There are certain times in your life where a single sentence can change your life’s trajectory. My sentence was, “Theo has leukemia.” For anyone who has experienced it, they know far too well that cancer spares no one. While the warriors like my nephew bravely battle, it uproots entire families. Time is divided between hospital and home, and normalcy no longer exists. Watching my sweet two-year old nephew endure treatment after treatment, many of which were the same his own mother, my sister and a neuroblastoma survivor, had suffered over 30 years prior, was one of the most difficult things our family has had to do. Second only to having to say goodbye to him.
At the time, a high school science teacher, I made the decision to continue my nephew’s fight, and spent the next seven years researching epigenetic regulation in hematopoeisis and leukemogenesis obtaining both my master’s in Genetic Epidemiology and my Ph.D. in Human and Statistical Genetics. After defending my thesis, my interest was not just in obtaining any job, it was about finding a company that had the same mission that I did. Joining Pierian, a company founded not only on fighting cancer, but also on enabling genomics in practice, seemed too good to be true. To then go to work on my first day, and discover that every single colleague was as deeply passionate about that mission as I was, seemed like a gift.
As next-generation sequencing becomes more widespread, our depth of knowledge will expand exponentially. The geneticist in me knows we have come so far, but are really just starting to scratch the surface. At Pierian, our advanced technology is at the forefront of this knowledge, and will be able to continue to adapt to drive the technology, the science, and the medicine forward. Even more important to me, as the Vice President of Customer Success, is that we are also providing services that make it easier for institutions just starting out in NGS to adapt faster and easier. Our technology provides answers, but our services ensure that our clients are able to use it in the best way and make data driven decisions for their patients.
Every day, clinicians are logging into our software to ensure that patients are being given personalized medicine based on their own genetic profile. Our software provides not only the latest in molecular science for their healthcare institutions, but healthcare equality for their patients. And every day, clinicians are logging into our software to be a part of a shared network with one goal-- to provide the best chance for their patients, and eradicate cancer in the future.
I am so lucky to be a part of this movement. I am so lucky I get to continue to fight.