This week, we speak with Dr. Charles Strom, former Medical Director for Genetic Testing at Quest Diagnostics. He has spent the past 30 years in the fast-changing field of genetic testing, and did groundbreaking work in pre-implantation genetics while at the Reproductive Genetics Institute, and served as a faculty member at the University of Chicago, where he also earned his doctorate and medical degrees. Currently, he is CEO and co-founder of Liquid Diagnostics, which uses new technology to analyze ultra-short DNA fragments in saliva and blood,
We discuss how the latest medical technology can look for specific disease markers in antibodies in saliva — a much less invasive process than biopsies or blood draws. There are also genetic markers for specific types of cancers, which are difficult to detect otherwise. As an example, 80% of lung cancers are detected when they are in phase 3 or 4. At that stage, it is too late to successfully treat the disease, and the outcome is invariably poor. If at-risk patients have these (or other) cancers detected earlier, the prognosis improves dramatically.
He explains how during the pandemic, Liquid Diagnosis added Covid-antibodies to their test kit. Rather than merely determining if a patient is positive or negative for Covid, they can determine quantitative antibody levels. This creates a substantial tool for determining how at risk an individual or entire city or region is. High levels of antibodies suggest a city can withstand a new surge, low levels indicate potential higher levels of infection, hospitalization, and mortality.
Dr. Streom notes that in public health, everybody is considered the same. But that turns out not to be the case. If you can determine your antibody level, you can decide if you need a second or third booster. People with high levels of Covid antibodies should feel free to do whatever they were doing pre-covid and can postpone another booster until cold & flu season. Those with low antibodies should get a booster immediately.
You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Jonathan Miller, discussing real estate, home sales, rentals, and whether cities are dead or not. Miller is the CEO and co-founder of Miller Samuel, whose data and analytics on real estate have become the standard for the residential real estate appraisal and brokerage industry.
Buck Strom’s Favorite Books
Shoeless Joe: The Inspiration for FIELD OF DREAMS by W.P. Kinsella
Bach’s Goldberg Variations (Once Upon a Masterpiece) by Anna Harwell Celenza
A Harry Bosch Novel (20 book series) by Michael Connelly
The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly