Barbara Gastel, MD, MPH
Barbara Gastel, a physician specializing in biomedical writing and editing, is professor of integrative biosciences, humanities in medicine, and biotechnology at Texas A&M University, where she coordinates the master's degree program in science and technology journalism.
Gastel earned a BA from Yale and an MD and MPH from Johns Hopkins. After medical school, she did an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) mass media fellowship at Newsweek. She then worked in communication and administration at the National Institutes of Health. She also has taught science writing at MIT. Before joining the Texas A&M faculty in 1989, she was assistant dean for teaching at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.
Gastel is author, with Robert A. Day, of the most recent editions of the book How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. She also is the author of the 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 a decade she edited Science Editor, the periodical of the Council of Science Editors.
Since early in her career, Gastel has worked to promote international communication of science. She was visiting professor of technical communication from 1983 to 1985 at what is now Peking University Health Science Center, and she later led the US aspect of a program to teach English-language biomedical writing and editing in Asia. She also has played lead roles in AuthorAID, an international program to help researchers in developing countries write about and publish their work.
Gastel has received awards from the American Medical Writers Association and the Council of Science Editors, and she is a fellow of AAAS. She also has received the John P. McGovern Science and Society Award, given by the scientific research society Sigma Xi. In 2012 she received the Texas A&M University Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension, Outreach, Continuing Education, or Professional Development, and in 2015 she received the Texas A&M University Bush Excellence Award for Faculty in Public Service.