The Elsie Story

Our Inspiration

The creation of Elsie Genetics and it’s parent company Epigenetic Data Sciences has been inspired by many individuals. While most are family members close to the founder, Andrew Pollack, there is another woman to be recognized.

Rosalind Elsie Franklin

Among the many great scientists throughout history, Rosalind Elsie Franklin may be one you’ve never heard of. Here at Elsie Genetics, we have decided to honor her, so that her work and accomplishments are not forgotten. 

Rosalind Franklin with microscope in 1955.
Jenifer Glyn/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Franklin was a dedicated scientist working in London in the 1950’s. During this time, she was commonly mistaken for a lab technician as women were not thought to be scientists. She was not allowed in certain on-campus dining halls as they were all male, and worked with colleagues who did not take her seriously. Despite being a woman in a male-dominated field, she led pivotal research regarding DNA and it’s structure. 

Franklin’s work led to the discovery that DNA was made up of two strands, a double helix, via the famous photograph, Photo 51.

Franklin’s work is surrounded by much controversy, as two scientists, James Watson and Francis Crick, beat her to publication after Maurice Wilkins showed them Photo 51 without her knowledge. A few years later, Franklin would pass away at age 37 from ovarian cancer, and Watson, Crick, and Wilkins would go on to receive a Nobel Prize for the double-helix model. 

Having passed away at such a young age, Franklin was not able to see the impact of her work and research.  When you search “who discovered DNA” you will undoubtedly see Watson and Crick pop up on your screen. However, The Elsie Genetics’ team wants her name and accomplishments to be honored. 

Photo 51, showing x-ray diffraction pattern of DNA

At Elsie, we strive to help those suffering from cancer and other diseases. Rosalind Elsie Franklin’s work has led to a greater understanding of DNA, a huge component to our research, and life-changing research around the world. It is an honor for us to dedicate this division of EDS to her. 

To learn more about Franklin, click here

Photo Credit: Vittorio Luzzati
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