With more than 110 papers published in various journals, Emil Alexov’s work on understanding molecular mechanisms of human diseases associated with human DNA variants has resulted in more than 130 scientific publications and numerous talks presented at national and international conferences.
“The program team was intrigued by Dr. Alexov’s nomination from the minute we read it,” says Curator Lisa Marie Corley. “It painted a fascinating picture of DNA analysis in the future, and pointed to the research that is being conducted now to make this future a reality.”
While genetic sequencing is getting less expensive and less time consuming, the interpretation of the genetic testing is still in very premature stage. “While we cannot choose our genes, it is up to us to adopt a lifestyle that will reduce the disease risk and will promote our capabilities,” says Dr. Alexov, who is currently a professor at Department of Physics at Clemson University, realizes the potential of his team’s research. “The ultimate goal for the Clemson research team is to prevent disease rather than treat it.”
Dr. Alexov wants to find the right balance between utilizing genetic information across individuals, health providers, and medical doctors while at the same time not violating individual’s privacy. His goal is to help the medical community be less fearful of making DNA testing mainstream.
“I would like to see that more people become aware of the benefits of genetic testing,” Dr. Alexov says. He would also like to see medical doctors and insurance companies begin to apply genetic testing on routine basis.
In a single sentence, what do you hope people will take away from your talk?
“To use the information encoded in your genes to make lifestyle decisions.”
What was your initial thought when you found out you’d been nominated?
“Happy thoughts — I was excited that I will have the opportunity to meet and talk with people promoting cutting-edge ideas. I was also aware that TEDx events are highly popular and I wanted to share my ideas with as many as possible.”
What do you hope your talk with spur in others?
“I hope that the attendees will be convinced that genetic testing is not a ‘dangerous’ thing, and that it has the potential to dramatically facilitate our ability to make beneficial decisions about our lifestyles.”
For details about TEDxGreenville 2015: HeadVROOM, visit the conference and presenter pages. Tickets are sold out, but watch our Facebook page, Twitter account, or blog for upcoming livestream info.