Yannis C. Yortsos, dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, has been appointed editor-in-chief of PNAS Nexus, a prestigious, new journal published by the National Academy of Sciences in partnership with Oxford University Press. An open-access journal, PNAS Nexus focuses on innovative and interdisciplinary work across the biological, physical and social sciences, particularly engineering and the health sciences.
Yortsos, who previously served as deputy editor and later interim editor-in-chief of the publication, succeeds inaugural editor-in-chief Karen Nelson, former president of the J. Craig Venter Institute, or JCVI.
The USC Viterbi dean said he felt honored to head PNAS Nexus, a sister publication of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or PNAS, a premier international journal founded in 1914.
“I am humbled,” said Yortsos, the Zohrab A. Kaprielian Dean’s Chair in Engineering and Chester F. Dolley Chair in Petroleum Engineering . “This is the only journal that crosses over all three academies, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).”
“The world is moving increasingly faster. The disciplines have become convergent, and the problems and solutions are all multidisciplinary,” added Yortsos, who was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2008 – engineering’s highest honor – and who has served as a member of the NAE Council since 2017. “Having a new forum to promote these issues is needed and welcome.”
The PNAS Nexus’ editorial board includes members of NAS, NAE and NAM. All the journal’s articles are freely and publicly available to read and reuse.
Yortsos has some pretty lofty ambitions for the relatively new publication. “My goal is to make it the premier journal for multidisciplinary work,” he said.
NAS President Marcia McNutt said she and the academy welcome Yortsos’ stewardship of PNAS Nexus.
“The National Academy of Sciences is fortunate to have a leader with the exceptional scholarly reputation and commitment to scientific communication of Yannis Yortsos to guide the next phase of growth for this young journal,” she said.
Yortsos has made fundamental discoveries in fluid flow, transport and reactions in porous media. He has used statistical physics and applied mathematics to model the interaction of heterogeneity and physicochemical processes.
In 2009, along with colleagues at Duke University and Olin College, Yortsos co-founded the Grand Challenges Scholars Program, which aims to educate students to address the pressing grand challenges in engineering — ranging from making solar energy economical to engineering better medicines to reverse engineering the brain. Nearly 100 universities have adopted the program.
As a testament to the impact of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program, Yortsos and colleagues received the 2022 Gordon Prize of the NAE. The Gordon Prize recognizes academic leaders for the development of the best new educational approaches to engineering.
Published on December 9th, 2022
Last updated on December 9th, 2022