Nature Medicine's Year in Review

Nature Medicine looks back on another turbulent year, as well as forwards into 2022

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Looking back...

It is impossible to write about 2021 without mentioning the global pandemic that continues to rage. Journalist Paul Webster looked back on the past 12 months in our COVID-19 timeline of events.

You may be surprised to learn that there were plenty of scientific discoveries made in other fields, written up by Karen O'Leary in our Notable Advances of 2021.

In a lighter vein, we highlighted some key figures from the past year in our Yearbook, including COVID-19 communicators, Devi Sridhar and Pedro Hallal, and Star Trek actor (and real-life space tourist) William Shatner.

Looking forward...

As the pandemic continues, we asked Maria van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical Lead at the World Health Organisation to peer into her crystal ball and predict the pandemic in 2022 in her World View article.

We also asked leading researchers, including Linfa Wang from NUS Singapore, Malik Peiris at the University of Hong Kong, and John Nkengasong at Africa CDC to tell us about the 8 unanswered questions about the pandemic - what surprised them, and what do they still not understand about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, written up by journalist Mike May.

Away from COVID-19, journalist Carrie Arnold spoke to leading researchers to highlight 11 clinical trials to watch in 2022, from psilocybin (from magic mushrooms) for depression, to oncolytic viruses and CRISPR gene therapy.

I hope you enjoy our year in review and wish you all a productive and healthy (and less eventful) 2022...!

Image from COVID-19 timeline of events.

Ben Johnson

Magazine Editor, Nature Medicine, Springer Nature

I trained as a virologist, starting with an undergraduate degree in virology from the University of Warwick, UK. My PhD, in influenza virus genetics and immunoevasion, was from Public Health England and the University of Reading, UK, with Maria Zambon and Wendy Barclay. My research interests then moved to smallpox vaccines, viral ion channels and cell adhesion, while a postdoc at Imperial College London with Geoffrey Smith, FRS. I then joined open-access publisher BioMed Central in 2011 as an editor and then associate publisher and was Head of Communities & Engagement at Springer Nature from 2016, running the Nature Research Communities and other online engagement activities for researchers. I joined Nature Medicine in 2021, with responsibility for news and opinion content, and am based in the London office.