Hi! Welcome to Biology4Everyone!
Do you ask people questions about biology they can't answer?
Do you try to read what looks like an interesting article and then get frustrated after struggling with their scientific jargon?
If so, or you're just plain old curious, then you've come to the right place!
My mission is to explain biological issues in simple language so you can understand them.
We don't lose the biology, just the struggle to understand it!
If that sounds like the kind of biology you'd like to hear about, get our weekly news updates delivered right to your inbox!
Like the river otter emerging from the pipe in the picture above, Biology 4 Everyone is for the curious minded. People who are fascinated by the living world they encounter everyday.
Biology affects all of us everyday in big and small ways both subtle and dramatic.
I've spent the greater part of my life learning about and applying biology in everyday life in so many ways I can't even begin to tell about them all.
But I'm still trying!
Here's a bit more about me and why I do this.
I grew up on Long Island, NY and there was a pond at the end of our block. Fishing was how my best friend and I spent most of our days.
I grew up on Long Island, in New York state and there was a pond at the end of our block. Fishing was how my best friend and I spent most of our days.
But it wasn't just the fish. I was curious about the ducks that lived there. I also watched tadpoles grow and mature into frogs. I learned about darning needles and dragon flies and so much more.
I was surrounded by nature. And then in my senior year of High School, I took an advanced biology course.
In one of our units we observed and made drawings every day of a fertilized chicken egg while it developed. We had cut away part of the shell and glued a piece of glass over it so we could watch the daily changes.
I still vividly remember the day I saw a pulsating heart and blood vessels in the young embryo.
Wow, I was hooked for life!
I ended up getting my B.Sc. in Forest Botany and Pathology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University.
That was in 1973.
After doing some other stuff, including working in an HIV research lab and playing in a folk music band, I eventually returned to school and obtained a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Syracuse University.
In 1996, I moved to Canada to do a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia. I looked at how DNA and chromosomes were packaged into the nucleus of cells in fruit flies.
Then I did another postdoc looking at how yeast cells express specific genetic traits.
Then I took a position as a scientist in research lab that was investigating which genes might be causing prostate cancer.
Then I.....Well one thing lead to another and I ended up never leaving BC!
After 7 years of prostate cancer research I left the laboratory, acquired certification as a project manager and took a job at the BC Genome Sciences Centre.
From project management I moved into research facilitation, helping academics at the BC Cancer Agency and then the BC Child and Family Research Institute to obtain grant funding for their research projects.
One of the most common problems we faced in funding applications was the requirement to write a lay abstract so that non-scientists on grant review committees could understand the science we wanted to do.
Writing a really good lay abstract is not easy!
Check out my Ph.D. dissertation title page.
Talk about jargon!! It's very scientifically accurate but do you have any idea what I actually did and why?
No? I'm not surprised. Neither would most people.
I knew I had to solve that problem!
So, while I was at Child and Family, I studied how to communicate complex science using plain language that anyone could understand. I eventually got good enough at it to develop and present a workshop for graduate students and postdocs that was quite well received.
During my years at Child and Family, my work helped our investigators receive over $20 million in grant funding!
After I left that position, I reconnected with former colleagues who had started up a biotech company, Fusion Genomics Corporation.
The company develops extremely accurate and rapid molecular assays for diagnosing infectious diseases. I came on board as their Director of Communications where I helped to develop and edit content for the website, business plans and grant applications.
I still consult for them.
Why Did I Create Biology4Everyone?
People like yourself want to learn about the latest news in biology but they often stop reading because the information and language are too difficult to understand.
They find the "science" to be a bit intimidating.
Maybe I could help with that!
So I created this blog.
I use simple language so that you can understand complex biology and have fun learning about exotic and fascinating creatures that share this wonderful planet with us.
For the past couple of years I've continued posting online at Medium.
I've even been designated a Top Writer for the Illumination-Curated publication
You can check out my articles here and the blog page on this site.
Here are my 4 most popular articles in Medium.
And they're just the tip of the iceberg!
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