I’m not going to change; I’m very stubborn in this way. I am what I am.
Data helps solve problems.
It’s not just professional athletes and soldiers who are at risk from traumatic brain injury. More than 1.7 million people a year sustain a traumatic brain injury, and about 50,000 of them die each year, according the Centers for Disease Control. There are both emotional and financial costs from these injuries.
If you don’t read it, you don’t know. I mean, that’s why I have a PR team. They read it and tell me if there’s something, and that keeps you focused. I know my family and me well enough; why do I need to read about myself? I’m not going to change, I’m very stubborn in this way. I am what I am.
One of the best aspects of health care reform is it starts to emphasize prevention.
I spend a lot of my spare time with my family. My sisters, parents, and in-laws all live nearby.
I get parking tickets all the time.
Obesity is awesome from a Wall Street perspective. It’s not just one disease – there are all sorts of related diseases to profit from.
I think we are definitely suffering from an information overload, but I believe that there is going to be better and better ways of organizing that information and processing it so that it will enhance your daily life.
One of the things that got me interested in genetics was the relationship between genes and environment. We are all dealt a certain deck of cards, but our environment can influence the outcomes.
I’m at a slightly higher risk for type 2 diabetes, and my grandmother had diabetes. My hemoglobin a1c, which is one of the measures, started being a little high when I was drinking a ton of that coconut water.
April 25th is DNA Day. I know, you probably had no idea.
I feel that gender balance in the work environment is actually the best recipe for success.
I think the biggest problem in clinical trials is that they are underpowered. And that fundamentally, the studies are just too small.
A solid foundation in genetics is increasingly important for everyone.
Big challenges are an accumulation of small challenges.
We all want our genetic information. Why would you not want genetic information?
Some genetic variants can be informative about one’s risk for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
The reality is that the only way change comes is when you lead by example.
It’s interesting: I think, genetically, there are people who need different things, like exercise. I need the exercise, others not so much, and I think more and more, we’ll start to understand why people’s bodies function in certain ways.
There should be choice in healthcare.
23andme is very independent and committed to focusing on transparency.
Just as computer technology and the Internet created whole new industries and extraordinary benefits for people that extend into almost every realm of human endeavor from education to transportation to medicine, genetics will undoubtedly benefit people everywhere in ways we can’t even imagine but know will surely occur.
I was brought up with a scientific outlook on life. It’s the way my father deciphers the world – whether it’s football, politics or hairstyles. So I don’t get anxious about the future, because I was raised to believe and accept that nothing stays the same, and the best way to survive is to adapt.
The FDA serves a real purpose: To protect public health.
It is important to democratize personal genetics and make it more accessible.
I think there’s a point to regulating, because there are snake oil companies.
I still meet old-school scientists who are like, ‘Oh honey, women aren’t good at science.’ You kind of dismiss them as insane.
A few small changes in your DNA can turn your eyes blue, make you lactose intolerant or put some curl in your hair.
My sister learned she was a carrier for a recessive disease, Bloom syndrome, late in one of her pregnancies. I remember the panicked call and the weeks of worry as she and her husband awaited his test results; if he was also a carrier, this meant their daughter had a one in four chance of being born with the disorder.
Why should I need a prescription to spit into a vial and get my DNA read? Why can’t I get my own blood drawn without a doctor’s permission? It’s my blood.
All the kids from my nursery school are still in touch.
Women who have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer can learn a tremendous amount from women who have already been treated.
Making personalized medicine a reality will require a strong partnership between 23andMe and the physician and medical communities.
Our understanding of how DNA informs our health and development is advancing at an incredible pace.
FDA clearance is an important step on the path towards getting genetic information integrated with routine medical care.
There’s a whole group of people who are 100-plus and have no disease. Why?
I think life is pretty awesome.
We should revel in tons and tons and tons of ideas. Some of them will manifest and lead to a drug discovery, and some will not.
Nobody can quantify for you what’s the impact of eating fiber every day, for instance. We can say we think it’s good. But some people might say ‘Oh, it reduces your risk of colon cancer by 20%, some people might say it reduces your risk by 25%.’
I carry my iPad and laptop with me everywhere.
I think it’s important to have flexibility to work wherever is best for you. I actually encourage people to work at the cafe – or from home or wherever works best for them.
There’s massive government initiatives going around the world, and you see that there’s a real enthusiasm for genetics.
There’s enough data showing that the fitter you are, the better you eat, the more likely you are to stay healthy longer.
Billions of dollars have been put into genetic research.
Fashion was never my forte.
Physicians should be genotyped.
23andMe is pleased to bring public funding to bear on data and research driven by the public – our more than 180,000 customers.
The world needs more social innovations.
My mom was a problem solver.
I don’t necessarily want my physician making all my decisions.
As the knowledge around personalized medicine continues to grow, consumers should expect their healthcare providers to begin to incorporate genetic information into their treatments and preventative care.
23andMe set out to try and change healthcare – this is not an easy business. This is not a coffee shop in Austin.
Knowing your genetic health risks will help you make better decisions.
Everyone’s going to die, and everyone’s going to get sick at some point. But I do believe that there are choices you can make in life that will make you as healthy as possible.
My parents were passionate about what they did, very cheap, and very focused on doing good in society.
I think it is absolutely crazy in this day and age that I have to go through a trial and error method to see if my child is allergic to an antibiotic or peanuts. I should just know.
Our approach to medicine is very 19th-century. We are still in the dark ages. We really need to get to the molecular level so that we are no longer groping about in the dark.
I have always been interested in health care and doing something that is dramatic.
The consumer is really underutilized in health care.
If consumers were more empowered, they would take more responsibility for their health.
As a parent, the most responsible thing I can do is get as much information about my children as possible so I can then think through how I can make them as healthy as possible.
I do believe at some point in time everyone will be genotyped at birth.
I guess I’m just fiercely independent.
Being able to do research in a real-time way is the way research needs to be done in the future.
We don’t have enough data about how lifestyle decisions impact our health.
TIVO was a big shift in how people watched TV, but everyone understood the concept of TV. No one really understands the concept of, well why would I want my genetic information?
I had a very unusual childhood in that I grew up on the Stanford campus and I never moved.
I usually start my day when my kids wake up.
I like company lunches because I think going out wastes valuable time; plus, a lot of good ideas come up over lunch.
We have been trained not to think about our health care until there’s a problem.
I first heard about ‘genes’ when I was six years old. At dinner one night, I heard my mom tell my sister, ‘It’s in your genes.’
There’s nothing worse than walking into a hospital and seeing people sick and miserable and having a horrible treatment.
It’s worth knowing more about the complicated environmental and genetic factors that could explain why traumatic brain injuries lead to long-term disabilities in some people and not in others.
One of the big drivers for me is that health care is a very elitist system. As much as we try to make it free and democratic for all, the reality is that it’s expensive and not all therapies are accessible to all people. So I have been very focused on making sure that we democratize genetic information so it’s available to everyone.
For people who want to be proactive about their health, there is a lot of information that we can provide. If you are going to have children, I think you have a responsibility to know if you are carrying anything. A lot of people tend to do the testing once they are pregnant.
Genetic testing in the future is going to be seen as critical as testing your cholesterol.
A lot of genetic testing hasn’t been integrated into healthcare because it has been expensive. I want to make people realise that they have the ability to be in charge of their own health.
People are used to dealing with risk. You are told if you smoke, you are at higher risk of lung cancer. And I think people are able to also understand, when they are told they are a carrier for a genetic disease, that is not a risk to them personally but something that they could pass on to children.
I think we’re just scratching the surface. One of the most exciting aspects of 23andMe is that we’re enabling you to watch a revolution unfold live during your lifetime, and I think that the decoding of the genome, in my opinion, is the most fascinating discovery of our lifetime, and you get to be part of it.
I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about genetic information and what you can and cannot learn. One of the things we try to do is educate individuals that knowing information is empowering.
You may not know your complete family history, but the reality is everyone has something, and as you get older, you start to worry about these things more. Health is not sort of like a 6-month project. Health is a lifetime accumulation of behaviors.
I think that the idea of people wanting to steal your genome remains a little bit in the world of science fiction. It’s a new technology, and it’s new science that people are becoming familiar with. It’s critical for us to do everything we can to enable the privacy level that people want.
It’s up to all of us, the consumers, to take charge of our health. It’s almost like voting. It’s your responsibility.
The paternalism of the medical industry is insane.
I believe that we all have freedom to shape our own life and the world around us.
The fact that my environment influences my life so much – and that my environment is in my control – gives me a great sense of empowerment over my health and my life.
I think that for people who are trying to make a difference, you have to start the company being naive. You wouldn’t do it if you understood all the work. I work a lot. I wish it was easier.
I’ve come to the conclusion that you shouldn’t have to see a genetic counselor. It should be a choice.
My divorce wasn’t fun.
I have an unreasonably optimistic view of the world.
You should know how to take care of yourself. That’s one of the things that I got from my mother most – she always said that if you don’t take care of yourself, no one will.
I hope that Los Altos is one of the first cities to have self-driving cars, and if that’s true, well, awesome, because there’s a lot of parking lots that we could get rid of and use for parks. That would be amazing!
You don’t necessarily want your physician to have all your information.
I grew up with my mom being very, very cheap, so when it’s free, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, it’s free – I have to take as much as I can!’
I think being on a constraint with money makes you much more creative.
There’s not enough competition and innovation in healthcare.
One of the most exciting aspects of 23andMe is that we’re enabling you to watch a revolution unfold live during your lifetime, and I think that the decoding of the genome, in my opinion, is the most fascinating discovery of our lifetime, and you get to be part of it.
I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about genetic information and what you can and cannot learn.
Health is not sort of like a 6-month project. Health is a lifetime accumulation of behaviors.
I think that the idea of people wanting to steal your genome remains a little bit in the world of science fiction.
In Silicon Valley, you want things done instantly.
The challenge in a startup is you hit a lot of turbulence, and you want people who understand that it’s just turbulence and not a crisis.
When you try new things, you will make mistakes. That’s OK.
Traditionally, when you talk to people who have Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, they’ll talk about how they’re in five or six studies, and they’ve been sequenced by each study. That’s just fat in the system. Just have a single data set that then you can share. You can make the entire system more efficient.
Big data is going to make us all healthier.
There’s going to be space travel at some point.
I want the world’s data accessible.
Every couple of weeks, someone writes in and says, ’23andMe saved my life.’
If I know I’m at genetically high risk of Alzheimer’s, maybe I don’t plan to retire at 80, and maybe I’m more proactive about where I’m going to live and who’s going to take care of me.
Employment and health insurance are now protected by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
Pharma companies don’t have a direct relationship with consumers, so they’re always subjects.
You can get so much value just from being genotyped.
The goal of having more and more information is really to better be able to predict what is your health outcome going to be.
People want to be in charge of health information. They want it available the same way online banking is available.
When you have a laser focus, and you get distracted by what other people say, you can lose that laser focus.
There’s nothing more raw in life than when you’re sick.
My family and I were some of the first people to be genotyped.
People are used to dealing with risk.
You are not just about death and disease.
Most medications don’t work effectively for a lot people.
It’s crazy to me that in this world of electronic medical records Walmart has so much information about how we shop, but no one has that information about our health. Why can’t my doctor say, ‘Wow, Anne, based on your lifestyle and behavior, you’re five years from being diabetic.’ But I can go to Target, and they know exactly what I’m going to buy.
The pharma industry is one of the few industries that comes up every year and brags about how much worse they got – like, now it costs $2 billion to make a drug, and it was a billion 5 years ago.
Part of the beauty of Silicon Valley is that people generally encourage you to think crazy. It’s the hypothesis that there’s nothing sacred that can’t be changed.
There’s a beauty in being unrealistic.
I was really raised in a gender-neutral household. I always knew I was a girl, but it never occurred to me that there was a limitation.
You don’t do new things and try to change the system without generating debate.
I have mothers with small children come to me and say, ‘You found that I had early breast cancer – because of you, I don’t have cancer.’ You’ve just prevented that person from dying early, and to prevent an early, unnecessary death is incredibly meaningful.
It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are: when you’re sick, you want the exact same thing.
One of the things is, I don’t read my own press. I never watch myself.
When Amazon emerged, people had these debates about whether people would put their credit cards online.
When I graduated from college in 1996 and the Internet was taking off, I remember this feeling that there was an open range where anything could be built.
There are a lot of people in D.C. who have never been on Twitter or Facebook and don’t get what’s happening.
As a child, I had a teacher who told me, ‘Look, Anne, one person can’t make a difference.’
We care a lot more about not having the disease than treating it.
Most important about what Ashoka is doing is that they make people believe that change is possible. That belief can go viral.
I have deep respect for Rep. Jackie Speier and all that she has done to open doors for women everywhere.
Incorporating genetics into a platform with the reach of ResearchKit will accelerate insights into illness and disease even further.
It’s one of the things I want people to understand about science… You don’t have to be the best person in the world at it. But you can be good, and there are so many different opportunities in science.
There’s clearly things you can do in your environment to try to prevent disease, and I want to know what those things are.
Being the first FDA-authorized direct-to-consumer genetic test out there is revolutionary.
If we can actually decrease the failure rate from nine out of 10 drugs failing in clinical trials and instead have seven out of 10 instead failing, that is a major victory for drug discovery and for people having better therapy.
If you are somebody who has a disease, you are not complaining when someone starts to do work for you. That is your hope.
Being in Silicon Valley makes me strict when it comes to my children’s technology use. I am surrounded by it all day, so I try to avoid it when I get home. I set screen-time limits, because I think it’s good to diversify activities.
I tried to minimize exposure to technology before two. After that, I’ve taught the kids to use devices in moderation. It’s important for them to learn how to control their behaviour themselves. Simply restricting access makes them want it more.
It’s very important that children learn to use technology – it’s part of life – but also that they learn when to put it down.
I do let the kids play on devices when we eat out – it’s better than being thrown out of a restaurant.
I really like raw connections, and so I’ve always had a harder time in politics because I feel there’s a lot of veneer around everything.
If health care is a $2.7 trillion industry, and a huge percentage is paid by the government, then you have to be involved in politics to make a difference.
When I was young, I ate Ho Hos every day.
Did you know that there was a study in 1961 that found that 90 percent of physicians wouldn’t tell you if you were diagnosed with cancer?
My perfect weekend is going for a walk with my family in the park. I don’t think there’s anything better.
I did a lot of fun things before I had kids – I traveled a lot. Now, I just really love being with my kids.
Once a week, I might stay late at work. It’s sometimes very efficient to work until 7 P.M. – and then come home to kids who are clean and ready for bed. Those days are good.