Boy howdy! We've hooked Superbug's Maryn McKenna!

On the heels of the recruitment of Deborah Blum to ScienceBlogs, I am happy to welcome journalist Maryn McKenna to our neck of the ether.

Her inaugural post can be read here.

i-878435124c97b70c5b0c11410fa14525-superbug-cover-thumb-140x211-50688.jpgMcKenna's blog is called Superbug, reflecting the title of her most recent book, SUPERBUG: The Fatal Menace of MRSA, and her general interests in infectious diseases and food safety. Her 2004 book, BEATING BACK THE DEVIL: On The Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service (of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), named among Top Science Books of 2004 by and an "Outstanding Academic Title" by the American Library Association.

More details from her biography indicate that ScienceBlogs has secured a remarkable and experienced writer:

As a newspaper reporter, she worked for 11 years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she was the only journalist assigned to full-time coverage of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She reported from the Indian Ocean tsunami and from Hurricane Katrina, as well as from Southeast Asia, India, Africa and the Arctic, and embedded with CDC teams on Capitol Hill during the 2001 anthrax attacks and with a World Health Organization polio-eradication team in India.

Previously, she worked for the Boston Herald, where stories she co-wrote on illnesses among veterans of the first Persian Gulf War led to the first Congressional hearings on Gulf War Syndrome, and at the Cincinnati Enquirer, where her stories on the association between local cancer clusters and contamination escaping a federal nuclear weapons plant contributed to a successful nuclear-harm lawsuit by residents.

Maryn has been an Ochberg Fellow of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University; a Media Fellow with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; and a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan. She has also served short fellowships at Harvard Medical School and the Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families at the University of Maryland. In 2006, she was an inaugural Health Journalism Fellow of the East-West Center in Honolulu and is now an Associate of the Center and teaches other journalists in its programs in Asia.

She is a cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, has a master's degree with highest honors from Northwestern University, and is the recipient of numerous journalism awards.

McKenna is clearly not your ordinary writer.

i-90217663b4cd9aabe64ad7279a3e9cb8-McKenna Manhattan Bar Leadville.jpgBut, of course, I cannot let her welcome message go without some levity. My eye was captured by a photo on McKenna's website with her in front of The Manhattan Bar in Leadville, Colorado, generally considered the highest, continually-occupied municipality in the continental United States. Their Facebook page is here.

Situated on US Highway 24 that becomes Harrison Street in Leadville, The Manhattan Bar is just across from the famed Delaware Hotel in this boomtown established by the Silver Rush of the late 1870s and 1880s that then collapsed when the silver standard backing US currency was repealed in 1893.

If you've driven from Denver to any scientific conferences in Aspen, hiked Colorado's highest peak, Mt. Elbert, ran or biked any Leadville race, or taken your lab for whitewater rafting down the headwaters of the Arkansas River, chances are that you have driven past The Manhattan Bar.

Gotta respect a talented writer who acknowledges with reverence one of Colorado's greatest treasures.

Welcome, Ms. McKenna!

And, as always, you can continue to follow Maryn on Twitter @marynmck

Photo credit: Shamelessly taken from McKenna's website entirely without her permission.


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I am stunned by the generous welcome, and gobsmacked that you recognized the Manhattan Bar â which, truth be told, attracted me largely because I'm a native New Yorker, though it is also an hour up (and I do mean UP) Rte. 91 from my family's place. That photo's a few years old and you are the first person to recognize the location; I think that earns you a stuffed Superbug when next I see you!