Katie Scarlett Brandt

Writer, Editor, Content Strategist


photo by  Stephanie Bassos


Katie Scarlett Brandt is an award-winning journalist, editor, and content strategist available for freelance.

I’ve always been a curious person. At age 7, I challenged my younger brother to put his hand under the water cooler’s red tap because I wanted to know how hot it was. (I subsequently found out what happens when you go to an emergency room for a second-degree burn. Sorry, Nick.)

During college, as an editorial intern at the University of Chicago, I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with surgeons while they placed electrodes on a child’s brain to stop his seizures. As an assistant editor, I raced in an ambulance with an organ transplant team to procure a heart for a patient. Each scenario gave me a glimpse behind the curtain of how our world works and what it means to be human.

Much of my writing has centered on medicine, but stories of intriguing people, places, and ideas beyond medicine draw me in, too. I specialize in untangling complicated webs—problems with no easy answers—making the threads accessible through human-centered storytelling, research, and data. By cutting through pretension and false claims, I want to give people the information they need to make informed decisions on issues impacting their lives. Once published, I follow each story’s journey, noting how readers interact with it and which pieces resonate.

I spend my screen-free time hiking, weaving, and traveling. My husband and I (plus our dogs) recently returned from a 9-month, 18,000-mile road trip in an RV, during which we visited 23 states. And for part of the trip, my younger brother hosted us in California—despite that time I sent him to the ER.



Chicago Health Magazine
Huffington Post
Native Science REport
Brain Facts
Medicine on the Midway
Positive MagazinE
The Athens News


Orbit Media
Content RS
Care Content


The Battle Within
Chicago Health Magazine
For veterans, PTSD is often a slippery disorder, entrenched in substance abuse, suicidal depression, homelessness and struggles that splinter relationships.

Sovereignty by the Barrel?
Native Science Report
Tribes sit on vast reserves of oil, coal, natural gas, and uranium. But they don’t always agree on how to handle them. Find Part 2 here. And also Part 3 here.

Lead’s Dangerous Legacy
Chicago Health Magazine

When my water tested high for lead, I needed to find out what that meant—and how Chicago Public Schools is keeping kids safe.

Finding Hope in a Hopeless Place
Chicago Health Magazine

Key groups in Chicago want to give the city’s 5,889 homeless people a chance at a better life, saving the city and taxpayers millions in the process.

Conducting Fieldwork in the Shadow of DAPL
Native Science Report
Ethnobotanist Linda Black Elk is decolonizing medicine and proving that oil pipelines threaten more than water.

Healing Society’s Soul
Chicago Health Magazine
Physicians make the case for treating gun violence as a public health epidemic.

I Am a White Person Who Went to Standing Rock
Huffington Post
I decided to experience Standing Rock first as a human being, instead of as a member of the press.

Beyond Chemo
Chicago Health Magazine
Here’s how oncologists are training patients’ immune systems to recognize and fight cancer.

Could a Toxic Burn in Louisiana Swampland Set EPA Standards for Our Future?
15 million pounds of explosives are sitting in Louisiana bunkers. And nobody can agree on how to handle them.

Five Things I’ve Learned from a Pioneering Cancer Geneticist
Huffington Post
Janet Rowley discovered the link between cancer and genetics, revolutionizing cancer treatment. I was her biographer.

For the Love of Fish
Positive Magazine
One of the best fishermen on Martha’s Vineyard stands at just over 5 feet tall. She speaks about fishing like it’s a drug and about fish as art.