Vivian Siegel

Vivian Siegel

Lecturer, Scientific Communications

Vivian Siegel works with trainees and faculty to convey their research effectively, and guides the department’s overarching communications strategy.





Vivian Siegel holds a PhD in Genetics from the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to her role at MIT, she served as Editor in Chief of Cell, Molecular Cell, Developmental Cell, and Disease Models & Mechanisms, Executive Director of the Public Library of Science, and Executive Editor of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. She also served as Founder of the Center for Science Communication at Vanderbilt University, and as Director of Scientific Education and Public Communication and then as Director of Education and Outreach at the Broad Institute. Vivian provides three functions for the department. First, she advises the Department Head on the development and implementation of the department’s communications strategy for external and internal communications in all forms (web, print, social media, etc.) and works with the communications specialist to expand the reach of department communications. Second, she develops training and coaching opportunities for faculty, postdocs, and graduate students about effective scientific communication, provides ad hoc editorial consulting regarding publishing efforts, and acts as an in-house tutor for the community on all forms of communication. Third, she acts as a professional advisor for trainees looking to transition into careers in academic publishing or science communication. In addition to her work at MIT, Vivian is currently a part-time Research Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University, where she works with faculty and their trainees on crafting research manuscripts and proposals, a part-time lecturer at Harvard Medical School, and a Senior Editorial Advisor for the online journal Bio-protocol. Vivian earned a Broad Institute Award for Excellence in Mentorship/Teaching/Training in 2013 and a UCSF 150th Anniversary Alumni Excellence Award in 2015. She is a member of the Louis Round Wilson Academy, the American Society for Cell Biology, the Genetics Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also chairs the Board of Directors for Open Source Wellness.

Key Publications

  1. Share the details of your experimental methods. Siegel, V. 2020. Mol Biol Cell 31, 2879-2882.
    doi: 10.1091/mbc.E20-07-0487PMID:33320705
  2. Susan Lindquist: a tribute. Siegel, V. 2017. Dis Model Mech 10, 1-2.
    doi: 10.1242/dmm.028696PMID:28067627
  3. Effect of recommendations from reviewers suggested or excluded by authors. Moore, JL, Neilson, EG, Siegel, V, Associate Editors at Journal of American Society of Nephrology. 2011. J Am Soc Nephrol 22, 1598-602.
    doi: 10.1681/ASN.2011070643PMID:21852583
  4. Reproducibility in research. Siegel, V. 2011. Dis Model Mech 4, 279-80.
    doi: 10.1242/dmm.008037PMID:21555327
  5. Resources, repositories and rewards. Siegel, V. 2009. Dis Model Mech 2, 423-5.
    doi: 10.1242/dmm.004259PMID:19726796
  6. I kid you not. Siegel, V. 2009. Dis Model Mech 2, 5-6.
    doi: 10.1242/dmm.002352PMID:19132114
  7. The promise of peer review. Siegel, V. 2008. Dis Model Mech 1, 73-7.
    doi: 10.1242/dmm.001388PMID:19048063
  8. pipsqueak, an early acting member of the posterior group of genes, affects vasa level and germ cell-somatic cell interaction in the developing egg chamber. Siegel, V, Jongens, TA, Jan, LY, Jan, YN. 1993. Development 119, 1187-202.
    doi: 10.1242/dev.119.4.1187PMID:8306882
  9. Each of the activities of signal recognition particle (SRP) is contained within a distinct domain: analysis of biochemical mutants of SRP. Siegel, V, Walter, P. 1988. Cell 52, 39-49.
    doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(88)90529-6PMID:2830980
  10. Removal of the Alu structural domain from signal recognition particle leaves its protein translocation activity intact. Siegel, V, Walter, P. Nature 320, 81-4.
    doi: 10.1038/320081a0PMID:2419765


Photo credit: Maya Gilbert