I write and edit on biomedical research, science, technology and the environment, as a freelancer for publications and non-profit research institutions. Among my day jobs, I was associate director for communications and public affairs at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and founding editor in chief of MIT’s Contact:, 617.244.2676 home office, 857.231.0483 mobile, @ebender00, 86 Greenlawn Avenue, Newton, MA 02459 USA


Getting a Covid-19 vaccine — quickly and safely
Researchers around the globe are working with unprecedented speed to find the vaccines we need to find our way through the pandemic. What’s the bar for safety and effectiveness?
Knowable, 2020

Forkhead BioTherapeutics: developing a diabetes pill
Scailyte: simplifying difficult diagnoses
Candidates for the Spinoff Prize.
Nature, 2020

Arming immune foot soldiers against cancer
Natural killer cells are born ready to attack the disease. Biologists are developing ways to make these cells tougher and more targeted.
Knowable, 2020

Will a test to detect early pancreatic cancer ever be possible?
The cancer is often only found after it has spread and when treatment options are limited.
Nature, 2020

When immunity goes wrong
If the gut microbiome can trigger autoimmune diseases, can it also help to cure them?
Nature, 2020

Unpacking the black box in artificial intelligence for medicine
Deep learning will radically change aspects of our medical care. How well do we need to understand how AI tools work?
Undark, 2019

Breaking out of the egg
Can the latest techniques speed up the dangerously slow production of flu vaccines?
Nature, 2019

Now in development: off-the-shelf stem cells
Their potential as universal donors promises to make regenerative medicine more broadly practical.
Knowable, 2019

Biotechs race to develop stem cell treatments for diabetes
Insulin-producing cells grown in the lab could offer a functional cure for the disease.
The Scientist, 2019

Regulating the gene-therapy revolution
The medical regulatory authorities ride a wave of clinical studies for gene therapies.
Nature, 2018

Getting cancer drugs into the brain
Before they can get to work, treatments for brain cancer must bypass a formidable obstacle — the blood–brain barrier.
Nature, 2018

Cost of cancer drugs: something has to give
Many patients are being priced out of treatments that could save their lives.
Managed Care Magazine, 2018

Cancer immunotherapy
(Lead editor)
Nature, 2017

With storms intensifying and oceans on the rise, Boston weighs strategies for staying dry
A multi-billion-dollar seawall is among climate adaptation options under consideration for the iconic coastal city.
Ensia, 2017

Putting digital health monitoring tools to the test
Fitbits and smartphone apps can aid in managing chronic conditions–but only if people stay engaged.
Undark, 2017

Transgenic fish are ready for us. Are we ready for them?
After decades of regulatory and legal challenges, AquaBounty aims to bring genetically engineered salmon to U.S. and Canadian markets next year.
Ensia, 2017

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