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.

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 NSMB). He then became an editor at PNAS, and finally a senior editor at Science for 16 years. Guy handled papers across biology and has written articles and reviews for the popular and scientific press. He joined Life Science Editors in 2017.

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.

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.

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. 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 to study tumor suppressor p53 biology. After completing her postdoc, 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. She joined Life Science Editors as an Editor in 2019.

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.

Carol Featherstone, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Carol received a PhD from the University of Birmingham where she worked on smooth muscle biochemistry. She performed postdoctoral research in cell biology at the EMBL in Heidelberg, at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore and at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. She has first-author papers in the Journal of Cell Biology and Nature. Carol is 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 as an Information Specialist at the Wellcome–CRC Institute in Cambridge. Carol produced an online magazine, The ELSO Gazette, for the European Life Scientist Organisation, and was 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 and was a consultant for PLoS Biology. Carol is fluent in French. She joined Life Science Editors in 2020.

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.

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.

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.

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. She then went on to do a short postdoc at the University of California, Berkeley, investigating how bacterial CRISPR-Cas systems generate new genetic memory and its application 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 was the Strategic Program Manager for the Harvard Chan Microbiome in Public Health Center. She joined Life Science Editors as an Editor in 2021.

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.

Rosy Hosking, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Rosy obtained her Ph.D. in cell biology at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology at University College, London, where she studied the adherens junction and the intracellular roles of p120 catenin. She transitioned to a role in scientific publishing in 2008, working at Trends in Cell Biology and BMC Medicine in London, before moving to Boston, MA to take on a role as a scientific editor for the journal Cell in 2014. Currently, Rosy is the Associate Director, Scientific Communications and Outreach, at the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute. She joined Life Science Editors in 2022.

Javier Carmona Sanz, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Javier obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, studying alterations in DNA methylation in cancer metastasis in the lab of Manel Esteller. For his postdoc, he joined the lab of José Baselga at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, USA, where he focused on investigating mechanisms of resistance to therapy in patients with HER2-driven breast cancer. Throughout his PhD and postdoc career, Javier has contributed to more than 30 articles in different areas of research and has written several pieces for science communication blogs. In 2016, Javier joined Nature Medicine as a scientific editor handling manuscripts in translational cancer research, clinical oncology and artificial intelligence in biomedicine, and in 2019 became Deputy Editor at the journal. During this time, he also collaborated as freelance editor for other journals in the Nature portfolio, such as Nature Communications, Nature Cell Biology and npj Precision Oncology. Currently he works as Scientific Strategy Officer at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) in Barcelona, Spain. He joined Life Science Editors as an Editor in 2022.

Anke Sparmann, Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Anke obtained her Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (USA), where she studied the interplay between oncogene-induced tumor growth and inflammation. During a post-doctoral period at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) in Amsterdam, her work focused on changes of Polycomb-complex composition and chromatin dynamics during neural stem cell differentiation. Anke published as first author in Cancer Cell, Nature Reviews Cancer and The EMBO Journal. After starting her editorial career at The EMBO Journal in 2012, she joined Nature Structural & Molecular Biology in 2014 after a brief interlude at Nature Communications. Since 2021, Anke works as a scientific writer at the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research in Würzburg, Germany, supporting researchers during grant applications, manuscript preparation and the publication process. She joined Life Science Editors in 2022. Image Credit: Elisabetta Citterio.

Ilil Carmi Ph.D.
Scientific Editor

Ilil obtained her PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, studying sex determination in C. elegans. She then pursued her interest in evo devo as a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Germany. She joined the Cell editorial team in 2000, and continued to work with Cell Press in various capacities until 2022. Most recently she was a Senior Scientific Editor on the Developmental Cell editorial team, while also supporting other journal teams as an Agile Editor. Ilil grew up in Israel and is fluent in Hebrew. She joined Life Science Editors in 2022. 

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 20 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.

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.

Derick Okwan, M.D., Ph.D.
Scientific Writer

Derick obtained his M.D., Ph.D. training from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. His PhD work in immunology and molecular pathogenesis focused on understanding myeloid immune responses and augmenting host immunity without eliciting aberrant auto-immune sequalae. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the pathology department at Stanford University, where his laboratory studies the role of neutrophils in chronic inflammatory diseases of aging. Derick has contributed to several manuscripts in journals such as Nature Immunology and Science Translational Medicine. Derick enjoys writing and editing, and was successfully awarded the highly competitive NIH Director’s Transformative Research award, among others. He joined Life Science Editors in 2021

Heather Kinkaid, Ph.D.
Language Editor

Heather obtained her Ph.D. from the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph, Canada, where she studied wild animals in captivity and identified species-level biological risk factors for health or behaviour outcomes. Professionally, Heather has focused on science communication, initially working as a scientific writer and editor at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. She later spent three years as a medical writer, creating and reviewing educational content for pharmaceutical products in oncology and hematology. She then transitioned back to academic writing and editing in a freelance grant development role with the University of Toronto Research Services Office, followed by a full-time role at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. Heather has contributed to publications in diverse fields like stem cell biology, behaviour, regenerative medicine, and neonatology, including papers appearing in notable journals like Circulation, Cell Stem Cell, Journal of Clinical Investigation, and the JAMA and Lancet journals. She joined Life Science Editors in 2022.

Fiona Manning, Ph.D.
Language Editor

Fiona obtained her PhD in Experimental Psychology at McMaster University in Canada, where she studied multisensory integration and cognitive neuroscience. She completed a postdoc at Concordia University in neural plasticity and sensorimotor processing. Fiona has been working as a Research and Statistical Consultant over the last few years, specializing in behavioral sciences, research communications, and statistical modeling. She is also the Scientific Director at the Aphantasia Network, managing the research portfolio and collaborations. She joined Life Science Editors in 2022.

Robert Mahen, Ph.D.
Language Editor

Rob is an independent research fellow in the MRC Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge, UK. His work focuses on understanding centrosomes; organelles used by cells to sense their environment, move, change shape and divide. He has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and postdoctoral experience from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory Germany and Imperial College London. He has published in journals including PNAS and PLOS Biology, including three single author papers. His work has been funded by the Wellcome Trust, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), German Research Foundation and the Isaac Newton Trust. He joined Life Science Editors in 2021.

Duygu Koldere Vilain, M.Sc.
Illustrator

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.

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.