Learn more about Alessandro through the following quick questions:
Good morning Alessandro. What do you do at GenomSys, and what are you currently working on?
Good morning. I’m in charge of developing a strategy to bring GenomSys and its products, the GenomSys Variant Analyzer and GenomSys Toolkit, to the market in a way that maximizes the prospective evaluation of the company. I look forward to working with the GenomSys team to bring genomic analysis to the new era, and my past experiences in MedTech and startups can be a helpful asset in this.
What is your take on personalized medicine and what role does GenomSys play in that?
I’ve been working on personalized medicine for the last 7 years from different angles. The entire world is talking about personalized medicine because it is not just a more effective way of practicing medicine and ultimately helping patients but also a way to make healthcare more efficient. As of today, more than 4’000 clinical trials specifically related to the genome are ongoing. But personalized medicine is not a method we can choose to adopt from one day to the next. It is an approach that will become more and more real as we leverage the enabling technologies. Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) is, for sure, one of the most important ones when talking about Genetics. We, as GenomSys, would like to play a key role since we want to make especially the analysis after the sequencing with NGS more accessible. We aim is to make the entire bioinformatics and IT processes behind it easier to manage thanks to our focus on data science and, overall, on our preeminent position in the development of MPEG-G-based solutions.
What is the most significant benefit of GenomSys’ ISO-certified standard for genomic data (MPEG-G), in your opinion?
Efficient data storage is, of course, the problem of the future. It reminds me of when, in the early 90s, the western world started worrying about waste management. We started, back then, to find solutions once the problem was affecting everyone. But the full awareness of the data storage problem will not be reached in the next few years since the problem is not really affecting our everyday lives or at least not yet.
What really makes the MPEG-G a powerful tool in our hands is that it is a safe working environment developed by the worldwide renowned ISO committee for standardization. With the MPEG-G standard, data corruption is much less probable, which means a lot in terms of today’s needs. But also think about the value chain of the business side for laboratories using NGS and connected vast amount of generated data. The individual patient will be sure that his/her data will be retrievable and interoperable from one healthcare provider to another. The geneticist will be able to quickly access a single subset of data without needing to decompress the full dataset, saving time and money. The institutions will rely on safe and secure protocols that will avoid legal issues in case of damage to the database. Accelerating the care for patients with faster diagnosis and decreasing costs and time for the laboratories.
Genomic data and data privacy challenges. What is, in your opinion, a way to solve this issue?
While the scientific world is moving toward an intensive use of NGS technologies, regulation will be a barrier, as usual. We talk about precision medicine, but we then make it more complex to manage individual-level data. We know that big-data availability and analysis for Research & Development purposes should drive the solving of critical problems. Still, national entities force healthcare institutions and operators to store data locally and deny researchers from all over the world access to datasets.
A way to solve it would be to create a simple but secure infrastructure to access data publicly and for free. With technologies already on the market, public entities could securely make available important data, but they are not doing it more for political reasons than ethical ones. The history of science tells us that allowing is much more valuable than protecting.
Why did you join GenomSys?
It has a very compelling team. It is full of different profiles and has a sheer international flavor, that I find for myself fascinating. The technologies included in GenomSys products are the future in Genetics, and I wanted to be part of it.
When you’re not handling the finances at GenomSys, what do you do in your free time?
I dedicate my free time to my family. I have two kids and I’d like to spend as much time with them as possible by creating and sharing memories with them and seeing how they grow up. I involve them in my hobbies or join them in their free-time activities.
Do you listen to podcasts? What are you currently listening to?
I like history and thrillers. Since my time for reading is – unfortunately – reducing year by year, I like to use podcasts to substitute it.
Alessandro Barbero’s podcasts on history are very interesting, as well as Carlo Lucarelli’s crime podcasts. Another interesting podcast is “Chiamate Roma Triuno Triuno”, a radio broadcast of Radio Dee Jay, an Italian radio. They are very, very funny.
Or do you still prefer reading? What were the top 3 books that you think anybody should’ve read at least once?
Yes, I prefer reading. The three books that changed at least something in my life are:
- It was the first time I was really hypnotized by a story. I wanted to read more and more and it was probably the best thing I received from high school. I remember the emotions flowing from the book to myself and still feel them.
- Why do we sleep? (auth. Walker). It is a collection of scientific evidence about the benefits of sleep. Nobody thinks about sleep as therapy, but indeed it is. This book is very well written and since I read it, I have really focused on improving my sleep and I managed to switch from 5-6 hours per night to 8-10. A lot of issues in my physical and psychological health vanished simply by sleeping.
- For me, any novel written by Joe Lansdale is worth reading. He is a pure genius. I feel familiar with western Texas without ever having been there, simply because Lansdale has the ability to teleport you wherever he wants.
If you have any further questions for Alessandro or about GenomSys, please feel free to contact us.