The Team

Helen Pickersgill, Ph.D.
Founder, Director and Scientific Editor

Helen obtained her PhD in Cell Biology at the Paterson Institute in Manchester, UK working on the structure and function of the nuclear pore complex. She gained postdoctoral experience working first on chromatin organization as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, followed by aberrant signaling pathways in cancer at the Whitehead Institute, MA. During her academic career she published as a first author in Cell, Nature Genetics and Journal of Cell Biology. Prior to setting up as an independent editor in 2004 and subsequently founding Life Science Editors, she was an editor at Developmental Cell for a year. More recently she was an editor at Science for five years, including handling papers at Science Translational Medicine.

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Angela Andersen, Ph.D.
Founder, Director and Scientific Editor

Angela obtained her PhD in Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, Canada, studying catalytic RNA and RNA folding. Her postdoctoral research focused on X chromosome inactivation at the University of California, San Francisco, CA. She has additional research experience studying signaling and epigenetics in the context of colon cancer and breast cancer metastasis at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, UT and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, OK. Angela has contributed to numerous articles in a variety of fields, including first author publications in Molecular Cell, PNAS, and Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. Before founding Life Science Editors, she was an independent editor and an editor at Cell for four years.


Guy Riddihough, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Guy obtained his PhD in Molecular Biology at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, working on ecdysone and heat shock gene regulation. His post-doctoral research, at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund’s Developmental Biology Unit in Oxford, delved into pattern formation during Drosophila development. During his academic career, Guy contributed to papers in Genes & Development, MCB, and EMBO J. Guy was an editor at Nature, and launched and edited Nature Structural Biology (now Nature Structural and Molecular Biology). He then became an editor at PNAS, and finally a senior editor at Science for sixteen years. Guy handled papers in many areas of biology, including molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, structural biology, molecular evolution, etc., and has also written articles and reviews for the popular and scientific press. He joined Life Science Editors in 2017.

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Katrina Woolcock, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Katrina obtained her PhD in Molecular Biology at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland, studying the role of the RNA interference (RNAi) machinery in fission yeast gene regulation. As a postdoc at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna, Austria, she continued studying nuclear RNAi mechanisms at a genome-wide level. Katrina has contributed to numerous articles, including first author publications in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology and Genes & Development. Making the switch to science publishing in 2015, she completed a locum position as an editor at Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, and then became a freelance scientific editor and writer. She joined Life Science Editors in 2018.

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Christina (Kiki) Lilliehook, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Kiki obtained her Ph.D. in Neurobiology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center (New York City) where she worked on Alzheimer’s disease-related cell biology. Her postdoctoral work investigated angiogenesis and adult neurogenesis in songbirds. Kiki has contributed to numerous articles published in Nature Medicine, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and other journals, with a first author publication in Journal of Neuroscience. She was an editor at Cell Stem Cell for nine years handling papers on all organ systems across the stem cell biology spectrum, before joining the Broad Institute as a program manager. She is now working as a science writer at RA Capital Management and joined Life Science Editors in 2019.

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Milka Kostic, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Milka obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, USA. Her Ph.D. research was focused on biomolecular nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and developing new NMR methods to study metalloproteins, especially those involved in electron transfer chains such as ferredoxins. Her postdoctoral work in the Department of Molecular Biology at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA applied NMR spectroscopy and other biochemical and biophysical methods of protein characterization to address different aspects of tumor suppressor p53 biology by working on Mdm2, an E3 ligase that regulate p53 levels, and Hsp90, a molecular chaperone that stabilizes p53. After completing her postdoctoral work, she joined Cell Press and served as the Editor of Structure and Cell Chemical Biology (previously published as Chemistry & Biology) for a decade. Currently, she is the Program Director, Chemical Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where she spends her time bringing strategy, cohesion, and mentoring to support approximately 120 researchers. She joined Life Science Editors as an Editor in 2019.

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Li-Kuo Su, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Li-Kuo obtained his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania studying the transcriptional regulation of the murine immunoglobulin heavy chain locus. He did his postdoctoral research first at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory studying the RB family tumor suppressors then at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine cloning and characterizing the APC tumor suppressor. Li-Kuo continued his research on cancer biology, focusing on translational research on tumor suppressors, as an Assistant Professor at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. During his academic career, Li-Kuo contributed to papers published in Science, N. Engl. J. Med., Genes Dev., Am. J. Hum. Genet., EMBO J., J. Biol. Chem., and others. He then was Editor-in-Chief of Cancer Cell for over 16 years, until his retirement. Li-Kuo joined Life Science Editors in 2019.

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Carol Featherstone, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Carol received a PhD from the University of Birmingham (UK) where she worked on smooth muscle biochemistry. She went on to do postdoctoral research in cell biology at the EMBL in Heidelberg (D), at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore (MD, USA) and at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla (CA, USA). She has first-author papers in the Journal of Cell Biology and Nature. Carol moved from the bench to science publishing when she became the founding editor of Trends in Cell Biology. Later, she worked as a freelance science writer, publishing in Science, The Lancet, New Scientist etc., and at the Wellcome–CRC Institute in Cambridge as an Information Specialist. Upon moving to France in 2000, Carol produced an online magazine, The ELSO Gazette, for the newly established European Life Scientist Organisation, and she became involved in science policy and career development with ELSO. Since 2010, she has been working freelance as an editor, science writer and trainer of early career scientists; she is a regular consultant for PLoS Biology, providing editing services. Carol is fluent in French. She joined Life Science Editors in 2020.

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Sabbi Lall, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Sabbi obtained her DPhil in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford, UK, studying developmental genetics. Her postdoctoral research focused on microRNA-mediated regulation at New York University, NY. Sabbi has helped to developmentally edit manuscripts and grants across fields including evolutionary biology, immunology, neurobiology and psychology. Prior to joining Life Science Editors, Sabbi spent 5 years at Nature Publishing Group and 5 years at Cell Press, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of Cell Reports. She joined Life Science Editors in 2020.

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Marie Bao, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Marie obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at University of California, San Francisco, where she studied specificity in MAP kinase signaling.  She has contributed to and published as a first author in Cell.  Marie was an editor at Cell Press for eleven years, beginning at Cell‘s Leading Edge reviews section for a year before moving to Developmental Cell, where she was Editor-in-Chief for nearly 5 years. Currently, Marie is the Director of Research Administration in the department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School.  She joined Life Science Editors in 2020.

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Stacie Dodgson, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Stacie obtained her Ph.D. in Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied the cellular effects of aneuploidy. She transitioned to immunology as a postdoctoral researcher at the Broad Institute, studying host-pathogen interactions and mechanisms of autoimmunity. Stacie was an editor at Cell for 3 years, where she worked closely with the genetics and immunology communities, while editing papers across the full journal scope of biology and biomedicine. As an editor, she launched the “Faces of Cell” Initiative to spotlight authors belonging to marginalized groups. Currently, Stacie is the Scientific Strategy Manager of the Gladstone-UCSF Institute of Genomic Immunology. She joined Life Science Editors in 2021.

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April Pawluk, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

April obtained her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Toronto, where she discovered and characterized bacteriophage-encoded inhibitors of CRISPR-Cas systems, known as anti-CRISPRs, through bioinformatics, molecular genetics, protein biochemistry, and structural biology techniques. She then went on to do a short postdoc at the University of California, Berkeley, investigating the molecular mechanisms by which bacterial CRISPR-Cas systems generate new genetic memory, and how that may be applied as a biotechnological tool. April has published research articles in top journals such as Cell, Nature, Nature Microbiology, and mBio. In 2017, she joined Cell as a scientific editor, and went on to lead Cell journal strategy for the cell biology field and organize conferences focused on gene editing, microbial genomics, and single-molecule technologies. April later served as Senior Editor for Molecular Cell and Cell Reports, before leaving Cell Press in 2021 for her current role. She is now the Strategic Program Manager for the Harvard Chan Microbiome in Public Health Center, where she directs strategic research partnerships and contributes her expertise to grant- and paper-writing efforts. She joined Life Science Editors as an Editor in 2021.

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Cindy Lu, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Cindy obtained her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), studying early axis formation in mouse embryos. Her postdoctoral research in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA) focused on auditory circuit assembly and function. She has contributed to articles published in Nature and Developmental Cell, and published first author papers in Journal of Neuroscience and Development. She was an editor at Cell for three years, and joined Life Science Editors in 2019.

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Diana Stafforini, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Diana obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, working on purification and characterization of Platelet-Activating Factor (PAF) acetylhydrolase, a phospholipase A2 involved in inflammation and cancer. She joined the University of Utah Department of Internal Medicine as a faculty member in 1989. She focused her investigations on basic and translational aspects of inflammatory diseases, including cardiovascular, pulmonary, and malignant disorders. During her career, Diana trained many students and published her work in PNAS, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Cancer Research, and Journal of Biological Chemistry. She served as a referee for journals, panel member for NIH study sections, and grant reviewer for the Department of Defense. In 2016, Diana became Associate Director at Huntsman Cancer Institute where she works with the Chief Executive Officer on various projects, including strategic planning, scientific writing, and project management. She joined Life Science Editors in 2020.

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Shawna Hiley, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Shawna obtained her PhD in Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, Canada studying the relationship between structure and function in catalytic RNA. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research where she used microarray technology to investigate non-coding RNA in yeast. During her academic career she initiated numerous international collaborations that led to publications in a wide variety of journals. Following her postdoctoral fellowship, she was a Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Centennial College where she worked on a number of curriculum development and applied research projects before an international move led her to establish a freelance writing and editing business. In addition to English, Shawna is fluent in Spanish. She joined Life Science Editors in 2018.

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Ellen Wilson, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Ellen obtained her Ph.D. at the Institute of Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon, characterizing the regulatory regions of genes transcribed by Polymerase III. She joined Princeton University as a postdoctoral fellow, where she studied genetic regulation of gastrulation in the fruit fly, work that was published in Cell. She next shifted to early development of the zebrafish, studying cell fate choices and gastrulation and publishing her findings in Science, Trends in Genetics, and elsewhere. Subsequently, she won grants from HHMI and NIH to produce internet-based science education curricula and then spent twenty years in Research Development at Huntsman Cancer Institute, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center. At HCI, she was an expert in all aspects of the Cancer Center Support Grant (P30) and was an author and scientific editor of that grant, as well as many others designed to fund strategic institutional initiatives. In addition, she contributed to and edited proposals for large, complex, or multi-project grants from HCI’s cancer center members. She joined Life Science Editors in 2021.

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Matt Velinder, Ph.D.
Language Editor

Matt earned his PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Utah, focusing on how interactions between transcription factors and chromatin modifying enzymes are regulated during normal and malignant hematopoiesis.  As a postdoc at the University of Utah, he studies clinical genomics, molecular genetics and bioinformatics, primarily in the context of whole exome- and whole genome-sequencing of rare and undiagnosed congenital disorders. Matt has published in a variety of biological fields using a wide range of wet bench and dry bench experimental methods. He maintains broad scientific interests and tweets “ridiculously short summaries of impactful biological publications” on Twitter @PubSnips. He joined Life Science Editors in 2020.

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Duygu Koldere Vilain, M.Sc.

Duygu obtained her MSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics at Bogazici University, Istanbul, studying planar cell polarity in fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster eye. Then she joined Stein Aerts lab in KU Leuven and studied gene regulatory networks in fruit flies exploiting single cell RNA sequencing. She left before completing her PhD to return home and since then has been pursuing her passion for illustrations and helping scientists to communicate their research visually. She joined Life Science Editors in 2021.

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Jennifer Chase, M.Sc.
Editorial Coordinator

Jen obtained her M.Sc. in Immunology at Dalhousie University, Canada, studying the co-stimulatory requirements of naïve T-cell activation. She went on to work in cancer research in both academic and industry settings before taking a position at Rocky Mountain Laboratories (NIH) studying the innate immune response to the bacterial pathogen, F. tularensis.  She joined Life Science Editors in 2021.

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