She’s Building India: Anu Acharya finds poetry in science with MapMyGenome
Anu Acharya finds poetry in science. She is a mascot of women in STEM and has made her mark in entrepreneurship with gene mapping, an effort that allows people to understand their health better by knowing their genes. With MapMyGenome, a molecular diagnostics company Acharya is building India with science and genomics. Founded in 2011, MapMyGenome uses DNA testing to develop genomics solutions for predictive diagnosis and prognosis. It sells Do It Yourself called GenomePatri (yes, it’s named after janampatri) kits in a bid to take the idea mass.
She’s Building India: Anu Acharya is a mascot for women in STEM
MapMyGenome is not her first venture. She is the founder and was the CEO of Ocimum Bio Solutions in 2000, a genomics outsourcing company for discovery, development and diagnostics, headquartered in Hyderabad. “We were working with all large pharma companies…but what made me think about MapMyGenome was the fact that I wanted to impact people around us. Also the question of not having enough Indian genome data. And so we thought of doing this.”
She insists Indians need to use and understand their gene data and not consider that science as something they fear. “We have a tendency to be fatalistic in our approach to healthcare, with this people can improve their sense of their own health,” Acharya insists. They use a small sample which could even be from the saliva to do the testing come up with the gene map of the patient.
The company has investors like Rajan Anandan, Google’s VP and MD for South East Asia and India, and Satveer Singh Thakral, Chief Executive of Singapore Angel Network, and others. Anu Acharya was born in Bikaner but spent most of her life in Kharagpur. She graduated from IIT Kharagpur in 1995 and later moved to Chicago in 1995 to pick a Master of Science in Physics and MIS (Management Information Systems) from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Anu Acharya is in love with poetry and has a book called Atomic Pohe- Random Rhymes at odd times