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Jun Wang
Most Creative People 2017

Jun Wang

Founder and CEO, iCarbonX

For sharpening the tools of precision medicine

Every aspect of our body—DNA, lipids, cells—is carbon-based. Jun Wang’s big-data medical startup iCarbonX, which he founded in 2015, is working toward aggregating all of our carbon-based information and then using artificial intelligence to discern more accurate details about any particular person’s disease. “To have a deep understanding of diabetes, we should dig into diet, intestinal microbes, genes, proteome, etabolites—rather than just insulin,” says Wang, who previously spent 16 years at Chinese genomics company BGI (half as CEO), building it into one of the world’s most prolific sequencers of human, animal, and plant DNA. “With this, we talk about [cure].” For Wang’s “carbon cloud” platform to work best, he will need at least 1 million participants. So in January 2017, he invested in sev­en companies in exchange for their contribution to this project, including AO­­Biome (which is studying probiotic-based therapy), an Israeli AI startup, and a Chinese cosmetics firm. Wang in­tends this “digital life alliance,” as he calls it, to combine with AI algorithms to personalize treatment for diseases like diabetes and cancer—and everyday items like over-the-counter skin-care products, too.  

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