I'm a freelance science journalist and write mostly about health, biotechnology and life sciences, but I've covered topics as varied as hunting exoplanets, earthquakes on the San Andreas fault, and radioactive signatures from the atomic age. 

Before diving into science communication, I worked as an epidemiologist for the California Health Department, mostly working on vaccine-preventable disease control. Since making the switch, I've written for outlets such as Wired Science, Slate.com, Mongabay.com, and The Scientist Magazine.

I'm a recent grad of UC Santa Cruz's Science Communication program (2013). I earned my bachelor's in Biology from UC Riverside in 1994 and my MPH in epidemiology from San Diego State University in 1997.

Follow me on twitter: @rinawrites


Highlights - recent stories

A Neglected Family Of Killer Viruses - NPR's Goats and Soda - viral hepatitis is one of the world's most deadly, and ignored, diseases

Cholera Hitches a Ride on the Backs of Soft Shell Turtles - NPR's Goats and Soda - insights into a novel route of infection for cholera

A Teen's Family Fought To Get Her A Restricted TB Drug — And Won - NPR's Goats and Soda - a groundbreaking court case in India may change the game for people without access to new TB drugs.

A Victory for Public Health- Slate.com - The recent measles outbreak at Disneyland sparked a public conversation and led to a new California law for school immunizations 

Mining Existing Drugs for Ebola Treatments - The Scientist - In the wake of the widespread Ebola outbreak, researchers are exploring whether any existing drugs can combat the disease

Sequencing on the Seven SeasThe Scientist - Researchers have installed an advanced genomics lab facility aboard a boat to create a floating molecular testing facility for marine life sciences

Breathing Life into Lung Microbiome Research The Scientist - Although it’s far less populated than the mouth community that helps feed it, researchers increasingly appreciate the role of the lung microbiome in respiratory health.

Visualizing the Ocular MicrobiomeThe Scientist - Researchers are beginning to study in depth the largely uncharted territory of the eye’s microbial composition.

H.M.’s Brain, 1953–PresentThe Scientist - A temporal lobectomy led to profound memory impairment in a man who became the subject of neuroscientists for the rest of his life—and beyond.

Bombs and Bones - Science Notes - using a signature from decades of nuclear tests can help solve forensic mysteries

Researchers study dynamics of workers at poultry farms and markets to track bird flu  Inside Stanford Medicine - how networks of people can spread bird flu

Cadavers make a comeback - San Jose Mercury News, Jan 14, 2013 - Anatomy classrooms are getting back to basics, but where do the cadavers originate?

Extreme Exoplanet-Hunting Telescope to Go Online This Fall - WIRED Science, Feb 23, 2013 - The Gemini Planet Imager will make the Gemini telescope in Chili most powerful exoplanet hunter we've got, revolutionizing how scientists study planets orbiting other stars.

Cell phones help decipher malaria transmission in Kenya  Mongabay.com, Nov 19, 2012 - Scientists are taking advantage of burgeoning cell phone use in Africa to track a killer.

Q&A with Bandana Kaur, head of EcoSikh Mongabay.com - Harnessing religious teachings to save the environment in Punjab 

MBARI researchers discover diet of vampire squid Santa Cruz Sentinel - turns out they're nothing like we expected.