During a TEDx talk about the future of personal genomics, Dawn Barry posed a question to the assembled throng: “We react to disease, but rarely get ahead of it. What if we could look a little deeper, not just for the signs and symptoms after something has gone wrong, but at our foundation, our DNA, and get proactive about our health?” As president and cofounder of LunaDNA, a genomic and medical research database powered by blockchain, she works toward that goal.
Individuals who join LunaDNA consent to share their health and DNA data for research. Data is stripped of personal information, then securely encrypted and stored. The twist? Contributors are issued shares of ownership in LunaDNA.
Before cofounding the San Diego-based company in 2017, Barry served as VP of applied genomics at Illumina. She spent seven years at Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, with the primary responsibility of promoting clinical genetics testing services for pharmaceutical clinical trials.