cSw Speakers:

Meet Our Speakers

Communications professional engaged in journalism, public relations, and/or education, with experience in science, health care, and/or research communications.

Interested in being speaker? Please contact us for consideration.


Dr. Manasi Apte

Project Manager, Science and Health

Ripple Effect Communications

Dr. Manasi Apte is a post-doctoral research fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is currently trying to understand how some cancer cells evade all the pre-existing therapies by maintaining their DNA ends using an exciting but yet unexplored, alternate pathway in yeast cells named HAATI. She received her Ph.D. from Wayne State University, Detroit, studying how fruit flies determine their sex using a non-conventional mechanism.

Prior to her Graduate work, Manasi received her B.S and M.S in Microbiology from India. She has published several research articles and has won awards and recognition for presenting her work. All throughout her academic career, Manasi has been a passionate advocate for better science communication. For the past five years at the NIH, she has served as editor-in-chief for NCI Fellows newsletter where she introduced informational interview reports as an ongoing feature.

She is also involved in various science outreach programs at the NCI working closely with students and administrators for curriculum development and execution. Manasi also works as a course instructor for ASBMB’s Art of Science Communications Online course. She strongly believes that telling your story effectively is the key for effective communication and plans to use her expertise in science as well as communications to increase science literacy in the general public.

Todd Bentsen

Director of Strategic Communications Initiatives

Science at the American Psychological Association

Todd Bentsen is the Director of Strategic Communications Initiatives for Science at the American Psychological Association. A communications leader specializing in health and science, his experience in research-oriented national organizations includes the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Society for Neuroscience, and American Society for Clinical Oncology. His skills span the communications gamut — with particular expertise in media relations — and he is passionate about conveying complex health and science information to public audiences. Bentsen holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Maryland.

Stacy Brooks

Director of Communications and Social Media

American Physiological Society

Stacy Brooks is Director of Communications and Social Media at the American Physiological Society (APS) where she oversees content development, media relations, social media, the APS website, the award-winning I Spy Physiology blog and overall communications outreach for the nearly 9,000 member association. She is also editor-in-chief of The Physiologist Magazine, a member-focused publication which relaunched in 2019. She devotes much of her time at work helping APS members—who are primarily biomedical researchers with PhDs—learn how to better communicate their research to the media, the general public and other researchers. Prior to her time at APS, Stacy worked in the Communications Office at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and at Ogilvy Public Relations.

Stacy received her degree in Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising at Temple University in Philadelphia. She is a member of the board of Association Media and Publishing, currently serving on the Executive Committee in the role of Secretary. When not at work, you’ll find Stacy hanging out with her husband, two sons and extended family. She loves cooking, travel, flowers and a good workout—some of which she details on her blog.

Elizabeth Doughman


AWATT Poultry USA and Poultry Future

For the last 13 years, Elizabeth Doughman has covered biomedical, veterinary and pharmaceutical research for ALN Magazine. She has written about everything from vivarium design to methods of improving laboratory animal welfare. Elizabeth has a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Kentucky and an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University. She loves her horse, Cherokee, and specializes in sharing weird science facts at cocktail parties.

Brooke Dulka

Associate Manager, Medical Writer and Science Communicator

Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions

Brooke Dulka, Ph.D. (she/her/hers) is an associate manager, medical writer, and science communicator at Cardinal Health Speciality Solutions. Here, she leads a team of writers/scientists as they strategize on content creation for summits, prepares newsletters covering recent research, and creates slide decks and data-driven reports for case insight programs and advisory boards. She also aids her team as they prepare abstracts, posters, and research papers using real-world data. As a manager and team leader, Brooke is committed to promoting diversity in communication, mentoring junior writers, protecting data integrity, and building awareness through education.

Prior to her career in medical writing, Brooke was a postdoctoral researcher who studied the link between aging, memory, and protein degradation within the brain. Before that, while I working on her doctorate, she studied resilience to traumatic stress and taught undergraduate courses in Research Methodology and Behavioral Neuroscience. In her free time, she enjoys reading fantasy and science fiction, drinking tea, and spending time with her dog.

Carol Haggans

Scientific and Health Communications Consultant

National Institutes of Health

Carol Haggans is a Scientific and Health Communications Consultant with the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health. In this role, she handles a variety of health communications activities including writing and updating the ODS dietary supplement fact sheets and the consumer-focused e-newsletter, The Scoop. She also leads the ODS public inquiry program, and researches and responds to questions from consumers, health professionals, and the media about dietary supplements. In addition, Carol is a member of the NIH Nutrition Education Subcommittee, a group that reviews federally developed nutrition education materials for the public to ensure that they are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Before becoming a consultant, Carol was a Program Analyst with ODS from 1999 to 2004. During that time, she coordinated the development and implementation of the CARDS database of federally funded research on dietary supplements and was involved with the design and maintenance of the ODS website. Carol is a member of the American Society for Nutrition and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received an M.S. in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota where she conducted clinical research on the effects of flaxseed consumption on estrogen metabolism and breast cancer risk in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. She is also a Registered Dietitian. Prior to becoming a nutritionist, Carol worked in the information technology field as a manufacturing and technical service engineer after receiving a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Bob Kuska

Science Writer

Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health

Bob Kuska is a Science Writer in the Office of the Director at the National Institutes of Health. He is also the the author of several books including Hot Potato: How Washington and New York Gave Birth to Black Basketballand Changed America’s Game Forever.

Brandon Levy

Health Communications Specialist

National Institutes of Health

Brandon Levy is a Science Communications Editor for the Intramural Research Program (IRP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he works to increase the IRP’s public profile, inform the public about IRP research, and attract scientists and students to work in IRP labs. He particularly enjoys writing about the cutting-edge research performed at NIH, but he also produces videos and content for social media. Before joining the IRP, Brandon worked as a science writer in the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and as a postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) fellow in the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), spending his days putting people inside giant magnets and sending magnetic waves into their brains to shed light on the mysteries of learning and memory. He has a Master’s degree in Science Writing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. degree in neuroscience from Duke University. He is also a member of the National Association of Science Writing and the D.C. Science Writers Association.

Ben Moldave

Lead Visual/UI Designer

Booz Allen Hamilton

Ben Moldave is a Creative Director with 18 years of experience across multiple industries, including Health Care, Real Estate, Video Games, Music, Hospitality, and the Federal Government. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from American University in 2004, and since then has worked at a number of creative agencies as a graphic designer, art director, creative director, and user experience/user interface lead. He has worked on and supervised the creation of websites, data visualizations, mobile apps, multi-channel consumer campaigns, photoshoots, and branding systems. His work has won multiple awards from The Art Directors Club, Hermes Creative Awards, and the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. He is passionate about making complicated medical information more accessible and understandable to the public, and creating experiences and content that is deeply meaningful to users and creates a material improvement in their day-to-day lives.

Katherine Moldave

Freelance Science and Technology Writer

Katherine (Cathy) Moldave has been a freelance science and technology writer; held several management positions at Merck AgVet and Merial Ltd.; cofounded the animal health consultancy and clinical CRO AlcheraBio LLC; and cofounded Turnstone Animal Health, a strategic communications and business-development support organization. She’s mentored Rutgers animal science grad students, served as a coach for companies presenting at the KC Animal Health Investment Forum, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs. She’s also involved in creating new opera. She has an undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson, and, like cSw participants, a great deal of curiosity.

Lisa Newbern

Cheif of Public Affairs

Yerkes National Primate Research Center

Lisa Newbern is Chief, Public Affairs, for Yerkes National Primate Research Center (NPRC) at Emory University. In this role, she provides strategic counsel, develops measurable action plans and leads teams in executing communication programs that include executive messaging, issues and risk management, media relations, internal communication, community, educational and collaborative outreach, social media, online presence, government relations, special events, sponsorship opportunities, fundraising and historical archiving. She also leads the collaborative public relations initiatives for the seven NPRCs, including NPRC.org and @NPRCnews. Among her service activities, she is a board member for Americans for Medical Progress; a member of the Georgia Department of Education Division of Special Education State Advisory Panel and a mentor to students in Emory University’s Genetics Counseling Program.

Michael Newman

Senior Media Relations Representative

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Michael Newman is a seasoned science and medical communicator with 40-plus years of expertise in public affairs, journalism and broadcast media. Since 2019, he has served as senior media relations representative for five departments at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Richard Sima

Brain Matters Columnist

Washington Post

Neuroscientist turned science writer. Covers the life and environmental sciences for outlets like The New York Times, Scientific American, Discover, and Eos. Passionate about science and sharing its stories with the public and policymakers. Ph.D. in neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University and an undergraduate degree in neurobiology from Harvard College. Skilled in writing, editing, story-sleuthing, and specific types of brain electrophysiology.

Rasika Vartak

Molecular Biologist

Rasika Vartak, Ph.D., is a molecular biologist by training who stumbled into the amazing world of neuroscience five years ago. After completing her Ph.D. at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, she worked at Stanford University and Arizona State University, trying to dissect the pathways that cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. She has published extensively in both peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed journals. Throughout her career, Rasika has been extensively involved in mentoring high school and undergraduate students to learn the scientific process through hands-on experimentation and problem-solving. She strongly believes that learning how to communicate science is an integral part of being a scientist.