FEATURED PROFILES

BioNews’ commitment to building and serving rare disease patient communities online is made possible through the talented, diverse group of professionals who comprise our team. Industry visionaries, award-winning journalists, proven researchers, and inspired patients come together to combine all of their unique skill sets and experience to create the content and environment that makes our communities special.

Here are just a few featured profiles from among our growing team of talented professionals:

CHRIS COMISH

Founder, Publisher and CEO

Chris Comish developed the BioNews Services concept as a way to leverage digital news content as a means of reaching and connecting with rare disease populations that had little to no access to fresh, accurate and authoritative information about their disease online. His vision has fueled the growth and maturation of patient/caregiver ecosystems that are enriching rare disease communities online while also providing a platform for offering valuable services for helping biotech, health, and life sciences companies fulfill their marketing and promotional objectives. Chris works in every facet of the BioNews work process, from serving as a direct contact with all clients to helping shape the editorial focus of each site in the Publisher role.

GRACE FRANK

Editor-in-chief

Grace Frank worked as a copy editor, city editor, reporter and news designer for leading American newspapers, including The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune, for many years. She has won numerous journalism awards, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for an investigative series into eye surgeries wrongly conducted outside a clinical trial. In her role as Editor-in-Chief for BioNews, she has revolutionized the company’s editorial focus and workflow, establishing the unique combination of scientific insight and patient caregiver perspective that makes BioNews’ content accurate, authoritative, and authentic to rare disease patient communities online.

KELLIE BENN

News Desk Chief

Kellie started out as a copy editor with BioNews Services in February 2018 and now serves as the news desk chief for the organization. She had previously worked for a variety of newspapers as a copy editor, working her way up to deputy night editor at a regional newspaper in Virginia. She is an Army veteran and served for eight years as a Russian linguist. After leaving the service, she went on to graduate from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, with a bachelor’s degree in communication and Russian. Her interest in and experience with the Russian language led her to a Fulbright fellowship in 2012, awarding her the opportunity to spend an academic year in Oryol, Russia, teaching English to university students. A lifelong equestrian, she can usually be found at the barn hanging out with her horse, Penny, in her spare time.

BRAD DELL

Head of Columns

Brad Dell has cystic fibrosis and a double-lung transplant. Technically deaf, he hears with the help of cochlear implants. Before BioNews, he worked as a copy editor and journalist for several culture and lifestyle magazines in Hawaii. He was also the executive editor for Honolulu’s Abstract Magazine. He serves as the BioNews head of columns, boosting patients’ and caregivers’ voices to cultivate change in the chronic conditions community. To do so, he recruits, trains, edits, and supports dozens of columnists.

MICHAEL MORALE

Director of Multi-Channel Content

Michael received his BSBA, with a major in Management Information Systems in 1990, from the University of Texas at Dallas. In 2000, he received his MBA, with a major in Management, from Amber University. In his working career, Michael worked for various companies, including ExxonMobil Corporation, where he was responsible for safety and ergonomics for the Dallas region. Along with working for ExxonMobil, Michael was an adjunct faculty member and college instructor for the Dallas County Community College District for 18 years. Due to his spinal muscular atrophy, (SMA), he was forced to go on permanent disability in 2010. Michael began working for BioNews Services as a YouTube developer and podcast specialist in June 2018. After being promoted to Director of Forums and Multimedia, BioNews Services combined their multimedia and social media divisions, and Michael was promoted to Director of Multichannel Content. In this role, Michael oversees all of their multimedia platforms, including their podcasts, flash briefings and YouTube videos. Michael also oversees all of their social media platforms, including SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

KEVIN SCHAEFER

Community Development Manager

Kevin graduated from North Carolina State University with a B.A. in English in 2016, and is passionate about using his writing and communications skills. He started at BioNews in 2017 as a columnist for SMA News Today, and eventually transitioned to a full-time role. As Community Development Manager, he is responsible for supporting the Director of Multichannel Content in bridging the gap between our patient populations and our websites. He does this through social media channels and forums by overseeing the community management and forums team, and supporting them in meeting business goals. This includes building and maintaining forums and other online communities across BioNews’ disease sites. He oversees forums and leads community managers in the execution of their duties, ensuring each area is meeting company goals and objectives.

PATRICIA SILVA, PHD

Senior Managing News Editor

Patricia holds a Phd in Medical Microbiology and infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at institute de Medical Moleculer in Lisbon, Portugal. Her role in BioNews has led her to build a team of PhD researchers who also serve as science writers and editors, whose role is to ensure that the science and research that BioNews reports on daily is 100% accurate, while also written in a way that allows patients and caregivers to easily grasp the important details.

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Ana de Barros

Managing News Editor

Ana de Barros: I hold a PhD in Immunology from the University of Lisbon and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM) in Lisbon, Portugal. I graduated with a BSc in Genetics from the University of Newcastle and received my Masters in Biomolecular Archaeology from the University of Manchester, England.

I left the lab to pursue a career in Science Communication, which has alway been my passion. I served as the Director of Science Communication at iMM. I work as a Managing Science Editor for BioNews Services and have been part of this great team, watching it grow and expand since its very early days.

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LARRY LUXNER

Staff Writer

Florida native Larry Luxner, a veteran journalist and photographer, has reported from more than 100 countries in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia for the Miami Herald, the Washington Diplomat, the Journal of Commerce and other news outlets. He lived for many years in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the Washington, D.C., area. Among other ventures, he launched a monthly newsletter, South America Report, and later published CubaNews for 12 years before relocating to Israel in January 2017 and joining BioNews — first as a copy editor and now as a staff writer. Larry is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and Hebrew, and enjoys taking long walks around Tel Aviv in his spare time.

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DAVID BODDIGER

Copy Editor

David Boddiger is a news editor and reporter with 20 years of experience in journalism in the U.S. and Latin America. He is the former editor-in-chief of The Tico Times in Costa Rica, and has worked as a reporter, editor, and translator for several English- and Spanish-language media outlets over the years, including Univision, La Raza, and La Opinión. In 2010, he was awarded the Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s Addiction Studies Program Journalism Award for his coverage of addiction and illicit drug trafficking while reporting for the medical journal The Lancet.

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JOSE LOPES

Science News Writer

José holds a Phd in Neuroscience from Universidade of Porto, Portugal. He has studied Biochemistry also at Universidade do Porto and was a postdoctoral associate at Weill Cornell Medicine, in New York, and at The University of Western Ontario, in London, ON. His work ranged from the association of central cardiovascular and pain control, the neurobiological basis of hypertension, and molecular pathways driving Alzheimer’s disease.

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MARISA WEXLER

Science News Writer

Marisa, a science writer, holds an MS in Cellular and Molecular Pathology from the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied novel genetic drivers of ovarian cancer. She specializes in cancer biology, immunology, and genetics. Marisa began working with BioNews in 2018, and has written about science and health for SelfHacked and the Genetics Society of America.

MEET OUR COLUMNISTS

No one speaks the language of patient communities like patients and caregivers themselves. Our team of patient specialists form the largest content division at BioNews and include talented writers who not only bring knowledge of their disease or condition to their role, but also writing and communication skills that help them connect with readers.

A Team That Connects

All of BioNews’ content divisions — including news, social media, columns and resource pages — as well as our sales and technical departments, are composed of business professionals who are committed to applying their unique experience and expertise to serving rare disease patient communities. Our talented team includes the following roles:

  • Fact checkers with PhD degrees who ensure scientific and medical accuracy in our content.
  • Copy editors who put the finishing touch on our content, making it readable and accessible to patients and caregivers.
  • Managing editors who keep our content calendar moving forward, 24/7.
  • Social media managers who have the skills to maximize  engagement and conversation on the web’s leading social media platforms.
  •  Ad ops professionals who are well versed in industry standards for displaying and managing digital ad campaigns.
  • SEO professionals who are experts in search engine optimization best practices, ensuring that BioNews content has the highest search engine visibility possible.
  • IT experts who keep the front- and back-end of BioNews’ sites running optimally.
  • Business development and sales experts who can communicate BioNews’ unique capabilities to companies in need of our services.

The people behind these roles combine to form a team that everyday is building a growing platform of rare disease ecosystems that make a different in people’s lives.