About the Writers

Eryn Brown

Eryn Brown covers science and health for The Times. She graduated from Harvard with a degree in history and literature in 1993, and was on staff at Fortune magazine in New York for seven years before moving to Los Angeles. Her husband, two sons and primary care physician hope that writing about health won't stoke her hypochondria.

Tami Dennis

Tami Dennis, who takes the word "skeptic" to previously uncharted territory, is arbiter of all things "health" for the Tribune Co. She sometimes uses sunscreen; she has yet to be convinced that any particular food will prevent, or cure, a disease; and, because she's an adult, refuses to use the words "veggies," "tummy" and "yummy." She's not especially keen on "riff" as a verb either.

Melissa Healy

Melissa Healy is a staff writer for the Health section reporting from Washington D.C. Healy's a veteran of The Times' National staff, having covered the Pentagon, Congress, poverty and social welfare, the environment, and the White House before shifting to Health in 2003. She writes frequently about mental health and human behavior, about federal health policy, prescription medication and ethics in medicine. More wonk than wellness freak, Healy chooses to believe in the health benefits of coffee and wine, and considers water a better work-out medium than beverage.

Karen Kaplan

Karen Kaplan covers genetics, stem cells and cloning. She and colleague Thomas H. Maugh II comprise about 25% of the unofficial MIT-Alumni-in-Journalism Club, and she is proud to have taken more math (5) than English (0) courses in college. Her contributions to Booster Shots will, she hopes, appear more frequently than postings to her mommy blog.

Amina Khan

Amina Khan is a science writer who occasionally covers health stories, but she's perhaps best known for her repeated and brutal attacks on the office snack table. If it involves bizarre plants, celestial bodies or cute furry creatures, she'll try to write about it.

Thomas H. Maugh II

Thomas H. Maugh II has been a science and medical writer at the Times for 23 years. Before that, he was on the staff of the journal Science for 13 years. He has bachelor's degrees in English and chemistry from MIT and a doctorate in chemistry from UC Santa Barbara.

Rosie Mestel

Rosie Mestel, Health and Science editor, studied genetics before abandoning flies, fungi and DNA for health/medical writing. Her hero is the biologist Ernst Haeckel, whose jellyfish paintings inspired snazzy chandeliers. Her favorite toast-spread is Marmite, a British delicacy made of yeast extract. Her least-favorite word is "millenniums."

Shari Roan

After a brief stint as a sports writer, Shari Roan turned to health journalism and has covered the topic for The Times since 1990. She is the author of three books and the mother of two daughters who refer to her as a "health freak." She likes to jog and watch baseball and is very happy that dark chocolate contains some health benefit.

Jeannine Stein

Jeannine Stein writes about fitness, sports medicine and obesity for the Health section. She's a gym rat from way back and never met an elliptical trainer she didn't like. Well, maybe one or two. She tempers exercise with a steady diet of reality television because she believes it's all about balance.

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