Our Editors

Ben Marcus, Ph.D.

Co-Chair of Editorial Content

Ben received his Ph.D. in Neurobiology at the University of Chicago in 2016, where he studied the role of learning and memory in drug addiction. He is a senior public relations specialist a CG Life and also runs a global directory of science communication and outreach organizations called SciReach. Ben loves sharing science with everyone he meets and demonstrating that science is in everything we do, even when we don’t notice it.

Dana Simmons, Ph.D.

Dana Simmons, Ph.D.

Co-Chair of Editorial Content

Dana received her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of Chicago in 2018, where she researched Autism Spectrum Disorder and its connection to the cerebellum. She is an award-winning science-artist who captures “portraits” of neurons using novel artistic techniques in laser microscopy.  When she’s away from the lab, Dana loves to present her art at galleries to museums to inspire curiosity and discussions about science.

illinois science council blog asssociate editor

Jackie Patterson

Associate Editor

Jackie is a Neuroscience Ph.D. Candidate at Northwestern University. Her research integrates pharmacology and robotics to study changes that occur in the brain following a stroke that contribute to movement impairments. Her ultimate goal is to help individuals who have had a brain injury be able to move with ease and joy again. She has a keen passion for translational research, conveying insights from the lab to the clinic and to the public. Alongside research, Jackie enjoys running marathons, exploring new areas of the world, and eating ice cream.

Ekaterina ‘Stella’ Tsotsos

Associate Editor

Stella is from Chicago, and she recently graduated from Brown University ’19, where she majored in materials engineering.  She’s hopped from lab to lab, researching biodegradable polymers, garnets with funky magnetic properties, and now stainless steel for a nuclear power company.   The best parts of her research are making crystals, polishing metals to a mirror shine, mixing colorful reactions, ripping steel apart, and watching polymers fall out of solution.  She hopes everyone will get the chance to be excited about science, so she loves to help out with local science fairs and competitions. When she’s not researching materials science, Stella enjoys dancing, ice skating, reading, and taking long walks around big cities.

science unsealed blog staff

Erica Dix

Assistant Editor

Erica graduated cum laude from DePaul University with a B.A. in English, Creative Writing track, with a minor in Environmental Studies. Erica is especially passionate about climate science and sustainability, and hopes that promoting science literacy will encourage us to address our greatest challenges as a species. She believe that creative communication about science and medicine is extremely important, and that clear, engaging storytelling can really make a difference in these fields.

Our Writers