In this week's episode, we present two stories of science and motherhood, just in time for Mother's Day. Part 1: Developmental biologist Pam Feliciano tries to understand her autistic son. Part 2: Science writer Katharine Gammon thinks she’s gone into labor, but her doctor says she hasn’t. As Scientific Director of SPARKforAutism.org, Pamela Feliciano leads the effort to build the largest autism research cohort in the United States, to speed up research and improve lives. SPARK aims to build a partnership between 50,000 individuals with autism and their families and autism researchers. Feliciano has also been a senior scientist at SFARI, the largest private funder of autism research in the United States, since 2013. At SFARI, she has been involved in efforts to develop objective and reliable outcome measures for autism clinical trials. Previously, Feliciano was a senior editor at Nature Genetics, where she was responsible for managing the peer review process of research publications in all areas of genetics. While at Nature Genetics, Feliciano was engaged with the scientific community, attending conferences and giving talks and workshops on editorial decision-making at academic institutes worldwide. Katharine Gammon is an award-winning freelance science writer based in Santa Monica, California. She has written about a wide range of topics, from childhood memory to sexually-transmitted diseases in koalas to designing cities on Mars for publications like Wired, Popular Science, Newsweek and Scientific American. Katharine grew up in Seattle as the child of two scientists, attended Princeton University and received a master’s degree from MIT. She taught English in the Peace Corps in Bulgaria before discovering science writing. With two little boys under age 4, she has endless fodder for her blog Kinderlab about child development, and in her miniscule free time she rides horses and wants to spend more time under sail.
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