In spite of the fact that Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has a relatively low patient population of 30,000 to 40,000 patients in the United States, it remains one of the most high-profile diseases in the media today. Countless celebrities, advocates, and community support organizations regularly hold fundraising events and charities to support research and development of the disease, which typically affects young children and leads to a diminished quality of life and life expectancy.
While the news media often covers CF fundraising stories, Cystic Fibrosis News Today is the only digital news publication that is dedicated to covering the science, research, and clinical news as it relates to the disease — fulfilling a major unmet need in the medical/healthcare news sector. At CF News Today, we recognize that those with Cystic Fibrosis, as well as their friends and families, often search the web looking for the latest news and reports on novel treatments, next-generation therapies, and other business and research-related breakthroughs that could impact those who have CF. As a result, we work with influencers in the Cystic Fibrosis sector to report on CF news daily.
In order to provide accurate and patient-friendly stories, our editorial staff of writers is comprised of professional journalists, researchers, nurses, and scientists. Our team is dedicated to serving the CF community as a comprehensive news resource.
Cystic Fibrosis News Today’s Editorial Staff:
Chris Comish — Publisher: Chris Comish is actively engaged on a daily basis in supporting the editorial staff and works to source fresh, informative news stories that can make a difference in the lives of those in search of reliable news and content on the web.
Mike Nace — Executive Editor: Mike assists the editorial staff at the executive level, offering strategic planning and the development of new project initiatives to further engage patients and caregivers through news and perspectives.
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.
Patrícia Silva, PhD — Senior Managing News Editor: Patrícia holds her 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 Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.
Patrícia Inacio, PhD — Senior News Science Writer: Patricia holds her PhD in Cell Biology from University Nova de Lisboa, and has served as an author on several research projects and fellowships, as well as major grant applications for European Agencies. She also served as a PhD student research assistant in the Laboratory of Doctor David A. Fidock, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Columbia University, New York.
Larry Luxner — Senior News Correspondent: Larry served for 14 years as News Editor at the Washington Diplomat. He brings his proven journalistic prowess to his current work in following the latest research and advocacy news.
Jose Marques Lopes, PhD — Senior News Science Writer: José holds a PhD in Neuroscience from Universidade of Porto, Portugal. He also studied Biochemistry at Universidade do Porto and was a postdoctoral associate at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, and at The University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario. His work ranged from the association of central cardiovascular and pain control, the neurobiological basis of hypertension, and molecular pathways driving Alzheimer’s disease.
Serena Lawrence — Managing Columns Editor: Serena Lawrence graduated from the University of Waterloo 2012 where she earned an honors degree in Fine Arts. She is responsible for managing the publishing schedule of our patient columns, which offer a patient’s — and, occasionally, a caregiver’s — uniquely personal experiences with the disease to our readers.
Kathleen Sheffer — Patient Columnist: After fighting Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension with combined intravenous and oral therapies for 17 years, Kathleen Sheffer received a heart-lung transplant on July 1, 2016. Now 24, she works as a photographer in San Francisco, California, and writes about the transition from life with PH to life with chronic immunosuppression. See her photography at kathleensheffer.com.
David Boddiger — Columns/News Editor: Dave is an editor and reporter with nearly 20 years of journalism experience in the U.S. and Latin America. He is the former editor-in-chief of The Tico Times in Costa Rica. In 2010, he was awarded the Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s Addiction Studies Program Journalism Award for his coverage of addiction and illicit drug trafficking while reporting for the medical journal The Lancet.
Brad Dell — Columns Editor: Brad graduated from the University of Hawaii in 2016 with degrees in journalism and history. Brad was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis shortly after birth and has collected many other labels along the way, including lung transplantee and deaf. In 2016, he left an executive editor position at Honolulu’s Abstract Magazine and began his blog, Adamantium Joy. He’s also an advocate for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, president of the Lung Transplant Foundation’s NorCal Chapter, and a columnist for Cystic Fibrosis News Today.
Kevin Schaefer — Senior Community Outreach Director: Kevin started out writing a column for SMA News Today, sharing his 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 Q&As for BioNews’ rare disease websites, strategies for outreach and engagement with patient communes online, and on leveraging emerging platforms and technologies to remain connected with patient populations.
Mike Naple — Patient Columnist: Mike is a media and communications strategist and PH patient living in Washington, D.C. A California native, Mike writes about living with PH and the intersection of illness, healthy policy, culture, and advocacy. Sustained by strong coffee, good music, and delicious food. Follow him on Twitter: @mnaple.
Brittany Foster — Patient Columnist: Brittany describes herself as being “from the smallest state in the US, Rhode Island. I manage multiple chronic conditions, some are visible illnesses thanks to my oxygen I carry around, but most are invisible illnesses. I hope my posts “Recharged and Rewired” will show those reading that just because I need oxygen charged daily and my body is wired a little differently, doesn’t mean I can’t be the best version of myself every day!”
Carol Jertson — Copy Editor: Carol Jertson, a New Jersey native who lives in South Florida, 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, where she wrote stories about the mob when organized crime owned the unions that ran the casinos. At the Miami Herald, her staff of reporters covered local beats and the intricacies of state government.
Jeff Webb — News Copy Editor: Jeff Webb, a Vietnam War-era veteran of the U.S. Air Force, has been a writer and editor for 40 years. He spent three decades as a daily newspaper journalist, more than half that time at the St. Petersburg Times, where he was an editorial writer and columnist. Since retiring as a full-time journalist in 2008, Webb has been a freelance writer and editor specializing in healthcare topics and consumer-focused online content.
Hal Foster — News Copy Editor: Hal Foster, a longtime journalist, has worked at the Los Angeles Times and other news organizations in the United States and Japan. He holds 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.
Kellie Benn — News Copy Editor: Kellie Benn is a Fulbright scholar and a veteran of the U.S. Army, where she served as a Signals Intelligence Analyst with a Russian language specialty. She worked as a copy editor at newspapers in Virginia and South Carolina before joining BioNews Services.
Ozge Ozkaya, PhD — Managing Resource Pages Editor: Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioral Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London-based charity for almost two years.
Samantha Spiesman — Social Media Content Director: Samantha Speisman is a digital strategist with more than 10 years of experience creating compelling cross-platform content. In addition to helping startups with their growth strategy and finding their voice, she’s created engaging content for some of Canada’s biggest media brands, including Slice, HGTV, Food Network, House & Home, and Best Health.
Isaura Santos — Social Media Promotion Director: Isaura Santos graduated with a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and a MA in Communication, Culture and Information Technologies from University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL). Her professional interests include science communication, public awareness of science and communication of science through entertainment.
Andreia Peixoto — Social Media Manager: Andreia has a degree in New Communication Technologies and experience in social media, design and tech. She is eager to find new ways to communicate and explore her curiosity about science and technology.
Marta Ribeiro — Social Media Manager: Marta graduated from Universidade Fernando Pessoa in Porto with a degree in Communication Sciences and a Masters degree in New Communication Technologies. She has experience in social media, worked with several media channels, and has also worked as a freelance photographer and a graphic artist for almost 10 years.
All writers can be contacted via their public Google+ profile pages, or through the Cystic Fibrosis News today contact page.
DISCLAIMER: Cystic Fibrosis News Today is a science and health publishing website that occasionally writes about clinical trials taking place in the CF research community. The information provided on this site is designed to help educate patients on clinical trials that may be of interest to them, based on the topic of the story, and to help patients contact the centers conducting the research. CF News is neither promoting research nor involved in conducting any clinical trials. Some study summaries have been edited for clarity purposes to make them easier to understand.
Note: Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.