Laura Sands — a professor in the Center for Gerontology and the Department of Human Development, both in the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences — has been named editor-in-chief of Innovation in Aging. The peer-reviewed, online-only journal is the newest publication of the Gerontological Society of America, the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging.

The journal, to be published by Oxford University Press, will adopt an open-access model to enable broad dissemination of research findings on aging and the life course.

“I’m excited to play a role in launching an open-access journal that will rapidly disseminate transformative, interdisciplinary research that addresses 21st-century issues in aging,” Sands said. “These critical issues include understanding the complex interplay between biological, social, and environmental influences on aging; determining causes, preventive interventions, and effective treatments for age-related disease and disability; identifying opportunities to optimize health, well-being, and productivity through late life; and translating robust scientific findings into successful interventions and policies that reduce the burdens of aging for all.”

In editing the journal, Sands will be joined by two deputy editors-in-chief, Steven M. Albert, professor and chair of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences in the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, and J. Jill Suitor, a professor of sociology at Purdue University who received the 2014 Behavioral and Social Sciences Distinguished Career Award from the Gerontological Society of America.

“I look forward to working with the other Gerontological Society of America editors to increase opportunities to publish high-quality, novel research that expands the range of topics covered by the society’s other journals,” Sands said. Other Gerontological Society of America titles include The Gerontologist and The Journals of Gerontology, which have some of the highest impact factors in the field.

Innovation in Aging will place emphasis on novel conceptual and theoretical models of aging; evaluation of interventions, approaches, and policies; innovative research methods; interdisciplinary research that transfers concepts, methodologies, and interventions from other fields to studies of aging and the life course; and explorations of the factors and processes that affect outcomes during aging and the life course.

“We welcome contributions from scholars across a range of fields,” Sands said. “Aging is so complex and broadly encompassing that it touches on many disciplines, from the biomedical and health sciences to the arts and humanities, the social and psychological sciences, economics, business, law, political science, public policy, education, technology, engineering, and architecture.”

Sands’ own research focuses on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of care approaches for vulnerable older adults, including those with disabilities, those lacking sufficient health care, and those exposed to a disaster. She has published more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed journals yielding more than 300 citations annually and an h-index — a measure of scientific productivity and impact — of 33.

Sands holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in biostatistics, and a doctorate in quantitative psychology, all from the University of California, Berkeley.

The journal has begun welcoming manuscript submissions; author guidelines are available on its website.