LunaPBC Announces Joe Beery as New Chief Executive Officer

New Funding and Leadership Supports Operational and Commercial Scaling

SAN DIEGO, May 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — LunaPBC, manager of LunaDNA, a health data platform uniting people, communities, and researchers, has experienced rapid growth in adoption, as the demand from communities, researchers, and regulators for direct accounting and engagement of individual’s health and lived experience increases. The Company announces new executive leadership and funding to scale its platform and services.

The Company is excited to announce that Mr. Joe Beery has been named Chief Executive Officer of LunaPBC, Inc. effective today. Beery joins President and Co-founder, Dawn Barry, to lead the Company. Bob Kain, LunaPBC’s Co-founder who has served as Chief Executive Officer since Company formation in 2017, will remain active with the Company in the role of Executive Chairman of the Board.

“I am grateful to have had the role of CEO in building this Company,” said Bob Kain. “We have created a novel business model that enables our mission to provide a shared platform for patients, communities, and researchers looking for answers to improve clinical outcomes and quality of life. I am excited to move into a new role within the Company and support Joe in his transition to CEO.”

Beery brings industry-leading experience in operational and commercial scaling of innovative information technology systems, having served as the Chief Information Officer for four multibillion-dollar enterprises – America West Airlines, US Airways, Life Technologies, and Thermo Fisher Scientific. As CEO, Beery will draw on his expertise in strategic technology operations, digital and business transformations, cybersecurity, global M&A integrations, and disruptive innovation to grow the Company and scale LunaDNA technology.

“Joe has been a force in the development of scale in many industries, including at the vanguard in digitalization of the life and health sciences industries,” said Dr. Scott Kahn, LunaPBC’s Chief Information and Privacy Officer. “His deep understanding of digital transformation, scientific research, and therapy development make him an ideal choice to guide the growth of Luna as we continue to empower patients as partners in health science and keep them connected with ongoing research over time.”

With participation from more than 180 countries and communities advancing causes including disease-specific, public health, environmental, and emerging interests, LunaDNA technology empowers these collectives to gather a wide range of data –  health records, lived-experience, disease history, genomics, and more. LunaDNA technology gives academia and industry everything they need from engagement with study participants to data analysis in compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA and across multiple modalities using a common data model. By providing privacy-protected individuals a way to continually engage, LunaDNA technology transforms the traditional patient-disconnected database into a dynamic, longitudinal discovery environment where researchers, industry, and community leaders can leverage a range of tools to surface insights and trends, study disease natural history and biomarkers, and enroll in clinical studies and trials.

“In addition to Joe’s outstanding business experience, he brings a deeply personal and relevant life experience having had twin children born with a rare genetic disorder that was ultimately diagnosed and treated as a result of their family’s extraordinary activism for their kids,” said Dawn Barry, LunaPBC’s President. “Joe is also a champion for diversity and inclusion, drawing from his Hispanic heritage.”

Beery’s appointment coincides with the close of new funding. Key investors in this round include returning investors, ARCH Venture Partners, F-Prime Capital, and Osage University Partners.  John Tishler and Jason Jones of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP acted as legal counsel for LunaPBC in the financing. The funds will be used to accelerate our goal of digitally transforming health research and include expanding the software engineering and marketing teams, increasing community onboarding-to-discovery velocity, augmenting analysis and discovery tools, and enhancing user experience to optimize participant’s ability to share more health data and outcomes thus further enhancing the discovery potential.

“I am honored to be part of this exciting Company and team. Luna is at the forefront of efforts to digitally integrate individuals, communities, industry, and research,” said Joe Beery. “Luna’s platform and services are ready to scale and drive significant value to all of our customers. From both a personal and professional perspective, I see the alignment in both technology and services that Luna provides as key in accelerating the realization of discovery and patient outcomes. We are in a wonderful position to leverage and scale the unique capabilities built by the Company founders.”

About LunaPBC and LunaDNA
Founded in 2017, LunaPBC is a public benefit corporation headquartered in San Diego, California. Our team, investors, and advisors are renowned in the patient-advocacy, health, and science fields. With participation from over 180 countries and communities advancing causes including disease-specific, public health, environmental, and emerging interests, LunaDNA technology empowers these collectives to gather a wide range of data – health records, lived experience, disease history, genomics, and more – to advance research that addresses their unique health needs. 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. 

Media Contact:
Genevieve Lopez
LunaPBC, Inc.
Phone: (760) 218-8333
Email: gen@lunadna.com 

Data Privacy Protection

How To Maintain Data Privacy in Today’s Uber-Connected World

By Bojil Velinov, Head of DevOps and Automation at LunaPBC

2020 may be coming to an end, but it marks the beginning of the decade in which we had the largest amount of baby-boomers entering retirement age.

It is also the decade for coming of age for the last millennia generation. In the previous decade, the telephone, radio, and TV had a big influence on their lives. Now, internet connectivity, social networks, and instant information is changing everything we knew about communication. Both generations benefit from the exposure and existence of technology, or what we now have evolved to call, “high-tech.”

While earlier technologies were rendered as one-directional communication, new technologies have evolved to ingest vast amounts of input, processes, all while delivering information to us more quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Both past and current technologies depend on personal data to validate themselves and improve their services.

In today’s über-connected world, data privacy is more important than ever before. Everywhere we go, we leave behind a trail of data breadcrumbs that share valuable information about who we are and what we do. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, we often victimize ourselves to fulfill our desire for high-tech convenience. But even the simplest activities, like checking the weather or connecting to a free WiFi network, can put our data at risk. With modern internet-connected devices literally in the palm of our hands, we are constantly under indirect surveillance. Sites we visit regularly, products we engage with on social media, articles we read on search engines all contribute to our digital profiles. 

This raises the questions, how much exposure of our private lives is beneficial to ourselves and society? How much of our private data is monetized with no direct benefit to us as the creators? These questions contain many perceptions and tangents and raise many conversations between team leaders at LunaPBC. We strive to understand all arguments related to data collection, but always resort to the unanimous agreement that people belong at the center. Until every company aligns with our values and beliefs, it’s at least assuring to know that data privacy is headed in the right direction, with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). I’m anticipating other federal and state legislative initiatives aimed at protecting individual data on the horizon. 

Privacy is directly connected to our liberties, but liberties don’t exist in a vacuum. We all have to, more-or-less, agree on what’s right even as complex social organisms. For society to not only exist but thrive, liberties should require justice, and achieving this may require individuals to partially share some privacy. In other words, individuals, as integral members of the society, should always be in control of their privacy. Our actions, demands, and understanding of privacy can help us shape a “new” internet, and with that our continuous stream of data.

Obtaining data privacy, reducing your digital vulnerability, and maintaining control starts with protecting your passwords.  

Don’t Make Your Password Easy to Guess

  • 123456 and password are the most commonly used passwords. Don’t use them.
  • Switching a letter for a symbol (p@ssw0rd!) is an obvious trick hackers know well.
  • Avoid favorite sports teams or pop culture references. Use something more obscure.
  • Don’t use a single word like sunshine, monkey, or football. Using a phrase or sentence as your password is stronger. 
  • Don’t use common number patterns like 111111, abc123, or 654321.
  • Adding a number or piece of punctuation at the end doesn’t make your password stronger

Create More Than Just a Strong Password, Create Various Strong Passwords

  • The strength of your passwords directly impacts your online security.
  • Use a password manager to remember all your passwords.

Kicking off the decade with data privacy top of mind can ensure you have yourself safe and secure years ahead. 

Kirby Bloom, Chief Technology Officer

LunaPBC Announces Kirby Bloom as CTO

LunaPBC has proudly promoted their chief architect to spearhead the technical and data science initiatives at the world’s first people-powered research platform, LunaDNA — incoming chief technology officer Kirby Bloom.

Kirby has been an integral part of the strategy, design, and development of LunaDNA’s platform, having worked at the parent public benefit company, LunaPBC, since April 2018. With over 20 years of experience developing scalable, distributed cloud architectures, Kirby is bridging the gap between research scientists and large-scale data analytics by building the systems needed to discover more insights for health and quality of life improvement.

Kirby served as the Head of Software for Applied Genomics at international biotechnology company, Illumina, Inc. After 11 years creating software architecture for Illumina’s DNA testing platforms serving the forensics, transplant diagnostics, microbiology, and consumer markets, Kirby joined former Illumina executives Dawn Barry, Bob Kain, and Scott Kahn, to create LunaDNA, the world’s first participant-owned, SEC-qualified health data sharing platform for accelerating medical breakthroughs.

As CTO, Kirby leads the technology vision and implementation for LunaDNA by driving strategy, designing innovative product roadmaps, and overseeing technology and engineering team execution.

My entire career has been devoted to making ‘the complex’ simple in order to improve lives,” says Kirby Bloom. “I feel honored and just flat-out lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of a purpose-driven team that is building a platform that truly enables personal control on one end and insights to drive health research on the other.”

LunaDNA’s technical team includes former employees of Netflix, Kaiser Permanente, and Human Longevity, Inc. with skills that range from software engineering to machine learning to platform strategy and human-centered design.

Kirby has so many strengths but one that always stands out to me is his perspective.  He sees the bigger picture, naturally adjusts for all that is dynamic, and doesn’t get lost in the details”, said Dawn Barry, President and Co-founder of LunaPBC.  “For example, while many companies are scrambling to increase their consumer data privacy protections, Kirby architected LunaDNA with privacy by design because it’s what discovery needs and because protecting people is the just right thing to do. Kirby has tremendous respect from everyone on his team and knows how each individual works to contribute to the overall platform goals. By keeping the end objective in sight, Kirby leads to the vision, not just the short-term goals”.

Kirby Bloom holds a Master of Information and Data Science from the University of California, Berkeley, one of the nation’s top multidisciplinary programs that prepares professionals with the latest tools and analytical methods to work with data at scale, derive insights from complex and unstructured data, and solve real-world problems. Kirby also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management Information Systems from Texas Tech University. When Kirby’s not leading LunaDNA’s technology team, you can find Kirby beneath his headphones at a local coffee shop or traveling the world with his fiancée. Connect with Kirby online at @krbloom22 and kbloom@lunadna.com.

James White: Brothers in the Sand

Finding Resilience and Strength Through Genes

By James White, VP Experience and Member Engagement

How often do you test your mental and physical limits? What does that entail? As I grow older and my body and mind begin to age, I find myself asking myself these questions more often than not. Wondering how I’m growing as an individual, led me to embark on my greatest journey. Three years ago I tested my mental and physical limitations, and it changed me forever. 

Marathon des Sables (MdS) is considered to be the toughest foot race in the world2. The race is a grueling multi-stage adventure equivalent of five and a half marathons in six days, a total distance of some 251 km, 176 miles, through a formidable landscape in one of the world’s most inhospitable climates – the Sahara Desert. Upon learning about this race, I couldn’t have imagined a better way to truly test my limits than by doing what most others wouldn’t – sign up. And I didn’t do it alone. Turns out, the need to understand and push past the limit ran in the family. My 4 brothers signed up with me.

In 30 years, this race has taken the lives of two competitors, while thousands more have been air-lifted during the race due to dehydration, fatigue and organ failure. On average, only 80% of the field finish2 each year. It was therefore a mathematical certainty that only four of the five of us would finish the race.  Our near-impossible 36-month adventure was filmed and closely follows the trials and tribulations of myself and my four brothers while we lived on three different continents, training for and competing in what we all agreed was the hardest challenge we’ve ever experienced — apart from growing up together.

Each of us had our own mission; conquering consciences, managing mediocrity, fighting failure, dispelling demons, breaking boundaries; but the uniting motivation was to honor the then recent passing of our Grandma, a matriarch and maven of the 1920s, whilst raising money for charities around the globe. The five of us joining forces brought uncertainty, pain and the joy of pushing each other and our families to the edge. But ultimately, we believed we were stronger united and more likely to finish it together versus as individuals. 

As the middle of five brothers, I’ve had to endure the push and pull of family dynamics, making me a mediator and facilitator, but not always the best communicator. Competitive at heart, I love to push my boundaries both mentally and physically. I’ve flown in the Royal Air Force, jumped out of planes and dived the depths of the ocean. I’ve played representative sport and captained teams to unexpected success – but previously there was always something missing. 

James White: Brothers in the Sand
James White: Brothers in the Sand 2

Participating in MdS gave me a chance to assimilate my experiences over the last 30+ years and focus. Selfishly, I needed to embark on this journey for myself. Ironically, it became more about my brothers, my family and fundraising, than me. Yes, I was ready to push myself to the limit, but I didn’t realize its opportunity to inspire others and help drive positive change. 

So, what was my limiting factor? Fear and failure? I kept (and keep) asking myself what does failure look like? Does it limit? Or does measured failure lead to successful adventure? Through this journey, I reached into the depths of my soul and found dark and ugly corners, but ultimately found belief in myself. Belief in my ability to make a difference, belief that new challenges can make you and others stronger. 

As a team, we accomplished what we set out to achieve – understanding our mental and physical limits as individuals and unexpectedly, the power of a team with a unified vision. We truly resilience and strength through one another.

James White: Brothers in the Sand 3
From left to right: Henry White, Christopher White, James White, Marcus White, Stuart White

Three years later, I have had the privilege to apply my learnings to another “band of brothers” at LunaPBC, the public benefit corporation spearheading LunaDNA. As the VP of Experience and Member Engagement, I’m helping to build the first citizen-powered research community that’s putting people at the center, and as you can imagine, it’s no easy feat. I hope my experiences and efforts can empower you to begin to answer some of my questions. Consider sharing, contributing and owning what moves friends and family, community and culture, people and populations forward – health information. Alone we’re strong, together we’re powerful.

Luna is bringing together individuals, communities, and researchers to better understand life. Directly drive health discovery by joining the Tell Us About You study. The more we come together to contribute health data for the greater good, the quicker and more efficient research will scale, and improve the quality of life for us all.  

Click here to get started.


LunaDNA Wins Most Innovative New Product Award

LunaPBC Selected as a Winner for Connect’s 2019 Most Innovative New Product Awards

Today, LunaPBC announced that LunaDNA has been selected as a winner of Connect’s Most Innovative New Product Awards.

Connect, a premier nonprofit helping entrepreneurs with innovative startups in the technology and life sciences sectors, continues its thirty-two-year tradition of celebrating innovation leaders in the local San Diego community.

LunaDNA is a people-powered health data sharing platform for improving the participant engagement, efficiency, and velocity of research. LunaDNA members share genomic, personal, and health data; consent their de-identified data for use in aggregate for population-level research; and earn ownership shares in LunaDNA.

We are honored to have won such a prestigious award that recognizes local innovation and unites people who whole-heartedly and consistency support San Diego’s culture,” said LunaPBC’s President and Co-Founder Dawn Barry.

LunaPBC, the public benefit corporation managing LunaDNA, was awarded in the Life Science and Healthtech category at the annual Innovation Awards event held on Thursday, December 5th, at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine. Winners were selected in the following seven categories: Big Data; Cleantech; Defense; Medical Device; Life Science and Healthtech; Smart City & Transportation, and Software.

For a complete list of winners and additional information, please visit the Connect’s website

About LunaPBC
LunaPBC was proudly founded in 2017 in San Diego, California by former Illumina executives and leaders in large-scale consumer platforms and economics. LunaDNA soft launched in December 2018 concurrent with SEC-qualification, thus making LunaDNA the world’s first company to offer shares of ownership in the organization to health data contributors.

About CONNECT
For more than 30 years, Connect has focused on supporting and elevating entrepreneurs in the San Diego region. The organization has a long history as a powerhouse of resources for innovators, including mentorship, education, and connection to capital. Connect serves entrepreneurs and startups throughout their growth journey, from early stage to capital raise, with a suite of curated programs and events aimed to help companies grow, gain access to capital, and scale. 

Luna is bringing together individuals, communities, and researchers to better understand life. Directly drive health discovery by joining the Tell Us About You study. The more we come together to contribute health data for the greater good, the quicker and more efficient research will scale, and improve the quality of life for us all.  

Click here to get started.