Program Director

Barbara Gastel is professor of veterinary integrative biosciences and of humanities in medicine at Texas A&M University, where she directs the graduate program in science and technology journalism. Her main areas of professional interest include medical writing, science editing, and the teaching of science communication.

Dr. Gastel earned a BA from Yale and an MD and MPH from Johns Hopkins. After medical school, she completed an American Association for the Advancement of Science mass media fellowship at Newsweek. She then worked in communication and administration at the US National Institutes of Health. She also has taught science writing at MIT, and she spent two years teaching at the Peking University Health Science Center. Before coming to Texas A&M, she was assistant dean for teaching at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

Dr. Gastel is lead author of the latest editions of How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. She also has published three other books: Presenting Science to the Public, Teaching Science: A Guide for College and Professional School Instructors, and Health Writer’s Handbook. In addition, she has written many articles and chapters on writing, editing, teaching, and medical topics. For over a decade, she edited the Council of Science Editors periodical, Science Editor.

Long interested in the international communication of science, Dr. Gastel has directed the US aspect of a program to teach English-language biomedical writing and editing in China. She also has held major roles in AuthorAID, a program to help researchers in developing countries to write about and publish their work. Over the years, she has given workshops on scientific writing in many countries in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

Dr. Gastel has received awards from the American Medical Writers Association and the Council of Science Editors, and she is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The Board of Editors in the Life Sciences has named her an Honored Editor in the Life Sciences. She also is a recipient of the John P. McGovern Science and Society Award, given by the scientific research society Sigma Xi.

Feel free to contact Dr. Gastel at or 979-845-6887.