Invited Experts

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Cedric DarkCedric Dark, MD, MPH, FACEP is Founder and Executive Editor of Policy Prescriptions®. A graduate of Morehouse College, Dr. Dark earned his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. He holds a master’s degree from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. He completed his residency training at George Washington University where he served as Chief Resident. Currently, Dr. Dark is an Assistant Professor in the Henry J. N. Taub Department of Emergency Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Dark is the 2017 recipient of the Texas Medical Association’s C. Frank Webber Award, a 2019 American College of Emergency Physicians Choosing Wisely Champion, one of emergency medicine’s Top 45 Under 45, and on Elemental’s List of 50 Experts to Trust in a Pandemic.  He currently participates on the editorial advisory board for the monthly publication ACEP Now and is on the Board of Directors for Doctors for America.

Dr. Dark’s policy experience includes work for the United States House of Representatives, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Joe Biden Campaign. Among his policy interests include the study of health reform at the intersection with international health systems on which he has spoken on this topic nationwide.

Dr. Dark’s media experience includes print, radio, and television – including outlets such as the Washington PostNPRCNNMSNBCFox News, and BBC World News.

Dr. Dark’s personal mission is PolicyRx’s vision: that all Americans possess health security through a universal health care system focused on continuity, affordability, and access to quality health care.


Expert Panelists and Workshop Leaders

Kiah CollierKiah Collier is an investigative reporter for the ProPublica-Texas Tribune Investigative Initiative. She previously worked at the Tribune as a reporter and associate editor since 2015, covering energy and environment through the lens of state government and politics. She was a reporter on “Hell and High Water,” a Peabody Award–winning collaboration between ProPublica and the Tribune that explored the vulnerability of the Houston area to a large, devastating hurricane. In addition to the Peabody Award, she has been honored with the Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism, the National Edward R. Murrow Award for best investigation, and the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award.




Lynn ZechiedrichLynn Zechiedrich, PhD, is the Kyle and Josephine Morrow Chair and Professor in Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine. Based on her foundational research discoveries on DNA structure and function, she also founded Twister Biotech, Inc., a therapeutic gene therapy company. An award winning scientist, mentor, and educator, she co-directs the Quantitative and Computational Bioscience Graduate Program at Baylor College of Medicine and co-directs the NIH T-32-funded Texas Medical Center fellowship training program in Antimicrobial Resistance. Passionate about communicating to the taxpayers what scientists do with the funding they support, Dr. Zechiedrich started tweeting (@LynnZechiedrich) in early 2018. A founding Ambassador for Inclusion and Diversity at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Zechiedrich tweets about science, graduate student training, diversity and inclusive excellence, photography, her orchestra (@TMCOrchestra), great science writers, and sometimes sports.



Viviane Callier

Dr. Viviane Callier is a science journalist and writer based in San Antonio, Texas. Her work has appeared in QuantaScientific American, The Scientist, and other publications. She also writes for the National Institutes of Health and scientific non-profits. She was a Churchill Scholar at the University of Cambridge and holds a PhD in biological sciences from Duke University.





Joe PalcaDr. Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR. Before becoming a journalist, he earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz where he worked on human sleep physiology. Since joining NPR in 1992, Palca has covered a broad range of science topics. His series, “Joe’s Big Idea,” explores the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors. He co-founded the NPR Scicommers program, a collective of science communicators. Palca has also worked as a television producer, and a news writer for the journals, Science and NaturePalca has won numerous awards, several of which came with attractive certificates.



Dr. Audrey Huang

Daisy ChungDaisy Chung is an award-winning science visual communicator and illustrator originally from Taiwan and New Zealand. She currently works as the Creative Director at wikiHow and as a freelance science visualization artist creating infographic designs and data-driven graphics to communicate complex science. She is a former graphics editor at National Geographic Magazine, where she worked with a collaborative team to engage the public through powerful visual storytelling. Daisy aims to make science more accessible and works directly with experts to communicate their research to a broader audience. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, National Geographic, Cell Press, The Journal of Neuroscience, and various science and educational platforms. When not drawing, you can find Daisy hiking, climbing rocks, and finding different uses for sourdough starters. 


Dr. Barbara GastelBarbara Gastel, MD, MPH, coordinates the graduate program in science and technology journalism at Texas A&M University, where she is a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and the College of Medicine. She also teaches an editing course in the University of Chicago medical writing and editing certificate program, and she has been editor of the Council of Science Editors periodical, Science Editor. She also is first author of the current (8th) edition of the book How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. She is a AAAS fellow and has received awards and recognitions from the American Medical Writers Association and the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences.



Anna KiapesAnna Kiapes currently works at Baylor College of Medicine as the College’s Social Media Manager. She creates and manages the College’s social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Before coming to Baylor in 2017, she worked in the social media industry since graduating from Southern Methodist University in 2012. When she’s not tweeting, you can find her baking, playing with her dog, Lupo, or reading a good mystery novel.




Roxanne BoguckaRoxanne Bogucka is STEM Liaison Librarian for Health Sciences at the UT Life Science Library, primarily supporting the School of Nursing, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Public Health, Pharmacy, and Biomedical Engineering. As the convener of the UT Science Communication Interest Group, she is active in science communication and public engagement efforts at UT and produces the outreach programs Research Speed-Dating and Research+Pizza. She is an ALLY (Gender & Sexuality Center) and a disABILITY Advocate (Services for Students with Disabilities). Roxanne has a B.S. in Wildlife & Fisheries Science from Texas A&M University and an M.L.I.S. in Library & Information Science from UT Austin.



Dr. Sarah McAnultyDr. Sarah McAnulty is a squid biologist and science communicator. She is the founder and executive director of Skype a Scientist, a non-profit organization that connects scientists to teachers and families around the world. She earned a bachelor's degree in marine science at Boston University in 2011 and her PhD from the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Connecticut, graduating in 2019. She studied immunology in cephalopods, focusing on Hawaiian bobtail squid.