Reviewer Spotlight: Hoda Gebril

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. Hoda Gebril received her PhD from the University of Mississippi and MS from Mansoura University. She is currently a Research Assistant Professor at Rutgers University focusing on developing nano-based technology to combat neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer's.

"Reviewing articles always gives scientists the opportunity to learn new techniques and see how challenges are addressed by bright minds from around the globe."

Hoda Gebril, PhD

Tell us about your work. 

My research focuses on exploring therapeutic strategies to mitigate neuroinflammatory crosstalk, which contributes to the progression of neurodegenerative disorders. I employ cutting-edge technologies, such as nanoparticles, stem cells, and brain-like mimetic human organoids, to address this challenge. Recently, I disclosed our technology to Rutgers University as a provisional patent and co-correspondingly authored a publication in Translational Neurodegeneration (Jan 2024). With my first PI grant secured in 2019 from Legacy Health Institute, and the recent TechExpress grant (Jan 2024) as Principal Investigator from Rutgers University's innovation venture, I am dedicated to advancing research in this field. I became interested in this line of research since my postgraduate studies, particularly when I studied neurodegenerative disorders and learned about the irreversible damage they cause to the brain.

What do you do when not in the lab?

I am a mother of three beautiful sons, and part of my life is dedicated to my role as a mother, which I thoroughly enjoy. I also love cooking and exploring new recipes, feeling like I'm creating my own protocol for a dish that involves many steps of trial, error, and validation. Additionally, I am an active member of organizations that support students in STEM both in my homeland, Egypt, and in my community here in the US. I also love swimming and continually learning new things in my life.

What advice would you share with new reviewers?

When reviewing an article, I start by reading the abstract to ensure I understand it, paying special attention to the methods section of the abstract. I consider the methods to be the authors' significant effort translated into words. Next, I grasp the big picture from the introduction. The methods section is critical to me, so I spend extra time reading and understanding it. This gives me an idea of the quality of the work, encouraging me to read through to the discussion.

As a visual person, I then move on to the figures, making sure I understand them from the legends. This piques my curiosity and leads me to read the results, which I consider the crucial part of the story, and then to the discussion and conclusion.

I take notes, highlight text, and add comments to the PDF so I can write revisions from there.
Reviewing articles always gives scientists the opportunity to learn new techniques and see how challenges are addressed by bright minds from around the globe.

My advice to new reviewers is to read all parts of the article carefully. It's important to read additional background details to understand the concept and what others have done, enabling you to read with fairness and a critical eye.

Over the years as a reviewer, I have learned to value the science and the effort scientists put into writing a research article. It often takes me extra time to reject an article if it is not suitable for publication.

What is your experience as a reviewer with eNeuro's consultation review process?  

I admire the speed and transparency of the double-blind review process. eNeuro puts significant effort into this process, showing respect for the authors' time and work, which is not always offered by other journals.

Hoda Gebril, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Rutgers University
X/Twitter: @hodagebril

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