Gene Cloud Project


One particular mutation in a gene called LRRK2 confers a 51% chance of developing Parkinson's Disease by the age of 69. By the age of 79, your chances of developing Parkinson's reach a staggering 74%. In fact, the information contained in your DNA can predict your genetic risk for hundreds of conditions, and within five years this information will cost less than $100 to obtain. Besides predicting your disease risk, this information is useful -- on an individual basis -- for determining how you will respond to certain pharmaceuticals, identifying harmful environmental factors, and ultimately, understanding how to mitigate or eliminate disease. In short, it is extremely likely that your DNA will be sequenced.

So. Who will have access to this most personal of all personal information, and for what purposes? 

The Gene Cloud is a trusted cloud service for storing and analyzing genetic sequences. We are attempting to strike a balance between the inherent sensitivity of genetic information and the openness and accessibility that is required to treat disease and advance genetic science. Using the Gene Cloud, a doctor can order a specific diagnostic test on your gene sequence without obtaining detailed knowledge of all of your potential genetic issues. A researcher can conduct a study involving thousands of anonymized human genomes without having to download terabytes of information to his own workstation. An epidemiologist can understand the genetic susceptibility of a population to a new strain of a virulent disease. Building on the ideas of trusted distributed computing, we believe that all of these examples can be realized in a way that respects patient privacy and takes into account the policies of the many stakeholders who have an interest in the genetic information.

Speaker Bio  Knox Carey, Intertrust

Knox Carey is a VP in the technology initiatives group, responsible for Intertrust's efforts in the healthcare space. Over the years Knox has played a variety of different roles at Intertrust ranging from standardization and architecture to business development. Most recently, he managed our technology efforts in greater China and helped to build up the Beijing office. Knox came to Intertrust in 1999 from Sony, where he was a senior research scientist in video and image compression. Knox graduated from Cornell University three times (BS 92, MEng 94, PhD 98).