Dena Goldberg Linder
Growing up in a suburb of Chicago, Dena has been fascinated by genetics since she was six years old when her little sister was diagnosed with a rare genetic syndrome. She started her career in a laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she was sequencing human genomes as an undergraduate student. She then moved to San Francisco to conduct breast cancer research at UCSF. Dena quickly realized that she needed more patient interaction, so she obtained a graduate degree in genetic counseling at UC Irvine and spent the last four years seeing patients and conducting research in hereditary cancer syndromes at UCSF as the Gordon and Betty Moore Endowed Counselor of Hereditary GI Cancer Prevention.
Synthesizing her passion for media and genetics, she founded her personal brand “Dena DNA” with a mission to spread awareness of medical genetics and medical genetics services to the general public through media and marketing techniques not typically used by the medical community. She has created several successful social media campaigns and recently left her clinic job to pursue her dream of bringing genetic counseling to the mainstream media and becoming the first TV genetic counselor.
Dena started a lecture series where she gives presentations to various Jewish community groups to spread awareness about the different genetic conditions prevalent in the Jewish community and how to get screened. Dena volunteers for the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) and the Collaborative Group of the Americas for Inherited Gastrointestinal Cancer (CGA-IGC) and utilizes her out-of-the-box thinking to help the societies develop materials to teach at a national level.
For a short time, Dena lived and studied in the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Andes mountains. Outside of her work, Dena is a photographer as well as a classically trained vocalist. She photographed and co-created the 2020 Nice Jewish Dogs calendar for charity.