New edition published!!!


Ricki Lewis is a science writer with a PhD in genetics. After writing life science college textbooks for many years and zillions of articles, she is looking forward to publication of her first "real" book: "The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It," from St. Martin's Press, February 2012.

Ricki earned her doctorate in 1980 from Indiana University, working with flies that had legs growing out of their heads and mouths. Not seeing a bright future in healing insect appendages, and loving writing since childhood, Ricki took a graduate science journalism course, and her life changed.

After grad school, Ricki did a stint as an assistant professor at Miami University, where they needed a person under 80 with two X chromosomes to teach human genetics. She also began writing health-related articles for the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Sunday magazine. Shortly before leaving Ohio for upstate New York 18 months later, about to burst forth her first F1 (genetics-speak for offspring), Ricki encountered five academic publishers waving contracts for college textbooks in her face. She signed her life away.

Four textbooks (in many editions) and thousands of articles followed. Ricki was the founding author of the intro biology textbook Life, and is a co-author of two human anatomy and physiology textbooks. But her favorite is Human Genetics: Concepts and Applications, now in its ninth edition, all for McGraw-Hill Higher Education. She also published an essay collection, Discovery: Windows on the Life Sciences, for Blackwell Science in 2001. Her first novel, Stem Cell Symphony, was published in January 2008, and is based on her experiences as a hospice volunteer.

Ricki’s articles have appeared in scientific, medical, and consumer magazines and journals, including Discover, The Scientist, Science, Nature, Playgirl, Self, Health, Woman’s World, Genetic Engineering News, High Technology, The New York Times Book Review, FDA Consumer, BioScience, and many others. She writes biotech reports for Cambridge Healthtech Associates and the Cure Huntington Disease Initiative.

With textbooks headed towards extinction, or at least evolution into a new form, Ricki is adapting and diverging. Her first book for Routledge Press’s "The Basics" series, Human Genetics: The Basics, will be published in the fall of 2010. The engaging, narrative style is a departure from the textbook world.

Ricki does things other than write. Since 1984 she has provided genetic counseling at CareNet Medical Group in Schenectady, NY. She taught a variety of life science courses at SUNY Albany, Empire State College, Schenectady County Community College, and a traveling children’s museum. She currently teaches "Genethics" online for master’s degree students at the Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical Center. Ricki is also a scientific advisor for the American Film Institute.

Volunteer activities include hospice, the Union College Academy for Lifelong Learning, and several committees for the American Society of Human Genetics. She is registered with the Macmillan Speakers Bureau.

Ricki grew up in Brooklyn, NY. She attended James Madison High School and SUNY Stony Brook. She is married to Larry Lewis, a chemist at GE, and they live near Schenectady, NY and sometimes on Martha’s Vineyard. They have three grown daughters, many felines, and a tortoise. Ricki loves hippos and drives a royal blue mini-Cooper named Tawanda.

Selected Works

Project to engage students in helping families with rare genetic diseases
Book Club Reader's Guide
Many challenging questions to stimulate thought and discussion.
Instructor's Guide
38 discussion questions to get students thinking and talking about gene therapy, including the science, ethical issues, and the drug approval process.
Narrative science
The Forever Fix is the uplifting true story of 8-year-old Corey Haas, who was cured of hereditary blindness just 4 days after gene therapy.
College Textbooks
A spectacularly-illustrated, clearly written human anatomy and physiology textbook, used in pre-health profession programs throughout the U.S.
A highly engaging, clearly written, beautifully illustrated introduction to the science of human genetics for the non-scientist. Now in its 11th edition, 12th to be published in September 2018.
An ideal starting point for anyone who wants to know more about genes, DNA, genomes, and the genetic ties that bind us all.

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