Writing Portfolio

This is a sampling of some of my science writing, which should give a sense of some of the areas I’ve covered and some of the publications in which my work has appeared. I’m happy to provide PDFs on request. You can also view my profile on Google Scholar.

If you have a potential assignment or would like to see some additional clips, please contact me.

Nature Biotechnology“Active machine learning helps drug hunters tackle biology”

A growing cadre of startups is pursuing iterative cycles of machine learning, wet-lab experimentation and human feedback to accelerate target drug discovery.

Lab Animal“Mobilizing animal models against a pandemic”

Animal models are aiding in efforts to understand how the SARS-CoV-2 virus causes disease — and how best to defeat it.

Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health“COVID-19 tradeoffs: Feeding others and staying fed”

Exploring challenges related to food security and worker safety during a pandemic.

Nature“Could liquid biopsies help deliver better treatment?”

Tests that capture tumour signatures in the blood have the potential to detect cancer before symptoms appear.

GEN“AI brings precision to cancer immunotherapy”

A growing number of researchers and startups are betting that the analytical capabilities of AI might be just what the field needs to release immunotherapy’s latent power.

Nature“How to build a genome”

A powerful set of molecular tools helps synthetic biologists to assemble DNA of different sizes, from the gene to the chromosome scale.

Nature Biotechnology“Companies seek slice of spatial imaging market”

Technologies to visualize and map gene expression in situ are creating a stir.

Nature“Cellular censuses to guide cancer care”

In the age of immunotherapy, cancer biologists are relying on a new generation of tools to learn how the interplay between tumours and immune cells shapes the course of disease.

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News“Custom CAR T Cells Made to Order”

Scientists are genomically engineering T cells to serve as antitumor ‘assassins’ and ‘medics’

Nature“Transparent tissues bring cells into focus for microscopy”

Techniques that render tissues as clear as glass and swell them to several times their original size are giving unprecedented access to the inner workings of biological systems.

Nature Methods“Organoids: the body builders”

Stem-cell-derived organoids offer increasingly sophisticated models for studying human development and disease, as well as powerful emerging tools for precision medicine.

Nature“How social scientists can help to shape climate policy”

Developing strategies to ensure that the ‘needs of the few’ do not outweigh those of the rest.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases“Partnering to promote research where it matters”

Efforts at scientific capacity-building in low- and middle-income countries are enabling major progress in the battle against infectious disease.

Lab Animal“An illuminating experience”

New methods are enabling neuroscientists to apply optogenetics to big brains.

Nature“An ace in the hole for DNA sequencing”

Offering long reads and rapidly improving accuracy, nanopore sequencing has the potential to upend the DNA sequencing market.


Nature Methods“Pursuing the simple life”

Efforts to pare away cellular genomes are yielding streamlined biosynthetic factories and deeper insights into the core processes of biology.


Nature“Rewriting the regenerative rulebook”

Adult stem cells have become a regulatory battleground as clinicians, scientists and ethicists debate whether the road to the clinic should be shorter.


Chemical & Engineering News“Top 40 drugs in the pipeline”

A special supplement for C&EN surveying some of the most exciting and promising therapies currently making their way through clinical trials.


Nature“Bacterial broadband”

The involvement of intestinal bacteria in gut-brain communication could help to explain the mysteries of irritable bowel syndrome, but the search continues for definitive evidence.


Nature“Poverty and pathogens”

The growth of slums in the developing world’s rapidly expanding cities is creating new opportunities for infectious disease to flourish and spread.


Nature Biotechnology“Immune profiling players shift gear to guide cancer drug development”

Biopharma players are keen to get their hands on T- and B-cell profiling platforms to explore their potential to advance their immuno-oncology programs.


Nature“The power of petabytes”

Researchers are struggling to analyse the steadily swelling troves of ‘-omic’ data in the quest for patient-centred health care.


Nature Methods“The field that came in from the cold”

Recent advances in cryo-electron microscopy are enabling researchers to solve protein structures at near-atomic resolutions, expanding the biological applicability of this technique.


Nature“Super-resolve me: from micro to nano”

Nanoscopes capable of super-resolution offer scientists intricate views of a world beyond the limits of conventional microscopes — but not every technique fits all imaging needs.

Nature Biotechnology“GSK collaborates with Apple on ResearchKit”

Apple’s ResearchKit could give pharmaceutical companies a powerful tool for expanding patient participation in clinical trials.


Nature“Showdown at the cannabis corral”

Researchers are gathering clinical data for medical marijuana against a backdrop of deregulation and opportunism.


Nature“Fluent in DNA”

As genomics migrates to the clinic, job options are emerging for genetic counsellors to explain the meaning in mutations.


Nature“Seeking answers amid a toxic debate”

Some see the European Union’s ban on neonicotinoid pesticides as a victory for pollinators, but the data suggest that limiting these compounds may do little to stave off honeybee losses.


Nature“Honey, I shrunk the lungs”

Miniature versions of hearts, lungs and other ‘organs-on-a-chip’ are heralding a bright future for drug research and discovery.

goldenrice (75x75)

Nature“Against the Grain”

Golden rice could help to end a nutritional crisis — but only if researchers can overcome some daunting technical and political hurdles.

LSFM (75x75)

Nature Methods“Pump up the volume”

Light-sheet fluorescence microscopy techniques are enabling researchers to achieve dynamic, long-term imaging and three-dimensional reconstruction of specimens ranging from single cells to whole embryos.


Nature“An injection of trust”

Faced with outbreaks of preventable diseases, public-health experts need to win over parents who refuse vaccinations.


Nature Biotechnology“Neurodevice startups target peripheral nervous system”

Devices that modulate neuronal activity to treat neurological disorders or pain typically consist of implants for deep brain or spinal cord stimulation, but new devices that manipulate peripheral nerves suggest a less invasive alternative.


Nature“Discovery in a Dry Spell”

Improved crops have helped farmers maintain yields in times of drought. But as climate change looms, will the gains keep coming?

AdaptiveBio (75x75)

Nature Biotechnology“Personalized, sequencing-based immune profiling spurs startups”

A host of biotechnology companies are gearing up to use high-throughput DNA sequencing to identify specific immune signatures associated with cancer, infection or autoimmune disease.


Nature“Centenarians: Great Expectations”

Scientists are searching for a genetic blueprint that will enable humans to stay healthy and vital well into their old age.

Nature Biotechnology“The Battle for Sequencing Supremacy”

The release of Life Technologies’ Ion Proton instrument raises the stakes in their ongoing battle with Illumina to dominate the genome sequencing market, but other contenders are looking to disrupt the sector as well.

Nature Biotechnology“Miniature wireless sensors presage smart phone medicine”

August marked the first approval by the US Food and Drug Administration of Proteus Digital Health’s digital pill for monitoring drug dose, part of a larger vanguard of technology companies striving for a seamless flow of medical data between patients, families and physicians.

JustGarciaHill“For better healthcare, build a community”

By partnering with salons and other local businesses, Ruth Browne and her colleagues at the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health have made considerable inroads in delivering essential health information to Brooklyn’s African-American community.

Nature Biotechnology“Reading cancer’s blueprint”

Companies, clinical research teams and academic centers are racing to transform data harvested from tumor genomic analysis into targeted, patient-specific treatment strategies.

JustGarciaHill“Protecting minority education programs”

Anybody hoping to avoid a repeat of the down-to-the-wire grappling from last year’s federal budget battle is in for a disappointment – and advocates for minority education and training for STEM careers will be watching this year’s negotiations especially closely.

Nature“Stem Cells: Don’t believe the hype”

A look at efforts treating multiple sclerosis with adult stem cell therapies, in terms of both early successes and the challenges that lie ahead.

Nature Biotechnology“Approval on a Knife Edge”

In spite of its modest performance in clinical trials, Benlysta may offer effective relief against lupus – but physicians are still working to identify the right patients.

Nature Biotechnology“More Than Insulin”

For a century, insulin has been the only drug available to type 1 diabetics. Now a raft of novel drugs are coming through the pipeline.

Nature“Of Beans and Genes”

Several human genes involved in digestion have diverged along cultural lines. Research suggests these adaptations influence the range of foods tolerated and even certain diseases.

Wired Science – “Self-Assembling DNA Makes Super 3-D Nano Machines”

William Shih has a bridge to sell, but you’ll need a powerful microscope to see it: It’s built entirely from DNA strands, handrails and all. The bridge is just one of a whole range of intricate three-dimensional shapes Shih has crafted using DNA’s unique capacity for precise self-assembly.

SEED Magazine – “What Seashells Tell”

The growth and pigment of a seashell is controlled by a network of nerve cells; modeling this process is giving us insight into neural networks and even human memory.

Nature Biotechnology“Sequencing Firms Vie for Diagnostics Market, Tiptoe Around Patents”

Genome sequencing companies are moving into clinical diagnostics, with the number of deals soaring, despite an uncertain patent landscape.

JustGarciaHill – “African Genomic Diversity and African-American Health”

It is the cradle of humanity, and evidence suggests that the world’s ethnic diversity originated from a single exodus of a few thousand individuals from Africa approximately 100,000 years ago. Until very recently, however, Africa was essentially a blank spot on geneticists’ maps.

Keep in touch!

If you have any comments about the site or want to reach me about a project, drop me a line:


You can also see my LinkedIn page for other work stuff, or stop by my Flickr page to see my pictures. I'm also on Facebook, for reasons that escape me at the moment.