Seema-Yasmin
Seema Yasmin | Biography

Quick Information

  • Full Name Seema Yasmin
  • Occupation Writer, Journalist, Public Health Expert
  • Nationality British
  • Birthplace Warwickshire, London, UK
Director of Stanford Health Communication Initiative

Seema Yasmin | Biography

Yasmin took her mother's name as her surname when she was seventeen

Seema Yasmin became a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University in 2017. She began working with WIRED as part of this fellowship to refute pseudoscience and disinformation on YouTube. In 2019, Yasmin became the Director of Stanford University's Health Communication Initiative. During the COVID-19 outbreak, she used social media, podcasts, and popular science articles to help inform the public about the pandemic and took initiatives to debunk the misinformation surrounding the pandemic.


Dr. Seema Yasmin is an Emmy Award-winning reporter, medical expert, and author.

Who Is Seema Yasmin?

Seema Yasmin is a British physician, journalist, author, and science communicator based at Stanford University. She works at the Stanford Health Communication Initiative as the Director of Research and Education. Most recently, Yasmin assisted in debunking falsehoods about the coronavirus during the COVID-19 pandemic in collaboration with WIRED.

As an author, she has written books, including 'Debunked! Pseudoscience, Medical Myths, and Why They Persist,' 'Viral BS: Medical Myths and Why We Fall for Them,' 'If God Is a Virus (BreakBeat Poets),' 'The Impatient Dr. Lange: One Man's Fight to End the Global HIV Epidemic,' and 'Muslim Women Are Everything: Stereotype-Shattering Stories of Courage, Inspiration, and Adventure.'

Her reporting has also featured in renowned publications like The Rolling Stone, Scientific American, The New York Times, WIRED, and many other outlets.

Early Life 

Yasmin was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, and raised in London. She belongs to an Indian and Burmese ethnic background. Her parents divorced when she was five years old. Her mother, Yasmin Halima, is a Distinguished Careers Institute fellow who works on women's health. Halima was born in India and later moved to England at the age of six.

When she was seventeen, Yasmin took her mother's first name as her surname and had her name changed by a lawyer. During that time, her mother also took her grandmother's name as her last name. In an interview with The Standard Daily, she said, "I went along with her to the lawyer's office and was like, Surprise! I had done the paperwork too. So then I changed my name to Seema Yasmin."

Education 

She got her bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the Queen Mary's University of London in 2005. She graduated with a 1st Class Honours and also earned Westfield Trust Prize for academic excellence. Yasmin got her Doctor in Medicine (MD) from the University of Cambridge in 2009. 

At the University of Cambridge, she was engaged in activities and societies, including Cambridge Union Society, British Medical Association, Cambridge University Rifle Association, and Royal Society of Medicine. She also did a Global Fellowship Program at the University of Toronto, which she completed in 2014.

Career 

Yasmin began her medical career as a physician in the National Health Service at Homerton University Hospital from August 2009 to August 2010. She received a fellowship from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2010 to train in clinical research in Botswana. There, Yasmin studied and researched the progression of HPV infection in HIV-positive women. She also used mathematical models to forecast the impact of nationwide HPV vaccination campaigns in nations with HIV epidemics. 

Yasmin joined the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Epidemic Intelligence Service in 2011 as an officer. There, she examined disease outbreaks in jails, border communities, and American Indian reservations. Yasmin also served as a strategic advisor to Kenya's Ministry of Health and Kenya Medical Research Institute on a pediatric HIV study and PEPFAR program review. She stayed there for two years and left the position in July 2013. 

Subsequently, Yasmin worked at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix as a clinical assistant professor from 2012 to 2014. Simultaneously, she held the position of lecturer of Public Health at the University of Texas at Dallas. Yasmin gave the 2016 McGovern Lecture at the University of Texas at Austin, where she explained the lessons she has learned while reporting on public health issues.

Soon after, she joined The Dallas Morning News as a health & science reporter for over three years, from June 2014 to August 2017. Yasmin was a nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news in 2017 alongside The Dallas Morning News team. Her reporting on neglected diseases earned her an 'Emmy Award.' The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting awarded her two awards.

Recent Works

At the same time, in October 2014, she joined CNN as a medical expert, frequently reporting on Ebola. She also appeared on a medical feature on NBC 5 DFW, a local NBC affiliate. She has been a part of the network ever since serving as a medical analyst. 

In 2017, Yasmin became a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University. She looked at how misinformation and pseudoscience spread during epidemics. Yasmin also began working with WIRED as part of this fellowship to refute pseudoscience and disinformation on YouTube. In 2018, she gave a talk at the TEDxOakLawn event. 

Later in 2019, Yasmin became the Director of Stanford University's Health Communication Initiative. During the COVID-19 outbreak, she used social media, podcasts, and popular science articles to help inform the public about the pandemic. She also helped to debunk the myths related to the Coronavirus and was paid by the WHO directly, for this purpose.

Besides that, she also serves as a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at Stanford University and a visiting lecturer at UCLA's Anderson School of Management, teaching crisis management and communications.

Career as a Writer

Seema Yasmin's debut book 'The Impatient Dr. Lange: One Man's Fight to End the Global HIV Epidemic' is a biography of an AIDS doctor who died on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in a plane crash. Johns Hopkins University Press published it in July 2018. Yasmin released her second book, 'Debunked! Pseudoscience, Medical Myths, and Why They Persist' in November 2019.

Her books include 'Muslim Women Are Everything' (published in April 2020), 'Viral BS: Medical Myths and Why We Fall for Them' (published on 12 January 2021), and her debut poetry collection, 'If God is a Virus' (published on 6 April 2021). 

Yasmin is a Kundiman and Tin House writing workshop fiction member. Her work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies such as New Moons: Contemporary Writing by North American Muslims, The BreakBeat Poets Vol 3: Halal If You Hear Me, The Georgia Review, Foundry, The Los Angeles Review, The Literary Review, and others. Her writing pieces have also earned accolades and fellowships from the Millay Colony for the Arts, the Mid Atlantic Arts Council, Hedgebrook, and many others.

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