Anne's background is in healthcare investing, focused primarily on biotechnology companies. Anne left the investing world with the hope that she could have a positive impact on research and medicine through 23andMe. From her vantage point, Anne saw a need for creating a way to generate more information - especially more personalized information - so that commercial and academic researchers could better understand and develop new drugs and diagnostics. By encouraging individuals to access and learn about their own genetic information, 23andMe will create a common, standardized resource that has the potential to accelerate drug discovery and bring personalized medicine to the public. Anne graduated from Yale University with a B.S. in biology.
Question: Who are your heroes?
Anne Wojcicki: I had a very unusual childhood in that I grew up on Stanford campus and I never moved. And almost all, like 80 percent of my kindergarten class is all still friends. And so, I have to say, it’s the people on my street. My next door neighbor is this guy, George Danzic, who passed away a few years, but he was 90 and he sued Stanford because he wanted to keep teaching. And he had the same beat up car and his house was cluttered with books and stuff and he would write me long letters. He was actually really interested in genetics and the biotech industry and how that was the next big area. But people like that who are just so interested in the world and I have to say, I was lucky to live in an area where I was surrounded by such great people. And those people really made me. So, it’s a lot of local heroes. But it’s the people who impacted me the most.
Recorded on September 30, 2009