Sharon Moalem

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Sharon Moalem
BornMontréal, Canada
OccupationPhysician, Scientist, Author
Alma materUniversity of Guelph
University of Toronto
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Notable worksSurvival of the Sickest
How Sex Works

Sharon Moalem is an American physician, scientist, and bestselling author.[1][2] Dr. Moalem is an expert in the fields of rare diseases, neurogenetics, and biotechnology.[1][3] He is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Survival of the Sickest, as well as How Sex Works and "Inheritance."[4][5] Moalem has cofounded two biotechnology companies and is the recipient of 19 patents for his inventions in biotechnology and human health.[2][3][6]


Moalem earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Human Physiology specializing in Neurogenetics from the University of Toronto.[7] He completed his Doctor of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. As a college student, Dr. Moalem worked with the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej to help improve the care of young children at an HIV-positive orphanage.[8] In this capacity Dr. Moalem worked in HIV prevention for the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) and was responsible for the operations of the Tarn Nam Jai HIV+ Orphanage in Bangkok, Thailand.[8]

His research in neurogenetics led to the discovery of new genetic associations for familial Alzheimer's disease.[2][4] He was previously the Associate Editor of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.[6] Dr. Moalem’s scientific work, based upon using rare conditions as a template to understand more common conditions, led to the discovery of Siderocillin a new antibiotic that specifically targets so called ‘superbugs’ or multiresistant microbes.[2][6][9]

He has founded two biotechnology companies, Sideromics LLC and Recognyz System Technology, founded to develop treatments for the health effects experiences by persons with rare diseases.[10][6] Moalem also holds 19 patents for inventions related to biotechnology and human health.[6]

In March 2014, Dr. Moalem and his team won a hackathon at MIT to build a smartphone app that can be used to treat patients by identifying predispositions to certain diseases based on facial structure.[11]

Dr. Moalem is a frequent keynote speaker on the topics of genetics and personalized medicine and has appeared on NBC's Today Show, Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and NPR's Diane Rehm.[2][3][12][13]


Survival of the Sickest[edit]

Dr. Moalem's first book Survival of the Sickest was published in 2007 by William Morrow (HarperCollins). The book, co-written by Jonathan Prince, lays out eight case studies revolving around the argument that common hereditary diseases exist because at one point they were an adaptive advantage for our ancestors.[3] One proposed hypothesis is that water induced wrinkling of skin is an adaptation to improve traction in wet or slippery environments. Research has subsequently shown this to be likely the case.[14][1][15]

The book debuted on the New York Times bestselling book list in hardcover nonfiction.[16]

How Sex Works[edit]

In April 2009, Dr. Moalem's second book How Sex Works: Why We Look, Smell, Taste, Feel, and Act the Way We Do was published by HarperCollins.[17] The book examines the scientific reasons why people are attracted to one another.[4] The topics covered include the evolutionary underpinnings of sexual attraction, monogamy, and sexual orientation.[18][5][19]


Moalem's latest book, Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives—And Our Lives Change Our Genes was published by Grand Central Publishing in April 2014. The book, co-written by journalist Matthew D. LaPlante, unpacks emerging research into the flexible genome, which is "mediated and orchestrated by how you live, where you live, the stresses you face, and the things you consume,” promising a future in which people will make health decisions not based on what is good for most of the people most of the time, but rather what is genetically best for each individual based on their specific genetic and epigenetic profile.


  1. ^ a b c Blakeslee, Sandra. "New Theory Places Origin of Diabetes in an Age of Icy Hardships". New York Times.
  2. ^ a b c d e Stewart, Jon. "Dr. Sharon Moalem". The Daily Show.
  3. ^ a b c d "Why we need disease". Today.
  4. ^ a b c Cruz, Gilbert. "How Sex Works". Time.
  5. ^ a b Harris, Lynn. "Lynn Harris Reviews 'Behind the Bedroom Door,' 'How Sex Works,'". Washington Post.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Sharon Moalem". LinkedIn.
  7. ^ Oz, Mehmet. "The Benefits of Disease". Oprah.
  8. ^ a b "Featured Profile: Dr. Sharon Moalem". CPBN. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02.
  9. ^ "Profile: Sharon Moalem". Amazon.
  10. ^ "Sharon Moalem". Mendeley.
  11. ^ Love, Dylan. "A Doctor Is Building A Powerful Smartphone App That 'Can Tell You If Your Mother Drank While She Was Pregnant With You'". Business Insider.
  12. ^ "Dr. Sharon Moalem". Harper Collins Speaker Bureau.
  13. ^ Rehm, Diane. "Sharon Moalem: "Survival of the Sickest"". The Diane Rehm Show.
  14. ^ "Water-induced finger wrinkles improve handling of wet objects". Royal Society Publishing.
  15. ^ Lee, Adam. "Book Review: Survival of the Sickest". Patheos.
  16. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction". New York Times.
  17. ^ Winter, Jessica. "Between the Covers". Oprah.
  18. ^ "EXCERPT: 'How Sex Works'". ABC News.
  19. ^ Miller, Jen A. "Review: 'How Sex Works: Why We Look, Smell, Taste, Feel, and Act the Way We Do,' by Dr. Sharon Moalem". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02.

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