Who is EpiGenie?

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!Epigenetics Research Community 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 & Executive 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 :: Managing Editor & Technical Writer

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.

 

Laura F :: Managing Editor

LauraLaura started her PhD after a year working as a laboratory technician following her undergraduate degree in Biology. After 4 brutal years at the bench she realised that lab life wasn’t for her, but her passion for science kept her in the scientific community as she went on to serve as an editor for the journal Genome Biology. It was during her time here that she became fascinated with all things epigenetics and was first introduced to EpiGenie.

Laura then developed a debilitating addiction to devouring and sharing the latest amazing research, so she jumped at the chance to be a part of EpiGenie where she could continue to feed her habit. When she is not wielding her red pen or surfing the web for new studies she can be found box jumping and deadlifting at the local CrossFit gym or exploring the Scottish countryside.

 

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:: Technical Writer & Editor

benBen is a fellow researcher on both the molecular and informatics ends. After a B.Sc. in Genetics with an unnecessary amount of honours from Western University he went on to pursue his love for neuroepigenomic research. Ben’s in the home stretch of a Ph.D in the lab of Dr. Shiva Singh, where they and a talented team investigate neurodevelopmental disease.

Ben’s been reading Epigenie ever since Dr. Singh pointed him that way. Then, on a spring’s day, during some intense manuscript writing the impulse to contribute kicked in and Ben decided to shoot Pete an e-mail. One phone call lead to another and an eventual trip to the land of sunshine. Ben’s been a part of the team for the past 2 years and can’t get enough of your research into Epigenetics, Stem Cells, and Synthetic Biology. Ben currently resides in the university city of London, Ontario (about 2 hours from Toronto). When he’s not busy taking photos, travelling, or enjoying nature, you can usually find him with his fiancée and their glaring of too many felines, dreaming of migrating to a coast without winter.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Stuart A :: Technical Writer

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While not out biking, and running through the streets, parks, and beaches of sunny Valencia (Spain, not California!), Stuart is chained to his desk writing about everything and anything in the stem cell world. Hailing from the icy tundra that lies between Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland (think Mordor), Stuart was a huge Nirvana fan, but the long hair and ripped jeans went missing a long time ago, and he swapped them for a lab coat and goggles.

A PhD in cancer epigenetics in Glasgow was followed by post-doctoral studies in ESCs and iPSCs in Newcastle (UK) and Valencia. After doing far too much Q-PCR, he traded the pipette for the pen, and now dedicates most of his time to sitting on the beach drinking ice cold Spanish beer, ahem……..writing, reading, and enjoying the fantastic daily occurrences in stem cell research.

 

Carlos F :: Technical Writer

31cb008Raised and educated in Buenos Aires, Carlos can now be found enjoying the sights of Amsterdam where he is an Assistant Professor in Neuroscience focusing on epigenetic regulation of adult neural stem cells. He first became acquainted with EpiGenie after we featured some of his dazzling research findings at a conference a few years back.

One thing led to another and now he’s living the fast-paced lifestyle of a contributing Technical Writer for us. Between wielding a pipette and performing intense grant writing he still finds time to log in to EpiGenie to take in latest articles of interest and suggest creative new content for us. For Carlos “EpiGenie is like an antidepressant,”  and that makes it a stimulant for the rest of us.

When he’s not in the lab or in front of some digital device, you can find Carlos exploring his musical side from a past life and learning to bow the double bass.

 

Eric D :: Technical Writer

diehlEric is a current PhD candidate in Genetics at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. While his projects and interests have shifted over his time at Western, epigenetics has captured his interest and will no doubt become the star to guide his scientific career. After finishing top of his class in the honors genetics program, Eric joined the lab of Shiva Singh as a grad student to bring an epigenetic focus to the lab’s fetal alcohol project.

Eric thought he was giving up his love of creative writing by going into genetics, but EpiGenie has provided an e-home to keep the love alive. But Eric’s not ready to hang up his pipette just yet; he still enjoys using many of the techniques he writes about for EpiGenie. At home in London, Eric spends his down time walking his Great Dane and navigating a new roles as a husband and father.

 

Robert C :: Technical Writer

Robert is a synthetic biologist who focused more on physics and math at Small Liberal Arts College, but got into the whole biology thing for his PhD at Big Ivy League University.  He discovered EpiGenie and met its fearless founder via Networking (it works!) and jumped at the chance to ooze his creative juices onto the internet at a vibrant site where they would sink in and be read, rather than running off into the cyber-gutters of random blogs.

While an active pipet wrangler, RC finds inspiration by taking a step back every once in a while to be amazed by all the crazy stuff we know and can do, and he is enjoying sharing with you what he sees.  He was also a top 10 finalist in the Nature Biotechnology science writing contest.  In his free time, he can often be found traveling by foot for medium-long distances at a moderately strenuous pace to end up in the same place he started. Occasionally, he will join a bunch of other people to see who can end up in the same place they all started the fastest.

 

Emma W ::  Technical Writer

photoELW_2Originally hailing from England, Emma crossed the channel to carry out her Master’s degree and PhD in Paris. Although initially focused on genetic linkage studies, she soon realised that the epigenome was much cooler and switched her attention to the epigenetics of stem cells. Alas, four years at the bench would prove that she was better off wielding a pen than a pipette, so she hung up her lab coat to take a job at a scientific editing company. Here, she helped French researchers to publish their findings in English. Emma first heard about Epigenie during her PhD and jumped at the opportunity to contribute following a call for writers in 2014. Now Epigenie provides the perfect outlet for her love of all things epigenetic.

Continuing with her tour de l’Europe, Emma now lives in Trondheim, Norway where she is working as a freelancer scientific editor, writer and translator and discovering the joys of cross country skiing.