Susan Persky

Head, Communication, Attitudes and Behavior Unit and Virtual Reality lab, The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

Dr. Susan Persky is an associate investigator and head of the Immersive Virtual Environment Testing Unit in the Social and Behavioral Research Branch (SBRB), National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), NIH. She earned a B.A. in psychology for Northwestern University. She Earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she studied at the Research Centers for Virtual Environments and Behavior. After conducting postdoctoral research at Columbia University, she came to the SBRB in 2005. Here, she built and leads the Immersive Virtual Environment Testing Area, an immersive virtual reality-based experimental research lab . Dr. Persky splits her effort between providing leadership for the Immersive Virtual Environment Testing Area and conducting her programmatic research. Her work investigates the function of new genomic knowledge about common conditions like obesity in interactions between health care providers and patients and in public and online discourse. She has authored several publications and given a number of invited lectures related to this research program including at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academies. She has also published both peer-reviewed and invited pieces on virtual reality use for health and medicine and related research methodology.