Ethan Ngo
Ethan Ngo
Helios Scholar
School: Arizona State University 
Hometown: Chandler, Arizona
Mentor: Sophia Carvalho, PhD
PI: Tim Whitsett, PhD 

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Science writing streamlined: bridging the gap between ideas & life-saving breakthroughs

TGen has successfully bridged the gap between laboratory research and clinical application for over twenty years, leveraging genomic research to aid patients and their families. Concise, yet faithful dissemination of the biomedical research conducted at TGen, to all audiences, is critical to the institution’s continued success; however, there is often a temporal bottleneck between research and publication. Though necessary, the scientific writing process pulls researchers out of the lab, where they are needed to generate life-saving breakthroughs. Thus, there is an urgent need to provide TGen scientists with more robust and efficient composition support. The TGen Science Writing Team aims to streamline the writing process by implementing time-saving strategies and creating writing templates, all of which were conceived to work with minimal PI input and maximal time investment in mind. Consultation with several PIs revealed that the greatest perceived obstacle to efficient scientific writing was a dearth of direction within the composition process itself. Subsequently, we designed and implemented a process we call Design Sprint–a research and development strategy modified to suit a condensed one-hour writing workshop–enabling concentrated work. The Design Sprint strategy has wide-ranging utility to TGen staff outside of writing research publications, serving as a flexible plan to optimize efficiency in diverse applications. Complementing this, a universal TGen Foundation pitch-piece template was constructed, referencing prior successful pitches, to encapsulate the Foundation’s desired components and style. Testing by the Science Writing Team demonstrated the utility and synergy of these tools in constructing detailed drafts in a short time frame.