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Genetics professor featured at Ogden FamilySearch lecture

Tuesday , April 17, 2018 - 10:01 AM

OGDEN — The Ogden FamilySearch Library will present a lecture by a genetics professor for the library’s quarterly third Saturday lecture at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 21. 

Speaking will be Scott R. Woodward, who currently lectures for genetics courses at Utah Valley University, according to his biography.

Woodward is most known for discovering a genetic marker used for the identification of carriers for and the eventual discovery of the gene for cystic fibrosis, according to his biography. He also was involved in the identification of other gene markers for colon cancer and neurofibromatosis.

Previously, he was the executive director of genomic discovery at, according to information released by the library.

Prior to his work with Ancestry, he was the director of the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation and a former professor of molecular biology and microbiology at Brigham Young University.

He received his doctorate degree in genetics from Utah State University in 1984. 

It was while he was completing postdoctoral work in molecular genetics at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Utah that he began making his genetic marker discoveries for which he is most known, according to his biography.

He joined the faculty at BYU in 1989. While at BYU, he was involved with the Seila, Egypt, excavation team, directing the genetic and molecular analysis of Egyptian mummies, both from a commoners' cemetery and of the Egyptian royal mummies, according to his biography.

His research interests include the reconstruction of ancient and modern genealogies using DNA techniques with samples from all over the world. He traces human population movements by following gene migrations — including both Old and New World populations — and analyzing DNA of ancient manuscripts, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, according to his biography.

He has been the Scholar in Residence at the BYU Center for Near Eastern Studies in Jerusalem and a visiting professor at Hebrew University, according to information released by the library.

Among his efforts was building a comprehensive database that includes genetic and genealogical data from more than 100,000 people from across the world with the goal of demonstrating the close connectedness of all people in the world, according to his biography.

His work has been featured both nationally and internationally on numerous television programs, including Good Morning America and the Discovery, History and Learning channels.

For additional information on the speech, call 801-626-1132.

Woodward will speak in room 12 of The FamilySearch Library, located at 539 24th Street in Ogden.

You may reach reporter JaNae Francis at or 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at @JaNaeFrancisSE or on Facebook at

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