About Brian Mustain

photo of Dr. Mustain Dr. Mustain's extraordinarily broad background enables him to bring to your project unparalleled expertise, both in language and in technical proficiency. His two liberal arts degrees--a B.A. from Rice University in anthropology/psychology and a master's in Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History from Harvard University--provide him with a breadth of intellect rarely seen in science writers. His second two graduate degrees, in the biological sciences--a Master's from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in plant genetics--underpin his technical abilities for approaching your project.

Dr. Mustain built five separate programs in applied plant genetics research from the ground up. Before he went off on his own to work as a consultant, he ran one of the world's largest soybean breeding research programs, creating and directly overseeing research stations in three Midwestern states. He discovered two new soybean genes, and devised proprietary new harvesting methods that could cut 25% off of any field research budget. As a consultant, he worked with clients ranging from regional seed companies to the giant DuPont de Nemours. After a few years, however, he decided the marketing part of his business was even more challenging and rewarding than the biological part.

After extensive hands-on training in marketing under a West Coast consultant, Dr. Mustain spent several years as a marketing consultant, mostly for family-owned companies. What he enjoyed most about his work was writing ad copy; and eventually he realized he preferred writing to everything else (he also writes poetry, songs, and fiction). So he gradually transitioned into writing and copyediting in the life sciences. “I finally figured out what I want to do when I grow up,” he jokes. He still writes advertising copy on occasion, as well as package inserts for pharmaceuticals.

The great advantage to you of his marketing background is that he not only can write with broad technical understanding, he also can write very clearly and concisely.

Some people ask about Dr. Mustain's ability to deal with medical/health subjects when his formal training was in plant genetics, physiology, and pathology (his doctoral dissertation dealt with fungal pathogens). His reply? “On the cellular and sometimes even on a system level, there's not a lot of difference between a soybean and a person, or between a plant pathogen and a human pathogen. Besides, I continually read scientific literature in the health field in order to keep up with what’s happening. And because of the breadth of my background in biochemistry, physiology, and statistics, I have been able to correct errors that even my clients' co-researchers haven't caught.”

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