Posted by & filed under CCTV's THE VIBRANT GENE talk show, Genetics as Preventative Care.

Can new developments in molecular genetics help eradicate neglected tropical diseases?  What are neglected tropical diseases?  What countries are most affected?  What can be done?


One of the most exciting developments in the history of humankind is taking place now in the area of neglected tropical disease. Yet, practically nobody knows about this inspiring story!  Why isn’t this story featured in mainstream news?  We’re not sure, but you can catch it on the Vibrant Gene Talk Show.

In this episode, we learn how creative applications of molecular genetics are used to target and eradicate neglected tropical diseases. These diseases affect an estimated 1.5 billion people and impact the world economy.




Full length video:


This show aired live on Wednesday, May 25th at 6:30 pm, on CCTV (Cambridge Channel 9).

About Our Guest:

Steve williams pro pic  Steven Williams ,PhD, Gates Foundation Professor of Biological Sciences and Biochemistry, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts.  Steve is a molecular biologist, geneticist and tropical medicine researcher who has worked all over the world on NTDs (neglected tropical diseases) including African river blindness, elephantiasis, hookworm and many others.  His research beginning in the 1980s has focused on an important group of tropical diseases termed the NTDs (neglected tropical diseases). These diseases afflict approximately 1.5 billion out of the 7 billion people living on our planet and are a major cause of the cycle of disease and poverty. Steve specializes in developing sensitive diagnostics based on the detection of DNA from the infectious agents. Much like a DNA fingerprint can unambiguously identify the perpetrator of a crime, DNA from infectious organisms can be unambiguously identified from patients and mosquito vectors. His laboratory also works with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Task Force for Global Health to screen populations for NTDs in a large number of countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. His funding for his research comes primarily from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.


About the Producer and Host:

Pro Pic 2015  Kayla M. Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellness for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional tests fail.


Our Show was Made Possible By:

Production Assistants:  Hayley Green, Lauren Hogan, and Ya Gao (editing).


For Private Genetic Counseling, contact us via email ( or phone at (617) 433-7874.