About Kim Strong
Kimberly Strong, PhD
Genomics and Ethics
Kimberly Strong, PhD, listens with the ear of a scientist. In her work as a faculty investigator at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Strong wants to understand how people think about genomic research.
“Part of my job is to understand the hopes, the fears and the misconceptions people have regarding genomic research,” Strong says. So she listens to what people say about genomics, then she tries to understand how their experiences have influenced them.
Strong is a genetics-trained bioethicist, a scientist who focuses on the ethical, legal and social implications of genetics, especially related to new or potentially controversial genomics technologies. For Strong’s research, she records and transcribes interviews. Then she uses qualitative methodologies to analyze how and why people perceive genomics the way they describe.
Strong has a bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and she trained as a genetic counselor in Australia before earning her PhD from the University of Sydney in Australia. She led the Genomics and Ethics Program in the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at the Medical College of Wisconsin from 2012-2015. And in 2015, Strong joined HudsonAlpha as the director of the ethics and genomics program.
“I’m here to conduct research and community engagement in ways that will help us understand how various groups process information about genomics,” Strong says. “I want to know how genomic discoveries affect different communities.”
Strong notes the importance of including people from a variety of communities – geographic areas, professions, religious affiliations, cultures and ethnicities – in her research. She hopes her work will inform policy decisions not only for HudsonAlpha but also at the state and national level.
“I’m listening to people,” she says. “I’m listening to their concerns and their hopes. I want to know what misconceptions they might have and what they want genomics to do for them. And I hope that knowledge can guide our actions.”