“I’d Like to See Our Understanding of at Least One More Disease Transformed by Genomics and Big Data” – Jeremy Grushcow
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Combining over 15 years’ experience with pharmaceutical and life sciences businesses with a passion for participant-centric research, Jeremy Grushcow is CBO at Sequence Bio, a Newfoundland and Labrador biotechnology company. Jeremy joined Sequence Bio in 2015 as employee number 3, seeing a once-in-in a lifetime opportunity to change how we treat, prevent and understand disease. He is armed with a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. with honours from the University of Chicago Law School.
What are you working on right now?
We’re launching a large scale population sequencing project in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The province has a remarkable founder population and uniquely deep and complete set of longitudinal EHR records that we aim to combine with whole genome sequencing for drug discovery. As CBO, it’s inspiring to be part of a project that, because of the depth and completeness of our data, will be able to answer questions no-one else can, even with much bigger cohorts.
What’s the biggest challenge you face in your work at the moment?
We are tackling the challenge of building a business that truly engages with and returns value to participants in ways that are meaningful. It’s so exciting to be doing this at a time when we can return results to participants that, while requiring clinical confirmation, can point the way to healthier choices and better treatment outcomes. We’re headquartered in the midst of the population we’re recruiting, so these are our friends and neighbours and it’s a core value at Sequence Bio that we do right by them and by each other.
Name one big development that you would like to see in your field the next 18 months.
I’d like to see our understanding of at least one more disease transformed by genomics and big data. It’s happened with cancer already, as we can see by the FDA approvals for Keytruda and Idhifa; and I think we’re starting to see it now with lipid metabolism and cardiovascular disease.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Balancing challenging work with being a decent dad. I have a 4-year old with tons of frequent flyer miles because we’re regulars together on the genomics conference circuit.
Which scientists, living, dead, or fictional, would you invite to dinner, and why?
Our Scientific Advisory Board – Kathy Hudson, Pek Lum and Euan Ashley. I actually get to do this periodically, so I’m literally living the dream.
What advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?
Embrace change. It teaches you new things and reminds you how much you don’t know. It gets easier every time you start from scratch.
Opinions and views expressed in The Short Read are the interviewee’s and not those of the home institution.
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