A list of all the posts and pages found on the site. For you robots out there is an XML version available for digesting as well.



Interpreting A Data Driven World

less than 1 minute read


I had the honor of being guest on the Perspective 2020 podcast hosted by my former UNC classmate Kara Marker Credle back in December 2020. We discussed living in a data driven world, both in general and during a pandemic. Read more

Memorial Day during a pandemic

9 minute read


Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day when we honor those who lost their lives in service to our country. It is also a day we approach 100,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. Yesterday, the NY Times memorialized just 1% of those deaths starting on the Sunday front page. If we add every U.S. military death from the beginning of the Korean War in 1950 through all wars and conflicts up to today, we arrive at a similar number of 102,483 deaths (Note: this value is based on this table and could be more or less depending on inclusion of MIA or other nuances). In three months we have lost nearly the amount of Americans as the military personnel we’ve lost in 70 years of conflicts. To memorialize the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for the U.S., we should use our hard-fought freedoms responsibly to help our society and economy move forward as safely as possible in the presence of SARS-CoV-2. I acknowledge that the majority of our country is being conscientious and generous in their sacrifices, and I empathize that everyone has their own unique situation, but we are all interconnected in this pandemic. I believe the following are things we can do to live up to the American way our service members fought and died for. Read more

Extraordinary claims require … evidence

19 minute read


In this blog post I discuss the credibility of the sources we turn to for evidence, and I provide a curation of resources for readers to explore claims in “Plandemic.” For the scientific community specifically, I summarize and comment on the lessons I’ve learned from “Plandemic”-related discourse the past week. I hope it will be relevant for science communication efforts during the pandemic! Read more

Remdesivir clinical trial & more

7 minute read


Anecdotal evidence of positive outcomes from the antiviral remdesivir (developed by Gilead Sciences Inc.) have emerged through compassionate use in the previous months, but we needed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to judge efficacy, or how well the drug worked. A summary of results from a clinical trial in China was inadvertently posted by the World Health Organization last week and did not look too promising. You can read more from TIME. Today, April 29, 2020, a statement was released from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) summarizing the preliminary results from the use of remdesivir at 68 international sites. The science and medicine publication, STAT, covered it here. We can’t see the entire methodology to assess the study and analysis limitations, but here is a first pass at what we do know. Read more

News & Views from Quarantine

7 minute read


You can read my previous pandemic blog posts from April 6, April 2, March 22-25, March 19-21, and March 14-18. As always, you should take everything you read on the internet with a healthy dose of skepticism, and I am not an epidemiologist. But I try to provide relevant evidence from credible sources and use my scientific/statistical training to summarize the highlights of pertinent research with a side of editorialization. Read more

Health disparities and other News & Views from a quarantined scientist

9 minute read


Today’s blog post comes to you as I hit the three week mark since the last time I was within 6 feet of another human. This isn’t a sacrifice, it is my responsibility as a citizen with privilege to stand in solidarity with those throughout our society who are suffering. I have friends who are health care professionals treating COVID-19 patients without proper PPE, I know people who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, and I know people who have lost jobs. And these are largely people with a lot of privilege. Read more

COVID-19 News and Views from a socially distanced scientist

12 minute read


As of March 19, 2020 it’s been about a week since widespread closures began in my area—Ann Arbor, Michigan. It’s been 8 days since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. I’m continuing to curate the top (in my mind) science news and resources here on the blog. You can see my first few days of updates here! I’m trying to add explainers for non-scientists and adding my take on the significance of findings when possible. As with anything on the internet, readers should take my interpretations and editorializations with an ounce of skepticism. What started as advocating for a few weeks of social distancing, now looks more like an effort to present relevant science as humanity battles a potentially long-lasting pandemic. I hope it helps in some way. Read more

AWIS Spotlight

less than 1 minute read


I was honored to be highlighted by the Association of Women in Science (AWIS) at Univeristy of Michgan. The spotlight should you give a sense of my career trajectory (including life as a Natonal Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow), experiences as a woman in STEM, and my commitment to outreach. Please reach out to me bwolford at if you’d like to further discuss life in academia as a woman! Read more

Girls Who Code celebrates Computer Science Education Week

less than 1 minute read


Last week was Computer Science Education Week, so naturally I wanted to highlight my favorte CS Ed organization, Girls Who Code at UM Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics! MiSciWriters, the awesome science communication blog at UM, published my article today. Our Executive Committee is really proud of the work we do here in Michigan and the materials we post on Github for other CS educators! Personally, I’m thankful for the women I work with who do amazing research and serve their communities so well. Happy belated CS Education Week! Read more

ASHG Nascent Transcript November 2018

less than 1 minute read


For the past 2 years I’ve contributed to the ASHG Trainee Newsletter, the Nascent Transcript. 2018’s 4th quarter edition was published today, and includes my final contribution. I have greatly enjoyed interviewing trainees in the field, collaborating with other trainees through the editing process, flexing my science communication muscles, and curating #ASHGtrainee tweets. Read more

ASHG 2017 and diversity in science

less than 1 minute read


I had the privilege of interviewing Natalie Telis at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. We discussed the topic of her plenary talk, “Scalable computational quantification of gender representation and behavior at ASHG.” The interview was published in the November 2017 ASHG trainee newsletter, the Nascent Transcript. Read more

How your electronic medical records could help biomedical research

less than 1 minute read


Much to the chagrin of many patients in America, digital medical records have phased out paper copies of health records in doctors’ offices across the nation. In my latest blog post for MiSciWriters I make a case for the exciting uses of these digital medical records—called electronic health records (EHRs). The post is the second of a three part series examining ancient DNA, EHRs, and the legacy of Neanderthal DNA in you and me. Read more

Live from Michigan, It’s MiSciWriters

1 minute read


A lot has changed in the extensive hiatus since my last blog post. I moved from Bethesda, Maryland to Ann Arbor, Michigan. I started a PhD program in Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan. I became a published scientist in a peer-reviewed journal. I picked a thesis laboratory, er, two. However, what hasn’t changed is my desire to communicate science to the public in an effort to increase genetic literacy and ultimately reduce health disparities. In this vein, I have recently become a contributor with MiSciWriters. Read more

Genetic Literacy to Reduce Health Disparities

6 minute read


For those of you reading this who are familiar with my research interests or career goals, you know that I am driven by a passion for not only cool science, but scientific literacy, specifically in genomics and genetics. For those of you who don’t know me, let me explain. Read more

NHGRI Genome Advance of the Month

less than 1 minute read


As a postbaccalaurate trainee at the National Human Genome Research Institute I wrote for the Genome Advance of the Month to highlight recent work in the genomics field. This was my first experence with science communication to lay audiences. Read more




Corbin Jones Laboratory

June 2008 - May 2013
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Biology Department

I worked as a high school volunteer, and later, an undergraduate research assistant in the Corbin Jones Laboratory from summer 2008 until my graduation from UNC-CH in May 2013. My undergraduate research experience includes a co-authored publication, Mechanosensation across and within Drosophila species. In addition, I conducted research for my honors thesis, “Evolutionary Development of Gain-of-Function Stripes in Z. indianus,” in the Jones lab. You can listen to an audio recording of my honors thesis presented on March 22, 2013. Read more

Francis Collins Laboratory

August 2013 - August 2015
National Institutes of Health, National Human Genome Research Institute
Medical Genomics and Metabolic Genetics Branch
I worked as a Postbaccalaureate IRTA trainee in the lab of Dr. Francis Collins in the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. I worked under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen Parker, and used my bioinformatics skill set to perform integrative analyses using RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, genotypes, and chromatin state data to identify regions involved in Type 2 Diabetes susceptibility. The Collins lab is particularly interested in non-coding regions where the majority of Genome Wide Association Study loci for T2D and related traits are located. Other NHGRI researchers and I were also highlighed by LabTV in their effort to encourage high sschool and undergraduate students to explore careers in biomedical research. Read more

Michael Boehnke & Laura Scott Group

September 2016 - August 2021 University of Michigan
Department of Biostatistics, Center for Statistical Genetics
I rotated with Dr. Boehnke and Dr. Laura Scott August 2015-February 2016 as a continuation of my work with the Finland-United States Investigation of NIDDM (FUSION) Project from my post-baccalaureate career. I was co-mentored by Dr. Mike Boehnke and Dr. Cristen Willer for my dissertation research. Read more

Cristen Willer Laboratory

May 2016 - September 2021 University of Michigan
Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Human Genetics, and Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics
I joined the lab of Dr. Cristen Willer as a rotation student in May 2016. I began my dissertation work in September of 2016. Broadly, I studied the genetics of cardiometabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease. My research projects ranged from the study of Mendelian disease in Thoracic Aortic Dissection patients from the University of Michigan Cardiac Health Improvement Project to the study of polygenic diseases in large population scale biobanks such as the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study and the UK Biobank. My research contributed to the development of precision health strategies by developing and employing computational tools to analyze big data in the form of EHR-linked biobanks with genetic data. Read more

K.G. Jebsen Centre for Genetic Epidemiology

October 2021 -
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Department of Public Health and Nursing (ISM). As a postdoctoral fellow in the K.G. Jebsen Centre for Genetic Epidemiology, I am performing research under the mentorship of Center Leader, Dr. Kristian Hveem, as part of the INTERVENE project. This is an international effort funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to harmonize and utilize biobanks to prevent common diseases. Read more


Seeds Pre-School Environmental Science Education


In the summers of 2012 and 2013 I led Quaker Lake Camp’s Seeds Program, an environmental education program for preschoolers. I developed three hours of curriculum surrounding science themes including weather, metamorphosis, and astronomy for our weekly day-camps. I created a blog to document our learning experiences. Read more

Genetics & Heredity for K-12


I am available for K-12 science education in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area and in the Piedmont region of North Carolina (schedule permitting) free of charge. I have experience with public school classrooms, Science Olympiad teams, and Girl and Boy Scout Troops. I specialize in genetics and inheritance and will work with you to create a lesson that fits state and Common Core standards. If you are an educator in need of a science lesson to supplement your curriculum, please reach out. I’m making some of my educational resources available below with target audiences. Read more

Digital DNA Day


National DNA Day commemorates the successful completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953. Since many in-person DNA Day celebrations are moving online, I’m hosting this compilation of educational resources to celebrate Digital DNA Day: April 25, 2020. This list has something for students of all ages, parents, and educators. Detailed resource summaries are primarily by Audrey Drotos, and this list was compiled with help from Dr. Christina Vallianatos. We note the best places to start for DNA novices with a Start here!. Read more

DNA Extraction For Elementary Ages


Through my Skype A Scientist match in April 2021, I prepared materials for a Zoom session with a Cub Scout group of 1st-5th graders. We did DNA extraction from a strawberry, which exists in many forms on the internet. I tried to create an ingredient and equipment list that was as flexible as possible, so that parents wouldn’t need to buy custom materials. The experiment needs some adults on hand, especially to read the instructions when on the lower range of elementary ages. A demonsration is optimal, and works fine virtually. Read more



Girls Who Code

K-12 outreach, University of Michigan, Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, 2018

In 2016, University of Michigan Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics (DCMB) graduate student and NSF GRFP fellow, Zena Lapp, and I founded a voluntary student organization focused on computer science education—Girls Who Code at UM DCMB. Read more

Introduction to Python

Peer Tutorial, University of Michigan, 2019

Led a computing workshop for Graduate Society of Black Engineers and Scientists (GBES) at UM to teach introduction to Python to my peers. Independently designed an interactive Python coding lesson available here and taught on behalf of the Girls Who Code at UM DCM student organization. Read more

Genomics in Epidemiology

Graduate Course, University of Michigan, Department of Epidemiology, 2019

In Winter 2018 and 2019 I was a guest lecturer for UM School of Public Health’s Genetics in Epidemiology (EPID 516) course for Master’s level students. I lectured on the topic of Functional Genomics and designed and facilitated a laboratory exercise integrating functional assays and public datasets on the UCSC Genome Browser. Read more

Genetic Epidemiology

PhD Course, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Dept. of Public Health and Nursing , 2019

In May 2019 I was a guest lecturer for a week-long PhD Course, SMED8020, in the Department for Public Health and Nursing at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). I lectured on the topics of the Genetics of Complex Diseases, Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS), and Functional Genomics. I developed a practical in which students performed a GWAS meta-analysis using METAL. I served as a grader for students’ oral examinations. Read more

Big Data Summer Institute

Undergraduate, University of Michigan, Department of Biostatistics, 2019

I served as the Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) for the Genomics group during the 2019 Big Data Summer Institute (BDSI), an undergraduate research program in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan and a Summer Institute in Biostatistics (SIBS) program. Undergraduate students from across the worrld were competitively chosen for this intensive six-week program of in-class instruction and hands-on research experience. As the Genomics group GSI, I worked with Biostatistics faculty to mentor a group of sixteen students in broad introductions to the computational and statistical as aspects of genomics research including population genetics, polygenic risk scores, and scRNAseq. I then spent four weeks as a research mentor to four students working on an in-depth polygenic risk score project using UM’s Genes for Good cohort. Read more