Meet The Writers

NeuWriters at a “How to pitch” workshop


Andy J. Arnold ( | posts) is a graduate student in Social Psychology, with a background in Neuroscience.  Nowadays he studies social connection–what happens inside of the body and out in the social world when people become lonely.  When not writing, analyzing data, or teaching, Andy can be found on a soccer field, a dancefloor, or relaxing in a canyon.

Emily Baltz (@ebaltz | posts) is a graduate student in Neuroscience in the Gremel Lab at UCSD. She is interested in decision-making, and how we integrate various sources of information like motivational state and context. In her free time, you can find her volunteering, hiking, or reading.

Laura Beebe (posts) is a Biology PhD student at UCSD. She works in the Wang lab, where she studies instinctual behaviors (especially feeding) in flies. In her free time, she likes to run, roam the desert, or hang out with her roommate’s cat. 

Christian Cazares (@fleabrained | posts) is a 2nd year Neurosciences graduate student at UC San Diego. A native from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, Christian spends his time outside of the lab playing video-games, watching sports, and putting together events for Colors of the Brain. Check out his personal website, and reach him at Twitter. Cal alumnus. Go Bears.

Minerva Contreras (posts) is a UCSD Neurosciences Ph.D. student and works in the Chalasani Lab at the Salk Institute where she studies how neuromodulators affect aging in different tissues. When not picking worms with eye lashes, you may find her camping in Baja, hiking, or playing with her dogs.

Brittany Fair (@brittanydfair | posts) is a neuroscientist turned science writer, podcast host and blogger. She works at the Salk Institutewhere she writes articles, produces science videos and co-hosts Salk’s podcast, Where Cures Begin. Previously, she worked at CNN as well as Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a science communicator. Outside of science, she enjoys triathlons, exploring vegan restaurants and hanging out with her dog Hazel.   

Julia C Gorman (@JC_Gorman | posts) is a Neuroscience PhD student in the Cauwenberghs and Miller labs at UCSD. She studies systems neuroscience, neural engineering, and how neural technologies can be used to study free behavior, like active vision. When not in lab, she tends to not reference herself in the third person and enjoys being outside, talking too much, a good hot tub, and making her dog happy. 

Joseph Herdy (posts) is a UCSD Neuroscience PhD student in the Gage lab at the Salk Institute where his research focuses on the cellular effects of aging in human neurons and neurodegeneration. His hobbies are designed to chase the feeling one might get when playing with a one of those huge bubble wands, or jumping into a pile of leaves, or rolling a big rock down a hill. He very frequently writes things about himself in the third person.

James Howe (posts) is a graduate student in neuroscience at UCSD. He is interested in how learning and memory emerges from neurons. When not in lab, he enjoys reading, listening to R&B, watching sports, taking long walks on the beach at sunset, and clichés.

Megan Kirchgessner (@meg_kirchposts) is a UCSD Neurosciences PhD student in the Callaway Lab at the Salk Institute studying how connections between the cortex and the thalamus underlie vision. Outside of neuroscience, she enjoys running, music, San Diego craft beer, watching movies (both good and “bad”), and stalking the La Jolla Cove sea lions.

Jarrett Lovelett (@unClogSci | posts) is a PhD student in the Psychology department at UCSD. He splits his time between Hal Pasher’s and Tim Rickard’s labs, where he focuses on understanding the factors that contribute to robust, flexible, and long-lasting human memory. He escapes from the lab and flees to the ocean, desert, and mountains as often as possible.

Susan Lubejko (posts) is a UCSD Neurosciences PhD student. In the lab of Dr. Matt Banghart, she is studying modulation of pain by opioids in hopes of contributing to the fight against the current opioid crisis. Outside of the lab, she enjoys exploring the San Diego restaurant and brewery scene, and cheering for the Baltimore Ravens

Ethan McBride (@egmcb | posts) is a UCSD Neurosciences graduate student in the Callaway Lab at the Salk Institute. He is fascinated by the neural basis of behavior, and is currently investigating the neural circuits underlying attention. Outside of the lab, Ethan enjoys playing the trumpet and piano, trying out new San Diego beers, watching various sportsball games (mostly foot and base), and occasionally trying to get into twitter.

Nicole Mlynaryk (posts) is a neuroscience PhD student at UCSD, where she studies the neural circuitry of decision making in the Komiyama Lab. Beyond research and science outreach, she enjoys hiking and camping, going to concerts, all things comedy, and burritos. 

Jacqueline Mosko (@jacquelinemosko | posts) is a neurosciences PhD student at UCSD, working in the Azim lab at the Salk Institute. Here, she is focused on studying how neural circuitry underlying touch perception may be modulated by internal state and experience. Outside of the lab, Jacky enjoys spoiling her pets (four guinea pigs and one dog) as well as drinking copious amounts of coffee, rock climbing, collecting unique nail polish, and reading mysteries.

Nicholas Nelson (posts) is a UCSD Biology PhD student working in the Nimmerjahn Lab at the Salk Institute where his research focuses on glial and immune cell contributions to neuronal function. He spends his “spare” time at the gym, on reddit, and gaming online. Sometimes he surfs like a good San Diegan, albeit poorly.

Peter Osseward (posts) is a UCSD Neurosciences PhD student in the Pfaff lab at the Salk Institute. He studies circuits within the spinal cord related to motor coordination. Outside of the lab, Peter enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and backpacking.

Catie Profaci (@cprofaciposts) is a neuroscience PhD student studying the blood-brain barrier in Dr. Richard Daneman’s lab. Aside from the brain, her passions include running, wine, baseball, spicy food, traveling, Audible, cheese, and Bruce Springsteen.

Haylie Romero (posts) is a neuroscience graduate student at UCSD in Dr. Wendy Campana’s lab where she works on understanding Schwann cell-neural interactions and their role in pain. When not in lab, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, hiking, whale watching, and all things outdoors.

Marley Rossa (posts | instagram: @marley.rossa) is a UCSD Neurosciences Ph.D. student and works in the Callaway Lab at the Salk Institute where she studies how different types of neurons in the mouse visual cortex are electrically connected to one another. Outside of lab, you might find her covered in paint crouched over a canvas, at an EDM concert, running in Torrey Pines, or unsuccessfully trying to teach her cat basic tricks.

Meghan Rossi (posts) is a graduate student in Neurosciences at UCSD, interested in the intersection of metabolism, immunity, and the nervous system. Outside the lab, you can find Meghan singing loudly at inappropriate moments, stopping to pet every dog that crosses her path, and pretending to be proficient at beach volleyball.

Drew Schreiner (@SchreinerDrewposts) is a graduate student in the Psychology department at UCSD studying the neural circuits that underlie actions and decision-making with Dr. Christina Gremel.  When not shining lasers into the brains of mice, he can be found backpacking, hiking, and playing guitar.

Caroline Sferrazza (@csfrazzposts) is a PhD student in the UCSD Neurosciences graduate program. In Lawrence Goldstein’s lab at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, she uses human induced pluripotent stem cells to study Alzheimer’s Disease. She is the director of the UCSD Neuroscience Outreach Program and serves on the organizing committees for local #scicomm festivals and workshops, including Taste of Science and ComSciCon. She enjoys long nights gazing into the desert sky and confusing strangers by taking her mischievous kitten wherever possible.

Seraphina Solders (posts) is a UCSD Neurosciences PhD student working with Drs. Mark Bondi and Larry Frank, using magnetic resonance imaging to study how the structural connections in the brain change in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Outside of lab, she enjoys gardening, hanging out with her cat (Callie) and her bearded dragon (Kat), and going to the San Diego Zoo.

Barbara Spencer (@barbara_spencerposts) is a UCSD Neuroscience Ph.D. student in the Brewer lab. Her research interests include using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study how alterations in memory-related brain structures can be used to predict risk for Alzheimer’s disease and understanding how genes contribute to these changes. Outside of lab she can be found with her PALS, practicing yoga, baking, or rooting for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Kelsey Sundby (posts) is a psychology graduate student that studies how we control our actions and thoughts. Outside of the lab Kelsey enjoys running, attempting to surf, going to breweries, and spending time with her cat (Charlie). 

Margot Wohl (@RadScientistPod | posts) is a neuroscience grad student working in a Kenta Asahina’s lab at the Salk institute. Her research centers on how brain cells and the molecules they exchange give rise to aggressive behaviors in fruit flies.  She also produces the KPBS “Rad Scientist” podcast that features the most tubular researchers of San Diego.

Ege Yalcinbas (posts) is a PhD candidate in the neurosciences graduate program at UCSD. She conducts her thesis work in the Gremel Lab where the focus is studying brain circuits that contribute to learning and decision-making in mice. When not in lab, Ege can be found doing puzzles with (and sometimes despite) her cat PomPom, enjoying a candid tea time conversation, getting lost in fiction, or partaking in the performing arts– mostly jazz music, musicals, and plays.

Spanish Translators

Orlangie Natera-Naranjo completed her PhD in Neurosciences at UCSD in 2018 and is currently a postdoc in the Mobley lab. She is interested in studying basic mechanisms underlying cell physiology and signaling, particularly in the context of nervous system development and function. Outside the lab, she enjoys keeping up-to-date with sociopolitical issues, cooking, and visiting her hometown Puerto Rico.

Where are they now?! NeuWrite Alumni!

Elena Blanco-Suarez (@westboundsigned | @neurocosas | web | posts ) is an Assistant Professor in the department of Neuroscience and Neurosurgery at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia (PA). She still writes in her blog Brain Chemistry in Psychology Today, and collaborates in local science outreach and scicomm projects. She spearheaded the Spanish translations in NeuWriteSD.

Cailey Bromer (@cbromes | webposts)

Melissa Galinato (@omneuron | webposts)

Rose Hendricks (@rohendricks | webposts) is a Researcher at the FrameWorks Institute, a communications think tank in Washington, D.C. She is also a member of the ComSciCon Leadership Team. ComSciCon is a series of science communication workshops around the United States developed by graduate students, for graduate students. Rose earned her Ph.D. in Cognitive Science at UCSD in 2017.

Kerin Higa (@kkiritah | posts) is a Scientific Writer/Editor at City of Hope medical research center, where she tries to drink 96oz of warm water every day. Kerin earned her Ph.D. in Neurosciences from UCSD in 2017. Ashley J. usually writes Kerin’s bios, so go ask her for more information!

Samantha Jones (@samjscience | web | posts) is a science writer for the American Chemical Society in Washington, DC. She writes and hosts Reactions, a PBS Digital Studios and American Chemical Society YouTube series. Sam received her PhD from UCSD’s Biomedical Sciences program in the spring of 2018.

Ashley Juavinett (@analog_ashley | webposts) is an educator, writer, and neuroscientist. She currently works as an Assistant Teaching Professor in Biological Sciences at UC San Diego.

Melissa Lau (@hellomlau | webposts)

Andy Peters (@flickerfusion | posts)

Emilie Reas, PhD (@etreas | posts) is a postdoctoral fellow in the UCSD Neuroscience department where she uses MRI to study brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease. She is also a freelance writer and editor for the PLOS Neuroscience Community. Follow her at @etreas.

Maya Sapiurka (@ppyajunebug | posts) is a Scientific Training and Policy Associate at the Society for Neuroscience where she helps develop scientific training materials for scientists across career stages and monitors biomedical workforce policy. Maya graduated from UCSD with her PhD in Neuroscience in 2016.

Melissa Troyer (@brain_gal web posts) is a recent graduate of the Cognitive Science PhD program, where she worked in the Kutas lab using electrophysiological (EEG) and behavioral methods to study language and memory. Melissa is now a BrainsCAN postdoctoral fellow in the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University in London, Ontario, where she works with Ken McRae and others to study variability in the neural organization and real-time use of knowledge due to individual differences in content expertise.

Rachel Tsunemoto (@rtsunemoto | posts) is a graduate of UCSD’s Neuroscience Graduate Program and interested in communicating science through illustration and animation.  Keep an eye out for her science-related designs and writings on her website.

Elena Vicario (@evicarioorri posts)

Other NeuWrite contributors:

Matt Boisvert (posts) 

Ben Cipollini (@mrquickowl | web posts) 

Erik Kaestner (webposts)

Jason Keller (posts)

Jared Smith (@drjaredbsmith | posts)

We’re always open to new members! If you’re interested in science writing and would like to get involved in our group, please contact us!