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Meet Dr. Fabricio Costa of Genome Connect in River North

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Fabricio Costa.

Dr. Costa’s main aim is to positively affect the lives of 7 billion people on the planet through Innovation and Research. He has a Bachelor’s in Science with a Major in Biochemistry & Immunology, a Ph.D. in Science/Genetics Focused in Oncology and did his Post-Doctoral Degree in Molecular Genetics at Harvard University. He also got an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Healthcare from the StartUp Health Academy in the United States. He has contributed extensively to Academic Research with more than seventy peer-reviewed articles, of which five were the in Cover of the Journals. He has also published two book chapters and a US Patent. As a Serial Entrepreneur, he founded one consultancy company and two big data analytics companies in the life sciences, healthcare IT and biotechnology sectors.

In one of these big data analytics companies, he was the CEO & CSO raising Seed, Angel, and Round A VC Money. He was also selected to represent and present this company at the White House to the President of the United States and Congress Members in 2014. He has exited this company in 2016 with a 5X ROI. He is a Member, Mentor and Project Manager (PM) in more than a dozen Technology and Healthcare Company Incubators, Accelerators and TTOs all over the world, of Apple’s (AAPL) International Training Program and of both Google (GOOG) High Ed Program & Google for Entrepreneurs.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Being an Academic and Entrepreneur is never a smooth road. Lots of pivoting, ups and downs and learning by doing. When you are trying to develop solutions that are disruptive Innovations in your field I think this is normal. However, at the end of the road, it is worth it mainly because of the things you have learned along the way.

Genome Connect – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
With the collection of hundreds to thousands and, eventually, the sequence of all human genomes in the globe, the next big revolution will be to analyze the data and connect people with the same ancestry and genetic profiles. Genome Connect offers solutions for companies, people, and patients that want to know more about their genomes. Sequencing genomes is becoming a commodity since the price to do it is less than U$ 1,000 nowadays (a recent report tells that this number will drop to U$ 100 dollars per genome sequenced). What we are in need is for solutions to transfer, analyze, visualize and generate short and understandable reports of this information for healthcare professionals and for people in general. We are building a one-stop solution and platform with Big Data Analytics Tools for Personal Genomics to answer questions about genome sequence and connect people with the same genetic profiles and/or ancestry; to translate the information inside Genomes and also tools to help people understand the code inside their genomes.

Our company is still in a very early stage but already got interested from the Geisinger Healthcare System, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and investors in China, especially from the ITTN (International Technology Transfer Network). There are just a few companies that provide an overview of the human genome sequence the way we are pursuing. We recently had an offer to sell what we already have for U$ 5 million dollars and turned it down.

What were you like growing up? Personality wise, interest wise, etc.
A very curious person. When I was little, I wanted to be an astronaut, mainly because I was very curious. In addition, NASA, in the US, was on top with the space program and the space shuttle. At that time, I dreamed of knowing space and the moon. Over time, I lost interest in space and became interested in the world of the very, very small: genetics and molecular biology. I was curious to know what was inside the cells, and the Human Genome Project caught my eyes. That’s how I decided to get into genetics. But I’ve still been following the NASA space program, Space X and recent private Initiatives related to Space and going to the Moon. I also became a Serial Entrepreneur because of the frustration I had in Academia. But, in the end, both areas gives us frustrations in different ways…

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