O'Rourke Scientific & Medical Writing

professional writing and editing in the biomedical sciences

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What Can a Scientific Writer/Editor Do for You?

"Write Without Fear, Edit Without Mercy" Tom Albrighton

  • In the biomedical sciences, competition to publish and secure funding or regulatory approval is more intense than ever. Good writing is essential to communicate your results and ideas effectively and to support your credibility as a scientist.
  • The goal of scientific editing is to assist the author in clearly communicating their ideas and conclusions to the intended reader, whether that is a journal reviewer, professional colleague, or member of the general public. Editors can help you to attain success by improving the quality and presentation of the writing, thereby freeing the reader to focus on the message.
  • Scientific editing requires knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, usually obtained through higher education, training, and—preferably—hands-on academic or clinical experience.
  • Scientific editors have a responsibility to ensure that your message is conveyed accurately, clearly, and precisely.
  • I became a full-time editor and writer in 2009 following 25 years in scientific research in academia and the pharmaceutical industry. During that time, I maintained a successful funding and publication record and was an ad hoc reviewer for several biomedical research journals and funding organizations.
  • I specialize in editing biomedical manuscripts, grants, and regulatory documents in a wide range of clinical and nonclinical research areas. I have worked on subjects ranging from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to zygomycosis and on products ranging from repurposed drugs to cutting-edge molecular-targeted therapies.
  • I provide writing assistance tailored to the specific needs of both native and non-native English speakers.
  • I believe that my experience in biomedical science places me in a unique position to provide supportive and constructive writing assistance by acting as both your editor and a former member of your target audience.

About Me

Anne M. O'Rourke, PhD | San Diego, CA, USA | London, England, UK



  • BSc (Hons) in Medical Biochemistry, University of London, UK

  • PhD in Biochemistry (focus in immunology), University of London, UK

  • Eight years of post-doctoral training in the United States

  • Member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and the Council of Science Editors (CSE)


  • A total of 15 years in academic research, including 7 years as an Assistant Professor at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California

  • Ten years as a Senior Scientist in pharmaceutical research; led research teams in small molecule and biologic therapeutics development for autoimmune diseases and cancer

  • Thirteen years (and counting...) of full-time experience in biomedical editing and writing for academics and Pharma

Main Areas of Expertise

  • Autoimmune, inflammatory, and metabolic diseases; neurodegenerative disorders; cancer

  • Small molecule and biologic drug development, including molecular-targeted therapies

  • Medicinal chemistry; cell and molecular biology

  • Pharma: Investigator's Brochures, Modules 2 and 4 of Investigational New Drug (IND) and New Drug Applications (NDA)


All services are tailored to your needs — please contact me for pricing

Scientific Editing...

  • Substantive (also known as developmental) editing is the standard for documents that have not undergone professional editing

  • Offered for journal articles and reviews, book chapters, grants, etc

  • Focuses on writing mechanics and content while maintaining scientific accuracy

  • Improves coherence through structural changes at the sentence and paragraph level, such as re-writing and re-organization

...Scientific Editing (cont)

  • Ensures logical and clear presentation of ideas and arguments in a manner supported by the accompanying data

  • Improves clarity, style, and flow using natural and technical language

  • Corrects punctuation, syntax/word choice, grammar, and spelling; and ensures consistent use of abbreviations and units of measurement

Copy Editing

  • Offered only for documents that need a final polish before submission (e.g., journal articles and grant re-submissions)
  • Focuses on writing mechanics and not content; does not interpret the science or correct structural or logistical errors

  • Corrects punctuation, syntax/word choice, grammar, and spelling; and ensures consistent use of abbreviations and units of measurement

Medical Writing

  • Editing and/or writing of regulatory documents for FDA/EMA submissions

  • Writing of Investigator's Brochure, IND and NDA modules M2 and M4, briefing documents

  • Editing of all nonclinical and clinical documents, including clinical study protocols and reports

  • Additional services considered on request


Some may be useful and some are just for fun

  • All
  • Writing
  • Science
  • Fun
Aaron Burden, Unsplash

Writing ...1

  Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab)
  Write Like a Scientist
    (Image credit: Aaron Burden, Unsplash)

Jeffrey Hamilton, Unsplash


  Information is Beautiful
  Astronomy and Spaceflight News
  Small World Photomicrography Winners
    (Image credit: Jeffrey Hamilton, Unsplash)

Santi Vedri: Unsplash

Writing ...2

  Grammar Girl
  Daily Writing Tips
    (Image credit: Santi Vedri, Unsplash)

NCI: Unsplash


  Science & Technology Innovation
  Health and Disease Information
  Chemistry World
    (Image credit: NCI, Unsplash)

Luke Michael: Unsplash


  Small World Videomicrography Winners
  Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cameras
    (Image credit: Luke Michael, Unsplash)

Hannah Grace: Unsplash


 Academic & Professional Writing
 Guide to Scientific Writing
    (Quote credit: Tom Albrighton;
Image credit: Hannah Grace, Unsplash)

Mathew Schwartz: Unsplash


  US Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
    (Image credit: Matthew Schwartz, Unsplash)

Robert Lukeman: Unsplash


  Encyclopedia of Life
  HHMI Biointeractive Resources
    (Image credit: Robert Lukeman, Unsplash)

Get in Touch

I will respond as soon as possible (usually within 24 hours)