Shira Grayson

Shira is an MPH genetics student interested in the genetic, nutritional, environmental, and behavioral factors that influence disease risk and prevention. She received her B.S. in Biology and Global Health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014. Since then, she has worked at the University of Minnesota as a research assistant in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, at two non-profit health organizations in Minneapolis coordinating health advocacy and education initiatives, and at the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Chicago.

Areas of Interest:
  • Genetic epidemiology
  • Epigenetics & nutrigenomics
  • Developmental origins of health and disease
  • Ethical Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of genetics

Sarah Catherine Nelson

Sarah Catherine Nelson, PhD candidate, is an alumna of the PHG MPH program and works as a Research Scientist in the Department of Biostatistics’ Genetic Analysis Center. Her dissertation examines how customers of direct-to-consumer genetic testing are using their uninterpreted genetic data. Sarah writes about her dissertation work and related topics on her blog at is external).   

Areas of Interest:
  • Direct-to-consumer testing
  • Raw data access
  • Third-party interpretation
  • Science, Technology, and society studies

Elizabeth Oestreich

Elizabeth Oestreich, MPH student, is interested in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) around genetics. She completed her BS in Biology at UW in 2016. She is currently serving as a student representative for the department, a GPSS senator, a member of the Deans Advisory Committee for Students (DACS), and a member of the Services and Activity Fee (SAF) committee. In her free time she is a mother of 2 and a wife.

Areas of Interest:
  • Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) around genetics

Nandana Rao

Nandana is an MS student in Genetic Epidemiology. She received her B.A. in Applied Math from UC Berkeley and is interested in the intersection between math and public health, particularly in the area of genetics.

Areas of Interest:
  • Statistical Genetics
  • Population Genetics
  • Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of genetics

Scott Spencer

Scott Spencer, holds a BS in Molecular Genetics and Chemistry from The Ohio State University. He is working to complete concurrent Master’s degrees in Public Administration and Bioethics at the University of Washington this spring. Currently working in economic evaluation, Scott recognizes the many different factors are required for adaption and utilization of clinical sequencing and other emerging biotechnologies in healthcare settings. His research interests are focused on the intersection of health economics, public policy and bioethics. 

Areas of Interest:
  • The intersection of health economics, public policy, and bioethics