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Thematic Series

World Aids Day

December 1st marks World AIDS Day, a globally recognized occasion dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic and mourning those we have lost. 

This cross-journal collection focuses on exploring the effects and consequences of long-term HIV infection, advances in treatment, epidemiological studies and global health, and more.

Retroviruses & the Microbiome

The focus of this issue is to move beyond associations to mechanisms and functional interactions, including both replication-competent and endogenous retroviruses, human and non-human hosts, and implications for homeostasis, disease and/or therapeutics.

Deadline for submissions: 20 May 2024

The multifaceted regulation of transcription in animal and human retroviruses, endogenous retroviruses

Retroviruses are enveloped viruses with a capsid containing two copies of the viral genomic positive sense single-stranded RNA. Retroviruses are responsible for a broad range of diseases in animals and humans, the most common of which is the development of cancers.

HIV infection of uncommon host cells

This collection aims to provide a state of the art critical evaluation of HIV infection of atypical cells, their role in pathogenesis and the challenges that they might present when developing and evaluating approaches towards an HIV cure.

Applications of CRISPR-Cas and genome editing techniques for established and emerging infectious diseases

The simplicity and broad applicability of targeted and programmable genome editing approaches, including but not limited to those based on CRISPR-Cas9, raise the possibility of a new way to treat a variety of infections, as well as numerous therapeutic strategies for common diseases. This series aims to build a collection of articles that will highlight current developments in this area. 

Previous Thematic Series

The Capsid Protein, a Master Regulator of HIV-1 Replication
Edited by Felipe Diaz-Griffero

HIV Intervention Using Mouse Models for Viruses
Edited by J Victor Garcia-Martinez and Angela Wahl

Endogenous Retroviruses in Evolution and Disease
Cross-journal collection

HTLV-1: a re-emerging human pathogen
Edited by Genoveffa Franchini and Cynthia Masison

Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) against HIV
Edited by Rogier Sanders and Marit van Gils

Measuring HIV-1 persistence in vivo
Edited by Ben Berkhout and Alexander Pasternak

Disruptive technologies in retrovirus research
Edited by Johnson Mak


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Announcing the launch of In Review

Retrovirology, in partnership with Research Square, is now offering In Review. Authors choosing this free optional service will be able to:

  • Share their work with fellow researchers to read, comment on, and cite even before publication
  • Showcase their work to funders and others with a citable DOI while it is still under review
  • Track their manuscript - including seeing when reviewers are invited, and when reports are received 

Best Retrovirology Paper by a Young Scientist Award 2023

William McFadden Alexa Snyder

The Best Retrovirology Paper by a Young Scientist Award was introduced in 2020, to award young researchers who have published a paper in Retrovirology in the previous 2 years that made a significant contribution to the field.

It is with great pleasure that we announce the winners for 2023: William McFadden and Alexa Snyder. The winning Retrovirology paper is available here.

William McFadden grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with bachelor degrees in Molecular Biology and Political Science in 2019. He is now a Ph.D. candidate in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology (BCDB) program at Emory University, conducting NRSA F31–supported dissertation research in the Sarafianos lab. For his dissertation, he is studying the mechanisms of HIV-1 capsid assembly with various antiviral compounds; since writing the “Rotten to the Core” paper, which was his first review article, he has developed a large interest in scientific writing and communications.

Alexa Snyder, a graduate student at Emory University, conducts research in Dr. Stefan Sarafianos' laboratory. Her work focuses on exploring the mechanisms behind HIV-1 resistance and hypersensitivity to various long-acting antivirals.

More Retrovirology news can be found here

Johnson Mak, PhD, Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Australia 
Susan Ross, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

Editor Emeritus
Andrew Lever, PhD, University of Cambridge (Emeritus Professor), UK

Founding Editor
Kuan-Teh Jeang, MD, PhD, National Institutes of Health, USA (1958-2013)

Why publish your article in Retrovirology?

  • We welcome research from across the entire field of retroviruses, supporting the research community with a progressive and inclusive approach. 
  • Ranked among the top virology journals worldwide, we publish high quality research and expert reviews across basic science, translational, and clinical research.
  • Our expert and highly responsive team of Editors provides excellent service throughout, with rapid evaluation and publication of research with broad and lasting impact.
  • Founded in 2004, we are one of the leading influencers in HIV/AIDS and retrovirus research, reaching a large global audience.

Aims and scope

Retrovirology is an open access, online journal that publishes stringently peer-reviewed, high-impact articles on host-pathogen interactions, fundamental mechanisms of replication, immune defenses, animal models, and clinical science relating to retroviruses. Retroviruses are pleiotropically found in animals. Well-described examples include avian, murine and primate retroviruses. 

Two human retroviruses are especially important pathogens. These are the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, and the human T-cell leukemia virus, HTLV. HIV causes AIDS while HTLV-1 is the etiological agent for adult T-cell leukemia and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis. Retrovirology aims to cover comprehensively all aspects of human and animal retrovirus research.

Editor profiles

Johnson Mak, Editor-in-Chief

Professor Mak is a native of Hong Kong who undertook his undergraduate and post-graduate training at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. During his PhD Johnson worked with Professor Lawrence Kleiman at the McGill AIDS Centre studying packaging of primer tRNA into HIV. He subsequently moved to Melbourne, Australia to continue work on HIV assembly at the Burnet Institute under the guidance of Professor Suzanne Crowe. He is currently a Professor at the Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Gold Coast. He has a broad research portfolio in HIV having studied primer tRNAs in retroviruses, genomic RNA packaging and dimerization, cholesterol and lipids in HIV, viral-host interactions, imaging of HIV and analysis of recombination and mutation in HIV using next generation sequencing. His team pioneered the production of full-length recombinant HIV Gag for biochemical and biophysical analyses of HIV assembly. Recently Johnson and his team have described a pre-entry priming process for HIV.

Susan Ross, Editor-in-Chief

Susan R. Ross, PhD is Sweeney Basic Sciences Professor of and Head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the UIC College of Medicine. Dr. Ross's research interests are in the genetics of host-virus interactions, particularly retroviruses and new world arenaviruses. Dr. Ross was on the faculty in Biochemistry at UIC from 1983-94. In 1994, she moved to the Microbiology Department at the University of Pennsylvania, where she also served as Associate Dean for Biomedical Graduate Studies from 2002-12. In 2015, she moved to UIC to assume the Head position.

 Dr. Ross has served on numerous review panels and editorial boards, including the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee of the NIH, Senior Editor for the Journal of Virology, Section Editor of PLOS Pathogens and on the Editorial Committee of the Annual Review of Virology. Dr. Ross has received several awards for teaching and research, including the ASM Wellcome Visiting Professorship, the ASM International Professorship and the Center for Retrovirus Research Distinguished Research Career Award (Ohio State University). Dr. Ross was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2002 and an AAAS Fellow in 2009.

Annual Journal Metrics

  • Citation Impact 2023
    Journal Impact Factor: 2.7
    5-year Journal Impact Factor: 3.1
    Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP): 0.707
    SCImago Journal Rank (SJR): 0.845

    Speed 2023
    Submission to first editorial decision (median days): 7
    Submission to acceptance (median days): 83

    Usage 2023
    Downloads: 932,795
    Altmetric mentions: 667