A big congratulations from everybody here at 23andMe to our Senior Medical Director Uta Francke, who’ll be picking up the William Allan Award from the American Society of Human Genetics in San Francisco this morning.
A medical doctor and professor emeritus of Genetics and Pediatrics at Stanford University, Uta has never rested on her long record of achievement. She continues to break new ground in genetics research and inspire her fellow scientists here at 23andMe.
This award — one in a long string of accolades she’s received in her career — recognizes her singular scientific contributions in the field of genetics.
In making the announcement, Joann Boughman, the executive vice president of the American Society of Human Genetics noted the respect she commands among geneticists offering a “stellar example of a tireless scientist, always seeking answers to any question that she becomes interested in, and pursing a variety of research techniques that will advance the knowledge in that particular subject.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Uta has spent decades on the leading edge of genetic research particularly focusing on human genetic diseases. Among her many achievements were groundbreaking new insights into such genetic diseases as Charcot-Marie-Tooth, Marfan, Rett, Prader-Willi, Williams, and Wiskott-Aldrich syndromes. Her work opened new avenues for the study and treatment of these disorders.
Uta, who served as president of the ASHG in 1999, continues to make contributions on many levels. Beyond her work in basic research, Uta is helping 23andMe — and the direct-to-consumer genetics industry as a whole — move into a new era of personalized medicine.
As a testament to her forward-thinking one need only look back to her remarks more than a decade ago to the ASHG when she noted that genetic information would increasingly influence primary medicine. She called for educating both physicians and the public about genetics. And, as if foreseeing her own role at 23andMe, she pointed to the potential that the Internet would be how people could get access to genetic information.
23andMe is extremely proud of her achievements and continues to draw inspiration from her work.