Susan E Caldwell

Susan E Caldwell

As is true for many folks, it’s a complicated thing for me to describe myself. The facts are the easiest, so I’ll tackle them first.

After earning a PhD in medical microbiology and immunology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, I did a 4-year postdoctoral research deal in human infectious diseases in the same medical school. Following my postdoc, I went straight into the biotech industry, against the advice of my academic colleagues. That was in 1987, and it turned out to be a very good move. Early in my career, I did 10 years of hands-on laboratory research in human infectious diseases, focusing on studies of influenza virus-infected model systems. In 1995, a big change: I became a medical writer at the associate director level. I developed my own department, managed many writers, and did the same thing later with three other companies. While I was senior director of writing and publishing at the last company, I decided to become a medical writer consultant. In January 2005, I made the career switch. I founded Biotech Ink, LLC, and have been doing medical writing consulting ever since. Although I do many writing projects myself, I also work, as needed, with many of the writers I supervised or hired as contractors when I was on staff.

During my academic research and early biotech years, I published numerous book chapters and articles in the peer-reviewed medical literature. If you’d like to see samples of these publications, look at the sidebar under Publications and Resumes. Once there, you can download my sample publications, and my resume is also available.

In addition to medical writing, I’ve done other types of writing over the years, including web content, newsletters, white papers, market research and competitive intelligence reports, and much more. You can accurately infer that I love writing, whether it’s a technical or nontechnical topic, and have made it one of the centerpiece activities of my life.

Who I am as a person is a bit harder to outline than my career achievements. One of the things most people notice about me is that I’m an optimist and, unlike many medical writers, an extrovert. While doing tough projects, I’ve found that a positive outlook, reaching out to others, and a good sense of humor can work wonders on the progress  and quality of my work. I also pay a lot of attention to detail–a prerequisite for sucessful medical writing projects. One of the things I most enjoy about writing projects is collaborating with other team members to get the job done, and get it done well.

On a more personal note, I enjoy watching beautiful things in nature, whether scenery, birds, or people. I almost never watch TV, except for the news–which is usually too depressing for my taste. Having taken piano and guitar lessons, I have a deep appreciation for music, including classical, country, jazz, and many other genres. I must have some musical genes in my genetic heritage, because I also love to sing. I don’t travel more than I have to, because I enjoy being at home. My home life includes cats, and they are my constant companions. I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 20 years, and it’s still an astonishing place, for many reasons.

I find myself dancing around other aspects of my life that I’ll keep to myself for now. So, hopefully you will glean an impression of who I am from what I’ve said so far. If you have questions about my blog content, don’t hesitate to email me at or phone my office (650-286-9300). I’d love to hear from you.

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