Our Team

Jon Entine, Executive Director
Jon’s interest in genetics arose from a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, leading to the writing of two books on population genetics: Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chosen People (2007) and Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It (2001). He’s also written on the politics of food and farming: Let Them Eat Precaution: How Politics is Undermining the Genetic Revolution in Agriculture (2005) and Crop Chemophobia: Will Precaution Kill the Green Revolution? (2006); and on science and risk: Scared to Death: How Chemophobia Threatens Public Health. Jon has been a contributing columnist at Forbes, Huffington Post, UK-based Ethical Corporation magazine, and hundreds of media outlets around the world. He spoke before the National Academy of Sciences and the Australian National Press Club on GMO safety. Jon was an a producer and executive for 20 years at NBC News and ABC News, winning 20 journalism awards, including a National Press Club Consumer Journalism Award and Emmys for specials on the reform movements in China and the former Soviet Union. He was head of documentaries and Tom Brokaw’s long-time producer at NBC News. He received his degree in philosophy from Trinity College (CT) and studied at the University of Michigan under a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, and is a long-time visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC.
Nicholas Staropoli, GLP Associate Director; Epigenetics Literacy Project Director
Nicholas is a biologist whose primary focus is genetics, molecular biology, and microbiology. He received a BS in Biomedical Sciences from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY and an MA in Biology from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. Nicholas wrote his master’s thesis on the role insulin may play in the cellular and neurological underpinnings of learning and memory. He also spent time both working for the diagnostic microbiology lab at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA and teaching biology courses at Barnard College, while at the latter he also spent time doing research in environmental microbiology. He is currently based out of New York City.
Tim Barker, Managing Editor
Tim has been a journalist for more than two decades, serving as both an editor and a writer, covering a wide range of subjects, including Monsanto, biotechnology and agriculture. Past employers include the Orlando Sentinel and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He has won numerous writing awards during his journalism career, including a 2015 national feature writing award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for a story on a sustainable farm located outside of St. Louis. He received his journalism degree from Oklahoma State University. He lives in Orlando.
Phil-WillsonPhil Willson, Web and Technology
Serial entrepreneur and innovator, Phil Willson is a University of Pennsylvania graduate with a two-decade record of success in the Internet space. He began his experience on the Web in 1999 by founding the venture capital-backed company, Incentify, which was a first-mover in the social networking segment. Today he is the Managing Principal of Ninjology, a digital consultancy with a focus on serving the small/medium market.
Steven ParkSteven Park, Human Daily Digest Editor and Writer
Steven is a student in cognitive science at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. He writes for both The Miscellany News, the official campus newspaper, and Boilerplate Magazine, an online student news source. He enjoys reading and writing about science and hopes to become involved in science journalism.
Paul McDivittPaul McDivitt, Food and Farming Daily Digest Editor and Writer; Human Genetics writer; Social Media Coordinator
Paul McDivitt is a science and environmental writer with a Master’s in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder. He has been published by the Denver Post, Discover Magazine, Ensia, and several university science institutes. Check out his blog, The State of the Science, and follow him on Twitter @PaulMcDivitt.
John de Dios, Digital Media Director/Writer
With training in media and biology, John is a freelance journalist and former journalism instructor. He has contributed to Scientific American, Fox News Latino, Tucson Weekly, Arizona Republic and Arizona Daily Star. He serves as a professional mentor to young journalists through various organizations, including Asian American Journalists Association, Native American Journalists Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He previously served on the faculty of The New York Times Journalism Institute and as director for a Dow Jones News Fund Diversity Workshop hosted by the University of Arizona.
Ben LocwinBen Locwin, Human Genetics, Brain and Behavior Contributing Columnist
Ben has been providing expertise working with the Genetics Literacy Project for several years. He has performed real field research in human genetics, specifically on genetics of differential human disease and medical treatments that could help future patients. He has written and spoken internationally at biotechnology and gene therapy conferences on the current state of the field and next-generation concerns and solutions. He also has been dedicated to looking at the effect of various medical treatments on particular genotypes (called pharmacogenetics) in order to improve the future of pharmaceutical care. Ben has been an advisor-consult for the FDA on several of their wide-reaching initiatives. He is an expert media contact for the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), and a steering committee member for the American Statistical Association (ASA). Ben has been featured by the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Fox News, and other media outlets.
Meredith Knight, Human Genetics Contributing Columnist
Meredith Knight is a science and health writer based in Austin, Texas. She graduated from NYU’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting program and has written for Scientific American MIND, Scientific American Online, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and other publications.
Andrew PorterfieldAndrew Porterfield, Contributing Columnist
Andrew has been a writer, communications consultant and editor for more than 20 years. His work has appeared in ScienceNOW, Entomology Today, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Science, New York Newsday CBS News and the San Francisco Chronicle. He has a BA in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and a MS in biotechnology from the University of Maryland. He has worked as a public information officer for the Salk Institute and the University of California-Irvine. In addition to journalism, he has been a communications consultant to a number of biotechnology and device firms, ranging from startups to Pfizer. He is based in California. Twitter: @AMPorterfield
David WarmflashDavid Warmflash, Contributing Columnist
David Warmflash is a science communicator, astrobiologist, and physician. He has produced and edited educational materials for a range of medical specialties, including medical genetics, aerospace medicine, hyperbaric medicine, neurology, and hematology. He is featured frequently on Discover Magazine’s The Crux and on Genetic Literacy Project and other online and print media, where gene therapy and other genetic biotechnologies have been among his principal topics. He writes for a range of student levels from grade school through continuing medical education for physicians, and recently has begun consulting on application of holographic technology to medical and science education. In 2016, Dr. Warmflash was featured in a new book written by Lucy and Stephen Hawking titled George and the Blue Moon, where he has a text box called “Medically Speaking, Is Suspended Animation Realistic?” It is one of several commentaries worked into the book by experts in various fields relevant to the storyline. Dr. Warmflash was in the first cohort of NASA Astrobiology postdoctoral trainees in 2000-2002. During that time, he worked on projects related to the search for life forms on Mars at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Since 2002, Dr. Warmflash has collaborated with The Planetary Society on three experiments that have flown in space. The first experiment came to be known as “the peace experiment” and included an Israeli and a Palestinian student working with Dr. Warmflash as co-investigators. It was a microbiology experiment that flew on NASA’s STS-107, the flight of the space shuttle Columbia that ended tragically in 2003. The next experiment flew on the Endeavour as part of STS-134 in 2011. This 2-week flight exposed several biological species to space as a test run for a subsequent experiment that Dr. Warmflash sent on the Russian Phobos-Grunt mission. This last mission failed in low Earth orbit, but would have taken ten biological species through interplanetary space, simulating the flight of dormant organisms inside a meteoroid moving between planets, and now Dr. Warmflash and colleagues are planning to launch a similar experiment on a future interplanetary flight, most likely NASA’s planned Asteroid Retrieval Mission (ARM). The goal of all of these experiments is to improve our understanding of the biological effects of deep space radiation. Dr. Warmflash holds an M.D. from Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine and a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Advisors Who Helped Launch the GLP

Media Science

Kevin Davies, Editor-in-Chief of Bio•IT World Kevin is the author most recently of The $1,000 Genome and Cracking the Genome (2010). He was the founding editor of Nature Genetics, the world’s leading genetics journal, which he headed for its first five years. He has also written for the Times (London), Boston Globe, New England Journal of Medicine, and New Scientist, among others. His first book, Breakthrough (1995), co-authored with Michael White, told the story of the race for the BRCA1 breast cancer gene. Davies holds an M.A. in biochemistry from the University of Oxford and a PhD in molecular genetics from the University of London. He held postdoctoral fellowships at MIT and Harvard Medical School before moving into science publishing as an editor with Nature magazine.
Elizabeth Finkel, Science Writer Elizabeth holds a PhD in biochemistry and was a professional research scientist before becoming a journalist, focusing on human and agricultural genomics. She is author of Genome Generation (Melbourne University Publishing, 2011) and Stem Cells: Controversy at the frontiers of Science (2005), which won a Queensland Premier’s Literary award and was a finalist for the Australian government Eureka award for promoting the public understanding of science. She has won the Amgen and MBF awards for medical journalism, the Michael Daley award for best radio feature broadcast, the Bell Awards’ categories for ‘Best feature writer’ and ‘Best analytical writer’ and a 2011 National Press Club of Australia and Universities Australia Higher Education Journalist of the Year.

Science & Risk Communication

Geoffrey KabatGeoffrey Kabat, Contributing Columnist
Geoffrey Kabat, a cancer epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, has studied a wide range of lifestyle, clinical, and environmental factors associated with cancer and other diseases, including smoking, alcohol, diet, physical activity, hormones, obesity, the metabolic syndrome, and exposure to chemical contaminants and electromagnetic fields. He has published over 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers. As a practicing epidemiologist, he has had a long-standing interest in how health risks are studied and communicated to the public. His book Hyping Health Risks: Environmental Hazards in Daily Life and the Science of Epidemiology (2008) is considered a classic in risk analysis and communication. His new book Getting Risk Right: Understanding the Science of Elusive Health Risks (2017) emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between path-breaking scientific work and flimsy research that gets sensationalized by appealing to the public’s fears. He writes a regular column for Forbes on the perception vs. the reality of health risks.
Gary L. Kreps, Chair, Department of Communication, George Mason University Gary held the Mandell Endowed Chair in Health Communication from 2004 to 2010. He serves on the Governing Board of the Center for Social Science Research, and is a faculty affiliate of the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, the Center for Health Care Ethics and Policy, the Center for International Medical Policies and Practices, Center for Health Information Technology, Center for Consciousness and Transformation, and the Center for Climate Change Communication at GMU. Prior to his faculty appointment, he served for five years (1999–2004) as the founding Chief of the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute. He was the Founding Dean of the School of Communication at Hofstra University, Executive Director of the Greenspun School of Communication at UNLV and in faculty and administrative roles at Northern Illinois, Rutgers, Indiana, and Purdue Universities.

Human Genetics

Henry Harpending, Thomas Chair Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of Utah Henry earned his PhD at Harvard in 1972 and is credited with developing the “Out of Africa” theory of evolution. He has broken new ground in anthropology and human biology by applying mathematical models to genetic and morphometric variation, examining hypotheses such as population growth, divergence and gene flow. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and co-author with Gregory Cochran of The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution (2009). They found evidence that our species had only a few thousand members during the last interglacial and that there were several subsequent demographic expansions, the earliest among the ancestors of contemporary sub-Saharan Africans.
Caroline Lieber, Director, Human Genetics Graduate Program, Sarah Lawrence College Caroline is head of the largest genetic counseling training program in the United States, with more than 600 graduates and links to 50 genetic centers around the country. She received her MS in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence and her BS from the University of California-Davis. She is also an ABGC licensed genetic counselor and member of the Transnational Alliance for Genetic Counseling.
Ariella Oppenheim, Professor Emeritus, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School Ariella has held the Henri and Erna Leir Chair in Molecular Biology & Cellular Medicine since 1999 and has been a faculty member since receiving her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1966. In 1998 she established the Ethics in Research Committee at the Hebrew University and chaired the Committee. She also participated in the formulation of Israel’s Genetic Information Law and was both a participant and head of ad-hoc committees of the Ministry of Health and of the Ministry of Science on ethical issues in genetics and gene therapy. She helped establish the Gene Therapy Institute at Hadassah in 1992, and since 2003 has been a member of the steering committee of the Israeli National Center For Gene Therapy. She is a member of the National Helsinki Committee, which serves as an advisory committee on ethics to the Ministry of Health.
Sharon Terry, President, CEO, Genetic Alliance Sharon runs a network of thousands of genetic disease-specific advocacy organizations. A former college chaplain, she is the CEO of PXE International, a research advocacy organization for the genetic condition pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), which she founded following the diagnosis of her two children. She is also co-founder of the Genetic Alliance Biobank, a centralized biological and data repository on genetic diseases. She serves on the boards of the Institute of Medicine Science and Policy Board, GRAND Therapeutics Foundation, the Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation, The Biotechnology Institute, National Coalition of Health Professional Education in Genetics and the Coalition for 21st Century Medicine. She is on the editorial boards of Genetic Testing and Biomarkers, Biopreservation and Biobanking, and Journal of Postgenomics: Drug & Biomarker Development, and the Google Health and Rosalind Franklin Society Advisory Boards. She is the chair of the Coalition for Genetic Fairness, which was instrumental in the passage of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

Food Security

C.S. Prakash, Director, Center for Plant Biotechnology Research, Tuskegee University C.S. oversees research on food crops of importance to developing countries and the training of scientists in plant biotechnology. His website AgBioworld.org is read by experts in 55 countries. He recently served on the USDA’s Agricultural Biotechnology Advisory Committee and serves on the Advisory Committee for the Department of Biotechnology for India. His contribution to agricultural biotechnology outreach was recognized by the magazine Progressive Farmer, which named him the Man of the Year for his service to Alabama agriculture. He was recently named by the Council for Biotechnology Information as one of a dozen “pioneers, visionaries and innovators behind the progress and promise of plant biotechnology”.
Chavali Kameswara Rao, Executive Secretary, Foundation for Biotechnology Awareness and Education Chavali has over 40 years of academic experience in botanical sciences, particularly phytochemistry, plant diversity, databases of medicinal plants and computer applications in plant systematics. He was the chairman of the Departments of Botany Sericulture at the Bangalore University. FBAE is a non-profit striving to enhance public awareness and raise standards of education and training in biotechnology. He serves on several policy committees of the Department of Biotechnology and Ministry of Environment and Forests in India and life science research policy committees of the US National Academies of Sciences and the World Health Organization.

Legal and Ethics

Laurie Zoloth, Director, Center for Bioethics, Science and Society; Professor, Medical Ethics, Religion, Northwestern University Laurie was Professor of Ethics and Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University before coming to Northwestern. She is past president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and served on its founding board for two terms, receiving the Society’s award for Service to the Field. She is the former Chair of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Bioethics Advisory Board, an executive board member of The Society for Women’s Health Research, and served on the advisory boards of the Robert Wood Johnson’s Project on Excellence at the End of Life, the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Working Group on Human Germ-Line Interventions and on Stem Cell Research, the Ethics Section of the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Jewish Social Ethics and the Park Ridge Center’s Project on Judaism and Bioethics. She received an NIH ELSI grant to explore the ethical issues after the mapping of the human genome and was named principal investigator of the International Project on Judaism and Genetics, which was co-sponsored by the AAAS and supported by the Haas Foundation and the Greenwall Fund. She is on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, the Journal of Clinical Ethics and the American Journal of Bioethics.