Meet new member Daniel Bastardo Blanco

Daniel Bastardo Blanco, a global liaison specialist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and a new addition to the NASW community, shares #WhySciWri in this short Q&A.

A headshot of Daniel Bastardo Blanco

Daniel Bastardo Blanco

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm originally from Venezuela. Last year, I completed my Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences focused on the study of unconventional T cell development, which are specialized cells of the immune system. After completing my studies, I joined the Medical Content Outreach team of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as a global liaison specialist. In my role, I work with both internal and external teams in developing and distributing health education for families facing childhood cancer around the world. I also contribute to many other facets of the team, including internal patient education and research communication.

Q: How did you get interested in science writing?

A: I have always been passionate about bridging the gap between scientists and the general public. In 2019, I was a AAAS Mass Media Science Fellow at Discover Magazine, where I wrote stories on a variety of topics, from probiotics to climate change and non-coding DNA. The fellowship helped me cultivate my writing and launch a career as a professional science communicator.

Q: What do you love most about your job?

A: What I love most about my job is that I get to work with individuals from all over the world—with different cultural and professional backgrounds— in dynamic projects that have an impact on people's lives.

Q: What's the website you visit most often for work?

One of my team's products is the Together website, a free online resource for families facing childhood cancer regardless of where the patient is receiving treatment. The site is now available in eight languages, and I spend a lot of time every week talking about it with healthcare providers, families, and other stakeholders, searching for opportunities to improve and expand our content offerings. You can visit Together at together.stjude.org.

Q: If you could write about any scientific event/breakthrough/topic (past, present or future) what would it be and why?

A: I would be writing about COVID-19. As a trained immunologist with a life-long interest in viruses, I find the topics surrounding COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and the development of vaccines extremely fascinating.

Q: Why did you join NASW, and what kinds of professional connections/opportunities are you seeking?

A: I attended ScienceWriters2020 and fell in love with the amazing community of science writers that makes up NASW. The conference was the most engaging, inspiring, and didactic professional meeting that I have attended, and I cannot wait to continue to learn, grow, and network as a member of NASW.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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