Anne Wojcicki

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Anne Wojcicki
Anne Wojcicki (36938473750) (cropped).jpg
Born (1973-07-28) July 28, 1973 (age 48)
EducationYale University (BS)
Known forCo-founder and CEO of 23andMe
Spouse(s)
(m. 2007; div. 2015)
Children2
Parent(s)Esther Wojcicki
Stanley Wojcicki
RelativesSusan Wojcicki (sister)

Anne E. Wojcicki (/wˈɪtski/ woo-CHITS-kee;[1] born July 28, 1973) is an American entrepreneur who co-founded and serves as CEO of the personal genomics company 23andMe.

As of 2020, she is listed as number 93 in Forbes list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women.[2]

Early life[edit]

Wojcicki was born in Palo Alto, California, and has two older sisters, Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube,[3] and Janet Wojcicki, a PhD anthropologist and epidemiologist.[4] Her parents are Esther Wojcicki (née Hochman), an educator who is Jewish, and Stanley Wojcicki, a Polish-born physics professor emeritus at Stanford University. The three sisters consequently grew up on the university's campus.[3]

When she was fourteen, she learned how to figure skate, and later started playing ice hockey.[5]

Education[edit]

Wojcicki attended Gunn High School, in Palo Alto, California, where she edited the school newspaper The Oracle, and won a scholarship for her sports stories.[4][6]. She received a B.S. in biology at Yale University in 1996. During her time there she played on the varsity women's ice hockey team.[7][8][9] She has also conducted molecular biology research at the National Institutes of Health and at UC, San Diego.[6]

Career[edit]

After her graduation, Wojcicki worked as a health care consultant at Passport Capital, a San Francisco-based investment fund[6] and at Investor AB.[5] She was a health care investment analyst[7] for 4 years, overseeing health care investments, focusing on biotechnology companies. Disillusioned by the culture of Wall Street and its attitude towards health care,[10] she quit in 2000, intending to take the MCAT and enroll in medical school. Instead, she decided to focus on research.[5]

Wojcicki is best known as the co-founder and CEO of 23andMe, a privately owned, direct to consumer DNA testing company, which allows for consumers to test for ancestry and health risks.[7][11] Anne founded the company in 2006 with Linda Avey and Paul Cusenza,[12] with a goal of solving the pain point that a majority of people do not have access to their genetic information, which could provide information on cures for diseases or treatments, especially with the help of Glaxo and their $300 million investment.[11] Anne has expressed interest in “revolutioniz[ing] health care” with DNA testing,[11] as it could provide consumers with sufficient enough information as to predict potential genetic illnesses.

Consumers can purchase testing kits for $99, $199, and $499 which provide information on ancestry, health, and genetic traits. The company takes saliva samples that are mailed in by buyers, and processes the genetic information, posting the results online for the buyer to view.[13]

The company is named for the 23 pairs of chromosomes in a normal human cell. The company's personal genome test kit was named "Invention of the Year" by Time magazine in 2008.[14] From 2015, the FDA started to give approval to 23andMe's health-related tests, including risk from cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, certain cancers, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and coeliac disease.[15][16] In 2018, 23andMe entered into a four-year collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline to develop new medicines.[17][11]

Wojcicki is a member of the Xconomists, an ad hoc team of editorial advisors for the tech news and media company, Xconomy.[18] In October 2013, Fast Company named Wojcicki "The Most Daring CEO".[5][19] She is a co-founder and board member of the Breakthrough Prize.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Wojcicki married Google co-founder Sergey Brin in May 2007.[7] They have a son, Benji Wojin, born in December 2008, and a daughter, Chloe Wojin, born in late 2011.[21] Wojcicki is not religious.[22] The couple stopped living together in 2013,[23] and they divorced in 2015.[24]

Brin and Wojcicki, although divorced, still jointly run The Brin Wojcicki Foundation.[25] They have donated extensively to The Michael J. Fox Foundation and in 2009 gave $1 million to support the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.[26]

Wojcicki and Alex Rodriguez, the former baseball star, broke up in 2016 after dating for nearly a year.[27]

Her grandfather, Franciszek Wójcicki, was a People's Party and Polish People's Party politician who had been elected MP during the Polish legislative election, 1947.[28] Her grandmother, Janina Wójcicka Hoskins, was a Polish-American librarian at the Library of Congress who was responsible for building the largest collection of Polish material in the United States.[29]

Societal impacts from 23andMe[edit]

GlaxoSmithKline

As part of a four-year joint collaboration, Glaxo invested $300 million in 2018, granting the company access to the 23andMe database. This is a step forward for potential illness prevention, as Glaxo is a pharmaceutical company and has developed a leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) receptor inhibitor, which could provide major benefits to Parkinson's treatments, as the LRRK2 gene is an aspect of the pathology of Parkinson's.[11]

Controversies

23andMe has had controversies regarding data privacy. Wojcicki has noted that consent over data privacy is a top priority, and consumers can opt out, although once this data has been sent to companies it can never be retrieved.[11] Similar concerns have been posted about Glaxo having access to consumer data. Consumers are also upset that Glaxo's investment does not benefit individuals whose genetic data has been used for research.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Elle X Klossy | Episode 1 | Anne Wojcicki Founder of 23andMe". February 9, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  2. ^ "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  3. ^ a b Clifford, Catherine (June 18, 2018). "How Anne and Susan Wojcicki's parents raised the founder of 23andMe and the CEO of YouTube". CNBC. Archived from the original on January 3, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Sellers, Patricia (February 1, 2012). "Before Google, the Wojcicki girls learned from Mom". Fortune Magazine. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d Murphy, Elizabeth (October 14, 2013). "Inside 23andMe Founder Anne Wojcicki's $99 DNA Revolution". The Fast Company. Archived from the original on 2014-10-03. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c Duke, Scott (May 16, 2007). "Google co-founder Sergey Brin gets hitched in the Bahamas". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d Hafner, Katie (May 29, 2007). "Silicon Valley Wide-Eyed Over a Bride". The New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2013. Anne Wojcicki, the 33-year-old former health care investment analyst who this month married a handsome young computer scientist..
  8. ^ "100 Marathons' Worth of Miles Awaits Sam Fox '09 in Charitable Effort for Parkinson's". August 4, 2011. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  9. ^ 23andMe. "board members". Archived from the original on 2012-10-23. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  10. ^ Cha, Ariana Eunjung (June 27, 2014). "23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki's Washington charm offensive". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2014-10-18. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Glaxo invests $300m in 23andMe to use its genomic data for research - BioNews". www.bionews.org.uk. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  12. ^ 23andMe. "corporate info". Archived from the original on 2012-11-13. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  13. ^ 23andMe. "DNA Genetic Testing & Analysis - 23andMe". www.23andme.com. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  14. ^ Hamilton, Anita (October 29, 2008). "Best Inventions of 2008". Content Time. Archived from the original on 2012-03-22. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  15. ^ Silverberg, David (2018-12-03). "Good genes? The sisters who put the rest of us to shame". Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  16. ^ Johnson, Eric (2018-10-20). "23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki says 'one of our biggest competitors' is fake science on sites like Goop". Recode. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  17. ^ Herper, Matthew. "23andMe Gets $300 Million Boost From GlaxoSmithKline To Develop New Drugs". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  18. ^ "About Our Mission, Team, and Editorial Ethics". Xconomy. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
  19. ^ 23andMe (October 19, 2013). "CEO Anne Wojcicki named "The Most Daring CEO in America" by @FastCompany Read the cover story". Twitter. Archived from the original on 2015-01-29. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  20. ^ "Breakthrough Prize – Board". breakthroughprize.org. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  21. ^ Welch, Liz (May 29, 2012). "The Way I Work: Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe". Inc.
  22. ^ Bloom, Nate (September 10, 2013). "Jews in the News: Diane Von Furstenburg, Michael Kors and Barbara Hershey". Tampa Jewish Federation. Brin wed biologist Wojcicki in 2007 and the couple now have two children. Neither Brin nor Wojcicki (whose mother is Jewish) are religious, but they did have some Jewish touches at their secular wedding: a chuppah-- and Brin stepped on a glass
  23. ^ Gannes, Liz (August 28, 2013). "Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin and 23andMe Co-Founder Anne Wojcicki Have Split". All Things Digital. Archived from the original on 2013-09-07. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
  24. ^ Lorenzetti, Laura (2015-06-24). "Google's Sergey Brin and 23andMe's Anne Wojcicki legally divorced". Fortune. Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  25. ^ "Dynamodata". Archived from the original on September 26, 2013.
  26. ^ Strom, Stephanie (October 24, 2009). "Billionaire Aids Charity That Aided Him". The New York Times.
  27. ^ Dowd, Maureen (November 18, 2017). "The Doyenne of DNA Says: Just Chillax With Your Ex". The New York Times.
  28. ^ "Oficjalna strona Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej / Aktualności / Wydarzenia / Prezydent spotkał się z prezes YouTube". www.prezydent.pl. Retrieved 2019-03-29.
  29. ^ Zalewski, Wojciech (2011-10-01). "Janina Wójcicka Hoskins (1912–1996): Portrait of an Esteemed Librarian". Slavic & East European Information Resources. 12 (4): 224–236. doi:10.1080/15228886.2011.623117. ISSN 1522-8886. S2CID 144135260.