Leadership Team

Editor in Chief: Jennifer Baker


Jenn is a Ph.D. candidate in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan. Her research in the Dickson and Huffnagle labs focuses on understanding how bacteria in the lung and gut contribute to the unwanted side effects of oxygen therapy (like oxygen-induced lung injury and ventilator-associated pneumonia) in patients with respiratory failure. Before coming to Michigan, Jenn completed a B.S. in Science Education at Indiana Wesleyan University, where she studied bacteria that thrive in extreme environments, including species from Antarctica and an Egyptian soda lake! When she’s not in lab, you can find her cooking, reading, hiking, or taking care of her many houseplants. Connect with Jenn on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Logistics Coordinator: Christina Del Greco 


Christina is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Human Genetics where she studies enzymes that charge tRNA with amino acids in the mitochondria. Before arriving at the University of Michigan, she completed her B.S. in Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame (sorry but go Irish!). Christina is most interested in the intersections between biomedical science and policy, and how improved science communication can bring scientists and policymakers together more effectively. Outside of the lab, Christina is most likely reading science fiction, watching reruns of Castle, or teaching herself how to properly lift weights. She can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Communications Director: Charukesi Sivakumar (Incoming)

Headshot of Charu climbing a tree.

Charu is a PhD pre-candidate in Molecular and Cellular Pathology at the University of Michigan. She is in Dr. Rajesh Rao’s lab, studying epigenetics and its mechanisms in the context of retinal development and disease. Before coming to Michigan, Charu completed her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she studied fruit fly genetics, trying to understand the mechanisms of “selfish” genes. When she’s not in the lab, you can find her playing the violin with the UofM Life Sciences Orchestra, tutoring, reading, singing, cooking, listening to music and podcasts, doing art, or spending time outdoors. She can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn

Communications Director: Zechariah Pfaffenberger (Outgoing)

Headshot of Zechariah standing on a beach.

Zechariah Pfaffenberger is a graduate student at the University of Michigan studying physical chemistry in the lab of Dr. Julie Biteen. He attended Indiana Wesleyan University and graduated with his Bachelors in Chemistry in 2018. His current research interests are single-molecule microscopy and spectroscopy, specifically plasmon-enhancement of fluorescence and circularly polarized luminescence spectroscopy. Zechariah writes for the University of Michigan chemistry website, does outreach at local middle- and high- schools near U of M, and is always looking for ways to expand his Sci Comm horizons. While not in his lab, he enjoys stargazing, podcasts, running, consuming Oreos, and generally living life to the fullest. You can find him on twitter and linkedin.

Spanish Language Coordinator: Andrés Rivera Ruiz

MSW website pic

Andrés is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan. He currently works at the Wobus lab, where he studies astroviruses, a type of intestinal virus, and the mechanisms they use that lead to disease onset. Andrés was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where he graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry at Universidad Ana G. Méndez, Gurabo Campus. His hobbies include trying new restaurants and coffee shops around Ann Arbor, listening to podcasts, playing and watching tennis, reading books and learning Japanese and Korean. Connect with Andrés on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Arabic Language Coordinator: Ali Farhat


علي مرشح دكتوراه بالمعلوماتية الحيوية بجامعة ميشيغان. في مختبر فَرَدَلينَوْ (Freddolino)، يبرمج نموذجات رياضياتي ليبحث عن كيف الخلايا تنظم احماضها النووية. قبل الدكتوراه، حصل شهادة البكالوريوس بالكيمياء والرياضيات الحيوية وشهادة الماجستير الكيمياء الحيوية، كلتيهما من جامعة ميشيغان. لما له الوقت، يحب علي أن يدرس لغات، يقرأ كتب، ويلعب ألعاب فيديو.

Ali is a PhD candidate in Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan. In the Freddolino lab, he programs mathematical models to research how cells regulate their DNA. Prior to his Ph.D., he earned a BS in Biochemistry and Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Biochemistry, both from the University of Michigan. When he has time, Ali likes to study languages, read books, and play video games.

Chinese Language Coordinator: Zhiying Yang


Zhiying earned her M.S. in Biological Chemistry here at the University of Michigan and entered the Ph.D. program in Biomedical Sciences. Before coming to Ann Arbor, she graduated from a joint program, where she earned two bachelor’s degrees in Materials and Nanosciences at Beijing Jiaotong University and the University of Waterloo. Because of her diverse background, she found her broad interest in learning about findings in science and engineering fields and communicating with people. Born in China and studying around the world, Zhiying always hopes to help people from different cultures through science communications. And she now works actively to build up our Chinese Translation Team (Simplified & Traditional). Her hobbies include traveling, doing and guiding meditation, watching TV series and learning Korean.

Lead Illustrator: Jacquelyn Roberts (Incoming)

Headshot of Jacquelyn.

Jacquelyn Roberts is a Biological Chemistry Ph.D. Candidate in Melanie Ohi’s lab. Her research
interests are focused on the structural biology of bacterial secretion systems and their effects on microbial pathogenesis. Jacquelyn has always been drawn to both science and illustration,
and nearly enrolled in an undergraduate Medical Illustration program before deciding to obtain her B.S in Biochemistry at Eastern Michigan University! When not in lab, Jacquelyn likes to knit, draw, read science fiction, and cook savory dishes. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Lead Illustrator: Katie Bonefas (Outgoing)


Katie Bonefas is a Neuroscience PhD candidate in the Iwase Lab. Her thesis work is on chromatin regulators and how the ectopic transcription of germline genes in the brain could impact development and behavior. Katie earned her B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with highest honors. Although Katie always knew she wanted to be a scientist, her second lifelong passion is art. She is drawn to both science and art as each discipline is in pursuit of understanding – as she puts it – “just what on earth existence really is”. Connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn to see her scientific and artistic endeavors!

Alumni Relations Director: Sarah Kearns


Sarah earned her Ph.D. in Chemical Biology at the University of Michigan where she studied the molecular roads of the cell in the Cianfrocco and Verhey labs. She is active in science communication by writing for her blog Annotated Science, freelancing with the American Institute of Physics and eLife, editing for MiSciWriters, and chaired the inaugural ComSciCon-Michigan 2018. She also organized the publication of the first MiSciWriters magazine, EquilibriUM. Sarah also loves to bake, take photos, make playlists, and drink lots of coffee. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Faculty Advisor / Consulting Editor: Scott Barolo


Scott is an Associate Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology at the U-M Med School and the Director of the Program in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS).  Scott enjoys editing far, far more than writing. He also likes movies; dead British writers (Austen, Wodehouse, Conan Doyle, I.M. Banks, Sterne, Dickens, Spark); science communication; and enhancers. Grammar nerds: check out that Oxford semicolon! You can follow Scott on Twitter (@sbarolo) and connect on LinkedIn.

Senior Editors

Christina Del GrecoPeijin HanJennifer Baker
Austin ShannonChristian GreenhillRyan Schildcrout
Sophie HillChloe Rybicki-Kler

Content Editors

Kane YorkOlivia Pifer AlgeHenry Ertl
Will DanaMadeline CookeKristen Loesel
Sarah BassiouniEmily EberhardtZechariah Pfaffenberger
Sheila MarteLiz TidwellAndrés Rivera Ruiz
Claire ShuddeMena DavidsonMadison Fitzgerald
Kate GiffinAndrew AlvarezJessica Li
Nick JänneApril Kriebel

Spanish Translators & Editors

Andrés Rivera RuizCristina María RíosGenesis Rodríguez
Neikelyn Burgos-TiradoDaniela Tapia PitzzuFranco Tavella
Martin FernandezJuan Blume

Arabic Translators & Editors

Ali Farhat Susan HammoudAli Hammoud


Katie BonefasZoe YeohEmma Thorton-Kolbe
Jacqueline RobertsDevon HucekSaaj Chattopadhyay
Jessica Li