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Eating What Your Genes are Asking For
Episode

Sherry Zhang, Founder and CEO at GenoPalate

Eating What Your Genes are Asking For

In this episode, we are privileged to host Dr. Sherry Zhang. Sherry is a Molecular Geneticist and the CEO of a revolutionary new startup called Genopalate, which uses the latest research in genetics and nutrition to show individuals how to eat healthier based on their genes.

Sherry discusses how her company empowers people to achieve and maintain their optimal health through eating based on their genetic profile. She talks about how the Genopalate app provides personalized nutrition information and how it protects privacy. She also shares anecdotes, insights she’s learned as a businesswoman, and more. Tune in and earn how to eat for your genes!

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Eating What Your Genes are Asking For

About Sherry Zhang

Sherry is a molecular biologist by training. She is also the CEO of GenoPalate. Sherry spent over a decade researching, teaching, and publishing impactful scientific findings about genetic and epigenetic factors that contribute to the alarmingly prevalent obesity and metabolic disorders of our society in the US and worldwide. She has a Bachelor’s in Microbiology from Nankai University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Marquette University. She received the 2019 Spirit of Marquette Award from her alma mater and was named Health Tech Innovator of Wisconsin and 40 under 40 by Milwaukee Business Journal.

Eating What Your Genes are Asking For with Sherry Zhang, Founder and CEO at GenoPalate transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Eating What Your Genes are Asking For with Sherry Zhang, Founder and CEO at GenoPalate was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Saul Marquez:
This episode is brought to you by EHR Go. Go is a simulated electronic health record with a catalogue of realistic and diverse patient care scenarios included. Go helps educators teach a human centered approach to technology and health care. Find out more at healthpodcastnetwork.com/rocket. That’s healthpodcastnetwork.com/rocket.

Sherry Zhang:
Welcome back to the podcast. Saul Marquez here, and today I have the privilege of hosting Dr. Sherry Zhang. She’s a mother and a Molecular Geneticist and the CEO of a revolutionary new startup called GenoPalate, which uses the latest research in genetics and nutrition to show individuals how to eat healthier based on their genes. With GenoPalate technology, this platform, it’s a genetics based, personalized nutrition plan that you could take and empower yourself, Sherry. And her team’s vision is to change how people choose, shop and eat their food for better health. She spent over a decade researching, teaching and publishing impactful scientific findings about genetic and epigenetic factors that contribute to the alarmingly prevalent obesity and metabolic disorders of our society in the US and around the world. She has a Bachelor’s in Microbiology from the Nankai University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Marquette University. She received the 2019 Spirit of Marquette Award from her alma mater and was named Health Tech Innovator of Wisconsin and 40 under 40 by Milwaukee Business Journal. She’s got some great stuff going on. I think you’re going to be very interested here in the New Year on what new things you could do to help your health through what you eat and also how you can help your employees and company or hospital do better. And so with that Sherry, I want to give you a warm welcome. Thanks for joining me.

Sherry Zhang:
Thank you so much for having me.

Saul Marquez:
So what exactly inspires your work in health care Sherry?

Sherry Zhang:
Yeah, I think it’s people and people and they’re wanting and deserving to be healthy. But our current situation is not very conducive for that with all the smart people and the technologies we have in this country. And it’s wonderful. But at the same time, we have this big problem and we haven’t nailed. So that’s really kind of a mission. Almost every day I wake up to. And the other one is the approach you can work with nothing. And being a technologist in genomics field in the metabolic health field for many, many years, and the research and the knowledge and the technologies that we have today is fantastic because they’re powerful. And then the problem is the challenge is for innovators like ourselves to find a way to channel our knowledge into the public’s hands to solve their health issues.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, that’s a great callout. And and so you’re focused on genetics and eating. Tell us a little bit more about what exactly your business is doing to help the the health care ecosystem and individuals.

Sherry Zhang:
Yeah, sure. So GenoPalate started to correct a lot of people. So you’re not the only one. We named that as a passion for linking people like you is the flavor of life. So food. So that’s really what GenoPalate mission as opposed to we use knowledge and the growing knowledge base in nutrition, genomics, epigenomics medicine and so on to empower people to achieve and maintain their optimal health that they can get and eventually, hopefully help the society to prevent chronic diseases that are really crumbling our society’s health. So that’s really what our mission is. And I think the unique thing about what we do is we have created a vehicle that continuously channel the growing knowledge from the disciplines I just described about in health and the genetics to provide on a daily basis. So we just released our mobile app for the New Year. So now everybody can open GenoPalate app and access their very personalized nutrition information and then say, you you have our in our database and you want to cook tonight for your family of three and you open it up in grocery and you can shop for your based on our personalized profile for your nutrition and eat based on your genetic profile tonight. So that’s kind of the uniqueness that we have created for the world.

Saul Marquez:
I think it’s great. Very, very interesting. A lot of the things that are probably going through the listeners minds I know they’re going through my mind is what does this cost and how complicated is it? And privacy, what’s the privacy around this? Can you comment around some of those things?

Sherry Zhang:
Sure. Let me answer the first one. The cost, it is very affordable. And a little bit of the back story is probably very familiar with the human genome sequencing. In 2001 or 2002 or concluded in 2002, and that at a time to 40 of a person’s genome will cost you. It will cost to society two point seven billion dollars or so. And then the advancement of technology driven the price down to probably ten thousand dollars to get a really good read out from one person’s genome. But with our technology where we think about we cherrypicked the mutation that happens between you and me from our ancestry in response to food that we are ancestors exposed to, and those are the ones we have full and more understanding behind. What does it do to you for your metabolic health? So we have a technology to tackle those over hundreds of biomarkers, which is the most comprehensive. So with that, because it’s only one hundred eighty nine dollars when we are at retail, so it’s over a hundred fifty dollars, less than two hundred. And for the price you probably pay for a good pair of running shoes. And then you can get this to not only a test swab test, then you can do at home we send it to you, shop it and our lab will process it and we actually screen all your nutrition. So we’re talking about close to a million mutations. So we’re going to sift through, but we only interrogate those hundreds of biomarkers because we have science and evidence for metabolic health. So that’s the cost side of it.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, and I mentioned that and I had looked at the pricing there and it was pretty incredible, Right. that you could do something as intricate as the stuff that you guys offer that pallet to customize your eating. I mean, it doesn’t get any better than this. Before you and I talked and I looked at your side, I was like, oh, this got to be at least a thousand bucks. And I’m like, wow, one hundred and eighty bucks. This is great.

Sherry Zhang:
I think it is very affordable, especially for someone like me, a veteran in this field for the whole life. And I saw how it’s evolved into such an affordable point. And I will continue driving. And my goal is to really to make it so, such a low barrier for everybody that everybody can enjoy that to begin with. Is it really about after to make that useful? And that will become almost like a habit. So that’s kind of where not only for my business, but I think the whole personalized nutrition for anybody use nutrition to tackle their patients metabolic problems or anything like cancer patients recovery. And there’s so many disciplines that in the health care system that nutrition can play a much bigger and more effective role with. So we would definitely, to this mission, make it so affordable not only for the direct to consumer side of it, but also for to be to be in a payers and health care systems. I think that will help a lot of the efficiency that we have been experiencing. OK, I want to tackle your second question, which is very important.

Saul Marquez:
The privacy, It’s something that has come up with 23 and Me and a lot of these other ones. So yeah, let’s hear it.

Sherry Zhang:
Yeah. So we obviously treated very, very seriously and we it’s something we me and my data security in the technology can pose the most important thing every day when we go to work with. So in the privacy, especially when we talk about genetics, which is probably most private thing you can assess in your life. And we talk about, number one, transparency in terms of how do we use that. We have a very detailed and very thorough, I should say. We don’t have we try to avoid any vagueness, the use, however, we use it for bettering your our service to you potentially to grow into a R&D database to better the the future product. Back to you. Or we’re launching a research project. We ask people to fully understand what it’s about, what’s the benefit, things like that, or consent in or out. It’s about transparency. I think a lot of the misunderstanding caused in this my my field is was it wasn’t transparent enough or the businesses or the entities didn’t do the due diligence or enough effort to make sure people are educated. When people don’t understand something, they tend to turn that into a kind of a fear. So that’s something we do not want to continue for the field. That’s one. And the other one is just technology wise, we try our best and invest. A lot of effort in to make sure it’s secure, it’s de identified we me as the CEO and I have a lot of authority for the business. I have no authority to get access to individual customers identity files. There’s automation. We implemented to per person separate those personal information from their genetic information. So things like that.

Saul Marquez:
Now, it’s good to know Right.. I mean, something that comes to mind and you’ve got to be mindful, got to address it up front.

Saul Marquez:
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Saul Marquez:
So let’s talk about what makes GenoPalate different. What is it that you guys offer that is not out there today? And maybe give us an example of how you guys have made a difference for some of your customers?

Sherry Zhang:
Sure. Yeah, we’re quite unique, at least as of today, as far as we know. I mean, the providers or payers in the house probably can resonate with them. And my note is the reason I found it three years ago on my own is because I didn’t see there’s a solution out there to help patients with healthcare. And I do think that will solve a lot of the pandemic issues that we’re experiencing. So that’s the reason. And even three years later is still not there yet. So we wanted to have the number one meeting and pioneer and partners to health care system. While we have cumulating increasing amounts of testimonials and some are lfe stories. So give you some examples.

One person who was diabetic for many, many years and several months into taking out GenoPalate profiling and information, and they use it for a lady, for her lady life. And on top of her programming with physicians, she’s now in the normal range. And she’s definitely very never so confident about how she can win and maintain her health and for the rest of the life time. So that’s what she expressed back to us and some of the stories with their consent are published on our website. So if you, your audience want to go take a look and carry them and other aspects, we have people showing it’s a very effective triggering of behavior changes using GenoPalate’s information and technology. And it’s pretty intuitive and it’s from my personal use of my technology and services and is for the first time, I have something for me in terms of illustration versus some very generalized knowledge from other publications that I think they are intelligent sometimes that I cannot relate to on daily basis. So I think there’s an increasing amount of data from studies also supporting studies to show that’s really proven in a large cohort. And our research will continue to support that as well. People have experiencing lose weight without much effort and have to try all kinds of regimens. And people I’ve seen have told us they have better mood, which is I’m glad to hear, and didn’t expect that and better allergies, the formation was decreased because we have some biomarkers on the domain of gluten sensitivities like .. And so forth. So is the beauty of dating with population health is that you hear all sorts of stories based on their life experiences. So we’ll continue to collect those above it.

Saul Marquez:
So, folks, a great way to get an idea of what you’re going to go shopping for at the grocery store or what are you going to get onprime and get it delivered instacart and losing weight or figuring out why is your energy low or how can you raise your level of energy? Why do you get sleepy? All of these things are tied to what you eat. And it’s interesting to know that there’s a way you could get deep in it. If you really want to make the changes to get yourself to the next level of your nutrition, there’s an opportunity for you all. If you go to their websites and check out their their packages and you use the promo code rocket, rocket, you’ll get a nice discount for being an Outcomes Rocket rocket member so thanks so much for that Sherry.

Sherry Zhang:
You’re welcome. I would love to have especially more people, experts from the health care system, and try and please provide your valuable feedback to us so we can make it better for you.

Saul Marquez:
So what would you say is one of the biggest setbacks you’ve experienced with the company? And what did you learn from it?

Sherry Zhang:
It’s a tough one. I would say that one of the many, the most prominent one will be culture. We have my background and what we believe, which is how people passion, innovation, creating continue to be curious and create new knowledge for the world. These are the because naturally, the people we recruited and they get trained and stayed. We Very low turnover. I don’t know whether it’s good or bad, but so far we’ve been very successful in achieving our goals at the company. But I think that the reason I’m saying that is I wish I have organized early enough so that I, me and my leadership personally recognize if someone is not a culture-fit or will recognize that our leader. I think that it’s very important for any business owner or leaders of any organizations to recognize what is really your core values and what is the personas of your company will fit into that will really help make it more efficient when you go into your team building, which is very fast right now as a company, as a startup is so important that we don’t waste time going back and forth.

Saul Marquez:
Good lesson. As you think about today and all the great things that you guys are up to, what would you say is the is the most exciting thing on the agenda today at GenoPalate?

Sherry Zhang:
Yeah. And so many just this year and we where we’re at in terms of the challenge we’re still facing, obviously, to help so many people out there achieve their goals and dreams in terms of nutrition house. And then we have the building. We have been building this robust technology platform. And in 2020, we want to plug that into a greater network of clients and partners, health care system, food industry. So that’s part is just our family exciting to me. And I really cannot wait to see how that unfolds.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. And if you had to recommend any book out there to the listeners, what book would it be?

Sherry Zhang:
Oh, I think the one I recently read was very good. It’s called Clay Baker. I don’t know whether you came across that.

Saul Marquez:
No, I haven’t.

Sherry Zhang:
Yeah. Take a look and see whether that’s true to you. But it’s about how do you really think bigger and better to challenge not only you but your team to create so there to claim you can create a category and become the sustainable leader of that category? I think I read a lot of books for running my businesses, but my biggest learning is that I that makes me a better person. So I think you can apply that to any self growth. So I highly recommend that one.

Saul Marquez:
So Play Bigger folks. And as you all know, you could go to Outcomes Rocket that help in the search bar type in GenoPalate and you’ll be able to find our entire transcript and links to GenoPalate.com, as well as the code for your discount for their DNA kit and the recipes, which is rockets. Yeah. And by the way, if you already do have existing DNA tests through 23 in me or ancestry DNA, you’re able to upload those into their database and get those recommendations for your foods. You’re eighty five best foods that’ll help you maximize your health. So check them out whether you’ve done the test or not. It’s a great way to kick off your health this year. And Sherry, before we conclude, I love if you could just share a closing thought and then the best place where the listeners could get in touch with you.

Sherry Zhang:
Sure. Thank you so much, Saul so for this wonderful chat, I go back to my initial notes that, hey, anybody you’re listening to this, you must be passionate about people’s health. And I really congratulate you on that, because to me, it’s the most wonderful nation that we could ever be in or whether you are a physician or policymaker or a technology or business owner like myself. And it’s for US and the global market, as you know, it’s it’s a big problem. I think it’s a person’s right to be healthy and let’s help them. So that’s one. And that one is that we do offer a partnership plan. If a company wants to not only empower individually, but you want to empower the whole company, with is our technology for better nutrition savings and their health care bills. Please talk to us and you can reach me at Sherry at genopalate.com. sherry@genopalate.com. I would love to get to know you and how we can collaborate together. Thank you so much, Saul.

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Things You’ll Learn

How your genes influence your heath and eating habits.

Science-based approach for a personalized nutrition.

Resource:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/yisherryzhang/
https://www.genopalate.com/