Welcome to Cloudy Media Blog! I’m Heather and I will be hosting and contributing to this site. I am a medical writer for a healthcare reference, DynaMed Plus by day and science blogger by night. At DynaMed, I work in the Infectious Disease Publishing Group to research and write about all my favorite (and not so favorite) pathogens and immune system disorders.
My education and research background is in the fields of immunology and virology. As a postdoctoral fellow at Yale I discovered that a suppressive factor in the immune system called TGF-beta was important for the function of T cells that help B cells make antibodies during flu infection (you can read about it here). Prior to that, at UMass Medical School I worked on another factor made during viral infection, called interferon. I found that interferon prevented the development of a new immune response during infection, which may be one reason why you shouldn’t get a vaccine when you are very sick!
I also have a profound interest in science communication and literacy. For as long as I can remember, friends and family would message me to ask about different medical topics that they had read or heard about. I did my best to research the facts and report back to them individually, but as I was doing so, I was always thinking of starting this blog.
While at Yale, I participated in Science in the News, a monthly series of current scientific issues with the residents of New Haven, CT. Through this program, I also contributed a couple pieces to the Yale Science Diplomats Blog. While at Yale, I also had the opportunity to design an original science course, Biomedical Science in the Media. In this course, we discussed cloning, GMOs, epidemics, and vaccines through the lens of books, movies, and online and social media. I had so much fun teaching this course and I hope to translate a lot of what I learned to this blog.
I hope that you will continue to visit this site for updates and clarification of science in the media, and that you will participate in our scientific dialogue by leaving comments and emailing ideas for new posts.
DISCLAIMER: Everything found on this site is of my own opinion and does not reflect that of DynaMed, EBSCO Information Services, Yale University, University of Massachusetts Medical School, or any affiliate or subsidiary thereof.