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Edward J. Sylvester, Professor
Ed Sylvester mentors Mayo Medical School students in the Combined M.M.C. / M.D. degree program begun in 2010. He created the Cronkite School's Science and Medical Writing course in 1999 and has taught it ever since. He also teaches graduate and undergraduate reporting and editing.
He is co-author of “Breeding Bio Insecurity: How U.S. Biodefense is Exporting Fear, Globalizing Risk, and Making Us All Less Secure,” published in fall 2009 by The University of Chicago Press. In the book, Sylvester and Dr. Lynn Klotz, an expert on bioweapons issues, argue that our government’s biodefense policy, characterized by enormous cost, complexity and secrecy, is making the onset of biological warfare far more likely than it otherwise would be.
This is his fifth book for popular audiences. “Back From The Brink” and “The Healing Blade” are nonfiction narratives revealing medical discoveries about the human brain while “The Gene Age” (also co-authored with Dr. Klotz) and “Target: Cancer” are stories of intense, competitive laboratory research.
Sylvester has spoken to local audiences on current medical subjects and moderated a popular presentation with Barrow Neurological Institute physicians on new developments in stroke treatment and brain health. He has written magazine articles for several national publications, op-ed pieces for USA Today and book reviews for The New York Times.
He joined the ASU faculty in 1980 from the Los Angeles Times, where he was San Diego County government reporter. Before going to the Times, he had worked for 10 years as a reporter and editor at newspapers including the Arizona Daily Star, the (Newark, N.J.) Star Ledger, The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record and The (Paterson, N.J.) Morning Call.
At ASU, he was a Knight Fellow during the program’s inaugural year and taught computer-assisted reporting at The Oshkosh (Wis.) Northwestern. He received a publishing grant from the Freedom Forum in 1996 to write a series of articles on the U.S. Epidemic Intelligence Service.
He received the Burlington Faculty Achievement Award for teaching in 1991. Earlier, he was founding co-director of the Cronkite School’s seminars for journalists on computer-assisted reporting, which were among the first on the subject.
Sylvester holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Princeton University and a master's in creative writing from City College of New York. He was a member of Joseph Heller’s fiction workshop at CCNY.