Personal Genetics Education Project

Affiliates – Past and Present

Jack Bateman, B.Sc., Ph.D.

Co-founder of pgEd; Associate Professor of Biology, Bowdoin College

Jack is interested in fostering relationships between college professors in order to incorporate a greater discussion of the ethical, legal and social issues that surround human genetics into college-level curricula. Jack is currently a Samuel S. Butcher Associate Professor of Natural Sciences at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a Ph. D. in Cellular and Developmental Biology from Harvard University.

Nina Gold, M.D.

Pediatrics and Medical Genetics Resident, Boston Children's Hospital

Nina’s interests include pediatric medicine, the clinical implementation of genetic technologies, and genetics education. She received her B.A. from Colby College and M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She has completed research in pediatric genetics and inherited mitochondrial disorders in the labs of Dr. Lewis Holmes and Dr. Vamsi Mootha, respectively.

Donna Hanrahan, J.D., M.S.

Life Sciences Attorney, Lowenstein Sandler

Donna is passionate about healthcare, technology, research, and public policy. Donna holds an M.S. in Bioethics from Columbia University, where her research focused primarily on public health, privacy, and emerging health technologies. She received her J.D. from Seton Hall Law School, concentrating in Health Care Law and Compliance. As a past visiting scholar at the Hasting’s Center and research participant at the Yale University Center for Bioethics, her work has explored the role of social media in epidemic response, as well as the use of digital health tools to promote individual and population health outcomes.

Patricia Hautea, M.A.T.

Advocacy Coordinator, Center of Arts Education

Trisha seeks to create a dialogue between the arts and sciences while working toward the STEM to STEAM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) educational framework. She seeks to make the importance of personal genetics comprehensive through visual modes of learning. Trisha is an educator, activist, and artist. She utilizes her multidisciplinary background in environmental studies and political science, which has influenced much of her artwork as an advocate for educational accessibility, art education, & social justice. Trisha received her M.A.T. in Art Education and B.F.A. in Fine Arts and Art History from Tufts University.

Dustin Holloway, Ph.D.

Director of Biomedical Informatics, MCPHS University

Dustin is interested in the genetic basis of cognition, behavior, and moral intuitions. He was a Medical Ethics Fellow in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a Non-Stipendiary Fellow in the Program on Science, Technology and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Visiting Researcher at the Center for the History and Philosophy of Science at Boston University (2011/2012). Before coming to Harvard, Dustin was a bioinformatics engineer at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, where he was on the Ethics Advisory Committee and won the hospital’s Ethics Award in 2012. Dustin previously was a Senior Scientist with Life Technologies. He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry (MCBB) from Boston University where he attended as a Dean’s Fellow, and a B.S. in Microbiology from Penn State, where he was a Schreyer Scholar and a McNair Scholar.

Johnny Kung, Ph.D.

Knowledge Mobilization Publications Officer at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Johnny is broadly interested in the legal, ethical and policy issues at the interface of science and society. Much of his past and current work is focused on fostering increased collaboration and understanding across disciplines and sectors, which he believes is crucial for ensuring that the benefits of scientific research can be fully and fairly shared within society. Johnny received his H.B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto, and his Ph.D. in Developmental and Regenerative Biology from Harvard University, with a secondary field of study in Science, Technology and Society, as well as a certificate in Human Biology and Translational Medicine. Before serving formerly as pgEd’s Director of New Initiatives, Johnny was a science writer and project manager at the Journal of Visualized Experiments.

Ruth B. McCole, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral researcher, Harvard Medical School

Ruth is exploring broadly in the fields of genetics, genomics, and evolutionary biology. Her experience in collaborating across scientific disciplines informs her broader interest in how science is communicated throughout society. Recently, she has consulted with filmmakers Carylanna Taylor and Jacob Okada on their screenplay Humans Among Humans. Educated in the UK, Ruth holds a B.A. from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. from King’s College London.

James Morris, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology, Brandeis University

Jim is especially interested in science education and communicating concepts about genetics and other areas of science to students, other physicians, and the general public.  He is currently an Associate Professor of Biology at Brandeis University.  He received a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.D. and a Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School.  His graduate, postdoctoral, and current research focuses on genetics.

Samantha Schilit, M.A.

Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard Medical School

Sam is interested in gene regulation and clinical genetics. She received her B.A. from Wesleyan University in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and an M.A. from the same institution focusing on gene silencing mechanisms in budding yeast. After a brief foray into teaching at the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh, she started her PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences and Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Her current research investigates how neurons interpret experiences to form life-long memories, a process that is mediated by gene expression. Sam is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a member of the Human Biology and Translational Medicine certificate program.

Tsion Tesfaye

Graduate student, Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Tsion brings expertise on the issues at the nexus of bioethics and public policy and handled all the groundwork for pgEd’s Congressional briefings in Washington, D.C. She was a research fellow at the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, where she examined bioethical issues in persons living with disabilities, medical scope of practice legislation, and the use of games to promote public health in medically underserved communities. She received her B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently studying public policy at Carnegie Mellon University.

Allison Werner-Lin, Ph.D., LCSW, Ed.M.

Assistant Professor of Social Work, University of Pennsylvania

Allison is interested in how families understand, utilize, and integrate genomic testing into every day life. She is especially interested in familial conditions and reproductive technologies. Allison is a Research Affiliate of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Institutes of Health in the Clinical Genetics Branch where she advises psychosocial protocols for the Division’s hereditary cancer protocols. She maintains a private practice focused child and adolescent bereavement. Allison received her MSW and PhD from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. She has a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University and a BA from Wellesley College. 

Lillian Zwemer, Ph.D.

Director of Biomedical Graduate Development, Duke University Medical Center

Lillian has an active interest in public outreach and education to empower people to relate their observations of the physical world to an understanding of science on a molecular level. She is also especially interested in public opinion of scientific endeavors, which is shaped not only by personal morals and cultural influences, but also by opportunities to question scientists and challenge them on their work.  She holds a B.A. in biochemistry from Vassar College and a Ph.D. in genetics and genomics from Harvard University.