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.

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.

SERENA LAWRENCE

Senior Managing Columns Editor, Patient Specialist

Serena Lawrence graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2012 where she earned an honors degree in the Fine Arts. Diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension in 2013, she started the blog called The PHight or Flight Project where she began freelance writing and curating guest writer content. After leading BioNew’s patient columns section on Pulmonary Hypertension News, she was promoted to the Senior Managing Columns Editor position, where she oversees the operation of the entire columns division of BioNews – the company’s largest single content division.

KEVIN SCHAEFER

Senior Community Outreach Director, Patient Specialist

Kevin started out writing a column for SMA News Today, sharing his own personal perspectives as a person with SMA Type 2. His deep inroads into the SMA patient community and fresh, new ideas on how to engage with rare disease patients and caregivers led him to develop the role of Senior Community Outreach Director, which provides focus and QA for BioNews’ rare disease websites, strategies for outreach and engagement with patient communes online, and how to leverage emerging platforms and technologies to remain connected with patient populations.

HAL FOSTER

Copy Editor

Hal Foster is a longtime journalist who worked at the Los Angeles Times and other news organizations in the United States and Japan, and a journalism professor.
He also worked at the Portland Oregonian and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, was executive editor of Pacific Stars & Stripes in Tokyo, and freelanced for USA Today and other publications. He has a PhD in journalism from the University of North Carolina, and has taught in the United States, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, where he was a Fulbright scholar.

MAGDALENA KAGEL, PHD

Senior Research Columnist

Magdalena is a writer with a passion for bridging the gap between scientists performing research, and those who want or need to understand the complexities involved with research and development. She holds an MS in Pharmaceutical Bioscience and a PhD – spanning the fields of psychiatry, immunology, and neuropharmacology – from the prestigious Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. For BioNews, she writes about medical science and drug discovery and spearheads many of our network’s most important featured articles and reports.

CAROL JERTSON

Copy Editor

Carol is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter, copy editor, and assistant city editor for small and big-city daily newspapers, including the Miami Herald and the Atlantic City Press. At the Miami Herald, her staff of reporters covered local beats and the intricacies of state government – assignments that allowed her to build skills that help her make key edits to BioNews’ daily news reporting across all of our news websites.

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.