Writer and Geneticist Team Up for Folkman Scientist-in-Residence Program

Writer, Joselin Linder, who grew up in Columbus’ Eastmoor neighborhood, finally got her chance to attend Bexley High School if only for a few hours on October 11. Joselin teamed up with Bexley parent and Associate Professor, Division of Human Genetics and Director of the Genetic Graduate Counseling at The Ohio State University, Dawn Allain to speak to Bexley High School science students under the umbrella of the BEF’s Judah Folkman MD Scientist-in-Residence program.

Joselin has dedicated the last ten years tracking down her father, Dr. William Linder’s killer, an elusive gene lurking in her cells and the cells of many of her relatives. She has chronicled her journey in a memoir titled The Family Gene, published 2014, where she details discovering the cause of her father’s untimely death as well as six other relatives whose symptoms are all varied and mysterious.

This was the 18th year for the program, which is funded by BEF’s Dr. Judah Folkman (Class of 1950) Science Endowment Fund and is aimed at introducing Bexley students to the wide range of career opportunities in the sciences. Though Joselin is not a scientist by trade, her family history led her down a path of discovery with some of the leading genetic disorder researchers in the country. Joselin and Dawn have teamed up before to provide a glimpse into exploding field of genomic medicine.

Bexley High School science teacher Nikki Hoch explained that her department looks forward to the Scientist-in-Residence program every year and the program is wonderful way to expose students to real-world specialists, who give students the opportunity to visualize the path from high school to a career in science.

BHS Senior Annie Politi, who attended a student and faculty lunch session with Linder and Allain, said, “Meeting with Joselin and [Dawn] opened my eyes to all the opportunities in genetic counseling. I realized just how much of our future will utilize our understanding of genes.”

Linder also gave a community-wide presentation that evening at the Bexley Public Library.