Interview with Lasse Folkersen, the author of Understand your DNA

As part of iToBoS educational module prs4pa- polygenic risk scores for patient advocates- we will be reading 'Understand your DNA' as an introduction to genetics in the form of a book club.

In this 300 word interview, Lasse Folkersen, the author of 'Understand your DNA' shares some thoughts about his work.

Some words about yourself

Hi there, I am Lasse Folkersen, and I'm a geneticist with a passion for translating scientific findings into clinical applications. I have been part of several groundbreaking genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and my research has taken me from data analysis to predicting human trait dispositions and disease risks.

What motivates you?

One thing that has always bothered me is the lack of implementation and actual usage of scientific findings. Therefore, I'm committed to making my research useful in the real world. One of my pioneering efforts in this direction was the creation of the website in 2015, an open-source platform for calculating polygenic risk scores on any format of DNA data. My work has led to high-impact publications in journals such as Nature Genetics and Circulation, and I have received several grants and awards for my contributions to the field of genetics.

What matters to you?

I believe that the goal of research is not just to publish scientific articles but to make a difference in people's lives by predicting human trait dispositions and disease risks. That's why I'm also committed to science communication and public engagement. I have contributed to popular science magazines such as New Scientist, and I have given interviews on various platforms, including Danish National Television. I believe that scientists have a responsibility to communicate the importance and excitement of their work to the public.

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I'm the Chief Scientific Officer at Nucleus Genomics in New York, where I'm leading a team of researchers to develop cutting-edge genetic technologies for clinical use.

A message for the Melanoma community

I'm excited to be part of this book club and share my passion for genetics and its potential to improve human health and well-being!


Thank you for your time, Lasse!