Don't underestimate the power of your vision to change the world. Whether that world is your office, your community, an industry or a global movement, you need to have a core belief that what you contribute can fundamentally change the paradigm or way of thinking about problems.
If you know the mother's genome and the father's genome, and you see that the children have some genes that neither parent has, then you know that difference is either a mutation or a processing error.
An important finding is that by determining the genome sequences of an entire family, one can identify many DNA sequencing errors and thus greatly increase the accuracy of the data. This will ultimately help us understand the role of genetic variations in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.
Medicine will be personalized and preventive: Your genome might predict that you have an 80 percent chance of breast cancer by the time you are 50, but if you take a preventive drug starting when you are 40, the chance will drop to 2 percent.
In the late 1970s, when I was a professor at Caltech, I pioneered four instruments for analyzing genes and proteins that revolutionized modern biology - and one of these, the automated DNA sequencer, enabled the Human Genome Project.
We are evolutionary descendents of this marvellous panoply of life. And what that says unequivocally is we have an utter total obligation to make sure we have an environment that not only is good for us but is good for all living organisms.
Most of the people who claim to be doing systems biology are really studying simple and complex molecular machines and how they function, and that is an aspect of systems biology; but it isn't. It's the networks that really capture and store and transmit and integrate and modulate and finally end up executing the biological information as it is.
What you need to learn how to do is analyze situations and do differential diagnoses and understand the principle and the concepts rather than learn all the details, and medical school doesn't begin to do that.
We don't argue if drug companies create drugs that can cure humans and charge lots of money for them, even though we all have these diseases. It will be pretty hard to make a different argument for genes.