Dr. Cathy Petti – The Woman Who Is Ancestry’s New Chief Health Officer

The following teaser was posted July 21, 2015 to the Fortune.com website.


Dr. Cathy Petti is the new chief health officer of Ancestry.com. She talks to Fortune about the launch of AncestryHealth and the company’s plans to expand its genetics business.

It’s been a big couple of weeks for Dr. Cathy Petti, the new chief health officer of Ancestry.com. Last Thursday, the company—which focuses on helping people trace their family origins—announced that it has hired Petti to play a major role in the launch of AncestryHealth, a site that will allow consumers to add health information to their family trees. Today, Ancestry revealed yet another piece of news: a collaboration with Calico, a Google-funded biotech firm focused on longevity research and therapeutics.

Read the full article.

AncestryDNA & Calico to Research the Genetics of the Human Lifespan

The following news release was received from Ancestry.com:


Collaboration Will Analyze Family History and Genetics to Facilitate Development of Cutting-Edge Therapeutics

PROVO, Utah and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AncestryDNA, an industry leader in consumer genetics, and Calico, a company focused on longevity research and therapeutics, today announced an effort to investigate human heredity of lifespan. Together, they will evaluate anonymized data from millions of public family trees and a growing database of over one million genetic samples. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

AncestryDNA and Calico will work together to analyze and investigate the role of genetics and its influences in families experiencing unusual longevity using Ancestry’s proprietary databases, tools and algorithms. Calico will then focus its efforts to develop and commercialize any potential therapeutics that emerge from the analysis.

“On the heels of our AncestryHealth launch and our one million genotyped customers milestone for AncestryDNA, we’re excited to announce this collaboration with Calico to research and develop life changing solutions,” said Ken Chahine, Executive Vice President and Head of DNA and Health. “We have laid the groundwork for this effort through the combination of an unmatched family history database, one of the fastest growing genetic databases, and a strong and talented team of computer scientists and professional genealogists.”

AncestryDNA can provide access to a unique combination of resources that will enable Calico to develop potentially groundbreaking therapeutic solutions. The extensive research period will identify common patterns in longevity and human heredity through pedigree data.

“Our common experience suggests that there may be hereditary factors underlying longevity, but finding the genes responsible using standard techniques has proven elusive,” commented David Botstein, Calico’s Chief Scientific Officer and member of the US National Academy of Sciences. “This is an extraordinary opportunity to address a fundamental unanswered question in longevity research using high quality human pedigrees.”

To learn more about the AncestryDNA, visit www.ancestrydna.com. For more information on Calico, visit www.calicolabs.com.

About AncestryDNA
AncestryDNA is owned and operated by Ancestry.com DNA, LLC, a subsidiary of Ancestry.com, LLC. AncestryDNA uses a simple test to analyze an individual’s DNA. AncestryDNA offers the potential of identifying new insights into people’s ancient ancestry to help them collaborate with distant cousins and make even more discoveries in their family history. For more information visit www.ancestrydna.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include a variety of factors, some of which are beyond the company’s control. In particular, such risks and uncertainties include the company’s ability to add tools and features, and provide value to satisfy customer demand. Information concerning additional factors that could cause events or results to differ materially is contained under the caption “Risk Factors” in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for Ancestry.com LLC for the period ended March 31, 2015, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 1, 2015, and in discussions in other of the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date and we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements.

About Calico Life Sciences
Calico (Calico Life Sciences LLC) is a Google-funded research and development company whose mission is to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan. Calico will use that knowledge to devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives. Visit www.calicolabs.com.

Ancestry Launches AncestryHealth

The following press release is from Matthew Deighton at Ancestry.com:

Dr. Cathy Petti Joins as Chief Health Officer to Spearhead Company’s Global Health Initiatives


(PROVO, Utah) – July 16, 2015 – Ancestry (www.ancestry.com), the leader in family history and consumer genetics, today announced the launch of AncestryHealth (www.ancestryhealth.com), a new entity and resource to empower consumers with important health insights to help promote wellness, prevent illness and support healthier living. The company also announced appointment of Cathy A. Petti, MD, as AncestryHealth’s Chief Health Officer. At the same time, AncestryDNA (www.ancestrydna.com) announced the accomplishment of surpassing one million people tested in its database.

AncestryHealth’s first offering is a free service, currently in beta, that gives consumers the ability to compile their family health history information with the help of their Ancestry family tree.

Family health history is unique to every person. According to the Surgeon General’s office, family health history is one of the most effective screening tools in health today. Because certain health conditions like breast cancer, heart disease and cystic fibrosis can run in families and be traced, knowing important information about one’s family’s health history can help individuals and their physicians be more aware of potential health problems and take the necessary steps to reduce and prevent risks.

“Ancestry fundamentally believes family history is a powerful tool that not only can educate individuals about their past and where they came from, but can inform their future,” stated Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry. “This new service leverages expert research and delivers customized information to consumers about the risks and prevention measures to help empower them to make healthy lifestyle choices. Combined with the breadth and scale of Ancestry data, we expect AncestryHealth to be a key piece of the puzzle as we look to understand how health is passed down through generations, and we are excited to have Dr. Petti lead this effort.”

AncestryHealth integrates health information with expertise in genealogy to help consumers trace health conditions along family lines and understand what it means to individuals and their families, while recording this valuable information to share with their physicians and future generations. The company also plans to work with institutions to integrate family health history data into electronic medical records to better help physicians use family health history as a screening tool.

AncestryHealth is committed to being a partner in health by providing individuals with meaningful information and relevant research to help them make choices that could lead to longer, healthier lives. Dr. Petti joins Ancestry’s strong and growing leadership team to help focus AncestryHealth’s global health initiatives on empowering consumers to take charge of their health.

“We’re very excited to not only launch AncestryHealth but to also have Dr. Petti join us as its Chief Health Officer,” said Dr. Ken Chahine, Executive Vice President and General Manager of AncestryDNA and AncestryHealth. “This cements our commitment to bring our customers compelling, innovative and actionable health experiences. Dr. Petti brings tremendous knowledge and experience in individualized and global health, with expertise in clinical, regulatory and healthcare diagnostics. This is invaluable as we set out to create health offerings for our community that integrate with, and leverage the successes of, Ancestry and AncestryDNA.”

In her role, Dr. Petti will work alongside the genomics, bioinformatics, privacy and security teams to lead a health-focused strategy and create a valuable consumer health experience, starting with AncestryHealth’s family health history offering. Dr. Petti will also lead medical and regulatory affairs.

A scientific leader, Dr. Petti is internationally recognized for her expertise in clinical diagnostics and global health. Most recently, she was founder and president of HealthSpring Global, Inc., a concierge IVD consulting company supporting biotechnology companies, investors and academic researchers on the entire life cycle of advanced technologies. Dr. Petti has served as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at TriCore Reference Laboratories; held the position of Global Head of Medical, Scientific and Clinical Affairs for Novartis Diagnostics; and was Medical Director of ARUP Laboratories. She has held appointments at leading academic institutions as a Professor of Medicine and Pathology, authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, and received multiple scientific awards and honors. Dr. Petti is board certified in both internal medicine and pathology subspecialties, and received an AB from Harvard University and MD from Duke University.

Ancestry is scaling rapidly from being the largest family history database to AncestryDNA now surpassing one million genotyped customers in just three years, making it one of the fastest growing consumer genetic networks today. Now armed with the combination of family history and DNA data, Ancestry is positioned to take a lead in giving consumers a glimpse into future possibilities. The company is also laser focused on bringing together the brightest talent, developing and designing a robust, easy-to-use platform and continuing to evolve in the health ecosystem.

To learn more about the AncestryHealth experience, visit www.ancestryhealth.com.