Shana R. Spindler, Ph.D.

Shana R. Spindler, Ph.D.

Tel: 703-288-4420             8280 Greensboro Drive Suite 150
Fax: 703-288-4430            McLean, VA 22102
shana [dot] spindler [at] gmail [dot] com

Google ScholarPubmed Database

Dr. Spindler (née Fawcett) received her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2009 and then completed a one-year fellowship with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. She is now a freelance science writer who lives in the Washington D.C. area. Shana joined the Autism Reading Room team as an expert in the scientific advances in autism research.

She is passionate about science communication—so much so that she left her career as a scientist to become a full-time science writer. Her goal is to highlight the main points of complex scientific studies in a way that appeals to a broad audience.

Before beginning her career as a science writer, she studied basic neural development as a doctoral student at the University of California, Los Angeles. She then spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher examining cell movement and morphogenesis at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Throughout my research, she gained an extensive amount of training in reading and translating technical papers for those not in her field.  She now apply these skills to help explain autism research for the general reader.

MindSpec is an organization that is an important source of information about neurodevelopmental disorders for the scientific community and the general public alike.  She is excited to apply my talents as a science communicator to continue this vision.



Research Articles

Spindler SR and Hartenstein V. (2011). Bazooka mediates secondary axon morphology in Drosophila brain lineages. Neural Dev 6:16.

Spindler SR, Ortiz I, Fung S, Takashima S, Hartenstein V. (2009). Drosophila cortex and neuropile glia influence secondary axon tract growth, pathfinding, and fasciculation in the developing larval brain. Dev. Biol. 334(2): 355-368.

Larsen C, Shy D, Spindler SR, Fung S, Pereanu W, Younossi-Hartenstein A, Hartenstein V. (2009). Patterns of growth, axonal extension and axonal arborization of neuronal lineages in the developing Drosophila brain. Dev. Biol., 335(2):289-304.

Fung S, Wang F, Spindler SR, Hartenstein V. (2009). Drosophila E-cadherin and its binding partner Armadillo/b-catenin are required for axonal pathway choices in the developing larval brain. Dev. Biol., 332(2):371-382.

Pereanu W, Spindler S, Im E, Buu N, Hartenstein V. (2007). The emergence of patterned movement during late embryogenesis of Drosophila. Dev Neurobiol. 67(12): 1669-85.

Pereanu W, Spindler S, Cruz L, Hartenstein V. (2007). Tracheal development in the Drosophila brain is constrained by glial cells. Dev Biol., 302(1): 169-80.

Zhang C, Basta T, Fawcett SR, Klymkowsky MW. (2005). SOX7 is an immediate-early target of VegT and regulates Nodal-related gene expression in Xenopus. Dev Biol., 278: 526-541.

Fawcett SR. (2004). SOX7 and SOX18 Expression and Function during Xenopus laevis Embryonic Development.  Honors Thesis, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Fawcett SR and Klymkowsky MW. (2004). Embryonic expression of the Xenopus laevis SOX7. Gene Expression Report, 4: 29-33.

Teaching and Education Articles

Klymkowsky MW, Taylor LB, Spindler SR, Garvin-Doxas K. (2006). Two-dimensional, implicit confidence tests as a tool for recognizing student misconceptions. J. College Science Teaching, 36: 44-48.

Fawcett SR, Keeney J, Reynolds C, Klymkowsky MW. (2004). The online approach to student involvement. Society for College Science Teachers 25th Anniversary Publication. NSTA Press, 12.


Spindler SR and Hartenstein V. (2010). Drosophila neural lineages: a model system to study brain development and circuitry. Dev. Genes Evol. 220(1-2):  1-10.

Book Chapters

Hartenstein V, Spindler S, Pereanu W, Fung S. (2008). “The development of the Drosophila larval brain.” In: Brain Development in Drosophila melanogaster. Technau G. (ed.). Landes Bioscience.