Vanessa C. McMains, Ph.D., joined the media relations staff in June 2010 as a media relations representative and communications coordinator, and has since transitioned to a communications specialist position. Her background is in science writing and research.
Previously, she performed freelance writing and editing for the National Institutes of Health and The American Physiological Society. She was selected as an American Association for the Advancement in Science (AAAS) mass media fellow, which placed her at the Chicago Tribune reporting on science and medicine. Vanessa is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and the D.C. Science Writer's Association.
Vanessa's roots are in scientific research with specialties in cell and developmental biology. She studied a protein found in amoebas that is also linked to Alzheimer's disease when mutated in people. Also, she studied the fungus that caused the North American chestnut blight. She holds a Ph.D. in biology from a joint program between the National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins University. She also holds a B.S. in biological sciences from the University of Maryland at College Park.