Meet the Team: Michelle Whirl Carrillo

Michelle is 23andMe’s curation manager. “Curation” often evokes images of an old scholar in a musty museum categorizing dinosaur bones for museum exhibits. But in the past decade or so, the term has also come to be used to describe scientists, usually in a biological field, organizing and annotating electronic data and scientific publications.

Michelle is part of the content team that brings the genetic associations to customers in the “My Health and Traits” section. She scours the scientific literature to find genotype-phenotype associations that meet 23andMe’s strict criteria (see our white paper on vetting genetic associations), extracts the pertinent information, and builds the company’s association database. As curator, Michelle is responsible for gleaning interesting and relevant facts from a huge volume of available publications, the first step towards 23andMe’s goal of translating and personalizing the latest genetic advances for our customers.

The vast amount of genomic data, and the literature that describes and analyzes this information, is growing everyday. If you are a geneticist or biologist in a related field interested in staying current with this research, without being in a wet lab, consider joining our curation team! You can check out a description of the position on our jobs page.

Michelle on the 23andMe Service:

“My favorite part of the service is being able to participate in the 23andWe surveys. I think that having the opportunity to participate in future genotype-phenotype studies is awesome. Most people don’t have the opportunity to contribute to scientific research efforts; 23andMe provides an easy way to do just that.”

Michelle on Being a 23andMe Employee:

“I came to 23andMe from PharmGKB, an academic pharmacogenomics data base. I was excited about the prospect of providing genomic information to non-scientists through 23andMe. I think it is so important for people to be able to understand the advancements, and limitations, of current research in genomics and genetics, as well as the implications for them personally. I am excited to be a part of a company that is motivated not only to provide people their own genetic data, but to explain what the current research means.”