[By: Dan DiGiorno]
During the second day of Innovtrip we had the opportunity to visit Recombine, a biotech company focused on providing information about fertility. One such service is CarrierMap, a genetic screen using methods such as Illumina infinium and sequencing to determine which genetic mutations parents may have that could affect their children’s health. Another service, ChromoMap, uses cell-free fetal DNA from the mother’s blood to assess the fetus’s chromosomal health with no associated risk of miscarriage. It was particularly interesting to learn about some of the rationale behind what Recombine tests for. For example, they primarily screen for autosomal recessive and X-linked genes, as opposed to more complicated forms of inheritance, because these screens are verifiable. This assures that they can provide accurate information to their clients, something that our hosts placed particular emphasis on.
As a senior about to enter the workforce, it was enlightening to get to hear about our hosts’ carrier paths. Although they both currently work at Recombine, one of our hosts had recently joined after working in consulting whereas our other host had started as an intern the summer after his junior year at Princeton. They were also able to offer some good advice about choosing a company to work for, and suggesting looking into who is investing in a start-up since it is important that investors have knowledge of the subject and a similar vision of where the company is going.
Recombine presented to us not only an example of how a company can use technology to impact the lives of their clients, but also an example of a company with a clear vision and a strong sense of ethical obligation.