Breaking information: Dawn Barry Joins Blockchain Tech Startup Luna DNA as Co-Founder and President!
Interview preface by AllSeq’s Michael Heltzen (MH):
When a Genomics rockstar like Dawn Barry tells you, with passion in her voice, that she goes to hitch one of the hottest new tech startups in California, and that they’re going to use blockchain know-how to optimize how the global life science research business does medical R&D, it is time to pay attention rigorously!
– So we did, and she allowed us to share our questions and her solutions with you:
1) Michael Heltzen: In a sentence, what is Luna DNA going to do?
Dawn Barry: We’ll empower and allow people to share their genomic info to help struggle disease, speed up medical analysis and discoveries, and drive smarter healthcare.
2) There are very nicely regarded professionals involved with Luna DNA. Why did so lots of you allow your outstanding jobs to start out this startup?
I can solely use myself as a proxy, however I consider all of us saw, from our totally different positions and perspectives, how highly effective DNA technologies have grow to be. And how there’s a real bottleneck within the means to get that implausible potential all the best way into the healthcare and real world beneath the current setup that R&D is working underneath.
We will now sequence genomes shortly, precisely and inexpensively. Nevertheless, we lack a standard platform for the analysis and medical translation worlds to arrange themselves so that every participant is relevant, including the people themselves who give access to their biological and way of life knowledge. Each particular person holds a invaluable piece of the puzzle to know illness and health, and researchers are all in want of extra knowledge. Discovery is hindered by placing nearly all of knowledge into small silos.
The analysis group as an entire is predicted to ship new insights as quick and effectively as potential, and they are greatest served if they have access to the totally different knowledge sets which might be obtainable.
Then all of us started hearing about how the blockchain can be utilized to maintain monitor of where knowledge comes from, manage who ought to have entry to knowledge and when, and that we will reward individuals who take some time to make their knowledge out there to the analysis group. From there, it was clear an excellent workforce needed to build that shortly.
That led to realization that we – a workforce representing leaders in engineering, shopper advertising, economics and science – are the best group of individuals to take on this thrilling problem and duty.
After that, it was an exciting selection to surrender our otherwise very good jobs, to get again to your question.
three) How does the Luna DNA business mannequin work and what makes it unique?
Luna DNA is the primary genomic and medical research database powered by the blockchain and owned by the group. We’re leveraging the convergence of private DNA testing reputation and blockchain as a framework for managing complicated exchanges and knowledge networks in a fashion that is personal and secure, and can serve up participation incentives within the form of digital transactions and encrypted foreign money. We established as a Public Profit Corp to execute in a community-driven framework for the larger good of society, whereas still focusing on value creation. In contrast to others who’re exploring monetization strategies for the info or samples they possess, Luna DNA has the good thing about designing fit-for-purpose leveraging blockchain for analysis value and equitable partnerships with individuals, and will pull in knowledge and then structure it in the direction of the last word aim of discovery.
Finally we see ourselves as platform and an agent.
Specifically around the Blockchain, its emergence creates a low-friction method to incentivize and ship value for knowledge sharing and it also allows for private, decentralized ownership in a fashion that group members can trust. Luna DNA is first-of-its-kind to converge the advances in genomic testing and cryptocurrency for a medical community-owned database.
4) Can you give us an instance of how individuals will benefit by becoming a member of the Luna DNA group?
Genomics has captured the creativeness. Personalised drugs messages at the moment are mainstream. We now have pockets of fantastic examples of genomics enhancing care and saving lives, however it’s not normal care for many reasons, reminiscent of lack of higher predictive power versus basic chances of outcomes. We consider group engagement is important to realize a research platform with larger scale, info scope and particular person variety to yield extra actionable medical discoveries.
Individuals now have a chance to personally battle disease by joining the Luna group. If someone has a illness, their samples, healthcare information, and knowledge are additional invaluable for researchers. Wholesome or sick, we all may also help the world by making it simpler to do illness analysis. As well as, there’s an extra motivation issue: the Blockchain will maintain monitor of how much impression and value your participation has now and sooner or later on totally different analysis tasks, so that you may be rewarded in your efforts. Over half of Luna can be owned by its contributors.
5) Can you give us an instance of the way it will benefit researchers to get knowledge entry from Luna DNA?
By breaking down knowledge silos and bringing people together we’ll extra shortly combination sufficient samples to rise above the complexity of genomics and determine illness candidates. As individuals are joining the group to drive discovery, we consider that individuals might be more forthcoming when it comes to the health and medical knowledge required by researchers.
As a result of we are pulling in knowledge, we have now the opportunity to construction it optimally such that we reduce the consequences of various formats and applied sciences. This can permit more seamless collaboration between researchers because the similar knowledge remedy will yield extra reproducible outcomes.
Another opportunity is for Luna to dealer permissioned contributor-researcher engagement for comply with up questions and subsequent layer analysis thesis improvement. At present, a researcher is pressed to know all the questions earlier than starting their research. Most of the time, the samples/knowledge are disconnected from the donor on account of previous methods, ways and privacy considerations, so making a wall solves the privacy concern but doesn’t facilitate richer analysis, even when individuals need to take part.
Reimaging analysis isn’t a brand new concept. We’re excited to be constructing a platform to enable this and will associate with leaders in social, legal and ethical disciplines to ensure privacy and trust is paramount.
6) Your high-profile Illumina position and your TEDx speak made you well known in the genomics business, however would you thoughts telling us about yourself, the place your personal motivations comes from, and why you assume accelerating medical analysis is so essential?
I really like the intersection of science and enterprise because I’m enthusiastic about putting the know-how to work to unravel significant problems. I consider engagement with the group is one of the simplest ways to drive speedy and long-term adoption of know-how, especially innovation that impacts our personal lives, comparable to healthcare. Finally, for me, health is the greatest present we will ask for in order that we will reside a wealthy life. I’m fortunate to convey all these motivators to work each day to drive discoveries for higher health and quality of life. I consider we’d like a revolution, not evolution, to speed up actionable insights from analysis to drive a true period of precision drugs and finally more healthy lives from which everybody can benefit.
My TEDx speak (MH: Here is the link in case someone have not seen it before: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3SLHhWYxiY) was an honor and part of the rising discourse we’re sparking around genomics and community-driven discovery.
7) Inform us concerning the other group members of Luna DNA?
Luna has a compelling cross disciplinary workforce of experienced leaders in engineering, science, economics and giant scale shopper platforms.
This consists of Luna DNA CEO and co-founder Bob Kain (former chief engineering officer, Illumina); co-founder David Lewis (life science, fairness and credit investor; former director at CitiGroup); co-founder Dan Lin (Redemption Games CTO; Y Combinator alumni); co-founder Michael Witz (cryptocurrency investor; Redemption Games CEO and founder; Y Combinator alumni); and myself as co-founder and president. Moreover, Dr. Scott Kahn, former chief info officer at Illumina, is Luna DNA’s chief info officer.
Luna DNA’s distinguished advisory board consists of Dr. David Barker, former vice chairman and chief scientific officer of Illumina; Dr. Carlos Bustamante, principal investigator and professor of biomedical knowledge science and genetics at Stanford College; Dr. Francisco Garcia, at present the vice chairman of improvement at Illumina; Dr. Scott Kahn; Dr. Aristides A.N. Patrinos, member of the Kavli HUMAN Challenge’s board of advisors and former deputy director for research at New York College’s Middle for Urban Science and Progress; Ashley Van Zeeland, chief know-how officer at Human Longevity, Inc. and co-founder of Cypher Genomics; and Ed Yu, chairman of Vascular Cures and former companion at PwC Strategy&Healthcare Apply.
eight) Are you able to allude to how you will deal with this big challenge of evolving how research is completed at present?
Researchers want new ways to ask and answer necessary questions, however they’ve been limited by conventional techniques that have not been built for a new and rather more related world. We are fortunate to have research teams reaching out to us saying that if we may also help them get access to the individuals they need knowledge and samples from, then that may make an enormous difference for them. We even have inbound curiosity from future contributors including many individuals and leaders of foundations able to contribute info.
9) How will you create the crucial mass of knowledge in the totally different illness areas?
Our strategy is twofold. One strategy can be to succeed in out to the 10 million individuals who already have genomic knowledge at this time, explain our mission and the immense worth of discovering disease hyperlinks, educate them on their position in discovery, and invite them into our group. The second parallel technique can be to strategically companion with a number of disease organizations and work together to realize success of their specific research.
Casting a large internet will permit us to realize essential mass in many areas over time, whereas on the similar time working with chosen organizations will catalyze brief term success in specific areas. Each success is a proof point to the worth or our database, additional accelerating member progress.
10) What would you like individuals to do if they need to help struggle illness and develop into a part of the Luna DNA group?
Be a part of our efforts by way of our web site www.lunadna.com by signing-up to our publication so we will begin a conversation!
— Finish of interview —
MH: Thanks very a lot for giving us all insight into your and the Luna DNA group’s imaginative and prescient and plans. It’s all very thrilling and we very much sit up for seeing you and the Luna DNA staff build it all for the larger advantage of society. We need to want you the most effective of luck, and additionally say that we already really feel positive that you simply, the Luna DNA group, and your new international group can be profitable in serving to to speed up medical R&D – so thanks for doing that.
Michael Heltzen: Our pals over at The Precision Drugs World Conference (PMWC) has convinced the Luna DNA workforce to hitch their Silicon Valley convention (Jan 22-24) to make Luna DNA’s first public presentation about how their intriguing startup and blockchain system will work!
For anybody eager to attend, we’ve got requested PMWC if we will share our AllSeq discount code with you – and they have okayed it, so because of PMWC.