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Shawna Williams

Shawna joined The Scientist in 2017 and is now a senior editor and news director. She holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Colorado College and a graduate certificate and science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Previously, she worked as a freelance editor and writer, and in the communications offices of several academic research institutions. As news director, Shawna assigns, edits, and sometimes reports breaking news, opinion articles, and in-depth features for the website.

Articles by Shawna Williams
leatherback sea turtle making its way across a beach
Fifteen-Year Project Quantifies Threat to Reptiles
Shawna Williams | Apr 28, 2022
The study estimates that one-fifth of reptile species worldwide are at risk of extinction.
close-up photo of mosquito on green background
Wet Weather Brings Japanese Encephalitis to Australia
Shawna Williams | Apr 14, 2022
Southern Australia has recorded its first-ever cases of the disease in an outbreak that has so far killed three people.
Image of brain cells showing pyramidal neurons in green, astrocytes in red, and microglia in blue
Replacing Microglia Treats Neurodegenerative Disease in Mice
Shawna Williams | Mar 17, 2022
Researchers find a way to wipe out the brain’s immune cell corps and send in new and improved versions.
illustration of human brain
COVID-19 Linked to Neural Changes
Shawna Williams | Mar 7, 2022
A study that examined the brains of people before and after SARS-CoV-2 infection found a decrease in brain volume and damage to olfactory areas compared with controls.
US Capitol with Senate building in the foreground
Robert Califf Confirmed to Lead FDA
Shawna Williams | Feb 15, 2022
A narrow Senate vote ends a 13-month period during which the agency has lacked a permanent commissioner.
illustration of green viral particles flowing into a person's nostril
First COVID-19 Human Challenge Trial Reveals Uneven Susceptibility
Shawna Williams | Feb 3, 2022
Only half of volunteers deliberately exposed to SARS-CoV-2 developed an infection. None developed serious symptoms, paving the way for further challenge trials.
Abstract geometric heart with plexus effect on blue background
Man Receives Transplanted Heart from Genetically Modified Pig
Shawna Williams | Jan 10, 2022
The procedure, performed last Friday, is a milestone in a long effort to boost the number of organs available for safe transplantation.
a blood bag partially full of yellow liquid
Convalescent Plasma for COVID-19 Cuts Hospitalizations: Preprint
Shawna Williams | Dec 21, 2021
Unlike studies of antibody-rich transfusions in hospitalized patients, which overall have not found clear benefits, a new randomized trial finds that early convalescent plasma treatment cuts hospitalizations in half.
images related to COVID-19 pandemic, including sign reading "please keep your distance," illustration of the virus, various pills, vaccine syringes
What We Learned About COVID-19 in 2021
Shawna Williams | Dec 16, 2021
As Omicron induces a sense of deja vu at the close of the year, we look back at a few key ways in which our understanding has moved forward.
aerial view of a building on the NIH campus
Lawrence Tabak Tapped to Serve as Interim NIH Head
Shawna Williams | Dec 10, 2021
The glycoprotein researcher and longtime principal deputy director of the National Institutes of Health will take over from Francis Collins on December 20.