23andMe’s Health Content Scientists

23andMe_Logo_blogYou might know them as bloggers, but several of our main contributors are Health Content Scientists here at 23andMe.

Their day-to-day work touches on nearly every aspect of what 23andMe does. While they do a lot, their main job is finding the most important, scientifically valid and actionable genetic health information and getting that information to customers in the most understandable way possible.

“Being a health scientist at 23andMe gives you a unique opportunity — the chance to change the way people see genetics and their health,” said Emily Chang, who is part of the team.

Emily and her fellow Health Content Scientists are responsible for all the health content created by 23andMe, and they’ve been integral in developing many of the features and tools you see on the site.

To do it right, the work requires that they each draw on all their years of scientific experience to sort through the reams of genetic research that continues to flow from universities and labs. Finding interesting research isn’t hard, but finding information that has been validated and meets our strict standards takes patience and careful analysis. To then take that research and translate it into something that makes sense and is useful for the average person can also be a challenging problem —  but one that our Health Content Scientists view as equally important.

One of 23andMe’s core missions is to be the world’s most trusted source of genetic information. To do that our team stays on top of the latest research and also digs deep to unearth results that could have a big impact on customers.

For example, our Health Content Scientists recently added an important health report on a heart condition called, TTR-Related Cardiac Amyloidosis. This condition is caused by a buildup of protein that thickens and stiffens the walls the heart and it can lead to heart failure. Many mutations in the TTR gene are associated with this condition and 23andMe customers can see whether they have the risky version of one of these variants.

The team is also instrumental in creating the customized key health recommendation that go to each customer, whether it be the most important information about drug interactions, or disease risk or carrier status.

So when they’re not blogging, our Health Content Scientists are busy making sure 23andMe customers have the latest most important and actionable health information available.


  • Jen Buehler

    Hi, I have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy and my neurologist says it could be genetic and I may be the first one in my family to have it. I am first generation Sicilian on my dad’s side and second generation Sicilian on my Mom’s side. thanks Jen

  • Sue Rowe

    I just received my results. I was hoping to find out if I was a carrier for autism/aspergers syndrome, but nothing was mentioned about mental conditions except for bipolar and obsessive compulsive. Maybe I missed the information. Pretty new to the site, so not sure if I bypassed it or what.
    Thanks

    • ScottH

      Sue, Although research shows a strong genetic basis for autism, scientists have not yet been able to pinpoint the specific genetic variants associated with the condition. We are keeping abreast of the research and in a few days will actually have a post about some recent work looking at variants in mitochondrial DNA and autism. Thanks.

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