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 Research Professor of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology and 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 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. Second, 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.); creates oral, visual, and written reports about research for different audiences; and works with the communications coordinator to expand the reach of department communications. Third, she acts as a professional advisor for trainees looking to transition into careers in academic publishing or science communications. In addition to her work at MIT, Vivian serves as a consultant for the Global Biological Standards Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to improving pre-clinical research quality, by crafting training programs to improve data reproducibility and rigor, and as a Senior Editorial Advisor for the online journal Bio-protocol.

Vivian earned the Broad Institute Award for Excellence in Mentorship/Teaching/Training in 2013 and the 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 is also the chair of the Board of Directors for Open Source Wellness and the chair of the advisory board for the U Mass Medical School BEST program.