NHGRI logo

Oral History Collection

Beth Shapiro

Beth Shapiro, Ph.D., is the director of the University of California, Santa Cruz Paleogenomics Lab and a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz. She also recently became the chief scientific officer of the company Colossal, which was founded with the goal of bringing ancient species back from extinction. Dr. Shapiro is a former Rhodes Scholar and a 2009 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship (often referred to as the “genius grant”). She is world-renowned as one of the top researchers in the field of ancient DNA. In this interview, Dr. Shapiro recounts the winding road that led her to her field, how her research has evolved with the advent of new genome sequencing technologies post-Human Genome Project, as well as her more recent work with Colossal focusing on de-extinction and species preservation. Lastly, Dr. Shapiro shares valuable wisdom and advice on effective science communication in the age of misinformation.