NeuWrite Leadership


Stuart Firestein (co-Founder)

Stuart is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Columbia University and author of two books, Ignorance: How It Drives Science, and Failure: Why Science is So Successful.



Caitlin a science writer at Rockefeller University with a PhD in Communications, a soft spot for neuroscience, and a passion for science-inspired comedy.



Hannah is a science journalist at Spectrum, an autism research magazine based in New York. Her stories have appeared in The AtlanticScienceThe Wall Street JournalThe GuardianSlateAudubon Magazine and The Fresno BeeContact Hannah.

Leslie Sibener (GROUP LEADER) 

Leslie is a neuroscience PhD candidate in Rui Costa’s laboratory at Columbia University. She studies how animals learn, maintain, and execute motor skills.

Clay Lacefield (co-founder) 

Clay is an Adjunct Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry's Division of Integrative Neuroscience at Columbia University.


Carl Schoonover (Co-Founder)

Carl is a postdoctoral fellow in the Axel Laboratory at Columbia University; he has written for The New York TimesLe Figaro, and Scientific American, is a 2012 TED fellowand his first book, Portraits of The Mind, was published in 2010.



Current & past NeuWrite Columbia members

Elliot Aguilar is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. He uses mathematical models to study the coevolution of genes and culture.

Amelia Atlas is a literary agent at ICM partners.

Victoria Augustine is a screenwriter in New York City.

Rachel Aviv is a staff writer at The New Yorker.

Eiman Azim is an Assistant Professor at the Salk Institute.

Ben Backus is a faculty member at the SUNY College of Optometry's Graduate Center for Vision Research, where his research focuses on binocular vision, perception, neural plasticity, amblyopia and strabismus. 

Drew Baughman has an MFA in poetry and an MA in biotechnology

Taylor Beck is a freelance journalist in New York City.

Thania Benios is a Health and Science Editor at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Punita Bhansali is an Assistant Professor at CUNY Queensborough Community College.

Molly Birnbaum is the Executive Editor of Cook's Science at America's Test Kitchen

Cat Bohannon is a scientist and author in Seattle.

Scott Bolkan is recent graduate of Columbia University's Neuroscience PhD program, where he studied the pathophysiology of psychiatric disease

Brendan Borrell is a correspondent for Outside magazine, and his work has also been published in Scientific American, Smithsonian, Bloomberg Businessweek and The New York Times.

Rebecca Brachman is a neuroscientist, TED Fellow, and NYCEDC Entrepreneurship Lab Fellow pioneering the field of preventative psychopharmacology.

Laurel Braitman is a New York Times bestselling author, historian and anthropologist of science.

Helen Brew is a neurophysiologist.

Ada Brunstein is a freelance writer and executive editor at Oxford University Press. 

Susannah Cahalan is a New York Post reporter and author of Brain on Fire, which chronicles her struggle with a rare autoimmune disease

Susan Carnell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University and has a blog at Psychology Today called Bad Appetite

Dawn Chan writes about art, culture and technology, and her articles on visual artvideo gamesbookstech, and music can be found in the, the New York TimesArtforum and

Ian Chant is writer and editor whose interests and expertise include science, technology, data, and culture; his writing has appeared in Scientific AmericanPopular SciencePsychology Today, and a wide variety of other publications, as well as on public radio programs including Science Friday and Freakonomics Radio.

Trevor Corson is a Lecturer & Course Co-Director for Readings in American Studies, Undergraduate Writing Program in the Department of English at Columbia University. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Graduate Writing Program School of the Arts, Columbia University. His book, The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fishermen and Scientists Are Unraveling the Mysteries of Our Favorite Crustacean, was included in the Best American Science Writing edited by Oliver Sacks.

Meehan Crist is writer in-residence in Biological Sciences at Columbia University; previously she was editor-at-large at Nautilus and reviews editor at The Believer. She is the host of Convergence: a show about the future.

Kate Daloz has an MFA in nonfiction writing and is author of the book We Are As Gods, published in 2016.

Trenton Daniel is a journalist at the Associated Press.

Aniruddha Das is an Associate Professor in neuroscience and psychiatry at Columbia. 

Abha Dawesar is a novelist and an artist.

Anthony DeCostanzo  is a Research Scientist at RIKEN in the Laboratory for Neural Circuit Theory where he is modeling brain function. 

Celia Durkin is a Phd Candidate in Psychology at Columbia University.

Brian Earp  is a Research Associate with the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics and a Consultant working with the Institute for Science and Ethics at Oxford's Martin School. 

Joanna Ebenstein is a freelance curator, writer, photographer, designer, museum consultant, founder of the Museum of Morbid Anatomy, and author of The Anatomical Venus: Wax, God, Death & the Ecstatic.

Ben Ehlich is the author of The Dreams of Santago Ramón y Cajal.

Armen Enikolopov is a PhD student working on auditory processing.

Helen Epstein is a writer, molecular biologist, and independent consultant specializing in public health in developing countries. 

Sean Escola is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center.

Annegret Falkner is a post-doctoral fellow at New York University working on the neural circuitry of aggression.

Carolyn Farnsworth is a copy editor at Nature Methods.

Rachel Field is a laboratory technician at NYU School of Medicine.

Andrew Fink is a postdoctoral fellow in the Axel Laboratory at Columbia University.

Morgan Firestein is a graduate student in Psychology at Columbia University.

Carl Erik Fisher is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University, where he works and teaches in the Department of Psychiatry and the Masters Program in Bioethics.

Leora Fox is the Manager of Research and Mission Programs at the Huntington's Disease Society of America, and has written for HDBuzz.

Lauren Friedman is Deputy Editor, Health at Consumer Reports and an adjunct lecturer at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Alexis Gambis is a French-Venezuelan scientist-veered filmmaker who has been featured by The New York Times, TED, Nature, Science, Cell, The Village Voice, and WNYC; he is Founder & Executive Director of the Imagine Science Film Festival, founder of VOD platform and magazine Labocine. He is currently working on a new film, "Son of Monarchs," his second feature after "The Fly Room".

Stefano Ghirlanda is a Professor of Psychology at Brooklyn College, CUNY. He develops computational models of animal behavior and of human cultural dynamics.

Celia Gorman is Associate Editor, Multimedia, IEEE Spectrum.

Jana Grcevich is co-author of Vacation Guide to the Solar System and has a PhD in astronomy.

Jaime Green is a freelance writer and has written essays and criticism for The Awl, The Millions, The Rumpus, The Toast, American Theatre, The Oyster Review, Everyday Genius, and The Lancet Infectious Diseases, among other places.

Alex Harvey is a Colorado-born director, writer, filmmaker, musician, teacher and producer based out of Brooklyn.

Michele Lent Hirsch is a writer and editor and the author of Invisible: How Young Women with Serious Health Issues Navigate Work, Relationships, and the Pressure to Seem Just Fine (Beacon Press, 2018).

Adam Hoffman is an Assistant Editor at Time Inc and freelance science writer.

Noah Hutton is a film director and founder of the website The Beautiful Brain.

Ferris Jabr is a writer based in Portland, Oregon; previously, he was a staff editor at Scientific American, where he is now a Contributing Writer. 

Leah Kelly is a neuroscientist at Rockefeller University researching appetite; she has been interviewed by PalaisHouseThe Sunday Times Magazine and VBS, and curates events exploring the material basis of creativity

Aaron Kaplan is a medical student at Columbia University.

K.A. Keener is particularly interested in the intersection between neuroscience and education and has served as a consultant for Columbia University’s Neuroscience Outreach program; currently she is working on a book entitled The Neuroscience of Second Chances. 

Jacqueline Ko is a literary agent at the Wylie Agency.

Olivia Koski is Head of Operations at Guerilla Science USA and co-author of Vacation Gide to the Solar System.

Anna Kuchment is a staff writer at The Dallas Morning News and a contributing editor at Scientific American magazine.

Emily Laber-Warren is director of Health & Science Reporting at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; she has been a top editor at Scientific American Mind, Women’s Health, and Popular Science, and her articles have appeared in those and other publications, including Psychology Today and Newsweek.

Brooke Larson holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, and is currently a PhD student in Poetry at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. 

Michelle Legro is an editor at Longreads. 

Janna Levin is the Tow Professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University, director of sciences at Pioneer Works, and author of How the Universe Got Its Spots, A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, and Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space.

Ben Lillie is a high-energy particle physicist and co-Creator of Caveat. He is co-founder and Director of The Story Collider, where people are invited to tell stories of their personal experience of science.

Grace Lindsay is a doctoral candidate in the program of Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University whose research focuses on computational modeling of cortical areas; she blogs at Neurdiness and her own blog,

Richard Lipkin is Managing Director at Easton Capital Investment Group and a former science journalist. 

Jacob Lowenstein is a graduate student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at The University of Colorado Boulder.

Tim Machado has a PhD from Columbia University and is a founder of Cognescent.

Karan Mahajan is the author of two novels, Family Planning and The Association of Small Bombs, which was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Awards. 

Francesca Mari is a senior editor at California Sunday Magazine.

Josephine McGowan is a PhD student in Neuroscience at Columbia University.

Tim McHenry is Director of Programs and Engagement at the Rubin Museum and founder of the Brainwave Festival.

Rose Meacham is a UX Engineer Intern at Google.

József Mészáros is a PhD student in Neuroscience at Columbia University.

Marissa Miley is a freelance science journalist and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller, Restless Virgins.

Andy Mills is a producer at the NPR program Radiolab.

Ben Nabors  is a filmmaker and founder of {GROUP THEORY}, a collaboration-­driven production studio; his films include William and the Windmill, Palimpsest, and The Happy Film.

Latif Nasser is the Director of Research for Radiolab.

Anna North is a staff editor at The New York Times.

Luke Nunnelly is a PhD student in Neuroscience at Columbia University.

Lauren Osborne

Lani Oshima is a former editor at Oxford University Press.

Alex Pasternack is an writer, filmmaker, and founding editor of Motherboard/VICE Media.

Samir Patel is Deputy Editor at Atlas Obscura.

Anne Pycha is an assistant professor of linguistics at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Rikki Rabinovich is a PhD student in Neuroscience at Columbia University.

Abby Rabinowitz is a freelance writer and a Lecturer at Columbia University. 

Heather Radke is a writer, teacher, and cultural producer living New York, working on an MFA in Nonfiction at Columbia University, where I also teach writing; her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Guernica, The White Review, The National, B&G and Museum. 

Lisa Randolph is a PhD student in Neuroscience at Columbia University.

Diana Reiss is a Professor of Psychology at Hunter College, where she studies animal cognition, and author of The Dolphin in the Mirror: Exploring Dolphin Minds and Saving Dolphin Lives.

Tim Requarth is a freelance journalist based in New York City. His writing has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and Scientific American. He received his PhD in neuroscience from Columbia University, where he also taught biology, chemistry, and science writing.

Rachel Riederer is co-editor-in-chief of Guernica: a magazine of global art + politics.

Andrea Rothman  Andrea Rothman is the author of the novel “The DNA of You and Me.” She was a research scientist at the Rockefeller University in New York, and holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her website:

Karen Russell is a fiction writer and author of Swamplandia!

Graham Sack is a screenwriter and PhD candidate in English & Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

Marin Sardy is author of Theory of Mind, forthcoming from Pantheon Books in 2018.

David Schneider is a postdoctoral fellow in Neurobiology at Duke University.

Casey Schwartz is the author of In the Mind Fields: Exploring the New Science of Neuropsychoanalysis.

Danielle Sedbrook currently teaches Organic Chemistry at Columbia University, where she received her Ph.D. in 2013.

Katie Shakman is a PhD student in Neuroscience at Columbia University.

Dan Shalev is a Psychiatry Resident at Columbia University Medical Center.

Leslie Sibener is a PhD student in Neuroscience at Columbia University.

Peter Andrey Smith is a freelance reporter whose stories have been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Harper’s, Scientific American, Wired, New York, among other places.

Sara Steenrod is a freelance academic editor.

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has pioneered research on the use of Google searches to get new insights into the human psyche, and his book summarizing his research, Everybody Lies, will be published in May 2017 by HarperCollins.

Josh Taliaferro is an MD/PhD student at Columbia University Medical Center.

Kim Tingley is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine.

Sebastien Thualt is an editor at Nature Neuroscience.

Michael Tyburski is a filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. His work has screened at The Sundance Film Festival and has been featured by The New Yorker, Indiewire, Short of the Week, and Filmmaker Magazine, which named him amongst the “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

Sandra Upson is Executive Editor at Backchannel.

Starre Vartan is a former geologist and current writer and author working on a book about human consumption; her work has appeared in Scientific American, Slate, Conde Nast Traveler, Mental Floss, and she was formerly a columnist for Audubon magazine. 

Emily Voigt is a journalist based in New York specializing in science and culture. 

Deena Walker is a postdoctoral fellow at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine where she studies the molecular mechanisms of addiction and depression. 

Pat Walters is a writer and audio producer, currently working as an editor at Gimlet Media, the podcasting company co-founded by former This American Life producer and Planet Money founder Alex Blumberg.

Qing Wang is a medical resident at Bassett Healthcare Network.

Claire Warriner is a PhD student in Neuroscience at Columbia University.

Corey Washington is founder and CEO at Vertexer.

Greg Wayne is a researcher at Google DeepMind.

Jonathan Weiner is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Maxwell M. Geffen Professor of Medical and Scientific Journalism at Columbia University.

Hara Woltz is an environmental scientist and artist.

Stephanie Wykstra is a freelance writer and consultant.

Maryam Zaringhalam is a postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University.