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Rachel Pei Chin Won

Associate Editor
Nature Photonics, Japan
Country of origin: Malaysia

What I do.
My main responsibility is to ensure that the journal publishes only top-quality research in all areas of photonics. To do this, I assess and select high-quality work for peer review, and make decisions on publication. I also play an important role in shaping the journal's content by giving ideas on Focus issues, reviews, commentaries, and Technology Focus issues. I commission and edit news articles, and write research highlights, interviews, editorials, and press releases. Attending conferences and visiting research institutions worldwide are also essential to keep me up-to-date with the latest photonics research progress and strengthen links with the scientific community.

What I find exciting.
The editorial role is intellectually very stimulating, as I am always exposed to the cutting edge of photonics research through the nature of manuscript assessments, lab visits, and conferences. This allows me to discover not only the depth but also the breadth of photonics research from all around the world. It is also satisfying to contribute to the photonics field by driving research progress and to communicate science with the public.

What I wish someone had told me.
Opportunity favors only the prepared mind. Always be prepared and equip yourself with multiple skills, such as writing, language, and interpersonal and management skills. Never hesitate to learn new things, because you might need them one day. When opportunity turns up, do your best to seize it. Believe in yourself and then have courage to aim high to achieve your goals. You will never regret what you tried, only what you didn't.

[Photo credit Chris Gilloch]