Brian Vastag

Science Journalist



 Award-winning science and medical journalist with a decade of experience breaking research and policy stories for top publications; I deliver clean copy, on time. Highlights include:

  • An investigation into stem cell tourism and its dangers (The Washington Post, 2008)
  • Exposing a diabetes researcher’s unethical behavior (Nature, 2008)
  • Revealing the Bush administration’s interference with an EPA toxicology report (Nature, 2008)
  • Receiving a media award for my extensive coverage of addiction (2005)


Freelance                                                                                                                                          Jan. 2008 – Present 

- Clients include The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Nature, BBC World Service,;  contributing correspondent for the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Science News - Health & Medicine Writer (contract)                                                     March 2007 – Dec. 2007 

- Identified stories and wrote briefs, news and features; provided spot coverage of molecular and cell biology, chemistry, anthropology, archaeology.

Freelance                                                                                                                              July 2004 – March 2007 

- Clients included Nature journals, National Geographic News, New Scientist, Health.

JAMA – Associate Editor, Medical News & Perspectives                                                Oct. 2000 – July 2004 

- Operated as one-man D.C. bureau; developed sources and wrote weekly briefs, news and features, including trend pieces, analyses and profiles; covered basic, translational and clinical research and policy.  

Other positions – Science Writer (National Cancer Institute, 1999-2000), Senior Media Relations Representative (Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, 1999), Science Writing Fellow (NCI, 1998)  


Texas A&M University, 1997–1998
Completed coursework for M.S. in science and technology journalism; graduate courses in bioinformatics, neuroscience, genetics, immunology, physical anthropology, research methods, journalism.  

University of Minnesota, 1992–1996, B.S. in urban studies

Awards & Honors

President, D.C. Science Writers Association, 2007–2008

Judge, AAAS Science Journalism Awards, 2008 and 2009; SEJ Reporting Awards, 2007

Winner, Media Award, College on Problems of Drug Dependence, 2005

Invited Speaker, Japanese Medical Communicators Association symposium, Tokyo, 2004


Alexandra Witze, Editor at Large, Science News. Contact: .

David Lindley, former Associate Editor, Science News. Contact: .

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