Even before the development of next-generation DNA sequencing, genetic analysis raised numerous ethical issues. Whole genome analysis, however, raises additional issues and it is important that they be addressed thoroughly as part of any human genome interpretation effort. Personalis founders have been leaders in the field of genome ethics, publishing on the topic well before the founding of the company:
Ormond KE, Wheeler MT, Hudgins L, Klein TE, Butte AJ, Altman RB, Ashley EA, Greely HT. Lancet p(2010 Apr 29).
The concern for professional ethics in genomic medicine has been continued from the inception of Personalis. The company’s first non-CEO employee was a Genetic Counselor, with experience at the whole genome level. The company also established an internal Management-Level Ethics Committee, led by the CEO. This committee meets regularly and reviews all DNA samples and genomic data sets prior to use at the company. The company has also retained the services of an independent IRB and works closely with customer IRB’s to address ethical issues relating to human subjects research.