Bringing Genetics to the Public

The topics of genetics and genomic medicine can sound complicated and intimidating, but they are becoming more and more relevant in our lives. From direct-to-consumer testing services like 23andMe to clinical tests that help people make medical decisions, these genetic tests are becoming more prevalent than ever. Having a good grasp on how they are used, how they are interpreted, and how to find available resources is becoming increasingly important, but it can be difficult to find information about these topics if you don’t know where to look. The goal of my podcast is to explain the world of personalized genomic medicine in simple, easy-to-understand terms through interviews with genetic professionals, including a researcher at the Iowa Institute for Human Genetics and a practicing genetic counselor. Through my project, I hope to provide college-aged people with a basic understanding of how genetic testing could affect their lives in unexpected ways so that when they encounter them in the real world, they can make informed decisions about them.

Project Author(s): 
Author Bio(s): 
Isabella Holland is a fourth-year student majoring in biology on the genetics track with a Spanish minor. Since her freshman year, she has been studying the genetic basis of fruit fly hearing and development in Dr. Daniel Eberl's lab. Last year, she was awarded a grant from the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) for this project. She has also been involved with research surrounding autosomal polycystic kidney disorder in mouse models and how staff communication in the pediatric ICU impacts patient diagnosis and management. Outside of her research interests, Isabella works as a student writer for the Iowa Reading Research Center and volunteers as a student ambassador for the biology department and a crisis counselor at CommUnity Crisis Services. As a Latham Fellow, Isabella hopes to communicate genetic information in an accessible way to people with a wide variety of backgrounds. In her free time, she likes reading, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.