Laura Lyman Rodriguez, Ph.D., is the Director of the Division of Policy, Communications, and Education. In this capacity, she works to develop and implement policy for research initiatives at the NHGRI, design communication and outreach strategies to engage the public in genomic science, and prepare health care professionals for the integration of genomic medicine into clinical care. Dr. Rodriguez is particularly interested in the policy and ethics questions related to the inclusion of human research participants in genomics and genetics research.
As a major contributor to the development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Policy for Data Sharing in Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS), Dr. Rodriguez assisted in shaping the policy for sharing NIH-supported genomic research data. She has also played a significant role in establishing and overseeing implementation of the genomic data sharing policy across the agency.
Dr. Rodriguez received her bachelor's degree with honors in biology from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. and earned a doctorate in cell biology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She served as administrative director at the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research after graduating in 1996, and it was through this work - helping to establish that institute and its laboratories - that Dr. Rodriguez became interested in clinical research policy.
Dr. Rodriguez began her policy career as a Congressional Science Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where she worked with Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers (R-Mich.) on his National Science Policy Report and K-12 math and science education issues. Dr. Rodriguez also spent time in the Office of Public Affairs at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, where she focused on legislative relations. Before joining NHGRI in late 2002, she spent time at the National Academies, Institute of Medicine where she directed the work of a committee examining the federal system for protecting human research participants that produced two reports: Preserving Public Trust: Accreditation, and Human Research Participant Protection Programs and Responsible Research: A Systems Approach to Protecting Research Participants.
In addition to her policy work at the NHGRI, Dr. Rodriguez served as the Special Advisor to the Director from 2003 through 2007. During this time she provided scientific support and coordination for the activities of the director and helped to design and implement a new administrative structure for the Immediate Office of the Director. In 2008, she was named the Senior Advisor to the Director for Research Policy and was later appointed to be the Deputy Director for OPCE.
Last Reviewed: May 11, 2016