Rebeccah Lijek

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences; on leave fall 2020

Rebeccah Lijek is a molecular biologist who investigates how interactions between microorganisms and the immune system can lead to diverse outcomes such as pathogen clearance and protection or chronic inflammation and tissue damage.

Her research examines the sexually transmitted bacterial pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis and how it triggers immunopathology in the female genital tract. She welcomes students interested in using molecular biology, cell culture, and mouse models to study the intersection of microbiology, immunology, and women’s health. 

Recent Campus News

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Rebeccah Lijek

Overworked and overlooked over the holidays

In a New York Times article, Mount Holyoke College assistant professor Rebeccah Lijek describes the pressures faced by junior researchers in academia.

Rebeccah Lijek, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Study reveals cracks in peer review

Study from Mount Holyoke professor reveals that nearly half of junior researchers contribute anonymously to peer review.

Recent Publications

Mcdowell G, Niziolek CA, & Lijek RS. (2020). Practical changes to reduce ghostwriting in peer review. MetaArXiv.

McDowell, G.S., Knutsen, J.D., Graham, J.M. [MHC '19], Oelker, S.K. [MHC LITS], and Lijek, R.S. (2019) Co-reviewing and ghostwriting by early-career researchers in the peer review of manuscripts. eLife, 8:e48425.

Recent Honors

Lijek's research was the subject of an editorial in The Scientist by James L. Sherley, Exorcising Ghostwriting from Peer Review. In an invited response, Lijek published the essay Postdocs as Competent Peer Reviewers also in The Scientist. Her editorial summarizes for a lay audience the policy recommendations that she details in her recent academic manuscript, Practical changes to reduce ghostwriting in peer review.

Interviewed for articles in The Scientist, Inside Higher Ed, Science, Nature, and Physics Today about her recent publication (listed above) on making the peer review of manuscripts more equitable for early career researchers.