EpiGenie is a team of folks who scour through PubMed, watch out for interesting epigenetics press releases, conduct interviews with epigenetics researchers, and work closely with the technology providers to stay on top of the most applicable work driving epigenetics-related research. Some of us have held marketing positions, developing and promoting products at tool companies, while others have held R&D and technical writing positions. Some of us have PhDs while others have ADD. At some point we’ve all held a pipet, but traded it in for a wireless mouse and a different type of carpal tunnel.
Want to visit us? We’d love to have you, so if you’re ever in Del Mar (CA), please look us up and we’ll buy you a beer or coffee or something. Actually, Del Mar is where our P.O. Box is located, but there’s a really nice copy machine next to it that doubles as a cocktail table for social events. Most of our team is scattered all over the country and thanks to this neat invention called the internet, it works.
Epigenetics Research Community
Dang you look good! That’s right…the most important component of EpiGenie is the researchers in academic and industrial labs that bust their buns every day giving us something to write about. We know you didn’t go into the field for fame, but we also know it’s nice to be recognized for your contributions. So if you want to share your stance on a topic or call attention to a new method you developed step up to the mic and let us know about it.
Pete J :: Founder & Editor
It took Pete a few years of research at Indiana University and various R&D positions at Abbott Laboratories, Immunogenex, and Gen-Probe to realize he had 10 thumbs in the lab and that it was safer for himself and the broader research community if he head into marketing. After seven years marketing and leading strategic product development for research tool companies Genset and Invitrogen, Pete got the entrepreneurial itch, ditched the cube, and headed to the beach town Florianopolis, Brazil to help a friend stoke the marketing furnace of his surf tour operation.
It was during this time that the foundation for EpiGenie was conceived and developed. After hundreds of caipirinhas and late nights of samba, Pete returned back to Del Mar, California to be closer to the research community in San Diego and the States in general, where he works closely with his all-star cast of technical writers, web developers, and most importantly, the innovative researchers that give EpiGenie something to broadcast. When Pete isn’t working on EpiGenie, you can find him surfing in North County, San Diego or juggling his two sons.
Mason B :: Technical Writer & Editor
Mason spent the last ten years in the trenches of the San Diego biotech community and has the carpal tunnel syndrome to prove it! His epigenetics immersion began while working at Invitrogen, where he was a key player in developing some of the epigenetics research products you’re probably using. Leading with our miniscule salary and non-existent benefits package, we managed to convince Mason to join us.
Relishing the opportunity to be a part of an innovative new way of spreading information to the research community and take a breather from the smell of TEMED, Mason jumped at the chance to become a part of EpiGenie. Mason is a San Diego native and a huge sports fan, which of course means that he is eternally tortured by his favorite teams, the Padres and the Chargers. When he isn’t working, posing for romantic sunset portraits, Mason can usually be found playing poker or softball with his friends…or if time and his broken down body allow, he’ll be bodyboarding (we don’t hold it against him) or mountain biking.
Steve J:: Business Development
Steve kicked off his scientific crusade back at the University of Colorado with a major in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, which means he didn’t ski much, but we still let him aboard EpiGenie because we need more folks with fancy distinctions. He started his career as a Customer Service Representative at the original Life Technologies back when Bon Jovi ruled the airways.
Over the last 25 years Steve has held a variety of management positions in technical service, sales, and sales management and has consulted for a potpourri of reagent companies, medical device manufacturers, and capital equipment manufacturers. He actually hired Pete J. while managing Genset Oligos’s North American region, so we’re stoked to have some of the band back together. Outside of the EpiGenie office, you’re likely to find Steve surfing in his US home base of Encinitas, CA or sharing random bits of trivia with strangers.
Ben L:: Writer/ Editor
Ben is your comrade from the frontlines of Epigenetics, a fellow researcher who knows the struggles and triumphs of working in such a rapidly evolving field. After completing his B.Sc. in Genetics with honors and distinction at Western University he went on to pursue his love for Epigenetics and is in currently in the home stretch of his Ph.D. While he is a little overly influenced by Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sir David Attenborough, and Carl Sagan, we can’t blame him for his passion and creativity when it comes to the latest Epigenetic headlines.
Ben’s been reading Epigenie every since he started his graduate work and it was during a break from some intense manuscript writing (and redditing) that he realized the true potential of Epigenie and decided to shoot Pete an e-mail. One phone call lead to another and now Ben’s a part of the team. Ben currently resides in the university city of London, Ontario (about 2 hours from Toronto). When he’s not busy practicing digital photography, travelling the world, and/or telling you not to drink when you’re pregnant, you can usually find him at home with his girlfriend and their glaring of felines, dreaming of moving to somewhere with decent weather.
Laura C :: Technical Writer
Laura C provides technical writing muscle to EpiGenie. An avid writer growing up, Laura’s talents landed her several awards at an early age, but a natural curiosity and interest in the sciences drove her to pursue work in research. Her interest in non-coding RNA was stimulated by her early work as a graduate student at the Mayo Clinic where she investigated RNA decoys. After receiving a Ph.D, she moved to the Best Coast and studied the RNA component of telomerase as a post-doc in Elizabeth Blackburn’s lab at UCSF.
A Colorado native, Laura decided to head back to the Rockies and today lives in the Denver area where she revels in the opportunity to combine her scientific interests with her passion for writing as a technical writer/editor. In her 10 minutes of spare time each week in between writing, editing, and chasing after her two-year-old daughter, Laura enjoys hiking, gardening, and reading mystery/suspense novels.
Josh R :: Technical Writer
Josh R.’s long and varied career has taken him from smoke-filled newsrooms and hallowed ivy-covered halls, through sterile hoods and animal rooms, to the mellow ambiance of cafes. Originally from the ’burbs of New York, Josh earned a masters in history and philosophy of science (at the U of Toronto) before signing up for the U of Minnesota’s Mol., Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics program.
But he’s always been a journalist, having written his first article for the NY Times while still in high school, and working his way through college and grad school as a mercenary hack. He still lives in Minneapolis, now with his wife and two children, a cat, 2 rats, and a dog. When not writing at a coffee shop, Josh is usually found in his photo studio or out shooting an event, that is until 5:30 pm or so, when he turns into Super Dad.
Katie C :: Technical Writer
Katie has always loved reading and thinking about science. (She even went to a “science and tech” high school!) In grad school at JHU, she dabbled in yeast genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry. At her postdoc at the NIH, she continued her journey into the mysteries of yeast cell division, but also started looking at other ways to put her love of science to work. That’s when she realized that science writing was the career for her. Since then, Katie has written articles on grants and careers for Science’s Next Wave (now Science Careers) and on proteomics and analytical chemistry for the American Chemical Society (ACS).
She even won an Honorable Mention from the Trade, Association, and Business Publications International organization for an online feature story she wrote for ACS on data sharing in the proteomics community. When she’s not writing about the latest scientific breakthroughs, Katie likes to read mysteries and biographies, pop onto Twitter and Facebook, and travel. Currently, her coordinates place her in a high-rise in NY with (on a very clear day) a view of the Big Apple.
Raj M :: Technical Writer
Raj can’t believe she gets paid to do what she loves the most: writing about science. Her dual loves for languages and science seemed at odds with one another when she was in high school so when college came, she bid adieu to languages. But during her Ph.D. work in biophysics and biochemistry at Johns Hopkins University, she realized language and science could come together in science writing.
Once the Ph.D. diploma was handed to her, Raj ditched pipettes for pens forever. She’s worked as a staff writer at the American Chemical Society as well as had a career as a freelance writer and editor. She is currently the senior science writer and technical editor for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The D.C. Science Writers Association gave Raj an honorable mention in 2011 for writing news briefs for Chemical & Engineering News. When Raj isn’t writing and editing, she’s catering to the whims of her kids and cats.