Joni Rutter

Can addiction be passed down from your parents? Is genetics important in the science of addiction? Ask NIDA’s best genetics expert, Dr. Joni Rutter. She received her Ph.D. from Dartmouth Medical School in 1999 and joined the National Institutes of Health, studying the genetics of cancer. She moved to NIDA in 2003 and currently directs NIDA’s support of basic and clinical science research labs all over the country. She also manages a repository that stores more information and biospecimens on genetics than you can imagine---so other scientists can use them. She loves everything about science and still remembers her high school science teacher Mr. Sanders, who taught her that science is about asking the right questions and not about getting all of the answers. And---she plays a mean game of softball! A good day for her is studying laboratory science and fielding line drives at 3rd base.