic conferences, and I use social media (e.g., Twitter) to follow the latest discussions of new work in my field,” he adds.

From an author’s perspective, Dr. Lester-Coll thinks it is critical to follow reporting guidelines (e.g. STROBE, CONSORT, CHEERS) during the preparation of manuscripts, as these are to ensure that particular study designs (e.g., randomized clinical trial, observational study, modeling study) are reported in systematic ways. Dr. Lester-Coll reviews a lot of papers, and often there are key assumptions in a study that are omitted, or difficult to find, and he will point the authors to these reporting guidelines. Furthermore, from a reader’s point of view, Dr. Lester-Coll stresses that the reader should be able to identify the study design, and then expect to see logical presentation of the study and its findings. Essentially, a common rubric, or pathway, to navigate paper, for a particular kind of study. For instance, a cost-effectiveness study should include the study population, perspective, time horizon, outcomes, methods to characterize uncertainty, and so on. These are all included on the CHEERS 2022 Checklist and omission of any of these parameters could lead to misinterpretation of a modeling study.

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Elena Prisciandaro

Dr. Elena Prisciandaro is a Clinical Fellow at the Department of Thoracic Surgery of the University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, since April 2022. She obtained her diploma of Specialised Studies in Thoracic Surgery at the University of Milan, Milan, Italy in 2021. Her research areas are thoracic oncology (lung cancer, malignant pleural mesothelioma, lung metastases) and lung transplantation. Her recent project is an international multicentre retrospective study aiming at comparing the impact of anatomical versus non-anatomical resections for lung metastasectomy on patient survival and disease recurrence. This project was developed at the Department Thoracic Surgery of the University Hospitals Leuven during the ESTS Biology Club Fellowship 2020 (project supervisor: Prof. Dr. Laurens J. Ceulemans). You could find out more about Dr. Prisciandaro on LinkedIn.

To Dr. Prisciandaro, academic writing is essential for the scientific community, not only for its well-known educational and knowledge-updating relevance, but especially to develop a critical approach to science.

The most commonly encountered difficulties in academic writing, in Dr. Prisciandaro’s opinion, are plagiarism and the never-ending struggle between the need to comply with the requests of reviewers and the determination not to overturn the content of one’s own manuscript.

As an author, Dr. Prisciandaro believes that clarity, conciseness, and the ability (in the medical field) to show the clinical and real-world significance of the findings reported in the manuscript are the key skill sets of an author.

Furthermore, Dr. Prisciandaro says it is fundamental to follow reporting guidelines (e.g. STROBE, PRISMA) during the preparation of manuscripts, as they provide standardized tools for reporting study results, therefore allowing to compare findings, inclusion/exclusion criteria, statistical methods and limitations among different studies. Moreover, the guidelines ensure comprehensiveness and a higher transparency in reporting study results.

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Pauline Yeung Ng

Dr. Pauline Yeung Ng is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Practice in the Critical Care Medicine Unit at The University of Hong Kong Faculty of Medicine, Hong Kong, China. After completing her specialist training in Critical Care Medicine at Queen Mary Hospital, she was a Research Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital where she focused in outcomes research. She utilizes large electronic health record databases to conduct observational research, enabling important clinical questions to be examined with real-world data. Dr. Ng’s main subject of expertise is in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), and she is a core member of the first 24/7 ECMO-cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) program in Hong Kong. She leads regional research collaboration in evaluating patient outcomes after ECMO, including an ongoing effort to establish an Asia-Pacific ECMO registry. Dr. Ng is passionate about educating future ECMO care providers, and was the chief editor of the open-access “ECMO 101” online course endorsed by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO). More information about Dr. Ng could be found on her personal page.

As an author, Dr. Ng firmly believes that academic manuscripts are indispensable for the dissemination of emerging data and evaluation of core topics to inform best clinical practice. In order to fulfill these two goals, ground-breaking studies on new therapies and interventions should be rigorously assessed then published expeditiously. At the same time, observational studies with a pragmatic approach and revisits of high-impact core topics serve as continuing education and review of existing practices, a role that complements clinical trials.

To Dr. Ng, beyond the prerequisites of designing a study and analyzing data, the aspect that is most commonly overlooked is the quality of the write-up during preparation of a paper. A study is only as important as how often it is read and how well it is understood. In Dr. Ng’s opinion, authors should take on the perspective of a reader who is uninformed on the design of the study. Furthermore, presentation of the study results should flow well in logical sequence, especially when subgroup, sensitivity, and exploratory analyses are discussed. Lastly, it is important for the Discussion to be succinct and relevant. Avoid overloading the reader with collateral information that is not backed by data from the study. 

Academic writing often involves evidence synthesis. Dr. Ng shares some tips on selecting the appropriate evidence for synthesis and analysis, “Firstly, you need to be absolutely convinced yourself in the value and necessity of the research topic. When reviewing published literature, especially well-researched topics, read beneath the surface and between the lines to identify knowledge gaps. I often find unexpected inspiration for follow-up studies while going through supplementary material. During the process of data analysis, find different people in your team to assess the results with fresh pairs of eyes – their comments and viewpoints will give you a feel of the opinion from reviewers.”

For Dr. Ng, what makes academic writing fascinating is that it excites her to be able to present months of hard work cumulating in form of a piece of writing. “I have always loved literature and fine arts, and academic writing offers an opportunity to do something to slight resemblance in our trade,” says Dr. Ng.

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Franziska Sitzmann

Franziska Sitzmann recently obtained her medical degree from the Technical University Munich, Germany. In January 2020, as a student, she joined the scientific workgroup on thoracic aortic surgery at University Heart Center Hamburg, Germany, to work on her dissertation. This was her first contact with academic writing and research, and she was guided and taught by her advisor. She gained a lot of skills and knowledge and discovered that she takes a great interest in clinical research and academic writing, especially in the field of cardiac surgery.

In Franziska’s opinion, academic writing is very important because it helps keep knowledge up to date and supports exchanging and sharing new observations internationally. Furthermore, academic writing confronts both the reader and the author of a research article with the results of a study. It thereby encourages them to reflect on these findings and how to apply them to clinical practice to improve patient care.

As an author, Franziska thinks difficulties encountered in academic writing include starting a study with an unbiased approach and not focusing on achieving only a previously expected result. It is challenging to put the findings into the current clinical and scientific context, especially if, after correct study conduction and data collection, the study results differ from the present knowledge and common practice. There are also difficulties in the writing process itself. Especially if the article has a word limit, the author must carefully select the data to be shown and included in the manuscript.

Science advances rapidly day by day. To ensure one’s writing is up-to-date and can give new insights to the field of research, Franziska believes it is crucial to keep up to date with current studies and read recent publications to stay informed. Furthermore, constant data collection and analysis as soon as possible is necessary. Even while already working on a manuscript, she thinks it is essential to be willing to update data and already performed analyses if necessary. From her perspective, approaching studies with an unbiased and open mind and taking up new or unexpected findings can help give new insights.

In terms of reporting guidelines (e.g. STROBE, CONSORT), Franziska states that these guidelines improve the transparency and comparability of studies. It is important to follow them since they give the reader important information.

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Joseph D. Phillips

Dr. Joseph D. Phillips, MD FACS is an assistant professor of surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, USA. He is a general thoracic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive robotic oncologic surgery. His research interests are in tumor immunology in non-small cell lung cancer, smoking cessation, and health services research, including implementation of patient reported outcomes to improve care. He has built a collaborative partnership in tumor immunology research encompassing thoracic tumors and melanoma. In addition, he has mentored several residents to numerous national presentations and publications related to surgical outcomes and process improvement. Dr. Phillips serves on the Executive Committee of The Thoracic Outcomes Research Network (ThORN) and the Executive Council of the Association for Academic Surgery. He holds several other leadership positions in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the New England Surgical Society. Dr. Phillips’s personal page can be accessed here. You may also follow him on Twitter.

In Dr. Phillips’s opinion, academic writing is crucial to science. It is the fundamental form of communication to disseminate one’s study’s findings and conclusions. Furthermore, the peer-review process forces authors to be thoughtful and concise in the presentation of these results. He states that reviewers’ comments are often helpful to make one’s work stronger and ensure that authors are presenting their findings in a clear manner.

Science advances rapidly day by day. To ensure one’s writing is up-to-date and can give new insights to the field of research, Dr. Phillips believes it is imperative to be up-to-date on the literature in one’s field of study. When writing a manuscript, he always reviews the recently released studies on the topic. “This requires some additional effort, but it is important to know what others are publishing in your field so you can provide the appropriate context for your results,” says Dr. Phillips.

Academic writing takes a lot of time and effort. To Dr. Phillips, providing the highest quality surgical care within a multidisciplinary team and advancing the field through research are what drive him as a surgeon-scientist. “I entered thoracic surgery to care for patients and I have a passion for developing new knowledge that will advance treatment options. Academic writing provides a forum to help others learn. In addition, I have had the opportunity to mentor several trainees through the writing process and watching them succeed is a very fulfilling component of my position,” he adds.

From an author’s perspective, Dr. Phillips stresses that following reporting guidelines (e.g. STROBE, CONSORT) is a great way to standardize the reporting of academic writing. It provides a template to ensure that the work is appropriately performed and reported and allows for a more efficient interpretation of the presented material.

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Masahiro Miyajima

Dr. Masahiro Miyajima is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Thoracic Surgery, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Japan. He obtained his PhD from the Sapporo Medical University. He availed of the research fellowship program at the Massachusetts General Hospital for two years. With his great energy and tireless vitality, he has educated and trained many young surgeons in his newly formed surgical residency course. He has recently been exploring the possibilities of robot-assisted surgery, with high precision and telemedicine. His current research interests are the development of new techniques and bringing up many young skillful surgeons within the field of thoracic surgery. His recent projects are “The Development of Lung Cancer Immunotherapy” and “The Elucidation of its Mechanisms”. His major research focuses are thoracic surgery, lung cancer, robotic surgery, and video-assisted thoracic surgery. He enjoys fly fishing with his daughter and two boys while on holiday. You may connect with Dr. Miyajima on LinkedIn.

As an author, Dr. Miyajima believes that surgeons have an obligation to examine and evaluate the results of their work, which should be published for the scientific community. There is a need to do so, especially when a new surgical technique is developed. In such cases, surgeons should not only emphasize the advantages, but also honestly discuss any unknown or unexpected drawbacks. Therefore, it is essential that surgeons use a critical tone and are open about the limits of their explorations so that other researchers can review them.

In Dr. Miyajima’s opinion, to ensure one’s writing is up-to-date and can give new insights to the field of research, one should be familiar with the major papers in that specific field. In addition, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more conferences can be attended via the web, which allows for the latest information in any given field to be obtained at any time. “Surgical research is very rewarding because the results are clear in actual clinical practice,” he says.

Academic writing takes a lot of time and effort. For Dr. Miyajima, when a paper takes shape, and is appreciated by peers or has a positive impact on clinical practice, he feels that all his hard work has paid off.

Lastly, Dr. Miyajima stresses it is critically important for research to follow reporting guidelines (e.g. STROBE, CONSORT). Reading the guidelines early in the dissertation planning process allows for more accurate research and avoids unnecessary revisions.

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Hyun Koo Kim

Dr. Hyun Koo Kim is Professor and Chief of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the Korea University Guro Hospital in Seoul, Korea. His expertise is in the field of single port Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and utilizing 3D thoracoscope during VATS. In addition, he is one of the first surgeons in Asia who used robotic stapler during robotic major pulmonary resection. Furthermore, he published the world’s first article about the single-site using the da Vinci Xi system and single-port robot surgery using the da Vinci SP system in thoracic disease. His major research topic is image-guided surgery. He has been conducting many national research projects for developing various kinds of intraoperative imaging devices and contrasts through a lot of in vitro laboratory works to preclinical animal and human studies.

From an author’s perspective, Dr. Kim states that a hypothesis based on unmet needs from daily clinical practices and keeping up with the recent trend of research in that field are essential to a good academic paper. Furthermore, clinical data analyzed based on the hypothesis would be evidence synthesis, thus the hypothesis should be always updated with new data and new research trends.

To avoid biases in one’s writing, Dr. Kim stresses that all works should be reviewed based on recently updated information and authors should open their minds to accept all critics from other experts working in the same field.

Data sharing is prevalent in scientific writing in recent years. According to Dr. Kim, data sharing makes the output of clinical or research work transparent, but it is risky to expose patients’ information related to the works.

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Alexander Kaserer

Dr. Alexander Kaserer is a consultant Anesthesiologist at University Hospital Zurich’s Institute of Anesthesiology, Switzerland. He graduated at the Medical University of Vienna in 2014 and completed his Anesthesiology Residency in Zurich in 2019. Dr. Kaserer does research in perioperative medicine, critical care and emergency medicine. His broad field of research includes the areas of Patient Blood Management, factor-based coagulation management, perioperative DOAC Management, ECMO therapy and pre-hospital care. Here are some platforms where you can find out more information about Dr. Kaserer: University Hospital Zurich, ResearchGate and ORCID.

In Dr. Kaserer’s opinion, a good academic paper investigates a real-life problem of clinical routine. It should be structured, and the argument should flow from one section to the next. Good papers will begin with the context of the work, move through the hypothesis of the clinical problem being investigated, explain the methodology, deal with the analytical aspects of the work including the presentation of the results, then develop the discussion and draw conclusions based upon what has been covered in the paper. Generally, papers will either develop a theory or test a theory. In addition, a good work should be easy to understand and comprehend. Every reader should be able to answer the following questions after reading the paper for the first time: what have they investigated, why is it important and how they have gone about it?

From an author’s perspective, Dr. Kaserer believes that the following are the key skill sets of an author. First, an author must become aware of the clinical problem and be able to draft a research question. Next, an author needs to be able to choose the appropriate research design to test the hypothesis. Once all necessary data are collected using the right method, statistical analysis should, in his opinion, only be performed by professional statisticians. Errors in the analysis can happen quickly and have a major impact on the clinical treatment. It is then again up to the author to interpret the results of the analysis correctly, to discuss them with the existing literature and to draw a conclusion with the findings. Along with these general skills, it is essential that an author possess some technical skills to write an outstanding research paper. As already mentioned above, a good paper should be easy to understand and comprehend. During the analysis, tons and tons of raw and final data will be generated. Therefore, it is important to learn how to organize this huge amount of information and how to summarize it in a clear research paper. The job of an author is to review all the information available, narrow it down, categorize it, and present it in a clear, relevant format. This process requires attention to detail and major brainpower. Conducting research as well as writing a research paper is a lengthy process. Hence, it is essential to manage the time efficiently. Creating a research schedule and sticking up to it will help to achieve the desired goals in the desired period of time.

In a research project, authors must deal with a lot of potential biases having an impact on the final paper. In Dr. Kaserer’s opinion, it is important to include different disciplines in the research project, as they all have a different perspective on the problem. Also, during writing of the manuscript, it is important to get and include feedback of all involved co-authors. Last but not least, it is the task of the reviewer to point out a potential bias, which should be eliminated as best as possible during the review process.

In terms of reporting guidelines (e.g. STROBE, CONSORT), Dr. Kaserer thinks they are beneficial to structure and standardize the presentation of a scientific work. If research of the same category is always presented in the same way, it certainly improves the overview and understanding for the reader. In addition, reporting guidelines are also some sort of checklist for the authors to ensure all necessary information is included in the manuscript. However, in some research projects, none of these guidelines is fully applicable. In this case, it is advisable to act with common sense.

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Akira Iyoda

Dr. Akira Iyoda has been a Professor and Director of the Division of Chest Surgery, Department of Surgery at Toho University, School of Medicine, Japan since 2013. He graduated from Shinshu University, School of Medicine, Japan, and had postdoctoral training in Mitsui Memorial Hospital in Tokyo and Chiba University. From 2008 to 2013, Dr. Iyoda worked as Associate Professor of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Kitasato University. He received the Award of Japanese Association for Chest Surgery in 2008 and the Award of the Japan Lung Cancer Society in 2015. Dr. Iyoda’s research areas include large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the lung, surgical biopsy for interstitial lung disease, lung cancer associated with interstitial lung disease, treatments for tracheobronchial stenosis/obstruction, surgical treatments for malignant pleural mesothelioma, and treatments for intractable pneumothorax. You can learn more about Dr. Iyoda through his personal page.

According to Dr. Iyoda, finding new evidence is an exciting and beautiful experience. In order to disseminate the exciting and beautiful experience all over the world, researchers need to write good academic papers. In Dr. Iyoda’s opinion, a good academic paper should have clear purpose statements and results which are based on a logical analysis. It should be associated with patient treatments in surgical research. Phase III randomized trials are ideal for research; however, it is very difficult on surgical treatments. He thinks that retrospective analyses are also important because it is difficult to perform randomized studies for all research projects. Although retrospective studies with large scale are better, it is sometimes precious especially for rare diseases or treatments even if it includes a small number. In retrospective analyses, researchers should take care of responsible conduct of research including integrity of data.

For Dr. Iyoda, enthusiasm for study is essential for writing good academic papers. In addition, authors should have the ability of searching solutions for important clinical questions, which includes calling up high-quality members for research projects and making a project team with high quality. Furthermore, he stresses that researchers should be responsible for conducting researches, including ensuring the integrity of data.

As an author, Dr. Iyoda thinks appropriate methods and instructions for data collection are important to avoid biases in one’s writing. A good project team composed of high-quality members should play a part in this process. Good communication among those members is useful for checking errors of data and avoiding biases.

Data sharing is prevalent in scientific writing in recent years. In Dr. Iyoda’s opinion, data sharing is necessary for verification of accuracy in studies. It may have benefits for researchers to have collaborations with others. It may be useful for avoiding a repeat of useless experiments. However, privacy concerns should be taken care of.

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Xiaodong Bao

Dr. Xiaodong Bao is the director of thoracic anesthesia at the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, USA. He is a research physician specializing in thoracic anesthesia and regional anesthesia with particular interest in exploring new technology, new medicines, and novel pathway to improve patient outcomes. Dr. Bao was the principal investigator and the national principal investigator for clinical trials focusing on peri-operative pain management, ventilation strategy and hemodynamic management. Dr. Bao’s works were published in Anesth Analg, Anesthesiology, and JAMA.

Dr. Bao believes that a good academic paper should have a sound hypothesis that answers clinical questions to improve patient care. The hypothesis should be examined through rigorous study design, data collection, and data analysis.

As an author, Dr. Bao thinks that the following things are the qualities an author should possess. First, curiosity - never be satisfied with what we know and understand currently. Second, developing appropriate hypothesis to answer questions. Third, realizing that no study or trial would be perfect. Last but not least, taking criticism constructively.

Biases could happen during academic writing. In Dr. Bao’s opinion, creating a standard study protocol and writing plan, defining diagnosis criteria, verifying source data, and having a trusted third party to review manuscript could minimize the risk of biases.

Finally, there are a few words Dr. Bao would like to share with other academic writers, “It is a journey full of challenges and rewards. We are obligated to share with our colleagues and public about our investigations, progress, and knowledge.”

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Kenneth Nugent

Dr. Kenneth Nugent works in the Department of Internal Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas, USA. His main clinical activity involves pulmonary medicine and critical care medicine. He has been interested in multiple projects unrelated to these areas in an effort to help students, residents, and fellows.

For Dr. Nugent, a good academic paper should provide new information or a review and reanalysis of old information. He believes that an author must be committed to undertaking a detailed review of the literature and to writing a well-organized manuscript with a clear presentation of ideas. This process will take a significant amount of time and will require a critical review of the literature. Besides, an author needs to accept that all manuscripts represent a work in progress and may require multiple revisions.

To ensure his writing is up-to-date and can give new insights to the field of research, Dr. Nugent stresses that Internet search engines can find relevant information relatively quickly.  This review process almost always takes longer than expected.

Regarding the disclosure of Conflict of Interest (COI) among authors, Dr. Nugent comments that disclosing a COI is important and essential. Editors must understand that the reviewers are making an unbiased assessment of any project they are asked to review.

Lastly, there are a few words Dr. Nugent would like to share with other academic writers: “Clinicians should ask simple questions about ongoing clinical activity. This will almost always lead to new ideas and a better understanding of the literature and will provide the basis for new clinical projects.

(By Nicole J. Li, Brad Li)

Harry Etienne

Harry Etienne, M.D., is currently a clinical fellow in the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Zurich University Hospital in Switzerland for one year. After that, he will become an attending surgeon in the Department of Thoracic and Vascular Surgery at Tenon University Hospital, France. He graduated from medical school in Strasbourg, France in 2012. He completed his residency in Thoracic and Vascular Surgery in Paris in 2018. His main surgical interests are minimally invasive oncologic thoracic surgery, lung transplantation and vascular accesses for haemodialysis. He is also affiliated to the laboratory UMRS 1158 which focuses on experimental and clinical respiratory neurophysiology: in 2022, he defended his thesis for his PhD which focuses on developing a new surgical technique for temporary diaphragm pacing. This multidisciplinary field involves pulmonologists and intensive care physicians and aims to alleviate mechanical ventilation diaphragm dysfunction in order to wean patients faster from the respiratory machine. He is very passionate in teaching young residents minimally invasive surgery by using various simulation techniques available (cadaver dissection, virtual reality and black box simulator).

JTD: Why do we need academic writing? What is so important about it?

Dr. Etienne: Academic writing is essential to share knowledge in a field that is evolving quickly. When I started medical school, major lung resection for lung cancer were done by conventional thoracotomy. Nowadays, this surgical approach is reserved for difficult cases. Most major pulmonary resections are either done by VATS or RATS. It is now recommended in the guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, especially for early-stage cancers. This wouldn’t have been possible without analysis of large database from various thoracic societies around the world, followed by randomized trials. They have shown that VATS lobectomy provides lower postoperative pain and fewer complications compared to conventional thoracotomy without altering long-term oncologic outcomes. This is just one out of many examples such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, segmentectomy for early non-small cell lung cancer. It is therefore important to continue academic writing in order to keep innovating and offering our patients the best care available. I am eager to see how this specialty will continue evolving in the coming years.

JTD: Science advances rapidly day by day. How do you ensure your writing is up-to-date and can give new insights to the field of research?

Dr. Etienne: There are many ways to do so. First, it is important to be a member of various scientific societies. Personally, I am a member of the French Thoracic Society of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, the European Society of Thoracic Surgery, the European Respiratory Society and the French Society for Vascular Access. This gives me the opportunity to access seminars, courses and latest guidelines published by these societies. Moreover, once or twice a year, it is important to attend the annual congress from these societies: the meetings give you the opportunity to discover the latest studies and techniques. When you have an abstract accepted in these meetings, it shows that your writing is up-to-date.

Secondly, it is important to subscribe to various scientific journals, not only specialized in thoracic surgery, but also in thoracic oncology, respiratory medicine or lung transplantation. Management of our patients is complex and implicates decision-making during multidisciplinary boards. Therefore, being a good physician implies knowing also non-surgical therapeutic options available and their outcomes. By taking interests in what is published in related fields to thoracic surgery, it widens our scientific perspective and allows us to develop new innovative ideas.

Last but not least, it is important to have access through the University to large search engine databases of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics like PubMed or Cochrane library. When we have doubt on a patient’s management, we can look for evidence-based medicine possibilities from other teams. It allows also an author to properly do a review of literature when writing an article in order to ensure that the topic is original and innovative compared to previous published articles. It enriches the discussion by comparing the results to other teams and outlining potential future research leads on the subject.

JTD: Academic writing takes a lot of time and effort. What motivates you to do so?

Dr. Etienne: Indeed, academic writing takes a lot of time and effort, not only during working hours but also at home. One thing motivates me: passion. I love what I do: I am dedicated to providing the best possible care to my patients and teaching younger surgeons. Being in a teaching hospital allows me to work with various surgeons or physicians, leaders in their field. It drives me to be better at what I do and keep innovating both in clinical care and fundamental research.

JTD: Data sharing is prevalent in scientific writing in recent years. Do you think it is crucial for authors to share their research data?

Dr. Etienne: I think it is crucial for authors to share their research data. It allows us to have bigger cohorts: we can draw more relevant conclusion when we have hundreds or thousands of patients compared to a limited number of patients from one center. This is why the French Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Society (SFCTCV) has created Epithor, a prospective database where all French thoracic surgery centers enter data for each patient they operated. It made possible the elaboration of prognostic scores such as Thoracoscore, which can help in decision-making. Moreover, through large shared database, we can rapidly answer specific questions regarding various postoperative outcomes or patients’ management. Last but not least, data sharing allows us to evaluate and compare our practice to other centers nationwide: it reflects the quality of care provided to the patients.

(By Christopher Hau, Brad Li)

Gabrielle Drevet

Dr. Gabrielle Drevet is a thoracic surgeon at the Louis Pradel Hospital, University Hospital of Lyon, France. She completed her surgical training at University of Lyon, France, followed by a thoracic surgery fellowship at Quebec Heart and Lung Institute, Quebec, Canada. While in training, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Surgical Sciences at the University of Paris. Her current research areas are mainly focused on thoracic oncology, in particular pleural malignancies and malignant pleural effusion. Her recent projects focus on intra thoracic chemotherapy development. More information about Dr. Drevet’s work can be accessed at her ResearchGate page.

For Dr. Drevet, the essential elements of a good academic paper are an unexplored subject that does not hesitate to challenge our current practices. “It should consist of a clear question that is clearly answered thanks to a well-established design,” she says, “Interpretations of the results should be honest and the limitations and context of the study should be stated so that the reader has all the keys in hand and can adapt his or her practice as needed.”

To avoid bias, Dr. Drevet empathizes care must be taken in the design of the study. “The study must be well thought out beforehand and solutions to potential biases must be found before the study begins,” she says, “The author should also stick to the results obtained and interpret them honestly. Reliable and recognized sources should also be used.”

In terms of Conflict of Interest (COI) disclosure by authors, Dr. Drevet believes it is important to do so, as the reader can make an informed assessment and critique of the study in question. It is important to know whether the lead authors have strong industry links to the work being done so that readers can interpret the results appropriately.

When asked why Dr. Drevet chooses to publish in Journal of Thoracic Disease (JTD), she replies, “JTD is a serious and reliable academic journal that respects the ethics and COPE and ICMJE guidelines. We have chosen JTD for its aims and scope but also for its international reputation.”

(By Christopher Hau, Brad Li)

Yuichi Saito

Dr. Yuichi Saito is currently an Associate Professor at Department of Surgery, Teikyo University School of Medicine, Japan. He graduated from Yokohama City University, School of Medicine, Japan, and had postdoctoral training in Mitsui Memorial Hospital in Tokyo.  From 2010 to 2014, Dr. Saito was a research fellow at Division of Pathology, the Cancer Institute, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, and he successfully defended his thesis “Survival after surgery for pathologic stage IA non-small cell lung cancer associated with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis” and obtained a PhD degree at Graduate School of Medical Science, Kitasato University, Japan in 2014. In 2015, he studied as a research fellow at Department of Pathology, Maastricht University, the Netherlands. His clinical and research interests include surgical treatment and pathological diagnosis for thoracic malignancies as well as molecular diagnosis. You may find more about his work on his researchmap profile and faculty page.

When asked about the essential elements a good academic paper should have, Dr. Saito believes that it is important for it to have an attractive tentative theory based on good clinical questions and establish a proof method logically.

As academic writing often involves evidence synthesis, Dr. Saito notes that he keeps it in mind not to ignore the inconvenient findings in the experiments when selecting the appropriate evidence for synthesis and analysis and always thinks logically without self-interest.

Although academic writing takes a lot of time and effort, what motivates Dr. Saito to do so is to remind himself that he is the happiest person that only he knows in the world when he is writing. “That is why I can work hard,” he adds.

As an author, he truly believes that guidelines such as STROBE are important, as they help ensure the quality of research papers.

(By Christopher Hau, Brad Li)

Anil Pooran

Dr. Anil Pooran is a senior scientist at the Centre for Lung Infection and Immunity, University of Cape Town Lung Institute in South Africa. He completed his PhD and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cape Town. His area of research focuses on infectious respiratory diseases - primarily tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19. He is particularly interested in host mechanisms of immunopathogenesis and drug resistance development at the site of disease. His recent project involved the development of a lung-orientated controlled human infection model, using BCG, to assess safety and feasibility, gain insights into mechanisms of BCG-induced host immunity and identify the correlation associated with TB susceptibility. A follow-up project would implement this model to investigate lung-specific T-cell responses via different routes of BCG administration. Other TB-related projects include examining TB drug concentrations and mycobacteria-specific genomic profiles within TB lung cavities, development and evaluation of novel molecular and immuno-based diagnostic tests, and cost-effectiveness of different TB diagnostic interventions. He was involved in several recently completed COVID-19 vaccine and drug trials. He currently holds an EDCTP career development fellowship award. Connect with Dr. Pooran on LinkedIn or ResearchGate.

As a scientific researcher and doctor in South Africa, there are several challenges that Dr. Pooran encounters in performing academic research:

  1. Developing a novel, clinically relevant and experimentally feasible research question – it can be challenging to come up with a novel idea given the sheer volume of high-quality research in any medical field. 
  2. Securing funding to answer a specific research question – funding for research has become extremely competitive with experts in their respective fields often competing for limited funding. One must exhaustively search for funding opportunities and partner with global experts to ensure that an accomplished team with an established track record is available to conduct the research.

In spite of the challenging environment, Dr. Pooran keeps on as an academic writer. His top motivation is to be able to disseminate the findings to a wider scientific community, via getting the research being published in a peer-reviewed journal. He would like his work to be able to impact the daily practices and even the policies in public healthcare (such as guidelines on disease prevention or management strategies for a particular aspect in the field). He thinks the importance of collaborative research is well exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is very rewarding and fulfilling to be part of the research team that can either save or improve the lives of others. I believe in the old adage “publish or perish” and one’s publication history often serves as a metric for judging his/her academic performance,” says Dr. Pooran.

Dr. Pooran further shares some tips for the preparation of a paper: 

  • Think of what makes your work novel and significant – how does it stand out from similar work in the field? How will it help to advance the field and improve patient management. These will be important to contextualize your research. 
  • Figures and tables that showcase the data are very important and should be done before the actual writing. Make sure they are neat, comprehensive, easy to understand and are directly relevant to the central theme of the research.
  • No research is ever perfect. It is a good practice to mention the major limitations in the discussion and ways that have been taken to try to mitigate these limitations.
  • Keep in mind that the data may not always take you where you expect it to go so be flexible in the interpretation of the data and the discussion.
  • The flow of the paper should be smooth and the writing should be concise and to the point. And try to stick to the formatting requirements and word counts for the paper as much as possible.
  • The list and order of authors can sometimes be tricky. Make sure to involve all the potential authors and decide this at the beginning of a project.
  • Manuscript writing can be a long iterative process requiring multiple rounds of edits. It is important to revise and refine without losing the main message of the manuscript. Let your peers who are not involved in the project (but have a good understanding of the field) read the manuscript and offer their perspective and critique.

And as a final word, Dr. Pooran points out integrity is very important for the advancement of science and all authors are encouraged to divulge any relevant information (both direct or in-direct) that could constitute a Conflict of Interest (COI) up-front. This promotes transparency and instils a sense of trustworthiness among reviewers and readers of the manuscript.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Jun Hanaoka

Dr. Jun Hanaoka is an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery and the Chief of General Thoracic Surgery at Shiga University of Medical Science, Japan. He is a general thoracic surgeon mainly dealing with lung cancer, mediastinal tumors, and funnel chest. He received his Ph.D. from the Shiga University of Medical Science with the research on tumor immunology related to lung cancer tumor antigens. After accumulating clinical experience at the National Sanatorium Seiranso Hospital and the national hospital organization Shiga Hospital, Dr. Hanaoka has started working at the Shiga University of Medical Science since 2007, where he provides surgical training and research guidance to young surgeons. His main research topics are minimally invasive surgery for lung cancer, robot-assisted surgery, and tracheobronchoplasty for functional preservation. Currently, he and his team are working on the perioperative management of lung cancer and the elucidation of physiological functions with dynamic radiography.

When being asked of the essential elements for a good academic paper, Dr. Hanaoka thinks an academic paper in the field of surgery should be directly linked to the treatment plans which are applicable to patients. If the paper can influence the established guidelines and provide reference to daily clinical practice, then it is an excellent academic paper. In that regard, it is necessary to extract a valid research topic from the focused clinical issues or problems and set up a straight-forward research design in order to solve it. The approach should be based on the latest literature in relevant research areas. According to the research procedure, it is important to collect the necessary data in advance, and then conduct a multifaceted analysis to present clear and easy-to-understand results. Conclusions based on complex assumptions are difficult to accept and they may not be able to convey meaningful new findings.

In the preparation of an academic paper, he thinks the most crucial trigger is to discover worth-investigating questions from daily clinical practices. In addition to learning new findings, we also need to carefully identify questions that may have been neglected in the past. Familiarity with the latest advancements in related fields and recognition of the missing links are critical in developing research topics of interest.

On the use of reporting guidelines (e.g. STROBE, CONSORT), Dr. Hanaoka believes they are important for helping to structure and standardize the reporting style in academic writing. He explains, “By following the guidelines, we can ensure that the required information has been included in the manuscript. We refer to these guidelines from the initial stage of writing the manuscript to make plans.”

Academic writing takes a lot of time and effort. Dr. Hanaoka thinks when the paper is published, the sense of accomplishment is the best. The process of writing itself allows self-improvement, and the knowledge obtained serves curiosity and can be applied to future surgical treatment. These make him continue to contribute as an academic writer.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Katsuhiro Okuda

Dr. Katsuhiro Okuda currently serves as a professor and chairman of the Department of Thoracic and Pediatric Surgery, at Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Nagoya, Japan. His focuses are on the surgical and molecular target therapy for thoracic malignant tumors including lung cancer and thymic epithelial tumors. Recently, he has been particularly focusing on research on the clinical and scientifical value of minimal invasive surgery for thoracic malignancies.

Despite the hectic schedule of being a doctor, a professor and the chairman of the department, Dr. Okuda spends invaluable time and effort on academic writing. He believes that by converting his experiences and hardships in a tangible form and having a detailed records of all the elements involved would finally turn out to be a source of hope to patients who are suffering. As a surgeon, Dr. Okuda thinks academic writing is very important to the development and progression of medical science. Through academic writing, case reports and surgical techniques are being recorded systematically and thus, being able to be shared and passed on to the world and even to the next generation.

Science advances day by day. Dr. Okuda would keep connecting with scientists from around the globe in order to stay abreast of the latest scientific developments. He would also be very alerted to the latest news presented on the internet, at the academic conferences, and else so as to keep his field of research up to date, and bring in new insights to the field.

As an academic writer, Dr. Okuda thinks presenting accurate and data with no bias is extremely important for scientific research. And he particularly believes that writers should carefully consider and disclose any possible forms of Conflict of Interest (COI) in order to keep the work presented on a fair basis.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Min P. Kim

Dr. Min P. Kim received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, USA. During the period at medical school, he received the prestigious Howard Hughes Fellowship to perform research at the National Institutes of Health, where he was presented with Recognition for Outstanding Research.  After medical school, he attended Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, where he completed his general surgery residency. After his general surgery training, he received a thoracic surgery fellowship at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center where he completed his training in cardiothoracic surgery. Dr. Kim is currently the Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery, Head of the Division of Thoracic Surgery and David M. Underwood Distinguished Professor of Surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, USA. He is an expert in robotic thoracic surgery and thoracic surgical oncology. In addition, he has been appointed as Professor of Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, Full Member of the Houston Methodist Hospital Research Institute and Professor of Surgery at the Institute for Academic Medicine at Houston Methodist. Dr. Kim’s clinical interests include treatment of benign and malignant diseases of the esophagus, lung, mediastinum, diaphragm and chest wall. He is an expert in the treatment of patients with lung cancer and esophageal cancer. He specializes in minimally invasive procedures, such as robot-assisted lobectomy, robot-assisted hiatal hernia repair, robot-assisted fundoplication, robot-assisted thymectomy and robot-assisted esophagectomy, to treat patients with disease of the thoracic cavity.  His research interest is on improving the patient outcomes after thoracic surgery with a specific focus on new technologies and protocols that enhance patient quality of life. Connect with Dr. Kim on LinkedIn or Twitter.

When being asked the qualities of a good or even excellent academic paper, Dr. Kim thinks it has to provide answers to pressing issues in the profession. In the field of surgery, it should be able to help doctors understand if a new technology, technique, or protocol can improve what is being performed daily on the treatment of patients. He emphasizes that a must in a good paper is that there is strong enough evidence to support the conclusion. And ultimately, he believes an excellent academic paper is able to change the current practice.

Dr. Kim further shares on his practices of coming up with a research topic, “In surgery, I look for a question I encounter while treating patients. If there is no good answer in the literature, I design a study to get the answer using the best database available. I then weigh if the evidence is strong enough to change my practice.

And regarding the use of reporting guidelines such as STROBE, STARD and CARE, Dr. Kim thinks they can help provide a checklist for ensuring the study is well-designed, and all the potential limitations of the study are being taken into account. He thinks the guidelines are very helpful for novice researchers, but it may not be as crucial once researchers are aware of the elements in the reporting guidelines.

Finally, Dr. Kim shares with us his motivation for continuing with academic writing, “Discovering something that is unknown and helping patients to have better experience after the treatments are what motivates me to keep on.”

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Noriyuki Hirahara

Dr. Noriyuki Hirahara is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Digestive and General Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Japan. He graduated from Shimane Medical University in 1992 and joined immediately the university first-ever Department of Surgery. His field of expertise is on diseases at the esophagus and stomach and his current focus is on robotic surgery. He attained qualification as a proctor for robotic surgery for esophageal and gastric cancer in 2022. By continuing to further develop and standardize the procedures for minimally invasive surgery, he aims at reducing the postoperative complication rate to zero. He and his team actively participate in national clinical trials and they would continue to put efforts on developing advanced medical care. From the research perspective, he conducts fundamental research on apoptosis and other related topics. In the area of clinical research, he and his team focus on clarifying the prognostic factors for cancer and the development of new prognostic markers. Learn more about Dr. Hirahara on Research Map.

To start writing an academic paper, maybe the most critical step is the process of coming up with a particular topic. Dr. Hirahara is always pursuing and elucidating on trivial questions that he encounters in daily clinical practices with an academic mindset. He thinks fundamental research and clinical research are correlated and both contribute to the development and advancement in the field of medical care. Researchers and clinicians have to update themselves with new knowledge all the time. And through discussions with peers on both the advantages and limitations of a topic, he is able to come up with new areas that are worth further investigation.

Regarding the most commonly encountered difficulty in preparing a paper, Dr. Hirahara thinks the sample size critically affects the hypothesis and the design of the study. He indicates that it is sometimes difficult to recruit effective sample size for reaching an accurate or meaningful conclusion.

Data sharing is prevalent nowadays in academic writing. Dr. Hirahara thinks it is necessary for authors to share the data for transparency and accuracy. He believes the paper would be more solid with data presentation or supports. However, he points out it is also necessary to be cautious in handling data involving of personal information for the sake of privacy protection.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Samy Lachkar

Dr. Samy Lachkar is an Interventional Pulmonologist and the Head of Respiratory Endoscopy Unit in Rouen University Hospital, Normandy, France. He is also a national delegate for France in EABIP (European Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology) and serves at the Faculty at The MTC Rouen (Medical Training Center Rouen) in peripheral bronchoscopy field. Dr. Lachkar has got extensive experiences: performing all-rounded interventional bronchoscopy since 2002, EBUS TBNA since 2005, electromagnetic navigation since 2006, radial EBUS + virtual bronchoscopy since 2007. He focuses on bronchoscopic approach for peripheral lung nodule (diagnosis and treatment). Connect with Dr. Lachkar on LinkedIn.

Beside the role of being a doctor (who takes care of patients), Dr. Lachkar thinks it is important to spend time and effort on writing academic papers for different reasons: first, it enables the sharing of basic experience, or sometimes, when a new approach is being invented, it is necessary to test or further polish it by sharing the ideas with colleagues/peers. Moreover, academic writing is crucial in keeping us think scientifically. And for researchers, receiving comments or criticism from reviewers is also critical for them to get improvement.

Indeed, with different advanced technologies nowadays, we can improve diagnosis and formulate the most optimal treatment plan for patients,” says Dr. Lachkar. It is therefore important for doctors to share the comments and results on the efficiency, reproducibility and tolerance, etc. regarding the new technologies via academic writing for better applications.

On the other hand, Dr. Lachkar thinks sometimes Conflict of Interest (COI) plays a part in helping the industry develop by shortening the time for launching new products. Nevertheless, he emphasizes that for research approach, it has to be independent and a scientific report must not be influenced by COI. He adds, “Scientific approach is the process of sharing the procedures that you believe it could help colleagues and patients.”

Finally, Dr. Lachkar encourages both the young or less experienced doctors to always remember that it is important for us as a doctor to analyze our practices and share the experience with peers, and that is the reason for continuing with academic writing in spite of the hectic schedule sometimes.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Yoshiaki Takase

Dr. Yoshiaki Takase obtained his PhD from Gunma University, Japan and is currently an assistant professor at the Department of Thoracic Surgery, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Japan. Prior to working as a thoracic surgeon, he served for several years as a general practitioner in some medical under-privileged areas. He is convinced that robotic surgery will be the core of future surgical procedures and he is active in training junior doctors on robotic surgery. His current research interests are single subsegmentectomy for lung cancer and techniques for treating pulmonary air leakage. His major research focuses are thoracic surgery, lung cancer, robotic surgery, and video-assisted thoracic surgery. Connect with Dr. Takase on ResearchGate or ORCID.

“Tackling various clinical issues encountered in daily practice is essential for providing a better treatment to patients,” says Dr. Takase and he believes that academic writing is one of the “small stones” which pile up to be the foundation for better medical care in the future. Although academic writing takes up a lot of time and effort, he enjoys contributing to the “small stones” for building up the “big castle” via sharing the findings through academic writing.

In order to make sure the topic of writing is up-to-date and able to generate new insights to the field, Dr. Takase thinks it is very important to read enormously through various articles in leading journals; JTD is one of the key journals that he would always check on. He would also do relevant searching on PubMed or in academic papers for questions to be further investigated.

To Dr. Takase, the most challenging part of doing research is to construct the original design and to plan the ways for obtaining relevant data to prove the hypothesis. He believes data sharing is crucial in the academic field as this can lead to increased citations and thus facilitate communication among researchers worldwide.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Edward D. Chan

Dr. Edward D. Chan is a pulmonologist at the Rocky Mountain Regional Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, USA.  He also conducts research on the immune aspects of tuberculosis and non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado.  He was born in Rangoon (Yangon), Burma (Myanmar).  He emigrated from Burma to the United States in 1967 when he was young.

Dr. Chan basically likes writing scholarly articles, be it a research paper or clinical case reports. He thinks writing itself makes one learn and remember the subject much more than simply reading about it.  With the hope that the published piece of writing would also help clinicians in their care of patients, he keeps on being an academic writer in spite of the hectic schedule of a physician. He also believes writing would keep one up-to-date as one needs to search for articles during the process. Attending meetings is essential for developing topics or ideas for writing as one can always learn from others. And as a personal practice, Dr. Chan would make notes for himself on various topics in pulmonary medicine and critical care as well as tuberculosis and NTM.  Whenever he reads an article in a journal or even an email, he would summarize the findings of that paper in his notes.  He thinks that can save time in the long term.

In terms of a good academic paper, Dr. Chan emphasizes that good grammar and syntax are essential as readers would be frustrated if he/she requires to read a sentence several times in order just to understand it. And for research papers, he prefers to have the data figures presented with extreme clarity, as readers can then grasp the essential message of the paper by just simply looking at the figures and reading the figure legends. He also points out the importance of the title, abstract, and the conclusion as often readers do not have time to read the entire paper.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Kanokpan Ruangnapa

Dr. Kanokpan Ruangnapa is a faculty staff and pediatric pulmonologist at the Division of Pulmonology, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand. She did her MD training at Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, and completed her post-graduate pediatric research fellowship at the Asthma Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Ohio, USA. Her research interests are clinical research focusing on pulmonary disorders in children, pediatric asthma/wheezing disorders in particular; and respiratory viruses and respiratory critical care medicine.

Dr. Ruangnapa has presented a research on the topic of “Treatment and outcomes of chylothorax in children”. When being asked of the process of coming up with the topic, she points out that chylothorax is still one of the challenging problems in pediatric practice, especially in hospitals with limited resources. While the mortality of this condition is quite low, it can cause serious morbidities and prolonged hospitalization. Conservative treatment by dietary modification is the mainstay treatment in her hospital, as in many institutes around the world. She and her team were interested in figuring out, over the past two decades, how good were the chylothorax treatment outcomes in her institute and what were the significant complications worth to be re-evaluated for outcome improvements in the future.

When discussing the difficulties encountered in preparing a paper, Dr. Ruangnapa thinks that retrospective studies can be difficult for doing analysis because they often involve heterogeneous, incomplete and/or unorganized data recording. However, these data reflect real-world practice, which are not influenced by a study protocol or monitoring, and thus making it worth investigating. She emphasizes that one has to “clean” the data as much as possible to make sure the results are as accurate as possible.

Lastly, Dr. Ruangnapa shares some tips for conducting research. She thinks the most critical step is to begin with a clear research question with a well-recognized focus. Then, keep on that track. And when doing the analysis and the conclusion, double question if the presented materials can address the main objective of the research. She believes one of the authorship responsibilities is to present verifiable research and thus data sharing is mandatory from her point of view. She emphasizes the protection of personal information is important though. Sharing research data increases the opportunity for receiving relevant comments and suggestions, leading to improvement in both academic writing and clinical practice.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Michelle H. Lee

Dr. Michelle H. Lee is currently completing her third, and final year of Hematology and Medical Oncology fellowship at Boston Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, where she also serves as Chief Fellow. She received her medical degree at Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina. While her primary focus is caring patients with hematologic malignancies, she is committed to improving the care of vulnerable or marginalized patient populations by using clinical research to investigate any unanswered questions encountered in clinical care. Her research aims to understand the impact of sociodemographic disparities on cancer treatment outcomes.

Dr. Lee thinks academic writing is essential in the scientific and medical community. It is a means to effectively communicate and convey emerging insights within the field. It can provoke critical thinking and potentially inspire new questions to be answered and studies to be investigated. As an author for academic writing, Dr. Lee always bears in mind the target audience. She would make sure the writing is approachable, clear, and concise. She explains, “Author must be familiar with the already existing literature, before preparing to write a paper. It is important to understand how, and why the work you are producing might be making a difference or providing new insight. We have to ensure that there is sound clinical question – one that can be examined in an unbiased manner through rigorous study design, data collection, and analysis. The goal is to make a positive impact on not only the academic community, but also on delivery of patient care and optimizing therapy and outcomes for our patients.”

Although writing definitely can be time consuming and challenging, Dr. Lee is inspired to write because, she thinks, as a physician, there is nothing more exciting than reading an article which inspires her to try a new treatment and think about a patient in a different light, or provokes her to become a better clinician investigator and a patient care provider. She writes and conducts research in hopes that she would one day also be able to inspire others to think critically, even for one second about their clinical practice. While she admits the process may not be easy, she believes it may make a small impact in the scientific community.

On the other hand, Dr. Lee highlights that disclosure of Conflict of Interest (COI) is important because credibility is what is at stake. She emphasizes that research and writing should be as objective as possible, and it should uphold the highest ethical standards. She thinks disclosing COI may be a way to maintain trust and reputation of the writers and researchers.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Ory Wiesel

Dr. Ory Wiesel serves as the Director of the newly formed Thoracic and Esophageal Surgery Division at the Baruch-Padeh Poriya Medical Center of the North, affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine in Galilee, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. He completed his general surgery residency at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel; then moved to Boston and completed thoracic surgery fellowship in the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, under the mentorship of the world leaders in lung and esophageal surgery. He then moved to New York and joined the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Maimonides Medical Center, where he was focusing on serving minimally invasive, robotic, endoscopic esophageal and thoracic surgery. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was appointed as the Director of a dedicated COVID-19 ICU and studied the effect of COVID-19 barotrauma and the use of hyperbaric oxygen on COVID-19 pneumonia. Dr. Wiesel embraces innovation and new surgical techniques, among his research topics of interest are surgery in the elderly, near-infrared (NIR) image guided surgery, 3D models in the peri-operative setting as well as combined approach for diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. He developed small animal model for esophageal cancer and is interested in developing techniques for esophageal transplantation. Connect with Dr. Wiesel on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Dr. Wiesel thinks a good academic paper should be concise in nature; and contribute new and innovative data or ideas to the current body of literature. In addition, the paper should be able to revise the previous known knowledge, describe in detail the hypothesis and the academic methods that have been used, and highlight the results in a way that the journal readership would understand, remember and be able to implement in future practice. For Dr. Wiesel himself, depending on the paper objective, he would try to realize what is the take home message he would like to provide to the readers with his paper. “If this is a scientific original research topic, I work on validating my data and on presenting the data in the most accurate way I can. In a review manuscript or a book chapter, I am trying to revise the known data as much as I can and come up with practical take home message to the readers,” exemplifies he.

Dr. Wiesel believes academic writing is the best way to keep oneself stay up-to-date, fresh in mind and innovative for both the professional and academic career. He personally likes reading, exploring and coming up with new ideas. In addition, he thinks guiding residents and fellows through a manuscript writing is exciting. Research is the way to enhance surgical knowledge, explore new horizons and topics and keep in touch with the scientific community across the world. The excitement with every paper that is being accepted and finally published motivates him further to the next project.

On the topic of data exchange and sharing in scientific writing, Dr. Wiesel thinks that is the essence of science. The explosion of technology and the introduction of artificial intelligence move the scientific community to new horizons. Data sharing and collaboration among researchers across the globe push the boundaries, bring experts from different fields and finally make it easier to share knowledge and create innovation. He explains, “The best example is the way the medical and scientific communities joined forces and shared data and knowledge in the fight against the COVID19 pandemic.”

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Piotr Skrzypczak

Dr. Piotr Skrzypczak, MD, currently works at the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the Poznan University of Medical Sciences and did postgraduate studies in Biostatistics at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. After graduation, he began his residency training in thoracic surgery, initially working in general surgery departments in Poland district hospitals in Środa Wielkopolska and Kościan. Dr. Skrzypczak is passionate about ultrasound, which he tries to apply to many clinical issues, including lung imaging. His latest research focused on possible predictors of bronchopleural fistula formation, various possibilities of reducing the incidence of the bronchopleural fistula, long-term quality of life after thoracic resections, and the issue of complications in thoracic surgery in patients after Covid-19. In addition, he investigated the ability of Google Trends to predict epidemiological phenomena and global interest in health topics. Learn more about Dr. Skrzypczak at ResearchGate.

JTD: Why did you choose to publish with us?

Dr. Skrzypczak: JTD is for me one of the essential journals on topics related to the chest issues. This journal focuses on a multitude of clinical topics related to treating chest diseases interestingly and broadly. An additional advantage is the high, very thorough level of reviews and published articles. I was encouraged to submit my articles to JTD by my chief and mentor, Professor Cezary Piwkowski, one of the pioneers of video-assisted thoracic surgery in Poland.

JTD: What motivates you to continue with scientific writing despite the hectic schedule of being a physician?

Dr. Skrzypczak: Science is above all my passion. Conducting research and scientific writing allows me to develop my creative work and motivates me to learn about other researchers' achievements. I like conducting research, especially dealing with statistics and writing. Scientific writing gives me much satisfaction because it allows sharing discoveries with others.

JTD: How to avoid bias in presenting a research work?

Dr. Skrzypczak: To avoid bias and many other scientific writing mistakes, the most crucial step is to have a well-done prewriting. It does not only allow you to get to know the subject thoroughly but also to prepare you to get acquainted with the achievements of other researchers. As a certified statistician, a deep understanding of statistical analysis helps a lot - it allows, as early as at the planning stage, the anticipation of many problems that may arise from bias. But the most important thing is to love science - think scientifically and analyze your own ideas over and over again.

JTD: Can you share your point of view on data sharing in research writing?

Dr. Skrzypczak: I believe that data sharing is one of the most excellent benefits of recent years. Sharing knowledge and achievements play a pivotal role not only in the theoretical assumption but also in clinical terms. Scientific writing is a process that a scientist learns and develops throughout his life, not only by attending courses but also by reading the papers of others, writing his articles, and finally by critically analyzing the reviewers' comments. And the availability of the relevant data plays a key role in the learning process.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Yoon-Mi Shin

Dr. Yoon Mi Shin is the Associate Professor and the Director at the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Chungbuk National University Hospital, South Korea. She is also the Director of Medical Intensive Care Unit at the hospital. She completed her fellowship at the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division (Clinical) at Asan Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea, and Ph.D at Chungbuk National University College of Medicine, South Korea. Her focus of research is on pulmonology and critical care medicine. One of her recent projects is on the topic of artificial intelligence on intensive care unit.

Speaking of the role of academic writing plays in science, Dr. Shin thinks human being since ancient time has a practice of recording the knowledge, information or history, etc. via writing. Those records help evolve and develop the human society by sharing useful information. In the field of medicine, there are so many variables and rare cases that cannot be explained by simple causal relationship. Many scientists make effort to innovate on various medications, devices or interventions. Clinicians nowadays should obtain the updated medical information and pioneer a better treatment strategy for the patients. This makes academic writing important as through it, updated information can be shared and convincing evidence supporting one’s hypothesis in science can be found. Dr. Shin thinks academic writing is the basis for the development in science.

Having been a doctor of over 20 years, Dr. Shin have met some rare and difficult cases of which she would like to share the experiences and discuss with other experienced physicians. For some clinical issues, she would also like to get statistical data for analysis in order to help establishing a better clinical practice with an objective ground. These keep motivating her to continue being an academic writer. And in order to keep her work up-to-date, she would conduct extensive background or literature search on previous data and published journals before making the research plan. As for the point to note before publishing a work, she thinks writers have to pay extra attention to the issue of Conflict of Interest (COI) as that can impact the reliability of the whole work.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Yojiro Yutaka

Yojiro Yutaka, MD, PhD, graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan in 2004. He completed his surgical residency training in Kitano Hospital and Otsu Red Cross Hospital from 2004 to 2014. He proceeded to a PhD course in Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, and investigated the field of regenerative medicine using biomaterial, and minimally invasive surgery. He won a prize in the 24th European Conference on General Thoracic Surgery in 2016. After obtaining the PhD in 2018, he became an assistant professor at the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Kyoto University. Now he works with Professor Hiroshi Date in Kyoto University and is receiving advanced surgical trainings including lung cancer surgery requiring extended resection and transplantation. His research interests include lung cancer, minimally invasive thoracic surgery, regenerative medicine (artificial trachea, biomaterial), bronchoscopy, lung transplantation, and surgical simulation and training. Learn more about Dr. Yutaka here.

In clinical practice, Dr. Yutaka thinks we should update our knowledge regarding clinical and research field to select and provide the best treatment to patients. A good academic paper contains novel information and review of some previous information and established methods. Academic writing for us, is not only a way for acquiring new academic knowledge, but it also leads to the sharing of knowledge and the formation of common property. We should correspond to the literatures, and make the best use of them in the clinical practice.

To avoid biases in writing academic paper, Dr. Yutaka points out that we have to provide objective descriptions based on quantitative considerations, and avoid subjectivity. We should objectively evaluate the results obtained in the study, and identify the limitations and future issues to overcome. Study design is also important to correctly understand the results. Retrospective studies can contain various biases but they reflect real world practice. To answer the clinical questions, a prospective study should be conducted to avoid biases which can mislead proper conclusions.

Data sharing should be encouraged within the scientific community but it requires a great deal of effort. Dr. Yutaka thinks data sharing can improve the visibility as a researcher, attract new collaborations, and allow for verification of the results obtained in our research. Sharing research data increases the opportunity for receiving relevant comments and suggestions, which can improve future academic writing and clinical practice.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Hitoshi Igai

Dr. Igai is an Assistant Director at Japanese Red Cross Maebashi Hospital, Gunma, Japan. He is a Board Certified Surgeon of Japan Surgical Society and Japanese Association for Chest Surgery. He graduated and received his medical degree from Kagawa Medical School in 2002. Further on, he obtained a PhD at Faculty of Medicine of Kagawa University  in 2009. He served as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Toronto General Hospital, Research Institute, University Health Network between April 2016 and March 2017. His research interests include all aspects of benign and malignant pulmonary, pleural, chest wall, and mediastinal disease. His current research focuses on Minimally Invasive Surgery, especially on uniportal VATS or Pulmonary Segmentectomy. He has published over 130 papers on these topics. Learn more about Dr.Igai here and connect with him on Twitter.

Dr. Igai thinks academic writing is necessary for researchers to constructively compose and share opinions and findings with expertise around the world. He points out that academic writing provides channel such as peer review for researchers to re-evaluate the quality of the work, and this allows us to move on and to improve. As an academic writer, Dr. Igai thinks it is necessary to have the ability to summarize the questions encountered in daily practice, and to always be aware of what kind of data collection and analysis is necessary to objectively evaluate and solve the questions. Repeating the process would make it easier to construct the paper. He further explains, “To put it more precisely, when we have a clinical question, we should formulate a hypothesis to confirm it, think of a method to prove it, and finally construct the introduction.” In addition, the ability to identify appropriate statistical methods is also necessary for being a productive academic writer.

Speaking of data sharing in research presentation, Dr. Igai supports the reveal of relevant scientific data for the advancement of the scientific community. He thinks guidelines such as STROBE and CONSORT help standardize academic writing and ensure appropriate methods are being applied.

Despite the hectic schedule of being a medical practitioner, Dr. Igai enjoys contributing to academic writing. He would like to share with other thoracic surgeons around the world of what he is doing and that motivates him to move on.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Maxens Decavèle

Dr. Maxens Decavèle, MD, after a medical residency in respiratory medicine, is specialized in critical care and has accumulated 5-year senior experience in the Respiratory and Critical Care Division at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France (under the coaching of Prof. Alexandre Demoule). He has been an Associate Professor since 2022 and is also a PhD student at Sorbonne University under the coaching of Prof. Thomas Similowski currently. He conducts fundamental and clinical studies in respiratory neurophysiology. His main research topics are dedicated to the development of tools to assess respiratory suffering in its multiple dimensions and inferring dyspnea in noncommunicative patients in the ICU setting. Besides these physiological works around dyspnea, he also focuses on acute respiratory failure in the immunocompromised patients, especially in solid cancer patients (e.g. lung cancer or brain tumors). He has also developed skills and interests in thoracic imaging in the critically ill patients.

Dr. Decavèle thinks academic writing is the most important channel of data sharing with the community. Academic writing requires synthesis of evidence, organization of thought, simplicity in the presentation of results and messages to reach the maximum number of readers. Academic writing endorses a pedagogical role and it has to be sufficiently transparent as everyone should be able to reproduce any published work. He thinks the fascinating point in scientific writing is that it always begins with a clinical story, a patient history memory. He further explains, “From an idea, observed at patient's bed, comes a project, a collaboration, providing clinical messages that we can exchange with peers and colleagues. Scientific writing allows and should always allow us to test our intuition. Paradoxically, academic requires sometimes creativity.”

Speaking of conflicts of interest (COI), Dr. Decavèle believes it may have a very strong influence on the research results and data presentation. He thinks even negative studies funded by industry should always be published. And each author should declare his/her own personal COI explicitly to help readers for a better result interpretation.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Kuang-Yih Wang

Dr. Wang graduated from National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan, with a master’s degree in Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Sciences. He is a strong entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of working in the biotechnology industry, skilled in hydrogen medical technology, stem cell therapy, human tissue bank, vaccines, GMP, medicinal chemistry, and patent law. He served at Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Chairman office of National Health Research Institutes and Chairman office of Healthbanks Biotech Group. He is the founder of HOHO Biotech. Connect with Dr. Wang on LinkedIn.

Dr. Wang and his team do academic writing to promote the latest Hydrogen Medical Technology which he deems a novel technology in the medical field. It can be an adjuvant to anti-oxidative stress, anti-inflammation, regulate cell death, and boost mitochondrial function. Hydrogen can decrease drug toxicity and increase drug efficacy, making it a novel adjuvant to all the medicine. He and his team would like to boost medical advancement with the use of this technology for the next generation.

Speaking of avoiding bias in presenting a research work, Dr. Wang thinks it is important to have a good design with both the positive and negative control. It would also be beneficial to invite clinical experts to participate in and offer comments. And the remaining is to keep on repeating the investigation process. Being an academic writer, practice is necessary and it is always a good idea to have some mentors for guidance and inspiration. And for a paper to be deemed valid, the application of institutional review board (IRB) approval is crucial. With that, it guarantees the experiments involved were respecting the regulations and caring about the subjects under investigation, be they the animals or the patients.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Giuseppe Cardillo

Giuseppe Cardillo, MD, FRCS, FETCS, is the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at San Camillo Forlanini Hospital, Rome, Italy, and Professor of Surgery at UniCamillus University of Health Sciences in Rome, Italy. He is the President of the Italian Society of Thoracic Surgery (SIET), Chairman of ERS Thoracic Group and Chairman of EACTS Pulmonary Solitary Nodules Task Force. He is also the Co-chairman of the ERS-EACTS-ESTS Pneumothorax Task Force, EACTS-ESTS Ground Glass Opacity Task Force, and the ERS Benign Pleural Effusion Task Force. He is a member of International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) Staging and Prognostic Factors Committee (SPFC) and is involved in lymph node staging. In the past, he had been the Locum Consultant in Thoracic Surgery at Leicester University Hospital, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, UK, and Fellow Thoracic Surgeon at Gothenburg University, Sahlgrenska Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden. He is mostly involved in thoracic oncology (lung, pleural and thymic tumors), and in minimally invasive surgery (either VATS or RATS). He is also a key opinion leader in Spontaneous Pneumothorax.

Dr. Cardillo thinks academic writing is important for the dissemination of opinions and conduction of research. It is preeminent in the CV of every doctor, either physician or surgeon. Science needs academic writing and patients need journal articles. He emphasizes that journal articles deserve dedication and passion because they let scientists or researchers overcome borders and be able to disseminate thoughts throughout the world. Dr. Cardillo keeps himself up-to-date not only for his patients but also for his fellows and for his papers. When speaking of disclosure of Conflicts of Interests (COI), he points out that it represents the cornerstone of independent research and it should not alter the quality of the research.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Gin Tsen Chai

Dr. Gin Tsen Chai is a senior consultant chest physician and intensivist at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore. His main clinical and research interest is interstitial lung disease, and he currently leads the interstitial lung disease service in the hospital. He is also a visiting consultant to the Singaporean National Heart Centre’s SingHealth Lung Transplant Programme. He is the principal investigator in various local and multi-centre clinical trials related to interstitial lung disease. He is also a keen educator, being the core faculty member of the hospital’s Respiratory Medicine Senior Residency Programme, and he is an adjunct lecturer for the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Speaking of the preparation work for conducting a paper, Dr. Chai thinks it has to start with a good research question, which should be clinically relevant so that the readers can relate to it in their daily clinical practice. In addition, the research methodology has to be sound, and authors should prioritize which results they want to present in the main paper and which results should be in the supplement, with clear tables and figures to illustrate their points. He further points out that the discussion should be clear and be able to state the importance of the research and how it addresses the research gap, with appropriate citations of others' work. He also shares that it is useful to create a draft of the main points before writing the manuscript so that it is focused and concise.

In order to ensure one’s writing is critical, Dr. Chai thinks one needs to first learn to think critically. He explains, “When reading a manuscript, it is important not to accept the conclusions without questioning them. You can learn more about how other people interpret a paper by reading editorials or letters to the editor regarding that particular manuscript.” He further elaborates that feedback from peer reviewers will also help see the research in a different light. One also needs to have a deep understanding and awareness of the limitations and biases of the research topic. A good grasp of the literature surrounding the research topic will allow one to identify areas of agreement and controversy which can be incorporated into the manuscript. Arguments have to be clear and supported by evidence with appropriate citations.

From an author’s perspective, Dr. Chai thinks reporting guidelines help improve the quality of reporting and ensure a clear presentation of what is conducted in a study. It is easier for readers and reviewers to assess the strengths and limitations of a study when reporting guidelines are followed.

Dr. Chai finally shares with us that he is with a background where English is not his first language, and thus academic writing forces him to improve his English language. He is grateful to his wife and colleagues for helping him edit manuscripts of which they find “boring”, and he has learnt along the way to write with more confidence.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Gabriella Kecskes

Dr. Gabriella Kecskes is the consultant at the Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care of the University of Pécs, Hungary. At the moment, she is preparing to defend her doctoral thesis. Her special interest is the effect of mechanical ventilation on lung tissue both in general anesthesia and in intensive care.

In order to improve the quality of patient care, Dr. Kecskes thinks it is necessary to constantly increase theoretical knowledge and practical experience. This process can be systematized by creating and implementing clinical research projects and preparing publications.  In this sense, academic research also serves the improvement of patient care. She further points out that we are currently witnessing the explosion of information in all fields of science, so it is difficult to navigate through the flood of publications. She thinks academic writing should be not an end in itself. The goal is that the growth of the common knowledge ultimately serves better patient care.

To avoid bias in presenting a research work, Dr. Kecskes thinks a good study design is fundamental and must be followed very strictly. Statistical skills are required to analyze the collected data, but the most important thing is to listen to the opinions and criticism of colleagues independent of the research project.  She mentions that clinical research requires natural curiosity, an unwavering commitment to the benefits of the patients, persistence, accuracy, and the humble acceptance of the facts. All those become the qualities of a good academic writer.

Speaking of the institutional review board (IRB) approval for a research paper, Dr. Kecskes thinks the IRB is a crucial factor in the preparation of the research plan, its implementation is the assurance of the quality. For this reason, she thinks the IRB serves the interest in the continuation of high-quality research work.

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)

Biniam Kidane

Dr. Biniam Kidane is a thoracic and foregut surgeon with a special interest on minimally-invasive and endoscopic approach to benign and malignant thoracic/foregut disease. He was invited by the University of Manitoba, Canada, to establish an advanced diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy program for thoracic diseases. He completed his MD at the University of Toronto and General Surgery Residency at Western University, Canada. He then completed thoracic surgery residency at the University of Toronto, Canada. He has a research interest on peri-operative care, and with a major interest on lung-protective ventilation during thoracic surgery. His translational research program focuses on understanding the role of intraoperative inflammation in development of short- and long-term complications as well as cancer recurrence. He also has a research interest on health services and outcomes research related to esophageal and lung cancers specifically; these focus on patient quality of life (and patient-reported outcomes), oncologic outcomes and the utilization of healthcare resources. Learn more about Dr. Kidane here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Speaking of a good academic paper, Dr. Kidane thinks it should be one that has clear aims or purposes of which an answerable question has been set up, and there are robust methods applied to answer the question, and with results being interpreted by overstepping on the inferences. In the process of preparing an academic paper, he points out although there are many different approaches and it varies as per different subjects or fields, the most important aspect is to really focus on very clearly articulating the question and the aim of the paper. This will then help author clarify the focus and the theoretical framework.

With regard to data sharing in scientific writing, Dr. Kidane thinks in most situations, as long as sensitive information and the participants can be protected, it is the duty as scientists to share the knowledge they have gained so that the community of scientists can build on knowledge together for the ultimate betterment of society, for now and for the future. Although academic writing takes a lot of time and effort, he, however, finds it very gratifying and also very helpful for them as scientists to go through the exercise of describing and disseminating the findings. He shares, “Painful as any growth process can be, the writing and peer-review process serve to improve the research.”

(By Masaki Lo, Brad Li)