Recommended by: Stephen Chanock,National Cancer Institute

Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson could have been a plant geneticist. Both of her parents worked as plant geneticists in Siberia in Russia, where she was born, and at age 16 she started working as a laboratory assistant in a plant genetics lab. But, she says, human genetics always held more appeal. "Plant genetics was something I could do immediately, but human genetics and the genetics of human diseases were always more interesting to me," she says.

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