Success in the genes? The sisters who are successful in business

If you ever worry that you or your family do not reach enough in life, you will not be able to feel better.

Ann, 45, is the executive director of 23andMe Based in Silicon Valley, United States, Valued In about US It. $ 2.500 Millionswhile Susan Wojcicki, 50, is the executive director of Youtube.

The third sister, Janet Wojcicki, 48, is a professor of epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco, where she collaborates in the fight against various diseases, from obesity to HIV.

You may say that there are no bad genes in that family, however An individual says that individual achievements are due to a combination of happiness and good Education.

Open mind

"We were fortunate to be raised by a great father who exposed us to communication – my mother is a journalist – and technology – my father is a partisan physicist -" writes Anne in the series The boss, From the BBC.

She says that her parents encouraged them to think freely. "I remember telling them: Do not be afraid if someone does not agree with you& # 39; "

Although she believes that her education has contributed more to her success in life than her genetic makeup, she has conducted 23 andrew, a company that analyzes people's genes.

The company, which produces the name of the number of chromosomes in a normal human cell, Allows people Get Data on their oscillary e Information about The Genetic Risks for its Well

The results are achieved through the 23nd Keith Kit, a test that can be done at home and that It just requires a sample of saliva.

As the idea was born

After graduating close Stanford University in San Francisco, where her father was a teacher, across the United States to study at Yale University in Connecticut.

After graduating from biology in 1996, she returned to California to work as a molecular biology researcher at the National Institute of Health in the United States and then at the University of California in San Diego.

The idea of ​​23ndream came up when he realized that The US It. Health care system based on insurance, it is not enough focus on the prevention of diseases, or the poorest people in the society.

"I began to see how financial incentives encouraged the health care system to not really care for the patients who needed their most help," says Anne.

After all, he adds, industry professionals "do not make money pretending to be prevention, so I wanted to make something to improve the interest of ordinary people."

Anne says that she later feel more motivated by the emergence of Facebook, other forms of social networks and youtube, which she says she gave to the members of the public. A much stronger voice.

So in 2006 he created 23 tribes with Linda Avey and Paul Cusenza.

The product, which allows people to discover more about their angers – as, for example, where someone comes from DNA Popular Instantly.


But the company faced difficulties in testing for possible genetic medical risks.

23 And they warred Get regulatory approval For this type of tests, in the face of concerns about their accuracy.

This led a series of problems with the US. It. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which in 2013 spent the company of marketing the tests.

The FDA has begun to approve that 23 and health service as well as 2015, and now can offer information on everything, Of the risk of certain types of cancer, the alzhéimer, the Parkinson And the disease Celiac.

"That setback (in 2013) was a challenge, and I realized that we are so focused on working on instil in our staff the long-term vision of the company that we did not set out to provide FDA with our clinical and analytical validity explains Anne.

While disputes with the FDA caused difficulties for the company, they did not discover investors.

The exact figures are difficult to obtain because 23 and we still have a private company, but according to the estimates, It. $ 790 million, which gives it a valuation of $ 2500.

One of the earliest investors is the Internet Google giant, which invested US. It. $ 3.9 million in 2007.

At that time, Sergey Brink, co-founder of Google, married Anna. They divorced in 2015.


It is estimated that more than 5 million people in more than 50 countries bought and used the 23nd test.

In addition to informing users about any possible genetic risk to health, The purpose is to use the DNA data it collects – without the identifiers to stop everything anonymous – to help create new medical and treatments.

To reach this goal, the company signed a 4-year research and collaboration agreement with the British Gigant GlaxoSmithKline in July.

An says that while testing can not perform whatsaps – she jokes that "you will not know the day you're going to die" – they can "Talk about risk factors."

"Our life expectancy is the beautiful interaction between what we are born and how we live, our environment plays an important role in our health," he says.

Bradley Marin, a Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Wonderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, says that Companies like 23 andry Every time They are more serious.

"(Initially) most of the services provided focused on learning about the traits and ancestral heritage of themselves," he explains.

"Over time, the focus has shifted more to these Discovery of brotherhoodAnd diagnostic services, Which is changing the dynamics, making the companies less a novelty and more a technology that has the potential to be quite disturbing. "

On a day-to-day basis, she says she likes the host of her 500 employees.

"Not only do I like to know the work they are doing, but also what they are".

As you two sisters, Anne is suffering you.

"We all enjoy our work very much and we feel that we are contributing to the world."

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