Skip to content


Scope contributors have more than 150 years combined experience covering health-care policy, medicine and basic science research.

Amy Adams writes about science at the intersection of biology, chemistry and engineering. After graduating from the UC Santa Cruz Science Communication program she spent time freelancing for a variety of publications including Science, New Scientist and Astronomy. She started writing about research at Stanford in 2002, with a five-year sabbatical spreading the word about stem-cell advances at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Michelle Brandt, Scope editor, is a proud alumna of the University of Wisconsin's journalism school and has written about medicine and health for more than 10 years. She joined the blogosphere (to write about parenthood) in 2006, and she co-founded Scope (which she has referred to as her third baby) in 2009. Along with editing and writing for the blog, she directs the medical school's digital media program.

Michael Claeys contributes cancer-related content as senior communications manager of the Stanford Cancer Institute. He has more than 15 years experience promoting research and patient advocacy associated with cancer, Parkinson’s disease and stem cell technologies, but he's secretly planning to take over the golf beat.

Krista Conger, PhD '99, received her degree in cancer biology from Stanford. After completing the science writing program at the University of California at Santa Cruz, she joined the medical school's communication office full time in 2000 to write about cancer, genetics, stem cells and other fascinating stuff. Although she finds writing about research much preferable to actually doing it, she credits her time in the lab with her fondness for cooking and sleeping late.

Paul Costello directs the medical school's communication office and hosts 1:2:1, a series of conversations about advances in health-care policy and biomedical research.

Jennie Dusheck writes about genetics, precision health, prevention and population health sciences, urology, gynecology and radiology. She has degrees in integrative biology from UC Berkeley and UC Davis. She is co-author of three editions of the award-winning college biology textbook Asking About Life, and she wrote the protocol for a space shuttle experiment.

Erin Digitale, PhD, focuses on pediatrics, children's health policy, and diet and nutrition.

Margarita Gallardo is interested in consumer-health issues. In addition to writing for Scope, she also produces and edits 1:2:1, an award-winning podcast about advancements in health-care policy and biomedical research.

Bruce Goldman, MS, covers immunology, infectious disease, neurosciences, radiology, cell biology and biochemistry. Although pretty much recovered from an ectopic philosophy degree sustained in adolescence that long plagued all who came near him, he persists in spotting tipping points in conventional wisdom before others do (typically, alas, because they haven't actually occurred).

Susan Ipaktchian writes about disease prevention research, biomedical ethics and faculty diversity issues. She is the director of print and web communications for the medical school's communication office.

Kris Newby, MS Mech Eng '83, is a writer and communications manager for Stanford Health Research & Policy and Spectrum, the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Education and Research. She has been a science and technology writer for more than 15 years and was the senior producer of the medical documentary, “Under Our Skin,” a 2010 Oscar semifinalist.

Ruthann Richter, MA '79, has been writing about medicine and health for more than 25 years. A graduate of the Stanford journalism program, she spent 12 years in daily journalism before embracing the world of academic medicine. She has a special interest in HIV/AIDS, global health and the workings of the brain. She is the co-author of the award-winning book, Face to Face: Children of the AIDS Crisis in Africa.

Rosanne Spector is a free-range medical writer, lately drawn especially to systems biology, medical libraries, and the history of medicine. She has written about science and medicine for 20 years, most of that time at Stanford, where she edits Stanford Medicine magazine and operates a non-profit chocolate concession out of a drawer in her office.

Christopher Vaughan studied biophysics at UC Berkeley before making the switch to science journalism by attending the Graduate Program in Science Communication at UC Santa Cruz. Since then, he has been a writer and editor at the National Institutes of Health, Science News Magazine, Cambridge University Press and UC San Francisco. He has written four popular books on science and is now the communications officer for the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.

Tracie White is a science writer who covers medical research and medical education. A recipient of numerous awards, she has 20 years experience as a newspaper feature writer. Tracie specializes in narrative nonfiction writing.

Sara Wykes came to Stanford Hospital & Clinics with nearly 25 years of experience as a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News. Now she writes about clinical care, with a special interest in neuroscience, cancer, quality and safety.

Kathy Zonana, JD ’96, is a recovering lawyer who can still be found taking on the occasional bioethics quandary. She is the associate editor of Stanford Medicine magazine. Her writing has appeared on, in Stanford magazine and on JURIST.