We are learning more and more all the time about the role of genetic testing in optimizing our health, but most people still misunderstand the limits of genetic testing and how to use it judiciously.
At the end of each of my podcasts I ask my guest this question: “Entrepreneurism, are we born this way, or do we learn to become entrepreneurs?” Never has this question been as loaded as it was for my guest today. Dr. Mansoor Mohammed is a clinical geneticist, and we discussed the correlation and connection between our genetic makeup, our DNA, and our potential and capacity for optimization. We weren’t looking at genetics from the perspective of markers for disease, but rather we went deep into the types of things we need to look for and understand if we’re going to analyze our genetics and use it to make us effective in the world. We looked at ways that genetics can be used to optimize our nutrition, we touched briefly on risk factors and then we got into the personality traits that we can actually look for in terms of markers, and that we can cultivate and leverage to make ourselves more effective on our mission to make this world a better place. This was a fascinating interview because it’s universally aligned to everybody. We all are made up of all of these genes. We each have this DNA imprint that sets the tone and the blueprint for who we become in this world. There is something for everyone to learn in this interview.
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[3:22] Dr. Mohammed has always been fascinated by chromosomes.
[5:21] What are functional genetic tests, and what information can we expect to get from them?
[9:27] Is genetic testing really valuable, or will a healthy lifestyle suffice?
[17:54] Genetic testing can help us mitigate the dangers of statistics.
[21:53] Genetic testing should give us information about genetic pathways as opposed to individual genes.
[27:43] Single gene tests can not paint the entire picture, and both the public and medical professionals need to be more educated about this.
[35:50] We are getting important insight into personality through genetic testing.
[43:09] What percent of our experiences and our presentation in the world is genetic and what percent is environmental?
[47:48] What are the privacy laws concerning genetic testing?
[52:50] Health is living up to your optimal potential and desire.
[54:32] Dr. Mohammed gets up every morning at 4:00.
[55:03] Dr. Mohammed enjoys reading fiction.
[55:31] Dr. Mohammed loves organic, raw cacao in almond milk sweetened with honey.
[56:04] Dr. Mohammed cherishes his time with his wife and children.
[56:53] Some people are born to be entrepreneurs, however many people can learn to be an entrepreneur when they find something they are passionate about.
Mentioned in This Episode:
“We can absolutely improve our chances of living an optimal life through the lenses of genetic information.”
” Why are we only looking at genetics in a disease centric way? There is so much more to genetics beyond the simply likelihood of disease.”
“Intelligent genetic testing is not about testing a list of genes and trying to draw conclusions from them.”
“We are a beautiful collection of genes working as an orchestral masterpiece.”
MORE ABOUT DR. MANSOOR MOHAMMED
Dr. Mohammed is the Founder and President of ManaGene, considered one of the most innovative leaders in the emerging personalized medicine and lifestyle genomics space.
In 2017, ManaGene partnered with Dr. Bryce Wylde and other industry leaders to launch YouTrients (www.youtrients.me), a company revolutionizing the nutraceutical industry by being the first to utilize genomic testing to create customized, individualized supplements and vitamins.
Dr. Mohammed is widely regarded as a pioneer in medical genomics and has been the recipient of multiple academic and industry awards. He is the holder of several patents in the general fields of molecular diagnostics and genomics research, and is one of the most sought-after national and international conference speakers in the genre of personalized medical genomics.
While completing his clinical post-doctoral internship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Dr. Mohammed was credited with discovering one of two genomic pathways that define drug resistance to the Novartis-developed leukemia therapy, Gleevec, and co-published these findings in the journal Science (2001) with the renowned oncologist Dr. Charles Sawyers. That same year, he was the co-author of the American Society of Human Genetics’ Paper of the Year Award with his mentor, Dr. Eric Vilain, for their discovery of the role of the Wnt4 gene in sex-reversal. These early studies helped to define Dr. Mohammed as one of the few genomic specialists with core competencies in both the genomic characteristics of childhood development, as well as the genomic etiology of oncology/cancer.
Concomitant with his postdoctoral fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine (2001), Dr. Mohammed was instrumental in the development and commercialization of the industry’s first available comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) arrays. He has since been widely regarded as one of the primary innovators in the diagnostic application of genomic microarrays and has contributed to seminal studies in that field. He was the co-primary author of the first peer-reviewed study utilizing microarray CGH techniques in the clinical diagnosis of developmental abnormalities (2002) and later (2008) was the senior author of the first peer-reviewed study utilizing microarray CGH techniques for clinical oncology purposes. The CGH technologies that Dr. Mohammed helped to develop and commercialize have continued to revolutionize the understanding of the human genome and have spawned thousands of peer-reviewed papers across the international academic community. Considered by Dr. Mohammed as one of the early highlights of his career, and in recognition of his contributions to developing genomic microarray technologies, he was invited as a plenary speaker to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA double helix at the world Human Genome Organization meeting (Cancun, Mexico 2003).
Dr. Mohammed was a founder (2001) and Director of Research and Development at Spectral Genomics Inc. Under Dr. Mohammed’s scientific stewardship, Spectral Genomics quickly grew from a start-up funded by Baylor College of Medicine, to an authority in the emerging field of medical comparative genomics and was eventually acquired by PerkinElmer Inc.
With the acquisition of Spectral Genomics, Dr. Mohammed was invited to head the (then) newly established Advanced Technologies Department at North America’s largest diagnostics reference laboratory, Quest Diagnostics Inc. (2003-2006). Overseeing a state of the art facility at Quest, he was responsible for designing the roadmap and executing the adoption of new diagnostic technologies for this Fortune 500 Company (Market Capitalization exceeding 8 billion US). Within his first year at Quest, Dr. Mohammed was honored with the Patent Innovation Award for prolific innovations and discoveries and notably during his tenure was the youngest recipient of the Medical Innovation Award: Quest’s highest and most prestigious employee recognition award.
In 2006, Dr. Mohammed was recruited to co-found and lead the development of Combimatrix Molecular Diagnostics (CMDX). He served as the latter’s Chief Scientific Officer, Chief Operating Officer and for his last 4 years of tenure, as Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, CMDX became the first diagnostic company offering genomic microarray-based diagnostics to receive an official “freedom to operate” clearance by the FDA. Moreover, under his guidance, CMDX developed and launched the most comprehensive portfolio of clinically validated genomics based tests in the industry and witnessed 9 consecutive quarters of financial growth with its stock price growing from ~$4/share to over $16/share (Nasdaq).
After a decade of intense professional growth, and with an extensive network of academic, clinical and industrial colleagues, Dr. Mohammed left CMDX in October 2010 to pursue the launch of his own firm, ManaGene Inc. ManaGene is focused on providing best-in-class consulting services to the personalized medicine and genomic diagnostic service sectors. It capitalizes on Dr. Mohammed’s unique breadth and depth of experience to help companies and clinics navigate through the complex ecosystem characteristic of personalized medicine and diagnostics ventures. ManaGeneD counts as its clients, medical clinics, diagnostic companies and research institutes in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Dr. Mohammed has served on the Canadian Board of Autistic Research and is a consultant to the world-renowned Toronto Center of Applied Genomics. He has had the honor of being the personal guest of the former Premiere of Ontario, the Honorable Dalton McGuinty, and on several occasions, the guest of the Canadian Consulate of California. He has also sat on several think tank panels, including ones from the FDA and National Institute of Health (NIH) and is a frequent academic lecturer on the role of genomics in medicine.
CONNECT WITH MY GUEST
Part of improving your health and performance as an entrepreneur requires that you take inventory of your current state of health. To this end, we have prepared a monthly quiz related to the health and performance of entrepreneurs and go-getters. This month, the focus is on the importance of managing your blood sugar…
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CALL TO ACTION
Although helpful, genetic testing is not necessary to take steps towards a healthier life. What is one thing you can start doing today to take your health to the next level? Whatever it is, make yourself accountable and inspire others by sharing your commitment in our Entrepology Facebook page.