Translating high-tech topics into understandable prose


Writer/Editorial Consultant, Arlington, Va., 1996-present

Research and write articles about biotechnology, medicine, lasers, optics, and photonics. Provide communications management services including marketing materials, magazine/newsletter/web site development, and magazine/book editing for scientific and technical organizations.

Key Projects/Assignments:

Science Writer, National Science Foundation (2011-present)

Contributing Editor,BioOptics World(2007-present)

Consultant/Senior Science Writer, The National Institutes of Health including NIBIB, NEI, NCRR, and the Office of the Director (2003-2011)

Consulting Editor, Optical Society of America (1996-present)

Author/Lead Analyst,Optical Molecular Imaging, published 2010 by Strategies Unlimited

Contributing Editor, BioPhotonics International(1996-2005)

Editor, On Campus With Women, Association of American Colleges and Universities (1996-2000)

Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1990-1996

Managing Editor, Optics & Photonics News,1993-1996

Oversaw editorial content and production of professional society’s membership magazine with a $500,000 budget and supervised five-person staff. Led major redesign of the magazine. Directed media relations and marketing for OSA’s major meetings. Served as staff liaison for the OSA/MRS Congressional Fellowship program. Headed team that developed OSA’s first website, OpticsNet, rated a “3-Star”site by McKinley Review.

News Editor, Optics & Photonics News, 1991-1993

Determined news content and managed book review process. Wrote news and features on emerging technologies in the fields of lasers and fiber optics. Covered federal science policy, Capitol Hill, and industry meetings.

Staff Writer, Optics & Photonics News, 1990-1991

Researched and wrote news items for monthly membership magazine on lasers, fiber optics, and electro-optics. Wrote press releases for society activities and major meetings. Photographed society events. Prepared yearly magazine index.

George Mason University, Fairfax, Va., 1988-1990

Staff Writer, Mason Gazette

Wrote news and features for biweekly faculty/staff newspaper published by university’s public relations office. Developed story ideas.


M.A. George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

English with a concentration in nonfiction writing and editing. Specialized in scientific and technical writing.

B.A. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, cum laude.  English Literature/Philosophy. Substantial course work in mathematics and natural sciences.

Certificate, George Washington University, Washington, DC.
Completed "Lasers, Fiber Optics, and Electro-optics for Non-Electrical Engineers."

Professional Organizations

  • National Science Writers Association, 2003-present
  • D.C. Science Writers Association, 1990-present
  • American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, 1997-present
  • National Press Club, 1992-present
  • Washington Independent Writers, 1989-present
  • Optical Society of America's BioOptics Advisory Committee, 1997-1999


  • Award of distinction in the 2006 Communicator Awards print competition for the NIBIB web site
  • Listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the East, Who's Who in the South and Southwest, and Who's Who of American Women
  • Recognition Award, Optical Society of America, 1993
  • Sigma Tau Delta (National English Honor Society — Founding member at University of Virginia)

Susan M. Reiss

photo of Susan Reiss