Helix at ASHG 2017: Connecting researchers to consumers

The annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) is the largest gathering of genetics researchers, clinicians, and industry professionals in the world. It’s always great to catch up with old friends and colleagues at the event, but ASHG is much, much more than a social call. For those of us working in personal genomics, it’s a unique opportunity for us to tell our story, exchange ideas with some of the brightest minds in science, learn what’s new, and help shape the future of a very exciting field.

Helix was honored and delighted to have a big presence at the most recent ASHG conference held in Orlando. We held a workshop, too! From Bench to App Store: Reaching the Public with your Research via Consumer Products featured a great panel of speakers including our co-founder and senior vice president of Applied Genomics, James Lu, our Director of Policy and Genomic Services, Elissa Levin, and three of our partner developers—Exploragen, HumanCode, and Insitome. Here, we spoke with researchers about how the Helix platform enables them to turn their discoveries into amazing DNA-powered insights that empower consumers to better understand and benefit from their DNA data.

At Helix, this concept is at our core. By offering an industry-leading genomics platform, we make it easier for developers to build engaging and informative products that allow consumers to learn about and benefit from their DNA.

Of course, it’s a two-way street: for personal genomics to reach its full potential, we need a vibrant, energized community of scientists and developers to engage the Helix platform. We’re delighted by the diversity of partners and products that have already launched in the Helix Store, and more are launching every month. At ASHG, we’re talking about these successes, sharing how it all works, and connecting with individuals and organizations who could become Helix partners in the future.

The consumer genomics revolution isn’t just about consumer accessibility; it’s about developer accessibility, too. At our workshop, I touched on how individuals and small companies can leverage everything that Helix has to offer. It shouldn’t take unlimited capital to bring great ideas and great research to market, which is why we recently partnered with Illumina Accelerator—just one of many funding opportunities in the space.

For our customers (both current and future), this is awesome news. We talk a lot about how Helix lets you unlock a lifetime of insights after being sequenced just once. Venues like ASHG are where the rubber meets the road, so to speak—it’s where this notion of a “lifetime of insights” actually happens. We couldn’t be more excited to learn about the latest in human genetic discoveries and talk with the next class of Helix partners.

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