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Staff Q&A: Marla Paul, senior health sciences editor, Global Marketing

Marla Paul

Marla Paul is senior health sciences editor for the Office of Global Marketing and Communications at Northwestern University where she promotes research at the Feinberg School of Medicine. Paul promotes newsworthy science by clinicians and scientists from Feinberg to media outlets including newspapers, television news, radio and digital publications.

Read a Q&A with Paul below.

Where are you originally from?

I am from Chicago.

Please tell us about your professional background.

I’ve been the health sciences editor at Northwestern for 15 years. I am a former staff writer at the Chicago Sun-Times and was a freelance writer for the Chicago Tribune and various national magazines. I also wrote a book, “The Friendship Crisis.”

How do you help scientists at the medical school?

I promote newsworthy research by scientists and physician-scientists at the medical school to the media including newspapers, TV news, radio and websites. It is usually based on a study that has been accepted by a journal.

There is a lot of important research happening at Feinberg, but since I work with media targeted to the general public the studies need to be relevant to the public. If a scientist has an upcoming study they think will make a media splash, I want to hear from them (email Marla here).

I also promote experts at Northwestern who can talk about subjects in the news. I also want to hear from people who have expertise and a point-of-view on breaking medical and health news.

What is your favorite part of the job?

I love meeting scientists and learning about their research. It fascinates me, and I am always learning. I feel like a kid in a candy store being surrounded by all this exciting research.

I also like the challenge of translating complicated research into a story the public can understand. It’s fun to pitch a story to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal or NBC Nightly News and then see it in the newspaper or on the news broadcast.

What exciting projects are you working on?

I’m working on several releases about upcoming clinical trials for COVID-19 treatments that were partly developed by Northwestern scientists. The research is so important and timely.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am learning to play drums and I upcycle vintage clothes that I have started to sell on Instagram. I also have an Instagram blog. You can follow me at @rebellewithmarla.