Skip to main content

Allison Whitten


I grew up in a small town right next to Michigan State University, and then created a permanent chasm in my family’s sporting ties when I enrolled at the University of Michigan. Writing was my first passion from a young age, and I found my way to science when I became enthralled by how our brains give rise to language – the thing that I believe connects us all and makes us uniquely human. Throughout my undergraduate research at Michigan and my Ph.D. and postdoctoral studies at Vanderbilt University, I’ve spent nearly a decade studying the neuroscience of language and how it can be impacted in neurodevelopmental disorders. My love for language eventually called me back to writing, with the goal of communicating fascinating science stories to the general public. I co-founded Vanderbilt’s first science communication group on campus, VU SciComm, and began writing for Vanderbilt Medical Center’s news publications. I’ve never forgotten that what drew me to neuroscience was not a science class, but reading popular science articles. I know first-hand how great science writing can permanently open the mind and change a life. I plan to pursue a career in science writing and hope to do just that, so I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to spend this summer writing for Discover Magazine!


Allison Whitten smiles at the camera and stands on the side of a road with trees in the background.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Fellowship Sponsor: American Association for the Advancement of Science

Fellowship Host: Discover