Because I come from a family of science geeks, it was probably fated that I’d write about science, medicine and health.
Currently, I’m collaborating on a book with Dr. Michelle Williams, Dean of the T. H. Chan School of Public Health, about the history of public health for Random House. Previously, I’ve authored two books, Fevered, about the health effects of climate change, and Prescription for Profits, which illuminated how the corporate takeover of academic research was a threat to public health.
I’m a contributing editor for Discover where I’ve done stories on gender differences in the brain, psychedelic medicine, looked at the hazards in our air traffic control system, and examined the pitfalls of hydraulic fracturing—fracking—to obtain natural gas. But mostly, I’ve reported on climate change, in award-winning cover stories like “The Hot Zone,” which was the springboard for my book, and “The Future of Water: Going to Extremes,” that dealt with climate change in Australia and was selected for inclusion in the anthology The Best American Science Writing.
Over the years, I’ve worked at Los Angeles Times health section where I wrote about cancer vaccines, AIDS and the use of palliative care in the last stages of life, uncovered the potential for osteoporosis drugs to cause jawbone deterioration and the link between Vicodin abuse and hearing loss, among numerous other stories. As a contributing editor for Ladies’ Home Journal, I’ve done award-winning stories about dangers in the ER, the fatal flaws in our food safety system, the over-medication of children and the high cost of cancer care.
My articles have been in dozens of other publications, like National Geographic.Com, Kaiser Health News, Newsweek, Playboy, U.S. News & World Report, Aeon, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Parade, Pacific Standard, Financial Times, Popular Science, Los Angeles, AARP, The Daily Beast, Spectrum News, and Reader’s Digest.
My reporting has won numerous awards, including a Best Consumer Feature award from the Association of Healthcare Journalists, the June Roth Memorial Award for Medical Journalism and the Donald Robinson Award for Investigative Journalism, both from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. I taught in The Writer’s Program at UCLA Extension for more than two decades and was named “Teacher of the Year.”
When I’m not unpacking the latest scientific discoveries, I like to see movies, read detective novels, hike, play with our menagerie of rescues and travel to exotic places with my family.