Our Team

Jon Entine, Executive Director
Jon’s interest in genetics arose from a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, which led to the writing of two books on population genetics: Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chosen People (2007) and Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It (2001). He’s also written on the politics of food and farming: Let Them Eat Precaution: How Politics is Undermining the Genetic Revolution in Agriculture (2005) and Crop Chemophobia: Will Precaution Kill the Green Revolution? (2006); and on science and risk: Scared to Death: How Chemophobia Threatens Public Health. Jon has been a contributing columnist at hundreds of media outlets around the world. He spoke before the National Academy of Sciences and the Australian National Press Club on GMO safety. Before becoming a print journalist, Jon was a producer and executive for 20 years at NBC News and ABC News, winning 20 journalism honors, including a National Press Club Consumer Journalism Award and Emmys for specials on the reform movements in China and the former Soviet Union. He was head of documentaries and Tom Brokaw’s long-time producer at NBC News. He studied philosophy in college and received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at the University of Michigan.
Tim Barker, Managing Editor
Tim has been a journalist for more than two decades, serving as both an editor and a writer, covering a wide range of subjects, including Monsanto, biotechnology and agriculture. Past employers include the Orlando Sentinel and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He has won numerous writing awards during his journalism career, including a 2015 national feature writing award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for a story on a sustainable farm located outside of St. Louis. He received his journalism degree from Oklahoma State University. He lives in Orlando.
Phil-WillsonPhil Willson, Web and Technology Director
Serial entrepreneur and innovator, Phil is a University of Pennsylvania graduate with a two-decade working in the Internet space. In 1999, he founded the venture capital-backed company Incentify, which was a first-mover in the social networking segment. He is the Managing Principal of Ninjology, a digital consultancy with a focus on serving the small/medium market.
Paul McDivittPaul McDivitt, Food & Farming Editor and Social Media Director
Paul is a science and environmental writer with a master’s in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder. He has been published by the Denver Post, Discover Magazine, Ensia, the National Park Service, and several university science institutes. Check out his blog, The State of the Science.
Ben LocwinBen Locwin, Human Genetics, Brain and Behavior Contributing Columnist
Ben is a behavioral neuroscientist and astrophysicist with a masters in business, and a former consult with the FDA. He has performed field research on genetics of differential human disease, focusing on the effect of various medical treatments on particular genotypes (called pharmacogenetics) in order to improve the future of pharmaceutical care. Ben has been featured by the Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fox News, and various media outlets.
Andrew PorterfieldAndrew Porterfield, Contributing Columnist
Andrew has been a writer and editor for more than 20 years, and has worked as a public information officer for the Salk Institute and the University of California-Irvine. His articles haves appeared in ScienceNOW, Entomology Today, American Association of Pharmaceutical Science, Newsday, CBS News and San Francisco Chronicle. He has a BA in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and a MS in biotechnology from the University of Maryland. Andrew has also worked with a number of biotechnology and device firms, ranging from startups to Pfizer.
David WarmflashDavid Warmflash, Contributing Columnist
David is an astrobiologist and physician. He has produced and edited educational materials on medical genetics, aerospace medicine, hyperbaric medicine, neurology and hematology. He is featured frequently on Discover Magazine’s The Crux and other online and print media. Since 2002, He has collaborated with The Planetary Society on three experiments that have flown in space designed to improve our understanding of the biological effects of deep space radiation.
Ricki LewisRicki Lewis, Contributing Columnist
Ricki is a science writer with a PhD in genetics. She is the author of the only popular book on gene therapy, The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It (St. Martin’s Press, 2013); Human Genetics: Concepts and Applications (McGraw-Hill, 2018); Human Genetics: The Basics (Routledge Press, 2017); and has also published an intro biology book, two human anatomy and physiology books, an essay collection, and a novel about stem cells. She writes the DNA Science blog at PLOS and contributes regularly to Medscape Medical News. Ricki is an adjunct professor at the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College and is a genetic counselor. She is a frequent public speaker and has published thousands of articles, mostly about biotechnology and medical genetics, since 1982. www.rickilewis.com @rickilewis

Advisors Who Helped Launch the GLP

Media Science

Kevin Davies, Editor-in-Chief of Bio•IT World Kevin is the author most recently of The $1,000 Genome and Cracking the Genome (2010). He was the founding editor of Nature Genetics, the world’s leading genetics journal, which he headed for its first five years. He has also written for the Times (London), Boston Globe, New England Journal of Medicine, and New Scientist, among others. His first book, Breakthrough (1995), co-authored with Michael White, told the story of the race for the BRCA1 breast cancer gene. Davies holds an M.A. in biochemistry from the University of Oxford and a PhD in molecular genetics from the University of London. He held postdoctoral fellowships at MIT and Harvard Medical School before moving into science publishing as an editor with Nature magazine.
Elizabeth Finkel, Science Writer Elizabeth holds a PhD in biochemistry and was a professional research scientist before becoming a journalist, focusing on human and agricultural genomics. She is author of Genome Generation (Melbourne University Publishing, 2011) and Stem Cells: Controversy at the frontiers of Science (2005), which won a Queensland Premier’s Literary award and was a finalist for the Australian government Eureka award for promoting the public understanding of science. She has won the Amgen and MBF awards for medical journalism, the Michael Daley award for best radio feature broadcast, the Bell Awards’ categories for ‘Best feature writer’ and ‘Best analytical writer’ and a 2011 National Press Club of Australia and Universities Australia Higher Education Journalist of the Year.

Science & Risk Communication

Geoffrey KabatGeoffrey Kabat, a cancer epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, has studied a wide range of lifestyle, clinical, and environmental factors associated with cancer and other diseases, including smoking, alcohol, diet, physical activity, hormones, obesity, the metabolic syndrome, and exposure to chemical contaminants and electromagnetic fields. He has published over 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers. As a practicing epidemiologist, he has had a long-standing interest in how health risks are studied and communicated to the public. His book Hyping Health Risks: Environmental Hazards in Daily Life and the Science of Epidemiology (2008) is considered a classic in risk analysis and communication. His new book Getting Risk Right: Understanding the Science of Elusive Health Risks (2017) emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between path-breaking scientific work and flimsy research that gets sensationalized by appealing to the public’s fears. He writes a regular column for Forbes on the perception vs. the reality of health risks.
Gary L. Kreps, Chair, Department of Communication, George Mason University Gary held the Mandell Endowed Chair in Health Communication from 2004 to 2010. He serves on the Governing Board of the Center for Social Science Research, and is a faculty affiliate of the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, the Center for Health Care Ethics and Policy, the Center for International Medical Policies and Practices, Center for Health Information Technology, Center for Consciousness and Transformation, and the Center for Climate Change Communication at GMU. Prior to his faculty appointment, he served for five years (1999–2004) as the founding Chief of the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute. He was the Founding Dean of the School of Communication at Hofstra University, Executive Director of the Greenspun School of Communication at UNLV and in faculty and administrative roles at Northern Illinois, Rutgers, Indiana, and Purdue Universities.

Human Genetics

Henry Harpending, Thomas Chair Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of Utah Henry earned his PhD at Harvard in 1972 and is credited with developing the “Out of Africa” theory of evolution. He has broken new ground in anthropology and human biology by applying mathematical models to genetic and morphometric variation, examining hypotheses such as population growth, divergence and gene flow. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and co-author with Gregory Cochran of The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution (2009). They found evidence that our species had only a few thousand members during the last interglacial and that there were several subsequent demographic expansions, the earliest among the ancestors of contemporary sub-Saharan Africans.
Caroline Lieber, Director, Human Genetics Graduate Program, Sarah Lawrence College Caroline is head of the largest genetic counseling training program in the United States, with more than 600 graduates and links to 50 genetic centers around the country. She received her MS in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence and her BS from the University of California-Davis. She is also an ABGC licensed genetic counselor and member of the Transnational Alliance for Genetic Counseling.
Ariella Oppenheim, Professor Emeritus, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School Ariella has held the Henri and Erna Leir Chair in Molecular Biology & Cellular Medicine since 1999 and has been a faculty member since receiving her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1966. In 1998 she established the Ethics in Research Committee at the Hebrew University and chaired the Committee. She also participated in the formulation of Israel’s Genetic Information Law and was both a participant and head of ad-hoc committees of the Ministry of Health and of the Ministry of Science on ethical issues in genetics and gene therapy. She helped establish the Gene Therapy Institute at Hadassah in 1992, and since 2003 has been a member of the steering committee of the Israeli National Center For Gene Therapy. She is a member of the National Helsinki Committee, which serves as an advisory committee on ethics to the Ministry of Health.
Sharon Terry, President, CEO, Genetic Alliance Sharon runs a network of thousands of genetic disease-specific advocacy organizations. A former college chaplain, she is the CEO of PXE International, a research advocacy organization for the genetic condition pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), which she founded following the diagnosis of her two children. She is also co-founder of the Genetic Alliance Biobank, a centralized biological and data repository on genetic diseases. She serves on the boards of the Institute of Medicine Science and Policy Board, GRAND Therapeutics Foundation, the Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation, The Biotechnology Institute, National Coalition of Health Professional Education in Genetics and the Coalition for 21st Century Medicine. She is on the editorial boards of Genetic Testing and Biomarkers, Biopreservation and Biobanking, and Journal of Postgenomics: Drug & Biomarker Development, and the Google Health and Rosalind Franklin Society Advisory Boards. She is the chair of the Coalition for Genetic Fairness, which was instrumental in the passage of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

Food Security

C.S. Prakash, Director, Center for Plant Biotechnology Research, Tuskegee University C.S. oversees research on food crops of importance to developing countries and the training of scientists in plant biotechnology. His website AgBioworld.org is read by experts in 55 countries. He recently served on the USDA’s Agricultural Biotechnology Advisory Committee and serves on the Advisory Committee for the Department of Biotechnology for India. His contribution to agricultural biotechnology outreach was recognized by the magazine Progressive Farmer, which named him the Man of the Year for his service to Alabama agriculture. He was recently named by the Council for Biotechnology Information as one of a dozen “pioneers, visionaries and innovators behind the progress and promise of plant biotechnology”.
Chavali Kameswara Rao, Executive Secretary, Foundation for Biotechnology Awareness and Education Chavali has over 40 years of academic experience in botanical sciences, particularly phytochemistry, plant diversity, databases of medicinal plants and computer applications in plant systematics. He was the chairman of the Departments of Botany Sericulture at the Bangalore University. FBAE is a non-profit striving to enhance public awareness and raise standards of education and training in biotechnology. He serves on several policy committees of the Department of Biotechnology and Ministry of Environment and Forests in India and life science research policy committees of the US National Academies of Sciences and the World Health Organization.

Legal and Ethics

Laurie Zoloth, Director, Center for Bioethics, Science and Society; Professor, Medical Ethics, Religion, Northwestern University Laurie was Professor of Ethics and Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University before coming to Northwestern. She is past president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and served on its founding board for two terms, receiving the Society’s award for Service to the Field. She is the former Chair of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Bioethics Advisory Board, an executive board member of The Society for Women’s Health Research, and served on the advisory boards of the Robert Wood Johnson’s Project on Excellence at the End of Life, the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Working Group on Human Germ-Line Interventions and on Stem Cell Research, the Ethics Section of the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Jewish Social Ethics and the Park Ridge Center’s Project on Judaism and Bioethics. She received an NIH ELSI grant to explore the ethical issues after the mapping of the human genome and was named principal investigator of the International Project on Judaism and Genetics, which was co-sponsored by the AAAS and supported by the Haas Foundation and the Greenwall Fund. She is on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, the Journal of Clinical Ethics and the American Journal of Bioethics.