Reviewer Spotlight: Dr. Gandhervin Kesavamoorthy

The quality of eNeuro depends on the effort that is generously contributed by our reviewers, who lend their expertise and time helping to ensure we publish great science. This Reviewer Recognition series introduces the research of selected reviewers, as well as their strategies for approaching peer review of a paper. Dr. Gandhervin Kesavamoorthy is currently a researcher in the School of Medicine, Department of Medicine at The University of Hong Kong, and was previously a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Ophthalmology at The University of Hong Kong. His research interest is to understand how parenchymal and peripheral signals modulate brain microglia during altered glucose availability and how changes in microglia metabolism exhibit response in the nervous system.

"I usually approach a review the same as I read any published paper. First and foremost, along with the title, read the abstract to get a complete picture of the author's concise points."


Ghandervin Kesavamoorthy, PhD

Tell us about your work. 

Metabolites act as intrinsic and extrinsic regulators for different physiological functions including the brain. My long-term goal is to understand altered metabolic events in the brain during pathology. With advancements in several neuroimaging methodologies, particularly positron emission tomography, it is well understood that brain metabolism relates to neuroinflammation during pathologies like schizophrenia and neurodegenerative diseases. Accordingly, the changes in microglia, the resident immune cell, is argued for the neuroinflammatory triggers. However, the metabolic cascades are not clearly understood and are constantly subjected to debate.

My interest is to understand how parenchymal and peripheral signals modulate brain microglia. We use glucose as primary metabolite to study how microglia elicit responsiveness. Recently our team identified using in-vitro polarized microglia that altered neuroinflammatory signature is associated with changes mediated by glycolytic shifts. I am looking forward to understanding the peripheral and parenchymal signals that limit metabolic shifts; and how these findings could advance our knowledge to define the working states of the brain. In addition to neuroscience research, I am also engaged in obesity related metabolic complications focusing on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and systemic glucose homeostasis.

How did you become interested in this line of research?

Although convincing evidence from genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic reports helped us to advance our knowledgebase, we do not understand how -omics determine the disease phenotype. Metabolic research emerged to fill these gaps in recent years. For example, during an extensive exercise, energy is depleted and replenished by nutrient consumption. How this energy conversion helps us to live healthy, and impaired biochemical responses induce pathologies, interested me to study about biochemical changes. With additional training in stroke and neurological illness I had an opportunity to narrow down my interest in microglia metabolism.

What do you do when not in the lab?

Hard, yet a realistic question for everyone in the scientific community. I spend time on outdoor activities, long drives and simple indoor physical training to refresh my mind. A short break is really worth it to think about. Also I spend time reading non-scientific articles to implement in everyday work, for example how to balance work-life and overcome difficult circumstances.

What advice would you share with new reviewers?

A key point I learned from my mentor in SfN's Reviewer Mentor Program and my career is to always think from the author’s or presenter's shoes. Of course, as reviewers, we are watchguards to identify flaws and statements that mislead transparent science, on the other hand support for a better understanding of the facts before bringing it to others. We are entitled as a reviewer to embrace and provide criticism for the author's work in a constructive approach without compromising scientific integrity.

How do you approach a review?

I usually approach a review the same as I read any published paper. First and foremost, along with the title, read the abstract to get a complete picture of the author's concise points. Next, I will focus on the significant statement, if it is available. This will help me to know what the importance is and need for the proposed study. Once I have a clear understanding of why the study was conducted, I will read the first and last paragraph of the discussion and conclusion, and finally finish my initial outlook with figures with legends. This helps me to understand the proposed outcome of the study or in other words the take home message. A short homework is also important if it is from a sub-specialty not related to my main core, at least a brief reading for recent reviews from the literature. These steps will prepare me with keys to navigate during the entire manuscript revision. If the manuscript is exactly as my specialty, it is very simple and straightforward. I will directly read through from the title to conclusion and make a note of the questions to prepare the review report.

What have you learned over the years that has made you an effective reviewer?

Throughout my review experience in addition to above mentioned points it is always hard to decide between "revision and rejection". Once you have completed a couple of reviews and follow eNeuro's consultation process I can assure that new graduates or reviewers definitely receive an excellent experience. Every review will help to navigate and learn the importance of effective reviewing. This experience complements young reviewers for excellent and fair evaluation policy. Importantly this is helpful while writing our own manuscripts, to present important findings and the hypothesis for the audience on a given subject.

Learn more:

eNeuro offers authors the choice to receive double-blind review.  Additionally, the Reviewing Editor and two reviewers will consult to reach a consensus on the decision and to draft a synthesis of the reviewers' comments explaining the decision. These review syntheses are published alongside each accepted paper.  Learn more about eNeuro's Review Process.

Category: Reviewer Recognition
Tags: Peer Review