Introduction to David Young: Working to Shift the Genetics Paradigm
Life can be tragic, full of pain, disease, and death. We live in a world surrounded by these horrors that gnaw at the bones of our very existence. But why should we accept it as the default? Can we not ease the suffering of this world?
Disease has been caught in the timeless debate of biological predisposition vs. environmental influence. We know that there is an intertwining of the two, a pulling tension between the two sides, and we are caught in between. The environmental influence are in the hands of the socioeconomic, cultural, and political forces that govern humankind. However, our biological predisposition, is represented by the line of genetic diseases, typos in the genome, bestowed upon us by our fathers and mothers. I’ve watched my family strain under the yoke of my grandfather’s Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve seen the stress it puts on the bonds that hold together kin. I’ve seen the helplessness that comes with the struggle through breast cancer. Even overcoming it still leaves a trail of destruction in its wake. Until now, we have largely been beholden to the power of our typos, whether it be desecration of the mind through Parkinson’s disease or the degradation of the body through the likes of muscular dystrophy. However, we cannot be resigned to this fate; we through the power of the human spirit can overcome this side of it.
I wish to see a world where a baby is born, not to a destiny calcified in his or her biological map, but rather to a genomic tabula rasa and an even playing field. I want a world, where parents have the assurance that a genetic disease will not bare its teeth and consume their children, where genomes do not represent ticking timers signaling for our biological systems to self-detonate.
I joined Genetic Intelligence to achieve this mission. I am not satisfied with the pace of medicine. We can do so much more with the resources and the data we have today. At MIT, I saw what is possible when brilliant minds come together in pursuit of a worthy cause, what problems could be fixed. While working at Inteplast Group, I learned how to bring together manufacturing and innovation in order to create, and I developed the skills to orchestrate a complex system.
At Genetic Intelligence, I am taking part in the push to establish a new biotechnology reality. We are pioneering the tools and the knowledge to fix those genomic typos and, in doing so, ameliorate the suffering of this world.