Content by Lisa Ortuno, Ph.D.

Content by Lisa Ortuno, Ph.D.

Lisa Ortuno, Ph.D. (of blessed memory) held degrees in biology from the University of South Carolina.  In her graduate work she studied the mating patterns and population genetics of American alligators utilizing methods in molecular biology.  Since 2002 she had worked for three international biotechnology companies – LifeTechnologies, Illumina and now Promega Corporation, where she has provided technical support and training for life science research, government, private, DNA forensics and clinical diagnostics laboratories around the world.  Lisa was a member of the Bahá’í Faith, which has its world center in Haifa, Israel. 

Sadly, she died suddenly in December  2015. Lisa served on the Local Spiritual Assemblies for her Baha’i communities and gave numerous talks on topics related to science and religion to local and national Baha’i audiences.  Lisa had three children including two adult sons and a daughter.

How much of "who we are" is determined by our genetic makeup?

Our Genes, Our Selves

As genetic technology continues to advance, what happens when we try to create or eliminate certain characteristics for our children? What are the potential unintended consequences with fiddling with our DNA? Should humans be “playing God”? Lisa Ortuno, a Sinai and Synapses Fellow, explores those questions through a series of interviews, asking several experts, “Are we more than our genes?”