Hakon Heimer, Executive Editor
SRF editor Hakon Heimer learned the ropes while researching and writing for the Alzheimer Research Forum. In 2002, armed with the donation of the powerful and elegant Alzforum software—and valuable advice from founder June Kinoshita—Heimer set out to find support for a Schizophrenia Research Forum, eventually gaining funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and NARSAD, the Mental Health Research Association.
Before turning full-time to the SRF, Heimer was a free-lance writer/editor specializing in neuroscience and related clinical specialties. In addition to his work for Alzforum, he coordinated media affairs for the American Neurological Association, and wrote for several of the National Institutes of Health, the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, the American Brain Tumor Association, and others.
Heimer's path to the journalistic life was typically meandering. He was an undergraduate English major at the University of Virginia, but a chance summer job landed him in a neurobiology of memory laboratory, where the exploration of the brain/mind relationship began to fascinate him. While working variously as a newspaper reporter, copy editor, and lab technician, he boned up on science and soon found himself a neurobiology graduate student at Duke University. Several years later, while doing his dissertation research (correlating appetitive behavioral development in neonatal rats with neuroanatomical and molecular developmental events), Heimer took leave to travel most of the length of the Amazon River as part of a BBC film expedition. At some point as he floated through the jungles of Peru, he realized that he wasn't formatted to be a bench scientist.
After leaving graduate school, Heimer spent several years as the managing editor and senior medical writer for Analytical Sciences, Inc., a contract research organization. He now lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with his wife, the two youngest of his three children, and the bad dog Charley. He dabbles in creative writing and bad tennis.
Elaine Alibrandi, Web Producer
Elaine Alibrandi, a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art, exhibits her oil/mixed media paintings and installations at museums and galleries around the world (see artwork).
After college, she worked as a freelance designer, but although the work was interesting, she was dissatisfied with having marketing take precedence over creativity, as it must in commercial design. After a brief detour, during which one of her clients held her hostage for several years in its commercial finance department, she escaped to pursue freelance writing, editing, and Web production, which offer hours flexible enough for her to focus on her art.
Elaine holds a black belt in karate from the Japan Karate Association in Brookline. Her creative writing has been published extensively in literary journals and poetry magazines.
Alden Bumstead, Consulting Editor
Alden Bumstead was involved with the inception of SRF, having been instrumental in the search for funding and institutional support for the website. Besides her work for the Schizophrenia Research Forum, Alden writes grant proposals for small social justice and service organizations. Alden grew up in Washington, DC, and Paris, France, and currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with husband Hakon Heimer, children Kaia and Arlo, and dog Charley.
Allison Curley, Science Writer
While completing a PhD and postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience, Allison published several papers on the neurobiology of schizophrenia, but she likes to think her greatest discovery was a love of scientific communication. In early 2013 she traded in her pipettes and lab coat for a (metaphorical) pen, and now explores a wide range of brain-, health-, and medicine-related topics as a freelance science writer (see www.conversationalscience.com).
When not typing away on her Mac, Allison enjoys yoga, making messes in the kitchen, and scuba diving. She resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she remains blissfully ignorant about the Steelers.
Jason Darrow, IT Consultant
Born and raised in central Connecticut, Jason holds a B.S.B.A in Management of Information Systems from Northeastern University and an M.S. in Information Technology from Bentley College. He now lives outside of Boston Massachusetts, and makes a living as an IT consultant. In his free time he likes to hike, snowboard, kayak, and play video games with his son Ryan.
Peter Farley, Science Writer
Pete Farley has worked in scientific publishing, editing, and writing for over 20 years, beginning with a stint at the Journal of Neurosurgery in the mid-1980s. He was acquisitions editor in psychology and neuroscience for Sinauer Associates, Inc., and now holds a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. His freelance articles have appeared in New Scientist, Yale Medicine magazine, The Boston Globe, and Wired magazine.
In addition to his work for SRF, Pete is managing editor of Medicine@Yale, a bimonthly publication of Yale School of Medicine.
In his spare time, Pete plays traditional Irish music on banjo and button accordion. He lives in Connecticut.
Michele Solis, Science Writer
After spending 15 years doing her own research, Michele is now putting her Ph.D. in neuroscience to work as a science writer. Since 2007, she has written for both scientist and general audiences about a variety of brain-related topics, including autism, sleep, human genetics, and linguistics (see michelesolis.com). She finds that her scientist years spent recording from neurons in a dark room in the lab by herself has prepared her well for the freelancer's life of typing in a dark basement office at home by herself.
Beyond work, she is an avid bicyclist, using her cargo bike to transport two kids and then some around the streets of Seattle.
Nico Stanculescu, Event Coordinator
When asked what she does for a living, Nico usually answers, "What do you need?" And it is with that attitude that Nico approaches most projects and searches for solutions. Whether it is marketing events, dealing with vendors, coordinating discussions or finding answers, it's all, according to her, a matter of perfectibility (and not perfection), continuance (against permanence), interdependence (above independence) and, of course, above all, common sense.
Nico lives in Chicago (where she [still] cannot park parallel) and owns a meeting and event planning company, World Events Forum, Inc..
Angela Epshtein, Managing Editor
Angela Epshtein served as managing editor for four years.
Tom Fagan, Science Writer
Tom Fagan was one of our original writers and consulting editors. He is now a full-time editor for the Alzheimer Research Forum.
C Knep, Web Developer Emeritus
C Knep helped adapt the Alzheimer Research Forum technology for SRF, and continues to work for Alzforum.
Pat McCaffrey, Science Writer
Pat McCaffrey was one of our original writers and consulting editors. She is now a founding editor of a new Pain Research Forum, scheduled to launch in the next year.
Paula Noyes, Producer Emeritus
With her experience as producer for Alzheimer Research Forum, Paula Noyes helped guide us through our first year.