Editorial Team

Jef Akst [square]

Jef Akst | Managing Editor | jef.akst@biospace.com | @jefakst

Jef (an unusual nickname for Jennifer) is a professional journalist and editor specializing in the life sciences. She earned her master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses and spent the first 13 years of her career at The Scientist, where she edited features and oversaw the production of the publication’s digital and print magazines. In 2022, her feature on uterus transplantation earned first place in the trade category of the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers. She lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with her husband, young daughter, wild coonhound, and aging cat. Her hobbies including hiking, camping, and shooting pool.

Greg Slabodkin [square]

Greg Slabodkin | News Editor | greg.slabodkin@biospace.com | @Slabodkin

Greg is a seasoned editor/writer who has covered the healthcare, life sciences and medical device industries for several tech trade publications. He is the recipient of a Post-Newsweek Business Information Editorial Excellence Award for his news reporting and a Gold Award for Best Case Study from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors. In addition, Greg is a Healthcare Fellow from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. He is an avid Buffalo Bills football fan, likes to kayak and plays guitar.

Heather McKenzie [square]

Heather McKenzie | Senior Editor |  heather.mckenzie@biospace.com | @hmac8

Heather McKenzie is a professional journalist with more than five years experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Since joining BioSpace, she has written more than 200 features and breaking news articles with a particular focus in neuroscience and gene therapy. She has also traveled internationally to cover global biotech hubs such as Israel. In previous roles, she has covered current affairs, sports, education and politics. She previously spent eight years as a senior content producer for executive-level business conferences in the pharma/biotech, legal, energy and business strategy sectors. In her free time, Heather enjoys creative writing, spending time with family and playing with her energetic Russian Blue cat Roofus. She hails from Toronto and has also lived in Chicago and Chesapeake, Virginia.

Neil Versel [square]

Neil Versel | Business Editor |  neil.versel@biospace.com | LinkedIn

Neil Versel is an experienced healthcare, life sciences, business and technology journalist who joined BioSpace in 2024 to head up coverage of biopharma business and finance. His career has included an 11-year stint as a full-time freelancer, during which time he dabbled in blogging and podcasting before everyone else was doing it. A longtime resident of Chicago, Neil enjoys exploring the world, doing crossword puzzles and challenging himself on a bicycle, so much so that he was able to finish an Ironman triathlon despite being a terrible swimmer. Follow him on X.

Tyler Patchen [square]

Tyler Patchen | Staff Writer | tyler.patchen@biospace.com | LinkedIn

Tyler is a journalist with over six years of experience in the world of business journalism. He started his career with the Birmingham Business Journal in Birmingham, Alabama writing about health care, technology, sports business and education. He previously worked as a reporter for Endpoints News covering biotech and manufacturing. Tyler currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama and holds interests in reading, golf and is also a passionate sports fan.

Shawna Williams [square]

Shawna Williams | Contract Editor | shawna.williams@biospace.com | LinkedIn

Shawna is an editor and writer with a background in covering the life sciences. Previously, she was an editor at The Scientist from 2017 through 2022, where she served as news director for the last year and a half of her tenure. She has also worked as a freelance editor and writer and in the communications offices of several academic research institutions, and is a member of the National Association of Science Writers. She is based in New York City, where she enjoys exploring the city's restaurants, studying tae kwon do, and taking her kids to the library.


Contributing Writers

Kate Goodwin | News & Features | kate.goodwin@biospace.com

Kate Goodwin hails from a background primarily in marketing. A passion for health sciences and writing led her to the biopharma news world, and she's never looked back. She's been writing for BioSpace for more than two years with a focus on cutting edge research, Alzheimer's disease and pediatrics. Her free time is filled by her husband, children, Beagles, books, crochet and creative writing. 

Tristan Manalac | News | tristan.manalac@biospace.com

Tristan is an independent science writer based in Metro Manila, with around seven years of experience writing about medicine, biotech and the environment. Being formally trained in molecular biology, he once dreamed of collecting degrees and starting his own lab. But these days, he finds his greatest joy in a bottle of beer and a beautiful sentence.


Submitting Pitches

News: For breaking news announcements, please email News Editor Greg Slabodkin at greg.slabodkin@biospace.com

Features: For freelancers with ideas for reported features focusing on current events or trends in the biopharma industry, please email Managing Editor Jef Akst at jef.akst@biospace.com. Please be sure to include details about the story focus, why it’s timely now and the context/background of related activity in the space. If you are new to writing for BioSpace, please include your resume and links to a few clips of your journalistic work in the biopharma space. We will typically respond to pitches of interest within 24 hours. 

Opinions: For contributed opinion pieces from industry experts, please email Managing Editor Jef Akst at jef.akst@biospace.com. These should present a strong and supported position about an event or ongoing trend in the biopharma industry. Articles should be nonpromotional and fewer than 1,000 words. The author should introduce him- or herself and their expertise/perspective on the issue at hand, while disclosing all relevant conflicts of interest.


Submitting Press Releases

To submit a press release for publication on our site, please upload your request along with your news release at this link for a small, nonrefundable fee of $30. The BioSpace team will review your content, and announcements that are relevant to our life sciences industry audience will be approved and posted. Please keep in mind that not all press releases will be approved. If you have questions about a submitted press release, please contact prsubmit@biospace.com


Editorial Policies

The topics covered in BioSpace news articles are selected by the editorial team independent of client input. Job ads pertaining to the companies mentioned are often inserted within stories by BioSpace staff at the time of publication.

The editors at BioSpace strive for accuracy in every article we publish, but mistakes do happen. If a story contains a factual error, we will correct it and post a dated correction, clarification, or editor’s note at the bottom. If you detect an error in one of our articles, please email Managing Editor Jef Akst at jef.akst@biospace.com. Corrections are made at the discretion of BioSpace’s editorial team.

In some instances, BioSpace uses generative AI for creative editorial imagery. Images generated with AI will be indicated with a † next to the artist name in the image credit.  


Editorial Questions 

For other editorial inquiries, write to Managing Editor Jef Akst at jef.akst@biospace.com.  


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Other Enquiries

For other questions, please contact support@biospace.com.