About Our Team
Founder & CEO
Heather leads the vision for TapGenes and focuses on product design, business development, and fundraising. She brings a decade of sales, marketing and market development experience to TapGenes from her time in the medical device industry working for Medtronic & Abbott Vascular.
Emily Chang, PhD
Chief Data Scientist & Co-Founder
Emily earned her PhD in physical chemistry from Stanford University, where she also conducted postdoctoral research in population genetics. With a passion for healthcare, she then joined the content team at 23andMe, a personal genetics company. Emily’s lab is now TapGenes, where she creates models for protecting disease risk, analyzes data and develops accessible ways for families to manage health data.
Ashley’s decade of experience in usability and technical project management is key to our product development. She has successfully managed large technical development teams and coordinated FDA and ISO certifications for a medical device organization. Ashley received her MA in Technical Communication from Minnesota State University.
Social Media Manager
Lori Garcia amplifies our mission across all social networks as our social media strategist. She’s a mother of two and all-around nice person. When she is not busy engaging online audiences, you can find Lori oversharing on her personal blog, Mommyfriend. Her work has been published by Huffington Post, ABC News, Disney’s Babble, Yahoo! Shine, Mom.me, YourTango and many other sites.
Hennah Garcia is a critical part of our member testing and focus group work that helps ensure our products meet the needs of those who use them most. Hennah also plays a crucial role in our community outreach and education initiatives.
Uta Francke, MD
Uta Francke is professor of Genetics and Pediatrics Emerita at Stanford University. Her research has ranged from human and mouse chromosome identification and gene mapping to the discovery of genes involved in heritable disorders, studies of their functions and of disease-causing mechanisms.
She has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the recipient of the Antoine Marfan Award from the National Marfan Foundation, the Colonel Harland Sanders Lifetime Achievement Award in Genetics from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and the William Allan Award from the American Society of Human Genetics. She is a past-president of the American Society for Human Genetics and of the International Federation of Human Genetics Societies, and a founding member of the American College of Medical Genetics. Dr. Francke teaches medical and molecular genetics, and practices clinical genetics, at Stanford.
Elissa Foster, PhD
Elissa is an Associate Professor and Director of the MA in Health Communication at DePaul University. After graduating from USF, she held faculty appointments at the University of Texas at San Antonio and San Jose State University. In 2012 she received the Asclepius Award for Excellence in Teaching in Family Medicine from the graduating residents at LVHN.
Elissa’s book, Communicating at the End of Life (Erlbaum, 2007) won the 2009 Distinguished Scholarly Book Award from the Applied Communication Division of NCA. She has also published book chapters and peer-reviewed articles on a variety of topics including marital conflict, motherhood, spirituality in health care, and medical education. Her research can be found in Qualitative Inquiry, the Journal of Ageing and Identity, Women’s Studies in Communication, the Southern Communication Journal, and Family Medicine.