Photo of Amy Maxmen

Amy Maxmen

Freelance Writer
Amy Maxmen [www.amymaxmen.com] is an award-winning science writer who covers the entanglements of medicine, policy, nature and of people behind research. Her stories appear in a variety of outlets, including Wired, National Geographic, Nature, and the New York Times. From Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, she's reported two series for Global Health NOW on the most neglected diseases. Her feature in Nautilus magazine on the origin of humanity is anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015. Prior to writing, she earned a PhD from Harvard University in evolutionary biology. Twitter: @amymaxmen Instagram: @amaxmen

Part III: The Warning Clock DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO — In a town known locally as “the place of suffering,” the eyes of a young man, Etienne Tshiluanji, beckon. They look defiant amid a sea of…

Part II: A Real Love Story DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO—One afternoon in 1998, a healthy 18-year old named Gaby Ngabu Kasongo was hiking home from the farm, when…

Part 1: Desire’s Antidote to Poison  DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO—Beads of sweat shimmer on Desire Tshala-Katumbay’s skin. His broad-shouldered body crunches behind the driver’s…

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA—When the International AIDS Conference is held in Africa, not only do you get Elton John, Queen Latifah and the rest of the celebrity set in attendance, but African royalty…

KAHEMBA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO—Last week, a few doctors from WHO drove for 2 days on rugged roads to reach this dusty town close to the Angolan border. They came to discuss yellow fever, a…

By the time mycetoma—a terrifying and obscure tropical infection—reached the discussion floor of the World Health Assembly at the end of last week, most officials had flown home. And because it had…

GENEVA —This week at the World Health Assembly, delegates have been forced to consider an obscure flesh-eating infection called mycetoma because it may change the way the WHO does business.

After 30 years fighting a flesh-eating, bone-destroying disease, a Sudanese physician dares to hope for global assistance again. On May 21, Dr. Ahmed Fahal will fly…

By Amy Maxmen Dr. Ahmed Fahal, of the Mycetoma Research Center, and Nathalie Strub Wourgaft, of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, examine patients to learn about their…

No one knows how many people have mycetoma worldwide, however in a village in central Sudan, a man lists 12 people who have had their legs amputated because of the flesh-eating infection. Neil…