Jump to content

Maryn McKenna

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Maryn McKenna
Occupation(s)author, journalist
Years activesince 1985
Notable work
  • Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA
  • Beating Back the Devil

Maryn McKenna is an American author and journalist. She has written for Nature, National Geographic, and Scientific American, and spoke on antibiotics at TED 2015.[1]



In 2009, McKenna received a Dart Center Ochberg Fellowship from The Journalism School at Columbia University.[2] In 2012, she was awarded an Ethics & Justice Investigative Journalism Fellowship at The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.[3] In 2013, she joined the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to work on a Fellowship.[4]



McKenna has written for Nature,[5] Scientific American, Wired and the National Geographic,[3] and has been a staff reporter for The Cincinnati Enquirer, the Boston Herald and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.[6]

Her book Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service is about the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[7] Her book Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA is about methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus;[8] a review on the CDC website called it "an extensively researched and detailed review".[9]

Her article "Imagining the Post-Antibiotics Future" is included in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014.[10]


  • Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service (2004)
  • Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA (2010)
  • Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats (2017)
  • "Return of the germs". Scientific American. 323 (3): 48–54. September 2020.[11][12]



McKenna received a Byron H. Waksman Award for Excellence in the Public Communication of Life Sciences in 2013, and a Leadership Award from the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics in 2014.[13]


  1. ^ Maryn McKenna: What do we do when antibiotics don’t work any more?. TED2015. Accessed March 2016.
  2. ^ Oh, Clare (August 25, 2009). "Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism Announces 2009 Dart Center Ochberg Fellows" (PDF) (Press release). The Journalism School, Columbia University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Ethics & Justice Investigative Journalism Fellowships". Brandeis University: The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  4. ^ Roush, Wade (January 7, 2015). "The End of the Antibiotic Era? A Talk with KSJ Alum Maryn McKenna". Knight Science Journalism MIT. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  5. ^ McKenna, Maryn (July 24, 2013). "Antibiotic resistance: The last resort". Nature International Weekly Journal of Science. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  6. ^ "About Maryn McKenna". Poynter. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  7. ^ "EIS and Epidemiology in the Spotlight". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  8. ^ Gross, Terry (March 23, 2010). "MRSA: The Drug-Resistant 'Superbug' That Won't Die". NPR. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  9. ^ Steinberg, James P. (October 2010). "Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 16 (10). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 1653–1654. doi:10.3201/eid1610.101108. PMC 3294413. S2CID 31013698. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  10. ^ Blum, Deborah; et al. (2014). The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780544003422. OCLC 891768394.
  11. ^ Online version is titled "In the fight against infectious disease, social changes are the new medicine".
  12. ^ Quote: "What might prevent or lessen [the] possibility [of a virus emerging and finding a favorable human host] is more prosperity more equally distributed – enough that villagers in South Asia need not trap and sell bats to supplement their incomes and that low-wage workers in the U.S. need not go to work while ill because they have no sick leave.", p.54
  13. ^ "Maryn McKenna". Milken Institute. Retrieved 19 March 2016.