Vivian Siegel is the director of communications at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. While she is formally trained as a scientist, she is also an accomplished communicator of science with deep expertise in scientific publishing and open-access journals. Siegel has served as editor of leading scientific journals, including Cell and PLoS, and most recently founded and directed the Center for Science Communication (CSC) at Vanderbilt University. Siegel created the CSC to share with Vanderbilt researchers what she has learned as an editor about how to communicate science clearly. She is writing a book on writing and publishing research for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Siegel is also the founding editor-in-chief of Disease Models & Mechanisms, and the executive editor of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. She has shaped the open-access journal DMM to provide a forum for communication among basic researchers interested in tackling problems related to human health and clinicians. DMM highlights diseases whose study would benefit from the development of new models and the potential uses of unusual model organisms, such as flatworms and sea urchins, to understand certain diseases.
Prior to her current positions, Siegel was the founding executive director of the Public Library of Science, where her reputation as a former chief editor of Cell and Molecular Cell helped the open-access organization attract submissions of important research to its new journals, including PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine. The resulting success of these journals demonstrated the feasibility of making primary research free to the public; she continues to support this cause by discussing changes in scholarly publishing at events around the globe.
Siegel received her A.B. in biochemistry and mathematics from Bowdoin College and her Ph.D. in genetics from the University of California, San Francisco.