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Who I am

Rachel Aronoff is an experienced molecular biologist with keen interest in genomic integrity, a big picture concept for public health that basically includes all the molecular genetic details in cells. So many environmental factors and even things we choose to do can impact genomic integrity. While repair of damage does happen in cells, sometimes the end result is new mutations, that can also affect future generations. Therefore, awareness and prevention are of great interest for health. Rachel founded the non-profit group AGiR! Action for Genomic integrity through Research! to provide information and promote research into these issues. She also is very interested in measuring amounts and effects of environmental pollutants and has worked with arsenic biosensors in the UNIL fundamental microbiology department. In addition to AGiR! projects, she would like to help bring citizen science projects forward especially, and helped Hammerdirt in the Montreux Clean Beach Project with microbiological monitoring over eight weeks during two consecutive summers.

Why I love Hackuarium

The DIT- Research possibilities (Do-It-Together!) synergise at the Hackuarium, and the vibrant community is amazing!

How to contact me

Email me at: rachelaronoff(at)gmail(dot)com

What I am currently working on

At the end of a 6-month sabbatical after finishing a project management position at a private company, I had six weeks to travel in Australia, and met with both Sydney and Melbourne biohackers early in 2017. Since then, I have done workshops from London (with Science has no Borders), to Shenzhen (at GOSH2018) and most recently Bilbao ([ BBK Open Science Festival]), learning all the time! I hope the two AGiR! projects at the Hackuarium, the cheek cell assays for DNA damage, and the moss fauna studies, will be beta-tested all over the world for big data possibilities about environmental risks to genomic integrity and biodiversity on our planet!
The push for citizen science with partners Hammerdirt for summertime microbial analyses of lake water around Montreux is still ongoing, with a draft of our manuscript almost ready for final author approval and submission to a citizen science journal.
I also hope to return to cutting-edge molecular studies, and ideally aim to do a high-resolution imaging project of sub-nuclear architecture in human cells. An epifluorescence build of the OpenFlexure microscope is my next 'DIT Research' aim to enable this goal!

Declaration of further interests

Founder and CSO of AGiR! Action for Genomic integrity through Research!, a non-profit association for public health, meant to provide information and promote research on the dynamic processes happening in all of our cells. Genomic integrity is about much more than just DNA sequences, and many things we do regularly can affect it, potentially in a very negative fashion, also impacting future generations.

Consultant for SwissDeCode, which aims at fast detection of food contamination and is a 'spin-off' of the Hackuarium project, BeerDeCoded.

Mother of two teenage daughters, book and music lover, and keen amateur volleyball player (Echandens team)!