Hey! I'm Elissa.
I didn’t always want to be a rat brain surgeon. As a child, I had imagined myself trekking the globe to learn about everything from elephants to volcanic eruptions. My curiosity was endless.
But by my mid-20s, I was cornered in a windowless science lab poking small electrical devices into rat brains. Even though I studied advanced human-to-robot interactions, I was restless.
The pandemic paused my research, and I unleashed my pent-up career fantasies by grilling anyone in a science-adjacent field about their job. After nearly 100 interviews, I began to suspect I enjoyed the interview process itself.
So, after a decade in science, I leapt into a new field: journalism. I began as a cub reporter at my school’s student newspaper and immediately felt at home.
Now, as I combine my past and present by becoming a science journalist, I aim to peek behind the straightforward facts to the people and situations that bring us scientific achievements.
I am getting my master's degree in science journalism at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I received my PhD in biomedical engineering, focused on neural technology, from the University of Michigan in 2021. I've written for The Michigan Daily, The Detroit Free Press, STAT News and The Mercury News. Now, I am freelancing for The Chronicle of Higher Education.