Team Of Mexican Immigrants Win Milenio Award For Revolutionary Genetic Testing Technology
Team of Mexican immigrants win Milenio Blockchain Talent Award for technology that will "transform the world."
Inspired by a son with a rare genetic disorder, Mexicano Daniel Uribe and two other Mexican immigrants joined forces to develop Genobank, an award-winning technology that has revolutionized genetic testing, prioritizing our community, our roots, our health, and our privacy.
Daniel Uribe's son was sick. To get answers, he needed genetic testing.
That's when Daniel discovered that current genetic-testing companies provide little-to-no specific genetic information about Latinos and actually sell people's genetic information to the highest bidder.
So, Daniel decided to change the game.
Imagine bespoke medicine, designed specifically for you. Imagine that instead of just "Native," your ancestry results will name the regions and tribes of your indigenous ancestors.
Imagine your DNA helping researchers develop treatments for disease...or find a cure for cancer.
And all of it done while protecting your identity from people who would use your genetic information for profit, or against you.
Daniel Uribe, Everardo J. Barojas, and Marco Montes envisioned a Latino-focused genetic testing service that does all of this -- and does it all while providing military-level protection to keep our community’s personal info anonymous and private.
Together, the immigrant innovators developed Genobank.
In 2019, I was honored with the “Milenio Blockchain Talent Award” thanks to @blockchain_land, @davidyaoli, @josepimpo & @mileniotv This 2020, they just kindly invited @genobank_io to share our #crowdfunding campaign experience at @joinrepublic with young Mexican entrepreneurs. ???????? pic.twitter.com/yGH3qtO38j— Daniel Uribe ????+???? (@duribeb) January 30, 2020
With the help of their team of genetic and data scientists, as well as professors at universities like Stanford and Columbia, all of whom are also Latinos, these three Mexicanos are changing the genetic testing game.
The founding trio, who met while Daniel was studying at Stanford University, were each entrepreneurs in their own right before joining forces.
Hailing from Puebla, Marco is the creator of Saldo.Mx, an app that helps immigrants pay their families' bills back in Mexico. Chilango Everardo created Prescrypto, an award-winning app to prevent prescription fraud. And Daniel, whose father was a mechanic in Mexico City, is an expert in cybersecurity with his own consulting company.
Each brings his own genius to the table, but it was Daniel's vision that brought them together.
Daniel was inspired by his son, who at 4 years old was diagnosed with a rare genetic mutation, a blood disease with no known treatment.
Unfortunately, there is very little genetic information available for the Latino population.
According to Daniel, "Eighty percent of the available genetic data comes from the European population -- only 2% comes from Latinos."
This lack of genetic info isn't just a problem for those of us who want to know whether we're Maya, Mixtec, Purépecha, Nahua, or some mixture of the 800+ indigenous peoples of Latin America, it's a huge problem for those of us with health problems, not just rare conditions, but even the more common ones like diabetes -- and cancer.
"One of the main goals of this project is to increase the amount of genetic data from the Latino population," Daniel said when featured on Telemundo. "If we can get more genetic data from the Latino community, we'll be able to design personalized medicine that is more effective for us as a community."
"Cancer is the most personal disease we have," says Daniel. "It's a mutation in our DNA. The more genetic data we have, we can develop medications and treatments that are more effective because they are customized to the individual."
"Genetic research will potentially help us find the cure for cancer."
But the founders weren’t willing to sell out our community’s personal information in order to achieve these goals.
Daniel knew that he had to share his son’s DNA to help researchers find a cure for his condition, but he also knew that the majority of genetic testing services sell people’s DNA and sensitive information to the highest bidder. Daniel wanted to keep his son’s identity and personal info private, safe from Big Pharma and predatory third parties.
So, with his background in cybersecurity, and the support of co-founders Everardo and Marco, Daniel made protecting our DNA a priority, developing a proprietary block-chain technology to safeguard our genetic info with military-grade encryption.
This technology won Daniel a Milenio Talent Award, an award that recognizes individuals whose innovative work has created positive social change.
Milenio’s mission statement identifies recipients as those who:
“By their example, they create a path to a better future, and by their actions, they demonstrate how with an idea and a passion for innovation, one can really transform the world.”
And that is exactly what Daniel, Everardo, and Marco are doing.
Genobank is making our community, our roots, our health, and our security their priority.