About Samantha Ancona Esselmann

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Currently, I am a Content & Curation Scientist for the Genotyping company, 23andMe.

I recently completed a Neuroscience PhD at UCSF. See an abstract of my published work here.

I’ve recorded, written, produced, or co-produced over 20 podcasts covering topics ranging from the origins of life on earth, Ebola’s hiding place, and the strange link between our immune health and parasites, to emerging treatments for debilitating neurological diseases. Featured content is on my home page!

NPR Science’s Joe Palca¬†gave me feedback on my Ebola podcast!

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I’ve also developed a social media and communications platform for the BRCA Foundation where I put together a podcast series of conversations with patients, survivors, “previvors,” scientists, doctors, and influencers, all about hereditary cancer.

I was the leader of the UCSF Science Policy Group from 2013-2017 and from 2015-2016 I was the Western Region Director of the National Science Policy Group.

In January 2017, I conceived, directed, and organized efforts to send early-career scientists associated with the UCSF Science Policy Group to Washington, D.C., to participate in the March for Science and to meet with legislators for Congressional Visits Day. We sent over 30 young scientists from UCSF to Washington, D.C., to advocate for sustained and consistent science funding, health policy, environmental policy, diversity in STEM education and careers, and immigration issues that affect scientists. https://www.gofundme.com/marchforscience

Samantha and Allison
Samantha Ancona Esselmann (left) and Allison Leaf, PhD., visiting Dianne Feinstein’s office in Washington, D.C., representing UCSF at Congressional Visits Day (http://www.setcvd.org/)

I used to be an oboist (it’s true!) but my head was turned by science before the world’s top orchestras had a fighting chance to discover me.


Contact me for collaborations — I love a good story to sink my teeth into!

-Samantha Ancona Esselmann