Our founder, Ellen Matloff, is a certified genetic counselor who founded and served as the Director of the Cancer Genetic Counseling program at Yale. In 2013, a series of events unfolded that made her realize that a digital tool was needed to keep up with the rapidly changing field of genomics.
First, Angelina Jolie wrote a New York Times editorial disclosing that she carried a mutation in BRCA1. Referrals to Yale increased by 40 percent overnight and never returned to baseline, creating a non-urgent referral list nine months long. Second, human gene patents were banned in a unanimous decision by the United States Supreme Court.
Within five hours, multiple laboratories were offering hereditary cancer testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 and an entire panel of other genes associated with cancer risk, at half the cost. Next, many clinicians began ordering genetic testing without sending patients for genetic counseling. Patients across the country had their test results misinterpreted, leading to poor clinical outcomes.
Co-founder & CEO
Ellen Matloff, MS, CGC is the President and CEO of My Gene Counsel. Ellen is the founder and former director of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Program at Yale School of Medicine.
Ellen has authored more than 50 scientific publications in the field; is an established educator, lecturer, and media spokesperson; and has received national awards for her ongoing patient advocacy efforts. She is an outspoken patient advocate in many areas, most notably as a plaintiff in the 2013 BRCA gene patent case that went before the Supreme Court in 2013. This decision led to drastically lower prices of genetic testing, making it possible for more patients to afford this technology.
As genetic testing became more common and also more complex, she served as the senior author on several publications documenting national errors in the misinterpretation of genetic test results. From these experiences, Ellen created My Gene Counsel and its associated digital tools that can be used in parallel with genetic testing to help ensure that results are used accurately and effectively.
Co-founder & Director of Genetics
Danielle Bonadies, MS, CGC is the Director of Genetics at My Gene Counsel. She is responsible for the development of our Living Lab Report® content that populates the My Gene Counsel portal. Before joining My Gene Counsel, Danielle served as the Assistant Director of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Program at Yale School of Medicine. She practiced as a clinical genetic counselor for over a decade, designed and ran several interactive online patient education and communication sites, and was involved in the cancer genetics education of thousands of patients, clinicians, and students.
Danielle has co-authored multiple book chapters and articles in genetic counseling and testing. She was involved in several seminal papers that document the high rate of result misinterpretation amongst clinicians ordering genetic testing. In addition, her publications include work that helps understand the viewpoint of genetic counselors and physicians on a wide range of complex decisions associated with cancer genetic testing. Other publications focus on the informational needs of individuals with hereditary predispositions during decision-making periods. These experiences helped set the stage for her involvement in My Gene Counsel and the development of a digital, scalable genetic counseling solution to aid the rapidly complex arena of genetic testing. Danielle’s strong clinical, research, and advocacy background illustrate her ongoing commitment to the field of hereditary cancer. She brings this dedication and leadership to the My Gene Counsel team.
Chief Technology Advisor
Anand Balasubramanian has a depth of technical expertise in designing and architecting cloud-native technology solutions for large-scale enterprise systems and broad experience in building revenue-generating products and services. For over 20 years, Anand has helped technology companies develop and launch solutions in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Maintenance-as-a-Service (MaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) markets.
Anand has held many lead technology positions for companies in a variety of industries, including the public sector. While General Manager and Chief Technology Officer of GCR Inc., a public sector software and services firm focused on critical infrastructure, grants management, land management, elections, and government business services, he created a national program expanding their solution to over 34 states. While in this role, he focused his attention on securing the election management solutions in 10+ states. Anand brings his broad-based technology experience of increasing security and adapting cyber security protocols to the My Gene Counsel team.
Jay Freeland is the retired President, CEO, and Director of FARO Technologies (NASDAQ: FARO), where he grew company revenue by 5x and quadrupled their market capitalization to $1.1 billion. In 2018, three years after retiring from FARO, Jay joined the Board of Directors of Perceptron (NASDAQ: PRCP). He was named Chairman of the Board in early 2019 and stepped in as Interim President and CEO in late 2019. During his tenure, he focused on stabilizing and restructuring the organization, leading to the successful all-cash sale of the company to Atlas Copco (STO: ATCO-A) in December 2020 at a 192% share price premium. Prior to Perceptron and FARO, Jay spent 12 years as an executive at GE.
Currently, Jay serves on the Board of Directors for X-lumin, a leader in optical wireless communication solutions, and is an Angel Investor in and Advisor to companies and organizations that are meaningfully improving the lives of others. He is also on the President’s Council for his alma mater, Union College. In his role as Senior Advisor to My Gene Counsel, Jay utilizes his connections and experience with partnerships, scaling, and investor relations to help guide strategic initiatives.
Genetic Clinical Operations Director
Meagan Farmer, MS, CGC, MBA is the Genetic Clinical Operations Director of My Gene Counsel. Meagan connected with Ellen and Danielle when she completed the Yale Cancer Genetic Counseling fellowship in 2010. She was a consultant for My Gene Counsel before coming on board full time in 2018.
Meagan is the former director of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She remains affiliated with the program and participates in patient care, teaching, and research activities. She co-authored a book, book chapters, and several articles on genetic counseling and genetic testing. She is also on the board of the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation.
Meagan has a special interest in increasing access to genetic information through innovative service delivery models and digital solutions. She expanded the telemedicine program at UAB and is active in telehealth and precision medicine initiatives at UAB, as well as on regional and national levels. Meagan recognized that both business acumen and technology are crucial in making genetic counseling scalable in the genomics era. To better prepare for this, she completed her MBA with concentrations in healthcare and technology.
Marketing & Communications Manager
Caitlin Kingsley is the Marketing and Communications Manager for My Gene Counsel. In this role, Caitlin is responsible for the implementation of key company revenue and partnership programs, the execution of grant applications and proposals, and the development of creative marketing materials and media pieces.
Prior to joining My Gene Counsel, Caitlin worked for BAE Systems, one of the world’s largest defense, security, and aerospace companies, where she gained unparalleled knowledge of marketing across diverse industries, geographies, and scale of businesses. At BAE, Caitlin managed all elements of integrated marketing strategy, including coordination of hundreds of in-person and online events, for cyber security and financial crime solutions. Caitlin graduated from Lehigh University and holds a master’s degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University. Her work is informed by a deep understanding and passion for writing, editing, and design, a unique skill set Caitlin brings to the marketing endeavors of My Gene Counsel.