Will you go bald? Genetics and baldness

Male pattern baldness, or androgenic alopecia, is a condition that will affect the majority of men of European descent by the age of 50.  So the question of “Will you go bald” should be… “Will you be the one who keeps your hair?”

It turns out that male pattern baldness affects women as well, usually to a lesser extent. But many women also notice thinning hair around the temples and at the top of the head when aging.

Genetics plays a bit role in balding, and there are specific ways to counteract your genetic susceptibility.

What causes male pattern baldness?

A combination of genetics, nutrition, and environmental toxins come together to form the risk factors for baldness.  But genetics really seems to rule the roost here.

Estimates show approximately 80% of men and up to 50% of women will be affected by androgenic alopecia.[ref]

  • Other estimates put the percentage a little lower, but in general, most estimates show that 50% or more of men are losing their hair by age 50.
  • In pre-menopausal women, androgenic alopecia appears more frequently in women with PCOS who have higher androgen hormone levels.

Twin studies from the early 2000s found 80% of baldness is due to genetics, leaving the other 20% to be blamed on nutrition and toxicant exposure.[ref] More recent studies on the genes involved in balding put the heritability at over 90%, leaving little to be blamed on the environment.

Balding is considered to be a complex trait, with multiple genetic variants involved in the risk of losing your hair.[ref]

Another way of looking at this is that the default is to go bald, and the people who don’t go bald usually carry a genetic variant that protects against it.

The question is: Can you do anything about going bald?

The answer for many is there are diet and lifestyle factors that may delay balding. There are medications that may work for some, but the risk of side effects needs to be carefully considered.

What is androgenic alopecia?

Most research studies on hair loss refer to “androgenic alopecia” or “male pattern baldness”.

More recent studies call it just pattern baldness, which is an indication that this is a problem that affects women as well as men. With 50% of women experiencing hair loss in aging, it makes sense to call it just pattern baldness.

Whatever you call it, this type of balding is characterized by:

  •  as a receding hairline at the temples
  • a thinning of hair at the top, rear of the head (vertex)

Blaming your mom for balding: X-linked trait

A lot of the genes that increase the risk for baldness lie on the X chromosome. The androgen receptor (AR) and ectodysplasin A2 receptor (EDA2R), along with a region in between those two X-chromosome genes, have all been linked in multiple studies to an increased risk of baldness.

Being on the X chromosome, males only have one copy of the genes, which they inherited from their mom. Not all of the genes involved in baldness, though, are on the X chromosome. So mom may be only partially to blame.

Hair follicle. Image source: Public domain

 

Androgen Receptors (AR)

The androgen receptor binds to the androgen hormones, testosterone, or dihydrotestosterone.  When an androgen hormone binds to the receptor, it causes a reaction within the cell that results eventually in the transcription of certain genes in the nuclear DNA.

Testosterone -> receptor binding -> genes turned on/off

One product that is produced by androgens binding to the receptor is IGF1-R, which is the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor. IGF1, which binds to IFG-1R (receptor), is responsible for growth in childhood and muscle growth as an adult.

Testosterone binds to the androgen receptor causing an increase in IGF1 receptors, triggering muscle growth.

Two androgen hormones bind to AR:

  • testosterone
  • dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

DHT binds more preferentially to the AR receptor than testosterone. And DHT is the focus for male pattern baldness…

High levels of DHT occur in the scalps of men who are balding. Researchers think the high levels of DHT are causing micro-inflammation in the hair follicles, which then results in the miniaturization of the follicles and hair loss. DHT reduces the anagen phase of hair growth and causes the hair follicles to shrink to the point that hair cannot grow.[ref]

A study of 178 young men with male pattern baldness looked at their androgen hormone levels, compared with a control group. The study found that the men who were balding had higher total testosterone, higher free testosterone, and higher DHT levels than controls.  But their sex-hormone binding globulin, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone levels were similar to control. The 178 patients were treated with finasteride, an AR blocker. Of the participants, 136 had a decrease in DHT, testosterone, and free testosterone — along with a reversal of hair loss. Not all men reacted the same to finasteride.[ref]

The study noted that a greater reduction in androgens did not necessarily correlate to more hair growth. Also, there were some men for whom the decrease in androgens did not bring about hair improvements.[ref] More was not better and too much finasteride has adverse effects (more on this below).

The reasons that high DHT levels cause pattern baldness are not completely known. When males go through puberty and testosterone and DHT levels rise, this is what triggers hair growth all over the body. So why does it decrease hair growth on the head?

Going beyond a focus on AR and DHT:

One theory, proposed by Dr. Ustuner, and explained in a 2013 paper theorizes the tightness of the skin across the top of the head is what causes the miniaturization of the hair follicles, resulting in male pattern baldness.[ref]

It is an interesting theory and attempts to explain why high levels of DHT are linked to balding only in certain areas of the scalp.

The circulation in the skin is essential, delivering the growth factors, nutrients, and bioactive molecules. Circulation is also needed for removing the metabolic waste products that can cause oxidative stress in the hair follicles. Together, the lack of good microcirculation around the hair follicles could cause the hair follicle miniaturization.[ref]

Here is a visual overview from a recent study of the possible reasons for hair follicle disruption and miniaturization:

CC image, PMC7013965

Diet and lifestyle factors involved in balding

Can you blame sugar and a crappy diet for balding? Perhaps.

Early male pattern baldness is more frequent in men with metabolic syndrome than in a control group.[ref]

This has been shown in a couple of small studies, but none of them really prove that metabolic syndrome causes baldness — vs. just the two conditions being more likely to coincide together.

A meta-analysis of seven studies found that men with early balding had a slightly worse glycolipid profile on average. The conclusion was this may be similar to the insulin resistance found in women with PCOS.[ref]

A study showed post-menopausal women with higher insulin levels (insulin >10 mU/l – which is still in the normal range) are at a higher risk for hair thinning.[ref]

Does baldness cause prostate cancer?

The androgen hormones promote prostate cancer and finasteride (Propecia) is a medication used both for prostate enlargement and preventing hair loss…

So it makes sense to investigate whether prostate cancer is linked to baldness.

  • A meta-analysis investigated 15 different studies on the topic and concluded that no, prostate cancer is not linked to baldness in general.[ref]
  • A specific type of balding known as vertex balding (bald spot on the top, back of your head), though, slightly increased the likelihood of prostate cancer.[ref]
  • One study shows that baldness is also not linked to prostate size. But not all of the research agrees on this topic. A second, smaller study did find a link to both prostate size and urine flow.[ref][ref]
The rest of this article has a lot of member enhancements.
If you are a member: Log in to see your data below
Not a member? Join now to see your data below and to see the specific supplements and lifestyle interventions for your genes.

Genetic Variants involved in Pattern Baldness:

Members: Log in to see your data below.
Not a member? Join here. Membership lets you see your data right in each article and also gives you access to the member’s only information in the Lifehacks sections.

Since the majority of men (in most ethnicities) are likely to start balding at some point, these variants are listed to show the minority, which is usually those who are less likely to go bald.

What you are probably hoping for here is to carry several of the genetic variants that decrease the risk of balding…

Intergenetic (between genes) locations:

Check your genetic data for rs1998076 (23andMe v4, v5)

  • AA: less than half the normal risk of going bald[ref][ref][ref]
  • AG: decreased risk of going bald
  • GG: typical

Members: Your genotype for rs1998076 is .

Check your genetic data for rs2223841 (23andMe v4):

  • C/C (or C): much less likely to go bald[ref]
  • T/T (or T): typical

Members: Your genotype for rs2223841 is .

Check your genetic data for rs925391 (23andMe v4):

  • G/G (or G): typical
  • A/G: decreased risk of baldness
  • A/A (or A): much less likely to go bald early[ref]

Members: Your genotype for rs925391 is .

Check your genetic data for rs6945541 (23andMe v4, v5):

  • C/C: increased risk of balding[ref][ref]
  • C/T: slightly increased risk of balding
  • T/T: typical

Members: Your genotype for rs6945541 is .

AR gene (androgen receptor, X chromosome):

Check your genetic data for rs10521339 (23andMe v4):

  • A/A (or A): less likely to go bald[ref]
  • A/T: less likely to go bald
  • T/T (or T): typical

Members: Your genotype for rs10521339 is .

Check your genetic data for rs6625163 (23andMe v4):

  • G/G (or G): less likely to go bald[ref]
  • A/G: less likely to go bald
  • A/A (or A): typical

Members: Your genotype for rs6625163 is .

EDA2R gene (a type of tumor necrosis factor receptor, located on the X chromosome near the AR gene):

Check your genetic data for rs1385699 (23andMe v4):

  • CC (or C): less likely to go bald[ref]
  • CT: less likely to go bald
  • T/T (or T): typical

Members: Your genotype for rs1385699 is .

Check your genetic data for rs1511061 (23andMe v4):

  • C/C (or C): less likely to go bald (strongest effect allele in GWAS)[ref]
  • C/T: less likely to go bald
  • T/T (or T): typical

Members: Your genotype for rs1511061 is .

C1orf127 gene (unknown function):

Check your genetic data for rs12565727 (23andMe v5):

  • G/G: less likely to go bald[ref][ref]
  • A/G: somewhat less likely to go bald
  • A/A: typical

Members: Your genotype for rs12565727 is .

SLC14A2 gene (urea transport, metal ion transport):

Check your genetic data for rs10502861 (23andMe v4, v5):

  • T/T: decreased risk of balding[ref][ref]
  • C/T: slightly decreased risk of balding
  • C/C: typical

Members: Your genotype for rs10502861 is .

MAPT-AS1 gene (non-coding RNA, regulates MAPT expression):

Check your genetic data for rs12373124 (23andMe v4):

  • C/C: decreased risk of balding[ref][ref]
  • C/T: slightly decreased risk of balding
  • T/T: typical

Members: Your genotype for rs12373124 is .

LINC01432 gene (non-coding RNA):

Check your genetic data for rs1160312 (23andMe v4, v5):

  • A/A: typical[ref]
  • A/G: typical
  • G/G: decreased risk of baldness

Members: Your genotype for rs1160312 is .

IRF4 gene: Controls melanin, hair color  -variant mainly found in people of European background giving rise to freckles and sensitivity to the sun (and earlier balding)

Check your genetic data for rs12203592 (23andMe v4, v5):

  • C/C: typical
  • C/T: increased risk of earlier balding
  • T/T: increased risk of early balding[ref] more likely to have lighter skin and eye color[ref]

Members: Your genotype for rs12203592 is .


Lifehacks (Research-based options for hair loss):

Below are a few of the research-based options for delaying or reducing hair loss.

Hair loss medications:

You may want to look into many studies on the sexual dysfunction side effects of finasteride. Genetic variants in CYP3A4 can also impact the way finasteride works.[ref][ref][ref] Also consider the side effects from minoxidil (hair loss, allergy).[ref]

Related article: CYP3A4 genetic variants (finasteride)

Vitamins, Minerals, and Diet:

  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2) and biotin deficiency can cause hair loss.[ref] Both types of deficiency are rare in people eating a normal diet.
  • Low ferritin levels in women may cause hair loss.[ref] Always get a blood test done to check your iron levels before supplementing with iron.
  • Too much iron, as is the case with hemochromatosis, may also lead to alopecia.[ref]
  • A small study showed that eating fresh herbs and raw vegetables more than 3 times per week was associated with half the risk of baldness.[ref]  (Makes you wonder, though, what those guys who don’t eat vegetables three times a week are eating?)
  • Sudden weight loss and calorie restriction can cause hair loss, possibly due to micronutrient deficiency.[ref]
  • Being an overweight smoker increases the risk of balding by 6 fold.[ref]
  • Korean red ginseng in a study increased hair density and thickness.[ref] The study didn’t really say whether the hair loss was due to male pattern baldness or an autoimmune alopecia cause.

Related articles: Hemochromatosis and Biotin deficiency genes


Member’s Blueprint: Next Steps and Experiments

This members only section gives a visual overview of your genes along with more lifehacks and supplement suggestions.

Member Content:

An active subscription is required to access this content.

Join Here for full access to this article, genotype reports, and much more!


Already a member? Log in below.


Related Genes and Topics:

Genetic Causes of Male Infertility
Almost 10% of couples worldwide struggle with infertility. Learn more about your genetic susceptibility and dig deeper into the lifestyle factors that could affect your sperm.

Top 10 Genes to Check in Your Genetic Raw Data
Wondering what is actually important in your genetic data? These 10 genes have important variants with a big impact on health. Check your genes (free article).

Your need for riboflavin (B2): MTHFR and other genetic variants
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is a water-soluble vitamin that is a cofactor for many enzymes in the body.  To put it in simpler terms: riboflavin is vitally important!

ABCC11 gene: Ear wax and no body odor
The ABCC11 gene determines both the type of earwax a person has and whether they have no armpit or body odor.

 

References:

Aourag, Nassim, et al. “Can We Predict Prostate Size by Scoring Baldness? The Relationship of Androgenic Alopecia and Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms.” Central European Journal of Urology, vol. 72, no. 1, 2019, pp. 39–43. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.5173/ceju.2018.1889.

Arias-Santiago, Salvador, et al. “Androgenetic Alopecia as an Early Marker of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol. 66, no. 3, Mar. 2012, pp. 401–08. ScienceDirect, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2010.12.023.

Banger, Harmeet Singh, et al. “Is Early Onset Androgenic Alopecia a Marker of Metabolic Syndrome and Carotid Artery Atherosclerosis in Young Indian Male Patients?” International Journal of Trichology, vol. 7, no. 4, Dec. 2015, pp. 141–47. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-7753.171566.

Bassino, Eleonora, et al. “Protective Role of Nutritional Plants Containing Flavonoids in Hair Follicle Disruption: A Review.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 21, no. 2, Jan. 2020. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020523.

—. “Protective Role of Nutritional Plants Containing Flavonoids in Hair Follicle Disruption: A Review.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 21, no. 2, Jan. 2020. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020523.

Cannarella, Rossella, et al. “Glycolipid and Hormonal Profiles in Young Men with Early-Onset Androgenetic Alopecia: A Meta-Analysis.” Scientific Reports, vol. 7, no. 1, Aug. 2017, p. 7801. www.nature.com, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-08528-3.

Fertig, Raymond M., et al. “Sexual Side Effects of 5-α-Reductase Inhibitors Finasteride and Dutasteride: A Comprehensive Review.” Dermatology Online Journal, vol. 23, no. 11, Nov. 2017, p. 13030/qt24k8q743.

He, Huadong, et al. “Male Pattern Baldness and Incidence of Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Medicine, vol. 97, no. 28, July 2018, p. e11379. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000011379.

—. “Male Pattern Baldness and Incidence of Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Medicine, vol. 97, no. 28, July 2018, p. e11379. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000011379.

Heilmann-Heimbach, Stefanie, et al. “Meta-Analysis Identifies Novel Risk Loci and Yields Systematic Insights into the Biology of Male-Pattern Baldness.” Nature Communications, vol. 8, Mar. 2017, p. 14694. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14694.

Hillmer, Axel M., Sandra Hanneken, Sibylle Ritzmann, Tim Becker, Jan Freudenberg, Felix F. Brockschmidt, Antonia Flaquer, Yun Freudenberg-Hua, Rami Abou Jamra, Christine Metzen, Uwe Heyn, Nadine Schweiger, Regina C. Betz, Bettina Blaumeiser, Jochen Hampe, Stefan Schreiber, Thomas G. Schulze, Hans Christian Hennies, Johannes Schumacher, Peter Propping, Thomas Ruzicka, Sven Cichon, Thomas F. Wienker, Roland Kruse, and Markus M. Nothen. “Genetic Variation in the Human Androgen Receptor Gene Is the Major Determinant of Common Early-Onset Androgenetic Alopecia.” American Journal of Human Genetics, vol. 77, no. 1, July 2005, pp. 140–48. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1086/431425.

Hillmer, Axel M., Sandra Hanneken, Sibylle Ritzmann, Tim Becker, Jan Freudenberg, Felix F. Brockschmidt, Antonia Flaquer, Yun Freudenberg-Hua, Rami Abou Jamra, Christine Metzen, Uwe Heyn, Nadine Schweiger, Regina C. Betz, Bettina Blaumeiser, Jochen Hampe, Stefan Schreiber, Thomas G. Schulze, Hans Christian Hennies, Johannes Schumacher, Peter Propping, Thomas Ruzicka, Sven Cichon, Thomas F. Wienker, Roland Kruse, and Markus M. Nöthen. “Genetic Variation in the Human Androgen Receptor Gene Is the Major Determinant of Common Early-Onset Androgenetic Alopecia.” The American Journal of Human Genetics, vol. 77, no. 1, July 2005, pp. 140–48. www.cell.com, https://doi.org/10.1086/431425.

Hillmer, Axel M. , et al. “Genetic Variation in the Human Androgen Receptor Gene Is the Major Determinant of Common Early-Onset Androgenetic Alopecia.” American Journal of Human Genetics, vol. 77, no. 1, July 2005, pp. 140–48. PubMed Central, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1226186/.

Lai, Ching-Huang, et al. “Androgenic Alopecia Is Associated with Less Dietary Soy, Higher Blood Vanadium and Rs1160312 1 Polymorphism in Taiwanese Communities.” PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no. 12, Dec. 2013, p. e79789. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0079789.

Lee, Solam, et al. “Adverse Sexual Effects of Treatment with Finasteride or Dutasteride for Male Androgenetic Alopecia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Acta Dermato-Venereologica, vol. 99, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 12–17. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.2340/00015555-3035.

Li, Rui, Felix F. Brockschmidt, Amy K. Kiefer, Hreinn Stefansson, Dale R. Nyholt, Kijoung Song, Sita H. Vermeulen, Stavroula Kanoni, Daniel Glass, Sarah E. Medland, Maria Dimitriou, Dawn Waterworth, Joyce Y. Tung, Frank Geller, Stefanie Heilmann, Axel M. Hillmer, Veronique Bataille, Sibylle Eigelshoven, Sandra Hanneken, Susanne Moebus, Christine Herold, Martin den Heijer, et al. “Six Novel Susceptibility Loci for Early-Onset Androgenetic Alopecia and Their Unexpected Association with Common Diseases.” PLOS Genetics, vol. 8, no. 5, May 2012, p. e1002746. PLoS Journals, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1002746.

Li, Rui, Felix F. Brockschmidt, Amy K. Kiefer, Hreinn Stefansson, Dale R. Nyholt, Kijoung Song, Sita H. Vermeulen, Stavroula Kanoni, Daniel Glass, Sarah E. Medland, Maria Dimitriou, Dawn Waterworth, Joyce Y. Tung, Frank Geller, Stefanie Heilmann, Axel M. Hillmer, Veronique Bataille, Sibylle Eigelshoven, Sandra Hanneken, Susanne Moebus, Christine Herold, Martin den Heijer, et al. “Six Novel Susceptibility Loci for Early-Onset Androgenetic Alopecia and Their Unexpected Association with Common Diseases.” PLoS Genetics, vol. 8, no. 5, May 2012, p. e1002746. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1002746.

—. “Six Novel Susceptibility Loci for Early-Onset Androgenetic Alopecia and Their Unexpected Association with Common Diseases.” PLoS Genetics, vol. 8, no. 5, May 2012, p. e1002746. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1002746.

Liang, Bo, et al. “Genetic Variants at 20p11 Confer Risk to Androgenetic Alopecia in the Chinese Han Population.” PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no. 8, Aug. 2013, p. e71771. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0071771.

Liu, Fan, et al. “Prediction of Male-Pattern Baldness from Genotypes.” European Journal of Human Genetics, vol. 24, no. 6, June 2016, pp. 895–902. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1038/ejhg.2015.220.

—. “Prediction of Male-Pattern Baldness from Genotypes.” European Journal of Human Genetics, vol. 24, no. 6, June 2016, pp. 895–902. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1038/ejhg.2015.220.

—. “Prediction of Male-Pattern Baldness from Genotypes.” European Journal of Human Genetics, vol. 24, no. 6, June 2016, pp. 895–902. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1038/ejhg.2015.220.

Marcińska, Magdalena, et al. “Evaluation of DNA Variants Associated with Androgenetic Alopecia and Their Potential to Predict Male Pattern Baldness.” PLoS ONE, vol. 10, no. 5, May 2015, p. e0127852. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0127852.

—. “Evaluation of DNA Variants Associated with Androgenetic Alopecia and Their Potential to Predict Male Pattern Baldness.” PLoS ONE, vol. 10, no. 5, May 2015, p. e0127852. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0127852.

—. “Evaluation of DNA Variants Associated with Androgenetic Alopecia and Their Potential to Predict Male Pattern Baldness.” PLoS ONE, vol. 10, no. 5, May 2015, p. e0127852. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0127852.

Matilainen, Veikko, et al. “Hair Loss, Insulin Resistance, and Heredity in Middle-Aged Women. A Population-Based Study.” Journal of Cardiovascular Risk, vol. 10, no. 3, June 2003, pp. 227–31. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1097/01.hjr.0000070200.72977.c6.

Piraccini, B. M., and A. Alessandrini. “Androgenetic Alopecia.” Giornale Italiano Di Dermatologia E Venereologia: Organo Ufficiale, Societa Italiana Di Dermatologia E Sifilografia, vol. 149, no. 1, Feb. 2014, pp. 15–24.

Pirastu, Nicola, et al. “GWAS for Male-Pattern Baldness Identifies 71 Susceptibility Loci Explaining 38% of the Risk.” Nature Communications, vol. 8, Nov. 2017, p. 1584. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01490-8.

Prodi, Dionigio Antonio, et al. “EDA2R Is Associated with Androgenetic Alopecia.” Journal of Investigative Dermatology, vol. 128, no. 9, Sept. 2008, pp. 2268–70. ScienceDirect, https://doi.org/10.1038/jid.2008.60.

Richards, J. Brent, et al. “Male-Pattern Baldness Susceptibility Locus at 20p11.” Nature Genetics, vol. 40, no. 11, Nov. 2008, pp. 1282–84. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1038/ng.255.

—. “Male-Pattern Baldness Susceptibility Locus at 20p11.” Nature Genetics, vol. 40, no. 11, Nov. 2008, pp. 1282–84. www.nature.com, https://doi.org/10.1038/ng.255.

Ustuner, Emin Tuncay. “Cause of Androgenic Alopecia: Crux of the Matter.” Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open, vol. 1, no. 7, Nov. 2013, p. e64. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1097/GOX.0000000000000005.

Zhang, Yingchun, et al. “Serum Levels of Androgen-Associated Hormones Are Correlated with Curative Effect in Androgenic Alopecia in Young Men.” Medical Science Monitor : International Medical Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research, vol. 24, Oct. 2018, pp. 7770–77. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.12659/MSM.913116.


About the Author:
Debbie Moon is the founder of Genetic Lifehacks. Fascinated by the connections between genes, diet, and health, her goal is to help you understand how to apply genetics to your diet and lifestyle decisions. Debbie has a BS in engineering and also an MSc in biological sciences from Clemson University. Debbie combines an engineering mindset with a biological systems approach to help you understand how genetic differences impact your optimal health.