Meet the Team: Andro Hsu

Andro is 23andMe’s science and policy liaison. His main responsibility is to monitor opinion in policy, regulatory, academic, and other stakeholder circles, and to integrate this feedback into 23andMe’s product and internal procedures. Recently, he worked on 23andMe’s successful application for a California clinical laboratory license.

Andro on the 23andMe Service:
“My father was born in China and my mother was born in the Philippines, so you’d expect my Ancestry Painting to look all orange (i.e. Asian). But I actually have a a few blue European stretches, especially on chromosome 6. As a scientist, my first instinct was that this must be statistical noise, but my mother has the exact same stretch of blue, in addition to a few others. It turns out that my mother has a Spanish ancestor some generations back, so it’s possible that just by chance, a bit of my European ancestor’s DNA has survived the many meiotic recombinations between us and made it into me.”

Andro on Being a 23andMe Employee:
“After finishing my PhD in molecular and cell biology, I came to 23andMe as its first science writer. 23andMe interested me because it was at the forefront of both genomics and social networking–two areas that had not yet been mixed successfully. What’s most exciting about a disruptive new innovation like 23andMe’s genotyping service is that we get the chance to shape how the field of personal genomics will grow over the next few decades.”

“Education is another reason I joined 23andMe. Genetics is much more complicated than one gene = one trait, even though there are plenty of examples where a single gene does determine a trait (like earwax type). But here at 23andMe, we believe that by giving customers their own genetic data, they will be much more invested in learning about the latest scientific research in an informed way.”

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