Bob Kain

LunaPBC’s CEO Bob Kain Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of Most Creative People in Business for 2020

We’re proud to announce that our Chief Executive Officer, Bob Kain, has been named to Fast Company’s annual list of the Most Creative People in Business for 2020.

This news comes just months after LunaPBC was named to Fast Company’s annual list of the Most Innovative Companies for 2020 in the Social Good category. Bob is recognized for his incredible achievements and significant impact in health tech, architecting Illumina’s HiSeq sequencing program, starting in 2008, and co-founding LunaDNA in 2017, the world’s first member-owned data-sharing platform for health research.

This year’s winning group features individuals working in artificial intelligence, winemaking, cybersecurity, television, underwater museum design, and more. It includes leaders from Patagonia, Amazon, Kaiser Permanente, Citi, and Google; and it spans across the globe, from China to Peru to Jordan to Burlington, Vermont.

“The Most Creative People in Business list offers a highly vetted, fully reported view of the powerful ideas and diverse leaders already shaping tomorrow,” said Jill Bernstein, Editorial Director at Fast Company.

Bob Kain
Bob Kain, CEO and Co-founder at LunaPBC

Bob Kain and His Creative Endeavors in Health Tech

Biotech executive, inventor, and entrepreneur, Bob is a renowned pioneer in genomics, dedicating most of his career building Illumina, Inc. pre-IPO from 30 employees with no revenue, to a burgeoning workforce of over 3,000 employees and $1.4B in revenue. In 2017, Bob came out of retirement following his 15-year career as the chief engineering officer at Illumina to co-found LunaPBC, the public benefit corporation behind LunaDNA. In between his career at Illumina and LunaPBC, Bob founded health and fitness business, Mesa Rim Climbing and Fitness Center, with multiple sites in San Diego, California, and Reno, Nevada.

“Innovation has always been hailed as a core value in business, and rightfully so. Every business leader will admit this powerful tool supports developing valuable technologies, designing disruptive products, and vastly improving the way products or services are delivered. But what seeds innovation? How might business leaders develop this skill to deliver truly impactful change? It starts with creativity,” Bob shares in his article, Creativity Seeds Innovation.

When applied appropriately, creativity is the secret sauce to improving organizational efficiency, decreasing costs, reducing risks, improving morale, and of course, seeding innovation. It is a crucial asset to an organization often left untapped. Fortunately, we all have the capacity to be creative in solving problems and carrying out work responsibilities.”

LunaDNA’s COVID-19 Study Program

As technology advances, so do creative health innovations, including the recent spike in biotechnology companies aiming to support biomedical research studies at scale. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Bob believes there’s no better time to seed innovation than now. In March 2020, Bob helped launch LunaDNA’s COVID-19 Study, a program that offers people and communities the tools to share their lived experiences during this unique time, recognizing that each person, community, and geography is uniquely impacted and will likely experience different longterm health effects. LunaPBC is collaborating with various groups to support privacy-protected COVID-19 information sharing including Genetic Alliance and Disease InfoSearch, xCures, San Diego Blood Bank, and the Propionic Acidemia Foundation. Each study has a special focus, ranging from how the virus affects people with cancer, genetic disorders and co-morbidities, to capturing individual’s interest to join research studies.

Co-founders from Left to Right: CFO David Lewis, CEO Bob Kain, President Dawn Barry

LunaPBC focuses on supporting research to identify links between our biology and health, as well as surface other factors related to wellness, such as environmental and social influences. LunaDNA elevates people to partners in research with data privacy, control, and transparency, recognizing that the future of discovery requires big relationships over big data. Bob hopes that LunaDNA will bring data together at scale to fill the missing gaps in today’s databases.

We praise Bob for this incredible recognition and look forward to the additional creative innovations he’ll bring to health tech.

“I would like to thank all of my colleagues at Illumina and at LunaPBC for joining me on these journeys, and Fast Company for honoring me with 2020’s Most Creative People in Business Award. It’s been a fun ride.”

About LunaDNA and LunaPBC
LunaDNA makes discovery representative of the real world and aligned with people’s true goals by giving all individuals a role in research from right where they are. LunaDNA is a digital data-sharing community owned by its members. By sharing health information, you directly power disease research. As a member, your data is confidential. You control the information you share — only one copy of your data exists and you always control its inclusion in LunaDNA. We make it simple for all credible researchers to pursue health and quality of life discovery. LunaDNA is managed by Public Benefit Corporation, LunaPBC, founded in 2017 and headquartered in San Diego, California. The LunaPBC team, investors, and advisors are renowned in the patient-advocacy, health, and science fields, including several former chief executives of Illumina, industry academics, and financial executives.

About Fast Company
Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies and thinkers on the future of business. Since 2011, Fast Company has received some of the most prestigious editorial and design accolades, including the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) National Magazine Award for “Magazine Of The Year,” Adweek’s Hot List for “Hottest Business Publication,” and six gold medals and 10 silver medals from the Society of Publication Designers. The editor-in-chief is Stephanie Mehta and the publisher is Amanda Smith. Headquartered in New York City,Fast Companyis published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at fastcompany.com.

For more information visit fastcompany.com.

Freeway overpasses from above

LunaPBC Joins MetroConnect to Accelerate International Growth

On Friday, June 19, 2020, World Trade Center (WTC) San Diego, with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Procopio, and JPMorgan Chase & Co., unveiled LunaPBC as one of the 15 companies selected to participate in  MetroConnect V, the fifth iteration of WTC San Diego’s comprehensive international sales accelerator program designed to help local companies jump-start and scale their global growth.

“The LunaDNA platform solves for geographic and inclusiveness barriers that have long plagued cross-border and fully representative data flows by working directly with people, versus institutions, to receive share their health their data for research,” said Dawn Barry, LunaPBC’s president and co-founder. “Disease knows no borders, and our platform doesn’t either. By enabling virtual, dynamic research communities that are controlled by the individuals that share their data, we make it easier for patients and their families to join studies right where they are and share valuable insights from their lived experiences. We’re delighted to access MetroConnect’s resources and experience to amplify Luna’s health equity objectives internationally plans.”

Now in its fifth year, MetroConnect continues to cultivate a pipeline of export-ready firms in San Diego by equipping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the necessary resources to grow their international sales. Program participants receive a $5,000 grant, a one-year subscription to premium translation software (courtesy of program sponsor SYSTRAN), discounts on international travel, executive workshops on export-related topics, and access to a global mentor and service provider network. In the program’s four-year history, the 65 graduate companies collectively generated a net increase of $85 million in international sales. These companies also hired 269 San Diego employees during their tenure in the program.

“We applaud LunaPBC for taking the next step in going global,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego. “Amidst a global shutdown caused by COVID-19, ongoing trade negotiations with key trading partners, and rapid changes to global supply chains, it is more important now than ever to give local SMEs an edge in the global marketplace by equipping them with valuable resources.”

The MetroConnect program is highly competitive, with just 15 San Diego companies selected based on a variety of criteria, including interest in new markets, interest in targeted metro markets, assessed impact of funds, current international traction, and more. Applicants were assessed by a panel of judges, including representatives from Qualcomm Ventures, Connect, Biocom, the U.S. Commercial Service, CMTC, Viasat, Mitsubishi Electric, Procopio, San Diego State University, Tech San Diego, UC San Diego, San Diego Regional EDC, WTC San Diego, and last year’s grand prize champion, Eddy Pump Corporation. LunaPBC joins a cohort of 14 other companies representing a unique cross-section of San Diego’s industries, from genomics to manufacturing to craft brewing – each with plans to take San Diego innovation global.

The companies in this cohort will also have the opportunity to participate in the program’s final competition, the MetroConnect Grand Prize PitchFest, which will grant an additional $25,000 to help one company further advance its international efforts. MetroConnect is co-underwritten by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Procopio, with additional support provided by American Airlines, British Airways, City of San Diego, Japan Airlines, Japan External Trade Organization, Mitsubishi Electric, Qualcomm, RSM, San Diego and Imperial SBDC Network, SYSTRAN, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Taylor Guitars, United Kingdom Government Office, YCP Solidance and more.

About World Trade Center San Diego
World Trade Center San Diego operates as an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. WTC San Diego works to further San Diego’s global competitiveness by cultivating a pipeline of export-ready firms, attracting and retaining foreign investment and increasing San Diego’s global profile abroad. Learn more at sandiegobusiness.org/wtcsd.

Older man on laptop at home

We’ve Partnered with Genome Medical to Deliver Members Seamless Genetic Expertise

We’re proud to announce our strategic partnership with Genome Medical®, the first and only nationwide telegenomics practice to deliver seamless genetic expertise in clinical care.

LunaDNA members across the United States can access a network of clinical genomic specialists — including medical geneticists, genetic counselors, pharmacists, and primary care doctors — to better understand their health and DNA information.

Genome Medical’s board-certified genetic specialists are equipped to discuss your health risks based on family history, identify the appropriate test for your health questions, and provide guidance on treatment and long-term care for an existing diagnosis. Individuals who have purchased at-home consumer DNA testing kits, like 23andMe and AncestryDNA, may be interested in speaking with a Genome Medical specialist about new or unanswered questions including whether additional genetic testing is appropriate.

“We are always exploring new ways to support health discovery, both for one’s personal well-being as well as more broadly through privacy-protected individual data sharing to advance science,” said Dawn Barry, president and co-founder at LunaPBC. “When individuals have virtual, on-demand access to genetic experts, wellness assessments, and screenings, they can build knowledge for their own health. When they share their health data and insights to advance science, they support the collective health. We are excited to support both.”

This partnership unites LunaPBC and Genome Medical’s shared mission of bringing the power of genetics to health and quality of life, clearly and easily.

How It Works

Step One: Attend a Consultation
A genetic counselor will review a member’s and their family’s health history and determine if genetic testing is right for them. If they already have genetic test results, a genetic counselor can review those results and answer any clinical questions they may have.  

Step Two: Take a Genetic Test
If appropriate, Genome Medical can order a genetic test and help with submitting samples. Results are typically available within one to three weeks.

Step Three: Review Results with a Genetic Counselor
Because genetic test results can be complex, a genetic counselor will help interpret results and guide members on how to apply learnings into daily life. 

Step Four: Integrate What You’ve Learned
Genetic counselors will create a personalized action plan for members to leverage learnings and share with their doctor.

Education Is Power

As genetic information becomes more accessible and available, innovative health systems and hospitals are creating health programs for the communities they serve. These new programs add dimension to medical systems’ understanding of health issues across various populations. 

When LunaDNA members meet with a genetic specialist, participate in genetic testing, and have their unique genetic information on hand, they can collaborate with their doctors on personalized strategies that take into consideration their individual health risks.  

To participate in Genome Medical’s genetic consultation through LunaDNA, become a member at lunadna.com.

About Genome Medical
Genome Medical is a national telegenomics technology, services and strategy company bringing genomic medicine to everyday care. Through our nationwide network of genetic specialists and efficient​ Genome Care Delivery™​technology platform, we provide expert virtual genetic care for individuals and their families to improve health and well-being. We also help health care providers and their patients navigate the rapidly expanding field of genetics and utilize test results to understand the risk for disease, accelerate disease diagnosis, make informed treatment decisions and lower the cost of care. We are shepherding in a new era of genomic medicine by creating easy, efficient access to top genetic experts. Genome Medical is headquartered in South San Francisco​. ​To learn more, visit genomemedical.com ​and follow ​@GenomeMed.​

About LunaPBC
Public Benefit Corporation, LunaPBC, is a private investor-owned company founded in November 2017. It is chartered to drive societal value through the aggregation and organization of genomic and health data at a scale and diversity rich enough to solve today’s greatest health challenges. LunaPBC founded LunaDNA, the first people-powered, community-owned data sharing platform. The LunaPBC team, investors, and advisors are renowned in the patient-advocacy, health, and science fields, including several former chief executives of Illumina, industry academics, and financial executives. For more information visit lunadna.com and follow ​@LunaDNA_.


LunaPBC Named One of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies 2020: Thank You From the President

I’m proud to share that we’ve been named to Fast Company’s annual list of the Most Innovative Companies in 2020 in the Social Good category.

This community is being recognized for its groundbreaking efforts in reimagining discovery by putting people at the center of health discovery. This news comes just months after being named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer. On behalf of the Luna team, our partners, and the people who have joined the platform, thank you for all that we have achieved together in such a short time.

I deeply appreciate many things about the LunaPBC team. Foremost is our team’s ability to naturally and consistently make decisions from the lens of what’s best for people individually. Social good is about mobilizing individuals towards a better society, often through the use of innovative technology. Innovation, by its very nature, is new. Its full power and impact are inherently unknown. Entrepreneurs and inventors take on a moral imperative to do best to ensure no harm is done when deploying innovation, especially in the pursuit of inclusively improving health outcomes.

In my 2016 TedX talk, I proposed to involve people and communities in research to improve biomedical discovery. I would later come to express this as ‘promoting people from subjects of research to partners in discovery’. Over the last few years, the opportunity has only become greater through the digitization of life activities, while the need to improve research has never been more crucial.

Dawn Barry, President + Cofounder at LunaPBC
Dawn Barry, President + Cofounder at LunaPBC

Scientists have typically been restricted to studying episodic and incomplete human data. With the legal right to our electronic health records from healthcare providers, our ability to access our DNA information without going to a doctor’s office, and the power to track our activity and lifestyle choices through wearables and apps, we are now generating a full spectrum of life data in the digital world. Biomedical researchers have yearned to study a more ‘complete picture’ of disease and health – the equivalent of studying both nature and nurture. Genetics contribute merely 30% to premature death while human behavioral patterns, social circumstances, health care, and environmental exposure account for 70%.

In this increasingly digital world, and respecting that personal health data starts with the individual, it stands to reason that if people are included an increase in discovery could be achieved. Simply put: You are the best curator of your health profile, you have access to all your data, and you should control the use of this most personal information.

But here’s what we’re up against: we have all become unknowing research subjects. There is a growing lack of trust in the institutions that store, buy, and analyze our data, and this has fueled fears that our data may be exploited — from privacy violations and discrimination to “tailored” marketing and advertising feeds. For example, Google is under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services because of its partnership with Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit health system. This relationship gave health data to Google without notifying individuals that their information was disclosed. Independent of the assertion that Google and Ascension were compliant with HIPAA regulations that protect disclosure of personal health information, we should scrutinize this disclosure more carefully. We increasingly understand the value of our health data. We know that we are not sharing in the value created from it and worse, that we could suffer harm if it gets in the wrong hands. Especially with DNA files, people are now keenly aware that this information is shared within families, as numerous headlines detailing law enforcement applications have demonstrated.

Dawn Barry, President + Cofounder at LunaPBC

Today, people and technology, together, have tremendous power for social good. Yet, I’m concerned about the impact on health research if people disengage with science and the many useful digital tools available for fear of privacy violations.

Here’s the opportunity: Companies like Airbnb, Lyft, and DoorDash flipped the script by putting the power in the hands of individuals to control supply and demand. If even a fraction of people accessed their electronic health record or their DNA file and shared it in LunaDNA, it would create a discovery resource the likes of which the world has never known. As a community, we would flip the script on the buying and selling of our personal health data. Moreover, we could put the information to work for good – to enable researchers to understand disease and health better so the world can avoid, detect, and treat disease sooner. The discovery enterprises would be fed with data that reflects the true human condition and the diversity of the population that must be served with better health interventions. We don’t need to rely on the reach and resources of governments, multinationals, and large corporations to activate this change.

LunaDNA is a person-first model with privacy by design to address previous industry research challenges such as data silos limitation, data usage non-transparency, and value imbalance. We are supportive advocates of the new privacy rules like GDPR and CCPA. LunaDNA has created a global community for data sharing where community is the core tenet. Members control their inclusion in the database by always having the option to remove consent and delete their data from the platform. We are the first company to receive approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to recognize health data as currency by which to acquire ownership shares in a company. This represents another layer of transparency and protection for the individual sharing data. It’s also an expression of fairness: the monetary value of LunaDNA share ownership will be expressed through dividends consistent with an individual’s ownership percentage. Holders of shares can increase their holdings over time by contributing more data, and intrinsic value in the database is created as research advances and medical discoveries are accelerated.

At a time of increasing global volatility, this year’s list showcases the resilience and optimism of businesses across the world. These companies are applying creativity to solve challenges within their industries and far beyond,” said Fast Company senior editor Mary Farley, who oversaw the issue with Deputy Editor, David Lidsky, who added, “We like how LunaPBC democratizes genetic testing and medical research.”

This year, Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out groundbreaking businesses across 35 industries in every region. Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies March/April 2020 issue is now available online here, as well as in app form via iTunes and on newsstands beginning March 17, 2020. Engage in the conversation by using the hashtag #FCMostInnovative.

Become a driving force in one of history’s biggest health movements by taking control of your data, taking control of your privacy, taking control of your health, and powering discovery. Join LunaDNA today.

Dawn Barry, President + Cofounder at LunaPBC

About LunaPBC
Public Benefit Corporation, LunaPBC, is a private investor-owned company founded in November 2017. It is chartered to drive societal value through the aggregation and organization of genomic and health data at a scale and diversity rich enough to solve today’s greatest health challenges. LunaPBC founded LunaDNA, the first people-powered, community-owned data sharing platform. The LunaPBC team, investors, and advisors are renowned in the patient-advocacy, health, and science fields, including several former chief executives of Illumina, industry academics, and financial executives.

For more information visit lunadna.com.

About Fast Company
Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies and thinkers on the future of business. Since 2011, Fast Company has received some of the most prestigious editorial and design accolades, including the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) National Magazine Award for “Magazine Of The Year,” Adweek’s Hot List for “Hottest Business Publication,” and six gold medals and 10 silver medals from the Society of Publication Designers. The editor-in-chief is Stephanie Mehta and the publisher is Amanda Smith. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at fastcompany.com.

For more information visit fastcompany.com.

Image Source(s): Fast Company

Dawn Barry, President + Co-Founder at LunaPBC

Looking Ahead to 2030: Four industry watchers share their hopes for advances in precision medicine

Original article from Clinical Omics

There is typically much reflection whenever tipping from one decade into the next, as we look back at what has transpired over the past 10 years. When it comes to omics technologies and their application to precision medicine, there have certainly been significant advances.

Notable among them would be the completion of the 100,000 Genomes Project which both commenced and reached its final goal of 100,000 whole genomes sequenced within the decade and has served as the springboard for the launch of a genomic medicine program by England’s National Health Service. Today, there are more than a dozen country-wide efforts focused on collecting health and sequencing data of large and diverse swaths of each countries’ citizens—all with an eye toward using these vast data to improve how we provide healthcare for both large populations of patients and, ultimately, individuals.

But are we yet able to consistently provide precision medicine? In small niches, yes. So, while much progress has been made, it is fair to say more advances are needed before precision medicine and/or genomic medicine is standard practice. So how will we get there? Read on as four industry watchers share with you their thought on what may happen in the next ten years to advance the field.

Protection and Individual Control of Personal Health Data Will Fuel Research

Dawn Barry
President + Co-founder, LunaPBC

Discovery flows from research and research requires data. This longstanding truth will dramatically change in the decade ahead through how crucial data is acquired, aggregated, controlled, and protected. This transformation will occur as a consequence of maturation in our thinking around personal data sovereignty, and accountability and transparency in data stewardship.

A marked change in public sentiment around health data privacy is afoot. Google is under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Health & Human Services because they partnered with Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit health system, which provided health data without notifying individuals that their information was disclosed. This, despite asserting that they were compliant with HIPAA regulations that protect disclosure of personal health information. And on January 1st, the strictest data privacy law in the U.S., the California Consumer Privacy Act, took effect strengthening consumer data privacy rights in the country’s most populous state.

There is a growing lack of trust among the public in the institutions holding, buying, and using people’s data, which has fueled fears that data may be used against individuals and their families—from discrimination to “tailored” information feeds. People also now better understand the value of their personal data, and that they are not sharing in the value created from it. With DNA data in particular, people are now keenly aware that this information is shared within families, as numerous 2019 headlines detailing law enforcement applications demonstrated.

Data fuels research which in turn fuels discovery, but ultimately it is people who fuel this data—sick people, healthy people, old and young people, rich and poor people, people of all colors. They are the best curators of their health condition. If the past ten years are remembered as the decade that made genome sequencing for disease research possible, I believe the next ten years will see us execute discovery with a more holistic and inclusive lens. We will broaden our study beyond disease research to human health—with ‘health’ defined as more than just the absence of disease—and quality of life with the recognition that genetics is a mere 30% contributor to premature death. Human behavioral patterns, social circumstances, health care, and environmental exposure contribute the remaining 70%. I hope transcriptomes, microbiomes, and epigenetics will complement DNA datasets, and that person-reported, real-world, and environmental information will be included.

I’ll use the next decade to champion raising the standing of people from subjects of research to partners in discovery. In our increasingly digital world, and respecting that all personal health data—including DNA, health records, social and structural determinants of health, and clinical outcomes—starts with people, it stands to reason that if people are included, it represents a step function increase in discovery.  As partners in discovery, we must win people’s trust starting with transparency and assurances they are in control over how their data is used, who it’s stored with, and empower them with the ability to un-share all their data, at any time, if they wish.

Research has suffered for lack of data scale, scope, and depth, including insufficient ethnic and gender diversity, datasets that lack environment and lifestyle data, and snapshots-in-time versus longitudinal data. Artificial intelligence is starved for data that reflects population diversity and real-world information. I worry about the impact on research if people disengage with science and digital tools for fear of privacy violations. It’s time to feed discovery with data that reflects the diversity of the population we wish to serve. I believe people are the key to the next generation of discovery, and that protecting their privacy will empower discovery.

To read more from other industry watchers, click here.