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Editorial Team

Jef Akst | Managing Editor | | @jefakst

Jef (an unusual nickname for Jennifer) is a professional journalist and editor specializing in the life sciences. She earned her master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses and spent the first 13 years of her career at The Scientist, where she edited features and oversaw the production of the publication’s digital and print magazines. In 2022, her feature on uterus transplantation earned first place in the trade category of the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers. She lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with her husband, young daughter, wild coonhound, and aging cat. Her hobbies including hiking, camping, and shooting pool.

Greg Slabodkin | News Editor | | @Slabodkin

Greg is a seasoned editor/writer who has covered the healthcare, life sciences and medical device industries for several tech trade publications. He is the recipient of a Post-Newsweek Business Information Editorial Excellence Award for his news reporting and a Gold Award for Best Case Study from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors. In addition, Greg is a Healthcare Fellow from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. He is an avid Buffalo Bills football fan, likes to kayak and plays guitar.

Heather McKenzie | Senior Editor | | @chicat08

Heather McKenzie is a professional journalist with more than five years experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Since joining BioSpace, she has written more than 200 features and breaking news articles with a particular focus in neuroscience and gene therapy. She has also traveled internationally to cover global biotech hubs such as Israel. In previous roles, she has covered current affairs, sports, education and politics. She previously spent eight years as a senior content producer for executive-level business conferences in the pharma/biotech, legal, energy and business strategy sectors. In her free time, Heather enjoys creative writing, spending time with family and playing with her energetic Russian Blue cat Roofus. She hails from Toronto and has also lived in Chicago and Chesapeake, Virginia.

Shawna Williams | Senior Editor | | LinkedIn

Shawna is an editor and writer with a background in covering the life sciences. Previously, she was an editor at The Scientist from 2017 through 2022, where she served as news director for the last year and a half of her tenure. She has also worked as a freelance editor and writer and in the communications offices of several academic research institutions, and is a member of the National Association of Science Writers. She is based in New York City, where she enjoys exploring the city's restaurants, studying tae kwon do, and taking her kids to the library.

Tyler Patchen | Staff Writer | | LinkedIn

Tyler is a journalist with over six years of experience in the world of business journalism. He started his career with the Birmingham Business Journal in Birmingham, Alabama writing about health care, technology, sports business and education. He previously worked as a reporter for Endpoints News covering biotech and manufacturing. Tyler currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama and holds interests in reading, golf and is also a passionate sports fan.


Contributing Writers

Ana Mulero | News | @anitamulero

Ana Mulero has been reporting on pharma and biotech for nearly 10 years. She earned her Master’s in Multiplatform Journalism from the University of Maryland. Ana has held editorial and reporting positions at the Washington Business Journal, Industry Dive, FDA News, the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society and BioCentury. Her work has also appeared in Endpoints News, Xtelligent, BioWorld, HealthLeaders, among other publications. She is currently pursuing her second Master’s degree, this time an MBA in Healthcare Management at the Florida Institute of Technology. She is from and lives in Puerto Rico.

Kate Goodwin | News & Features |

Kate Goodwin hails from a background primarily in marketing. A passion for health sciences and writing led her to the biopharma news world, and she's never looked back. She's been writing for BioSpace for more than two years with a focus on cutting edge research, Alzheimer's disease and pediatrics. Her free time is filled by her husband, children, Beagles, books, crochet and creative writing. 

Tristan Manalac | News |

Tristan is an independent science writer based in Metro Manila, with around seven years of experience writing about medicine, biotech and the environment. Being formally trained in molecular biology, he once dreamed of collecting degrees and starting his own lab. But these days, he finds his greatest joy in a bottle of beer and a beautiful sentence.