Why I joined Guardant Health
After getting my PhD in Bioinformatics and completing my thesis on identifying biomarkers in leukemia and breast cancer, I knew I could have a greater impact on patients if I applied my research and knowledge at the companies developing products that could help patients, instead of remaining in academia. After spending over ten years in the industry focused on next-generation sequencing, I was attracted to Guardant Health because the company is a true pioneer with a focus on making liquid biopsy tests, and the data captured, accessible and helpful for patients with cancer.
What Drives Me
Having lost my mother to cancer in 2013 and my sister to cancer in 2017, I have experienced the frustrations that can arise when a patient with cancer does not receive the appropriate testing and first line of treatment. Although I pleaded with the oncologists and care teams to have my mother and my sister receive complete biomarker testing, this was not the standard of care in Taiwan, and they did not have access to these tests to inform their treatment decisions. After going through this experience, I shifted my focus on patient access to treatment and care. At Guardant Health, I know that the work I am doing every day plays a vital role in expanding patient access to our innovative portfolio of products.
How Guardant Health is Different
In 2014 when the Guardant360® test was first launched, not many people believed in the power of liquid biopsy tests and that they could be comparable to the standard of care tissue biopsy, but the co-founders did. The shared determination among company leadership to make a difference for patients with cancer continues to inspire me. There is still a lot to achieve at Guardant Health, and I feel valued knowing that I can contribute in a meaningful way to the company’s shared goals to help patients at all stages of the disease.
At Guardant Health, not only do I get to contribute towards our mission of conquering cancer with data, but I am also working towards my own personal mission to take part in the fight against cancer and help make a difference for patients. I strive to leverage my bioinformatics expertise to develop innovative technologies that can provide physicians with actionable insights for their patients. In my role at Guardant Health, I am pushed to achieve this and to continue to make an impact for patients with cancer.
My wife and I chose to move from Taiwan to the United States because we saw America as one of the iconic cultural leaders in terms of being openly gay. When we first moved, we initially decided to hide our sexual orientation because of our experiences in Taiwan. My wife and I made the decision to live authentically at work because I wanted to be able to share my values and my experiences with my colleagues instead of remain hiding. I’m very lucky that when I came out, the healthcare companies that I have worked for and the teams I have been a part of, including Guardant Health, have been very open and accepting of me.
My passion for fighting cancer does not stop when I leave work every day. I am an avid dog lover, and my wife and I have taken care of many “fur babies” throughout our years together. Unfortunately, we have lost a few of our beloved dogs to cancer and, because of my experience and background, I have extended my passion and research to helping dogs with cancer as well.