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Research Team


David Hinds
David Hinds, PhD Principal Scientist, Statistical Genetics

David joined 23andMe in 2009. He leads the 23andMe statistical genetics group and works on understanding the role of genetics in disease and complex traits. Prior to 23andMe, he spent nine years at Perlegen Sciences as lead analyst for the company’s genome-wide polymorphism discovery projects and contributed to the International HapMap Project. David earned his PhD in Structural Biology from Stanford University having received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute predoctoral fellowship.

Joanna Mountain
Joanna L. Mountain, PhD Senior Director of Research

Joanna joined 23andMe in 2007 and is responsible for overseeing research projects, ensuring the protection of research participants, and developing ancestry product offerings. Prior to joining 23andMe, Joanna earned a PhD in Genetics from Stanford University and served on the faculties of the Anthropological Sciences and Genetics Departments at Stanford. She has been awarded multiple grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and has authored or co-authored over 50 papers in the field of human genetics. Joanna spent two years in Kenya as a Peace Corps volunteer and continues to be particularly interested in the genetic diversity of Africa.

Joyce Tung
Joyce Tung, PhD Director of Research

Joyce joined 23andMe in 2007 and manages the 23andMe research team, which is responsible for consumer health and ancestry research and development, academic and industry collaborations, computational analyses for therapeutics, and new research methods and tools development. While a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, Joyce studied the genetics of mouse and human pigmentation. She earned her PhD in Genetics from the University of California, San Francisco where she was a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow.

Data Collection

Catherine Weldon
Catherine Weldon Survey Research Assistant

Catherine joined 23andMe in 2013 and primarily assists in the creation, implementation, and testing of 23andMe surveys. Before joining 23andMe, she was involved in research focused on the ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding genomics research and personalized medicine at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of California, San Francisco. Catherine earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Catherine Wilson
Catherine H. Wilson, PhD Survey Methodologist

Catherine joined 23andMe in 2013 and is responsible for designing online data collection. In particular, she creates surveys and develops other forms of observational measurement, such as assessment of social behavior and cognitive abilities. As part of this, she manages research engagement levels and participant response rates. Prior to 23andMe, she worked at the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences at Stanford University and was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Northwestern University. Catherine earned her PhD in Social Science Research from the California Institute of Technology.

Matt McIntyre
Matthew McIntyre, PhD Survey Research Manager

Matthew joined 23andMe in 2013 and is responsible for ensuring the company maintains high-quality information about its research participants' health and traits in order to conduct innovative genetic research. Previously, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard School of Public Health and taught anthropology at the University of Central Florida, where his research focused on child growth. Matthew earned his PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University.

Michaela Johnson
Michaela Johnson Survey Research Assistant

Michaela joined 23andMe in 2015. She assists in data collection through creation, implementation, and testing of surveys. Previously, she worked for the Health Improvement Program and Stanford Prevention Research Center, where she was involved in biometric screening, health counseling, and study recruitment. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Society and Genetics.

Project Management

Anna Faaborg
Anna Faaborg, MS Research and Disease Community Manager

Anna joined 23andMe in 2013 and oversees research communities. These studies actively recruit participants with specific conditions, such as lupus, with the goals of uncovering the genetic factors contributing to disease risk, severity, and response to treatments. Previously, she was a project manager at Genentech, where she managed execution of biomarker plans for oncology clinical trials. Anna received a Master’s degree in Genetics and Development from Columbia University, studying the genetics of human skin and hair disorders.

Carrie Northover
Carrie Northover, PhD Scientist, Project Manager

Carrie joined 23andMe in 2013 and is responsible for managing genomic services partnerships. Carrie serves as the primary point of contact for internal and external project stakeholders as she guides cross-functional collaborations through the project lifecycle. Prior to 23andMe, Carrie was an IP licensing intern at University of California, San Francisco Office of Technology Transfer and a Research Contracts intern at Genentech. She completed her graduate studies at Stanford University where she studied cell fate and polarity.

Helen McCurdy
Helen McCurdy Research Assistant

Helen joined 23andMe in 2013 and serves as a participant liaison for the company’s disease cohorts. In this role, she coordinates, develops, and implements engagement, recruitment, and enrollment strategies. Previously, she worked as a research associate in a neuroscience lab, investigating mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. Helen earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Stanford University.

Laura Russell
Laura Russell, MS Project Manager, Research Communities

Laura joined 23andMe in 2014. She oversees the development of disease communities, such as the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Community. Her responsibilities include Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, advisor and participant engagement, recruitment, surveys, and communications. Prior to 23andMe, she was the project manager for the Stroke Disparities Program at Georgetown University focusing on secondary stroke prevention in a predominantly African American population. She earned a Master’s degree at Georgetown University in Clinical and Translational Research, where she focused on the application of direct-to-consumer genetic testing in clinical settings.

Marina Nekhendzy
Marina Nekhendzy Research Assistant, Patient Liaison

Marina joined 23andMe in 2013 and is primarily responsible for analytics reporting, recruitment, and engagement activities for the company’s research communities. Before joining 23andMe, she conducted and coordinated basic and clinical science research in many areas, such as intensive care medicine, anesthesiology, clinical psychology and regenerative medicine at Stanford University and University of California, San Diego. Marina completed a Formal Post-Baccalaureate program after receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Premedical Psychology and a minor in Biology from University of California, San Diego.

Meghan Mullins
Meghan Mullins Senior Research Assistant

Meghan joined 23andMe in 2011 and works on disease research initiatives as well as genetic ancestry research. Additionally, she works with the 23andMe Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure the rights of research participants are protected. Prior to 23andMe, Meghan spent two years with the National Institutes of Health in Phoenix, AZ studying genetic components of diabetes and obesity in Pima Indians. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University.

Nadia Litterman
Nadia Litterman, PhD Scientist, Project Manager

Nadia joined 23andMe in 2015. She is responsible for managing academic and industry partnerships, communication of 23andMe research findings, and grant-funded programs. Previously, Nadia directed collaborations and grant projects at Collaborative Drug Discovery and performed postdoctoral research screening drugs for neurodegenerative disease in stem cell models. As a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow, she earned her PhD in Neuroscience from Harvard University.

Patricia Penton
Patricia K. Penton Research Assistant

Patricia joined 23andMe in 2015. She contributes to study development and participant enrollment, and develops web-based interfaces for engaging research participants. Before joining 23andMe, Patricia was a microbiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Cincinnati, where she investigated HIV compartmentalization and hepatitis B virus drug resistance.

Paul Cannon
Paul Cannon, PhD Parkinson's Disease Program Manager

Paul joined 23andMe in 2014 to lead the Parkinson’s disease community. In this role, he aims to increase understanding of the biology of Parkinson’s disease with the ultimate goal of finding therapeutic approaches that can slow or stop disease progression. He has over twenty years experience in pharmaceutical research and development, where he held diverse positions including leading Roche Palo Alto’s CNS drug discovery group. Paul received his PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Calgary.

Regulatory and Policy

Michelle Agee
Michelle Agee, MS Regulatory Scientist

Michelle joined 23andMe in 2014. Her primary responsibilities are to ensure the protection of the company’s research participants and to make sure 23andMe studies comply with all laws and regulations for each country where research is conducted. Previously, she had a similar role in research ethics and compliance at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent global health research center at the University of Washington. Michelle received a Master’s of Science degree in International Healthcare Management, Economics, and Policy from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.

Sarah Elson
Sarah Elson, PhD Senior Scientist, Program Management

Sarah joined 23andMe in 2013 and is primarily responsible for managing research policy and health research and development. Previously, Sarah was the research program manager for the Athena Breast Health Network, a University of California initiative in breast cancer prevention and care. She also worked as a science writer and patent agent at Exelixis, Inc. Sarah earned her PhD in biomedical sciences from the University of California, San Francisco, where she was a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow.


Aaron Kleinman
Aaron Kleinman, PhD Computational Biologist

Aaron joined 23andMe in 2013. He is responsible for developing and implementing algorithms to further improve the use of 23andMe genetic data. In addition, he runs statistical analyses to aid the company’s therapeutic discovery efforts. As a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow, he conducted research on the mathematics of phylogenetic reconstruction algorithms. He received his PhD in Mathematics with a Designated Emphasis in Computational and Genomic Biology from University of California, Berkeley.

Chao Tian
Chao Tian, PhD Statistical Geneticist

Chao joined 23andMe in 2012 and is responsible for statistical and computational tool development as well as various collaboration projects with pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Before joining 23andMe, Chao worked at Perlegen Sciences and Complete Genomics where she focused on drawing inferences from massive genotyping and next-generation sequencing data to improve human health. She earned her PhD in Statistical Genetics from University of California, Davis.

Fah Sathirapongsasuti
Fah Sathirapongsasuti, PhD Computational Biologist

Fah joined 23andMe in 2013. He analyzes research participant data to identify new therapeutic targets through the integration of genomic and biomedical data with the goal of realizing precision medicine. Research Fah conducted for his PhD studies at Harvard - developing the first method to detect copy number variations from exome sequencing data - has been cited more than 100 times. As an undergraduate at Stanford University, he earned the President’s Award for Academic Excellence.

Kasia Bryc
Kasia Bryc, PhD Computational Biologist

Kasia joined 23andMe in 2014 and is responsible for the statistical methods underlying the company’s ancestry service. Prior to joining 23andMe, she was an National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School. Kasia earned her PhD in Biometry from Cornell University, where her research illuminated the genetic population structure of Africans, and the complex admixture of African Americans and Hispanic/Latino populations.

Nick Furlotte
Nick Furlotte, PhD Statistical Geneticist

Nick joined 23andMe in 2013 and develops machine learning and statistical approaches to create the next generation of genetics-based risk prediction algorithms with a particular focus on the challenging and important problem of predicting complex disease risk. Before joining 23andMe, Nick completed his PhD in computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles where he developed computational methods to increase power to discover genetic associations.

Robert Bell
Robert Bell, MBA Bioinformaticist

Robert joined 23andMe in 2013. He develops software and methods to support the company’s research platform with the goal of connecting association test findings with the underlying biology. Prior to 23andMe, Robert worked in quantitative portfolio management and software development at Axa Rosenberg Investment Management LLC. He received an MBA from University of California, Berkeley.

Youna Hu
Youna Hu, PhD Statistical Geneticist

Youna joined 23andMe in 2013 and is responsible for developing and applying statistical methods on the company’s research database to understand genetics of various human traits. She also provides statistical advice and analysis for the company’s industry and academic partnerships. Prior to 23andMe, she was the lead analyst for a large-scale National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-funded exome sequencing study of the genetics of lipids. Youna earned her PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Michigan.

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