Technical Writing

In addition to my creative writing projects, I also have an interest in and experience with Technical Writing, especially in the biotechnology field. I received a B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in English from Northeastern University, and have 3 years of experience working in the biotech field. 

During my time as a Research Associate in the Sellers Lab at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, I did two major tech writing projects for the lab group in addition to my bench work. The first “Sellers Lab Handbook”, used to train new hires. I also wrote and edited copy for the lab website.

I have always had a passion for science and learning, which intersects well with my passion for writing. I hope to be able to use my skills as a writer to help companies achieve their goals, as well as expand the understanding of the general public to increase scientific literacy.

“I have a passion for scientific communication and experience in the Biotech field that puts me in an amazing position to help share advancements and understanding with the world.”

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EXCERPT FROM SELLERS LAB TRAINING HANDBOOK:

BL2+

Biosafety Level 2+ (BL2+) labs are the two tissue culture rooms which require you to scan your Broad ID to gain access to the room. For the door to unlock, you must have completed the specific BL2+ training. BL2+ is a space for working with Lentiviral vectors, and therefore has additional safety and cleaning protocol that are important to maintaining the health and safety of yourself and those around you. Colloquially, it is often referred to as “2+”.

To gain access to BL2+, you will receive training on the risks and safe practices associated with lentiviral work. However, it is important to understand that this sort of work can be hazardous. All lentiviral vectors used in the Cancer Program are replication incompetent, meaning that the viruses will not be able to replicate themselves if you get infected. HOWEVER, the lentiviruses are designed to be able to make alterations to the genomes of human cells. While it is unlikely that a brief exposure to lentivirus would allow it to make such a change, there is potential for this to happen if the lentivirus contacts your skin, an open wound, or a mucous membrane. Aerosolized viral particles (such as those produced in a spill outside the hood) are also a hazard. 

To account for these additional hazards of lentiviral work, the following precautions are to be followed for BL2+ work:

  • Gloves must be worn in the BL2+ room at all times. Do not touch anything in the BL2+ room with your bare hands.

  • Disposable lab coats (available at the mini mart) MUST be worn inside the rooms, even if you are not in the hood. Standard white or blue fabric lab coats are NOT permitted inside the rooms. 

  • Flasks and other containers containing viral media, including concentrates, should not be opened except under the hood

  • Supplies used in viral work, including flasks, tubes, and pipettes, should be soaked in a 10% bleach solution for at least 20minutes before being thrown into the biohazard bins.

  • Vessels containing viral media should be sealed and sprayed down with ethanol before being transported outside the hood

  • Culture flasks containing viral media cannot be taken out of the room

  • All waste in the BL2+ room (including cardboard and Kimwipes) should be disposed of in the biohazard bins

  • Biohazard bins must be sealed and sprayed down by the person who fills it, and then brought to the hallway

  • Wash hands thoroughly upon leaving the BL2+ room