About the Authors

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Meet the authors

Bill Brucker

Creative Chief

Bill is the Executive Director and founder of PACE. He is originally from the Pittsburgh area and has been living in the Providence area since 2000. He graduated from Brown University in 2004 with honors in Chemistry and has since been a member of the Brown University MD/PhD program and is a Brown Football alumnus. Currently he is in his clinical years of medical school. He has taught students of many levels a variety of subjects for the last 11 years and worked as an adjunct professor of Biology for Rhode Island College for 4 years. After medical school he will pursue a career in pediatrics.  Chemistry and Biochemistry are his favorite subjects and currently he is researching methods of talking about these subjects without putting others into a state of sleep that mirrors death. His hobbies include comic books, sculpture, and action movies from the 1980’s.

Stacy Croteau

Little Chief

currently a fellow in pediatric hematology/oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She graduated from Brown University in 2003 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and from Brown University Medical School in 2007. She did her pediatric residency training at Children’s Hospital Boston where she was also served as chief resident. She is an expert in the field of vascular anomalies and researches Kaposiform Hemangiotheliomas. When she is not in the hospital she enjoys sewing and making quilts.

Brenna Brucker

Writer, Editor, Inventor

Brenna is a MD candidate at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She has published over 100 original poems, 146 newspaper articles, and currently has a patent pending. She has spearheaded the PACE website and PACE’s book publications. Although in high school Brenna was ranked by USA Today as one of the top 20 scholars in the United States, she remembers having vivid nightmares in high school about biology, chemistry, and physics. Brenna knows that the only reason she was able to finally grasp the basic science concepts was through the diligent efforts of her high school science teachers who used creativity to catapult concepts into her brain. Brenna hopes to spread the lessons she has learned from those gifted teachers to students across the nation. Her hobbies are riflery, running, and ventriloquism.

Christoph Schorl

Genomics Genuis

Christoph came to Brown University in 2000 for a postdoc after completing his PhD molecular biology at Dundee University in Scotland. He is now an assistant professor (research) at Brown where he runs the Genomics Core Facility and where he is also an academic advisor to Brown undergrad students. Christoph is passionate about improving education and providing education opportunities to less advantaged students. After some less than exciting science classes in high school and as undergraduate he wondered if there was a more engaging way to teach science and after talking to Bill Brucker over coffee and scones he knew that PACE was the solution and that PACE would make a difference.

Zoe Weiss

Medical Student

Zoe is a medical student at Alpert Medical School. She completed her undergraduate at Brown University in 2012 with a degree in Human Biology and Anthropology. She did archaeological fieldwork in Alaska, digging for prehistoric bones and dodging black bears. She is working on a research project addressing ethical issues related to aging, is developing innovative ways to teach difficult concepts in anatomy, and is a summer science instructor for high-school students. She writes poetry, edits for a literary magazine, and is a student ambassador to the medical school. She joined PACE to make science more accessible, less scary, and more fun. She also wishes some of these stories were around back when she was taking physics.

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Eileen Bio Pending

Kate Schapira

Editor Extraordinaire

Kate teaches writing and literature to college students at Brown University and the University of Rhode Island, and to elementary and middle school students through the Providence Writers-in-the-Schools and Read and Rap programs. She is the author of four books of poetry.

Ava Lovato

Brain and Behavior

Ava is a PhD student at Brown University.  She studies behavioral neuroscience in the department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences and aspires to become a researcher and professor.

Nick Anastasio

Medical Student

Nick is currently a first year medical student at University of Maryland School of Medicine.  He completed undergraduate at Brown University, and where he also played football.  Nick is originally from Camp Hill, PA, and feels that PACE can change the way students learn.

Emily Davis

Brown senior

Emily is a senior at Brown University, concentrating in Education Studies with an emphasis in Human Development, and a member of the eight-year Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME), a combined A.B./M.D. program. Emily is very passionate about the intersection between health and education, and currently designs and teaches health lessons for Providence preschool and elementary school students through the Community Health Advocacy Program (CHAP). She is a research assistant in the Department of Education at Brown for a cross-cultural study of children’s learning beliefs, and also enjoys leading arts & crafts activities at the Ronald McDonald House of Providence.

Noelle Spencer

Brown junior

Noelle is a Junior at Brown University, and is concentrating in Gender & Sexuality Studies. She is a member of Brown’s 8-year medical program (PLME), and intends to specialize in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her interests include, reading, writing, ballroom dancing, and traveling. She is very excited to have the opportunity to work with PACE, and loves that through PACE, science will be more accessible to students not engaged by a textbook method of learning

Syed Latif

Medical Educator

Syed trained at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for both medical school and internal medicine. He has a passion for education.

Tim Mariano

PhD 09 - MD 11

Tim studied biomedical engineering at Harvard before detouring to Oxford to complete a master’s degree in cognitive neuroscience.  He then entered the Medical Scientist Training Program at Case Western Reserve University, receiving a PhD in biomedical engineering in 2009, specializing in functional electrical stimulation for restoring bladder function after spinal cord injury.  He completed his MD in 2011 and now is a member of the Brown psychiatry residency.

Clare Smith

Environmental Educator

Clare Smith is an outdoor and environmental educator, as well as a writer for PACE. Clare currently works seasonally at The Mountain Institute, an environmental education center in rural West Virginia. A native of Massachusetts, Clare graduated from Wesleyan University, where she studied Science and Society, an interdisciplinary program in Biology and Anthropology. With PACE, Clare is able to combine her love of writing and her passion for science education.

Mary Bates

Bat Echolocation Expert

Mary is a freelance science writer. She earned her PhD from Brown University in 2011 for research on bat echolocation. Previously, she worked as a research assistant in a geriatric neuropsychology lab, a necropsy and rescue and rehab intern at the New England Aquarium, a veterinary assistant, a lab instructor, and a middle school summer science course teacher. Her writing has appeared in Science, Acoustics Today, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute News, and other web and print publications.

Joao Paulo


Joao Paulo is an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. His current research interests involve using mass spectrometry-based proteomics to investigate pancreatic disease. He will earn an MMSc from Harvard Medical School in 2012, which he will add to his a  PhD in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Brown University in 2008.  He had previously earned an MS degree in Physics from the University of Rhode Island and has a BS in Biology and Physics from Providence College.  His publications have appeared in several top proteomics and pancreas journals.

Jeffrey Hofmann

MD/PhD candidate, Researcher, Educator

Jeff grew up in Barrington, Rhode Island, and graduated from Brown University in 2008 with an ScB in computational biology. As an undergraduate, he rowed on the men’s crew team and spent several years researching mitochondrial evolution and aging. Jeff is currently in his fourth year of Brown’s MD/PhD program, where he has served as a student representative on the curriculum committee and as a co-president of the medical school’s Aging Interest Group. For his PhD, he is studying the role of cellular signaling pathways in aging, for which he is funded by the NIH. Jeff also enjoys hiking, skiing, cycling, and playing the guitar.

Please take the time to review our team bios below. Click on any of our team name to reveal an extended bio.