Leslie Leinwand leads her research team to invent new biotechnological solutions to genetic problems that have long afflicted human beings. They especially study the cardiac and skeletal muscle systems, and she and her team are investigating how soy estrogens regulate cardiac growth. Her inventive approach and willingness to take risks has led to surprising research insights. Her lab recently conducted extensive research on Burmese pythons, whose hearts double in size within 48 hours of eating and shrink back down just as quickly. They’ve identified three fatty acids that combine to trigger the heart growth and are working to develop biotechnological applications for their findings that will improve human cardiac health. Professor Leinwand serves as the chief scientific officer for the BioFrontiers Institute. In the past she directed the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology, and the Cardiovascular Institute. Her honorable appointments include being named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Howard Hughes Medical Investigators Professor and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.