LOUISA A. STARK portrait
  • Professor, Human Genetics
  • Director, Genetic Science Learning Center
  • Co-Director, Community Collaboration & Engagement Team, Clinical & Translational Science Institute, School Of Medicine-Operations
  • Adjunct Professor, Population Health Sciences
  • Clinical Professor, Urban Institute for Teacher Education
  • H.A. and Edna Benning Presidential Endowed Chair, Human Genetics

Research Summary

My research seeks to realize a vision of universal science and health literacy that empowers individuals to make informed decisions for themselves, their family, their community and our planet; increases research literacy and support for biomedical research; and sparks the interest of the next generation of biomedical scientists, while simultaneously advancing the science of education research and community engagement.


  • No Degree Offered, Program Evaluation, Western Michigan University
  • No Degree, Science Education, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Evolutionary Genetics, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Bachelor of Science, Biology, Grand Valley State University


Dr. Louisa Stark is a Professor of Human Genetics and director of the Genetic Science Learning Center. Her research interests focus on science and health education for students and educators from the K-12 level through graduate and medical education as well as patients and members of the lay public. The Center's mission is "making science and health easy for everyone to understand," which is accomplished by developing educational materials and programs that translate complex concepts for those who are not expert in a field. Many of these materials are freely disseminated via the Center's Learn.Genetics and Teach.Genetics websites, which constitute the most highly-used online life science education resource in the world. The sites are annually used by over 16 million visitors who view over 60 million pages and come from virtually every country. Dr. Stark has received multiple awards for her work, including among others, the Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Education from the American Society of Human Genetics (2008), the first award of the Science Prize for Online Resources in Education from Science Magazine (2010), the Utah Governor's Medal for Science and Technology (2010), the Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education from the Genetics Society of America, and the MERLOT Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resources (2017).

Dr. Stark also co-directs the Collaboration and Engagement Team of the Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science. In this role, she facilitates collaborations between researchers and community organizations, particularly those serving diverse communities. She is a founding member of the Community Faces of Utah collaborative which includes leaders of the Best of Africa, Calvary Baptist Church, the Hispanic Health Care Task Force, the National Tongan American Society, and the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake along with staff of the Utah Department of Health, faculty and staff of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, and members of the Collaboration and Engagement Team.