Who we are


The Scientific Editing and Research Communication Core helps researchers succeed with their funding efforts and scholarship by providing in-depth advice on how to maximize the clarity of scientific documents. We are scientists with advanced degrees, and the detailed editorial review we offer is based on extensive experience in both laboratory research and editing of scientific content. Multiple levels of feedback are offered.

Christine M Blaumueller, PhD


Christine has worked at the Carver College of Medicine (CCOM) since 2006, when she established an editing service for the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. She expanded this departmental service to a core facility for the college in 2017. Since joining the University of Iowa, Christine has developed several courses and numerous lectures on topics related to scientific writing and editing. She bases her advice on 14 years of experience as a laboratory researcher (developmental biology/cell biology/signal transduction) and 6 years experience on the editorial staff of the molecular biology journal EMBO reports. There, she managed the peer review process, selecting research manuscripts for publication. She also commissioned and edited content for the journal's Reviews section, as well as writing about its publications for lay audiences. Christine earned her PhD in biology from Yale University in 1996, and trained as a post-doctoral fellow at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) through 1999.

Jennifer Y Barr, PhD


Jennifer has worked as a full-time editor in the Scientific Editing and Research Communication Core since 2017. Prior to this, she worked as an intern with the Scientific Editing Service at the University of Iowa from 2015-2017. She has gained experience providing extensive feedback on manuscripts and grants, given lectures on scientific writing to graduate students, and organized and co-directed the Scientist Writers’ Workshop for trainees in several departments within the Carver College of Medicine. In addition, she has attended conferences on scientific writing and participated in professional development workshops regarding the requirements for NIH, DoD, and NSF grants. She completed her training at the University of Iowa, earning her PhD from the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology (emphasis in immunology) in 2015 and completing her post-doctoral training in immunology in the Department of Pediatrics.      

Jennifer Barr

Heather A Widmayer, MS, MBA


Heather joined the SERCC in 2020. Much of her editing is focused on projects in neurology, and she has experience and training in NIH and NSF grants. She is also active in the SERCC's teaching efforts. Prior to becoming an editor, Heather was a laboratory researcher for seven years, most recently working with the Molecular Otolaryngology and Renal Research (MORL) Laboratories in the Carver College of Medicine. She earned her MS from the University of Iowa’s Integrated Biology (iBio) Graduate Program, where her research combined population genomics and bioinformatics. Before entering the sciences, Heather had 20+ years’ experience in computer software development, communications, and grant writing. She has also taught courses on information design and website development. Heather earned an MBA from Loyola University Maryland.

Heather Widmayer

Michael R Rebagliati, PhD


Michael joined the Scientific Editing and Research Communication Core in January 2022, and the focus of his editing is the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics. Michael has experience writing and editing both grants (e.g., NIH and AHA) and manuscripts. He earned his PhD from Harvard University and received post-doctoral training at the University of Texas-Austin as well as the NIH (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NICHD). Michael also held several positions as a research scientist (in both the US and Europe), and as an Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. Much of Michael's research focused on providing insights into the causes of human diseases, in particular congenital diseases, using animal models (Zebrafish, Xenopus). More recently he gained experience in the use of cell culture and BSL-2 models to study viruses such as RSV, Ebola and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). 

Michael Rebagliati

Scientific Editing Interns

Individuals who have contributed actively to the editing of projects submitted to the core – their contributions have been included in feedback to our authors.

Camilla Hippee


Cami began her internship with the SERCC in May of 2023. She spent two years as a research assistant before deciding to pursue her PhD in the Microbiology and Immunology Department. She has experience with human pathogens, cell biology, and gene therapy approaches. Cami's PhD mentor, Dr. Patrick Sinn, inspired her interests in science communication, outreach, and editing. She is excited to pursue this career pathway upon completing her PhD (expected 2024).

Past Interns:

Ryan Betters, PhD

  • CCOM Scientific Editing Intern, October 2022–February 2023, while a PhD student in the Iowa Neuroscience Graduate Program

Kelly Messingham, PhD

  • CCOM Scientific Editing Intern, September  2017–January 2018
  • Research Associate Professor, UI Department of Dermatology

Marie Gaine, PhD

  • CCOM Scientific Editing Intern, June 2017–September 2017, while Research Scientist, Iowa Neuroscience Institute
  • SERCC Assistant Editor, 2017–2020
  • Subsequently Assistant Professor, UI Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics

Jennifer Y Barr, PhD

  • Scientific Editing Intern June 2015–June 2017, while Postdoctoral Scholar, UI Department of Pediatrics
  • Subsequently Core Facility Research Specialist, UI Scientific Editing and Research Communication Core

Jennifer Levy, PhD 

  • Scientific Editing Intern Fall 2015, while Associate at UI Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
  • Subsequently Scientific Director, Coalition to Cure Calpain3, Westport, CT

Monali Sawai, PhD

  • Scientific Editing Intern Spring 2010
  • Subsequently freelance editor, Iowa City, IA

Scientific Writing Interns

Individuals who have participated in seminars and courses taught by core staff, and have obtained some experience editing but who have not contributed directly to feedback to our authors.

Andreea Silaghi

  • Scientific Writing Intern Fall 2014, while Fogarty Scholar at UI College of Public Health
  • Subsequently Masters degree candidate/Graduate Researcher at Cluj School of Public Health, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania