Meet the Team: Chia Hwu

Chia, a former organic chemist who is happy to be out of the lab after a ten-year stint in front of a bench, is the Community Manager at 23andMe. What does this mean, you ask? Well, it’s a cross between a den mother, grassroots PR person, customer service agent, brand evangelist and community advocate. This position grew out of the early days of the internet, when the nominal leaders of a group were known as Sysops or more recently, moderators of a forum. Chia has been a passionate advocate for using the internet to bring people together since the early days of online communities using BBS (Bulletin Board System)in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

You can find Chia on Twitter.

Chia on the 23andMe Service:
“I found out some very interesting information about my ancestry that I never suspected. My maternal haplogroup is not found in Han Chinese, but is instead common in a small minority group called the Daic that lives in southeastern China. Other common places my haplogroup, F, is found are Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and neighboring islands. I haven’t had the heart to tell my extended family as they have always been proud to be Han Chinese.”

“I also found out that I’m a slow caffeine metabolizer, which is not surprising. I was banned from having coffee at another start-up I worked at because I would buzz around the office for hours like a hummingbird after one cup. I have figured out that I can’t have caffeinated tea or coffee after 11 am unless I want to be up until 3 am, sorting my sock drawer.”

Chia on Being a 23andMe Employee:
“I’m the first community manager and I feel very lucky to be able to remember my scientific training but at the same time be part of a biotechnology revolution. It’s great to be able to help people understand what 23andMe is!”

Think you’d like to join our team? Check out our jobs page!