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Karissa Sanbonmatsu: What Can Epigenetics Tell Us About Sex And Gender?

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Biology Of Sex

We're used to thinking of DNA as a rigid blueprint. Karissa Sanbonmatsu researches how our environment affects the way DNA expresses itself—especially when it comes to sex and gender.

About Karissa Sanbonmatsu

Karissa Sanbonmatsu is a principal investigator at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the New Mexico Consortium, where she studies the mechanism of non-coding RNA systems, including ribosomes, riboswitches and long non-coding RNAs. She published some of the first structural studies of epigenetic long non-coding RNAs and is currently studying the mechanism of epigenetic effects involving chromatin architecture.

Sanbonmatsu is also on the board of Equality New Mexico and the Gender Identity Center and is an advocate for LGBTQ+ people in the sciences.

She has a PhD in Astrophysical Sciences from the University of Colorado Boulder.

This segment of TED Radio Hour was produced by Christina Cala and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadio@npr.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Christina Cala is a producer for Code Switch. Before that, she was at the TED Radio Hour where she piloted two new episode formats — the curator chat and the long interview. She's also reported on a movement to preserve African American cultural sites in Birmingham and followed youth climate activists in New York City.
Sanaz Meshkinpour