The research field Eva Barroso chose for her Ph.D. is so new that even she had never heard of it before seeing the job posting on the Internet. “I was interested in human genetics, but not especially in this field,” she says. What the Ph.D. project was proposing was the opportunity to try and track down genetic markers in order to predict an individual’s susceptibility to diseases that involve more than one gene.
The impact of such research could be huge. In the long term, Barroso says, “the idea is to have your DNA checked for [predisposition] to breast cancer, and every [other known disease].” Not only does she find it fascinating, she also finds it easy to grab the interest of her family and friends when she explains what she does–a rare quality in a scientific job.