Jennifer Bails is a science and health writer based in Pittsburgh, Pa. Her work has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Babble.com, MSN Health & Fitness, Proto magazine and Pittsburgh Quarterly, among other publications.

A scientist by training, Jennifer is an award-winning former newspaper reporter whose stories have taken her incredible places she never dreamed of going—deep in the human brain in search of tumors with a team of neurosurgeons, alongside medical workers vaccinating children against polio in India and into the minds of some of the greatest thinkers of our time. She writes broadly within the life sciences, but is particularly interested in biomedicine, global public health, environmental science and women’s health. Jennifer also writes often about engineering and computer technology. She enjoys translating jargon-laden information for lay audiences, but most of all, likes telling a good story.

After earning a degree in biology from Swarthmore College, Jennifer spent several years in a Ph.D. program on the North Carolina coast studying harmful algal blooms. In graduate school she discovered the hard way that she was happier learning about science than doing it. The slow demand for almost-oceanographers back home in Pittsburgh led Jennifer to put her liberal arts education to creative use. She learned everything important and wonderful she knows about journalism while covering fires, floods and county fairs at the Valley News Dispatch. She then worked as a reporter at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where she wrote about the sciences and their impact on society—and won the prestigious Carnegie Science Center Award for Excellence for her work.

These days, her main gig is writing in-depth, narrative features as a freelancer for local and national publications, which has given her the opportunity to explore fascinating topics as diverse as biometrics, NCAA women’s basketball and liver transplantation. Jennifer is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She also works as associate editor for SHADY AVE, a Pittsburgh news and lifestyles magazine, and is beginning her first book project about the discovery of Vitamin C.