About Me

Irene Ying portrait in watercolor


I'm Irene Ying, a science writer based in Boulder, Colorado.

About Me

I'm a scientific storyteller, and my career has focused on communicating research discoveries, particularly in biology, renewable energy, and computer science. Here's my portfolio.

I'm currently at Phase Change Software, writing about the exciting artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and computational mathematics that the company is developing. Previously I worked at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, writing outreach and marketing pieces in solar, wind, and biofuel energy.

I've also been on the other side of the story: I studied molecular biology at the California Institute of Technology and Princeton University, and researched microbiological transcriptomics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In my spare time I run a science fiction & fantasy zine, build websites, and use Oxford commas.

You can view my resume, or download the pdf (60 kb).

You can also visit my portfolio online. Please email me if you'd like more information on how I can assist you.

Science Blogging

I write about the cool applications of big data in public health at my blog, Better Living Through Bigger Datasets.

Biology Research

Before I became a science writer, I was a biology researcher. I worked in various *omics fields, focusing on how they could be used to improve human health and well-being.

In a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) laboratory under Dr. Arvind Bhagwat, I investigated the transcriptome of the pathogenic bacteria Salmonella enterica under a variety of virulence conditions relevant to food safety. Previous to working at USDA, I was a lab manager for Dr. Caren Chang at the University of Maryland, studying the role of protein phosphorylation in the ethylene response of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. In addition, at Princeton University, I performed my graduate studies in the laboratory of Dr. Manuel Llinás, where I studied the influence of chromatin on the gene expression of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.  Dr. Llinás is now located at Penn State University.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Evaluation of ribosomal RNA removal protocols for Salmonella RNA-seq projects. Arvind A Bhagwat, Z. Irene Ying, and Allen SmithAdvances in Microbiology January 2014.

Binary to Bushy: Bayesian Hierarchical Clustering with the Beta Coalescent.  Yuening Hu, Jordan Boyd-Graber, Hal Daume III, and Z. Irene Ying. 2013 Proceedings of the Neural Information Processing Systems Society.

CTR1 phosphorylates the central regulator EIN2 to control ethylene hormone signaling from the ER membrane to the nucleus in Arabidopsis.  Ju C, Yoon GM, Shemansky JM, Lin DY, Ying ZI, Chang J, Garrett WM, Kessenbrock M, Groth G, Tucker ML, Cooper B, Kieber JJ, Chang C.  PNAS 2012 Nov 20;109(47):19486-91. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1214848109. Epub 2012 Nov 6.