Monday, January 26, 2009

Dr. Lei Focuses the Public Eye on DNA

Profile: Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei, PhD
Blog: Eye on DNA at

As we approach an era when genetic testing will be available for an increasing number of conditions, it becomes more and more important that we, the potential patients, know what the strengths, weaknesses, and ethical considerations are before we ask what our DNA can tell us about our future health. And who better to talk to us about those details than an expert in DNA research?

Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei is a PhD-trained epidemiologist and a biotech consultant. Her blog engages readers with thought-provoking commentary on moral and philosophical concerns raised by DNA technology combined with light-hearted and fun posts.

As with most great authors, Dr. Lei blogs about what she knows. Her blog, Eye on DNA, talks about the realm of DNA research, from genetic discoveries to the ethics of testing your children to gauge their potential as star halfback. The combination of experience as a scientists and involvement in the molecular testing market is what makes her blog so great. She offers a scientific perspective on genetic testing developments that is difficult to find in language that anyone can process.

Dr. Lei’s efforts at public education make her an ideal scientist advocate. She embraced social networking and blogging as a tool to make developments in genetic research more approachable for everyone. Dr. Lei says, “Everyone needs to understand how our bodies work and how our genes plus the environment affect us.” Her idea is that more knowledge on the topics of DNA and genetics will help people decide what steps to take to live happier, healthier lives. She also helps scientists like me stay abreast of new research and its application to medicine, for which I thank her profusely.

Dr. Lei’s blogging helps to put one relatively straightforward advocacy activity in perspective. Talk about what you know. Using the communications tools like those we discuss on this blog, you can make your research approachable to any audience. Your expertise and enthusiasm for the topic make this type of advocacy fun for you and your readers!

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