Name: John Dulin
Where Are They Now: San Francisco, Freenome
KHS Class of: 2011
Job Description: Freenome is a biotech startup uniting AI and gene sequencing to diagnose cancer earlier, cheaper, and safer thru a blood test. As a Freenome software engineer, I design, code, and test software that helps scientists track samples, design experiments, store (Petabytes of!) data, launch compute clusters and configure experiments in web UIs. Because the team is small (I was engineer #2 of now 9), I have “worn many hats.”
Why Do You Do What You Do?: I loved working on raw, natural science as a physicist at Case Western Reserve University. But, I spent my summers working at software startups. After graduation, I decided against pursuing graduate school but knew I wanted to work somewhere at the intersection of math & science and engineering. Freenome is the perfect combination, where we are building vast automated systems to process blood and data while at the same time asking ground-breaking questions about cancer biology. I love grokking machine learning and functional genomics in my job, and being part of a mission-driven team of great people.
Words of Wisdom:
Humans are creatures of mimicry. Most of our desires, dreams, and destinations do not come from within our own hearts and minds but from watching others want something and filling in their wants for ours.
This is not a bad or good thing, it cannot be changed – It’s just who we are. But recognize this in yourself. Use it to ask yourself why you are pursuing a goal. Is it what you really want? Will it really make your life happier? You’d be surprised how often I look back on life and think of something I once obsessed on as trivial.
On the other hand, this behavior makes it easier than you know to become a leader. Others will mimic you faster than you realize if you pursue something with confidence, optimism, empathy, and thought. And the fewer people chasing a goal, the more valuable it becomes.