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February 25, 2022

Company Spotlight Series: Lucy Kaplun

Meet Lucy Kaplun, Director of Advanced Development at Variantyx!

I was born in the USSR, a country that doesn’t exist anymore, and witnessed it falling apart. My family and I lived in Tajikistan until I was 18 years old, and unfortunately after the country became independent, we had to flee to Israel from a civil war between local clans. I was a third-year medical school student at the time, but when I arrived  in Israel and considered my options to continue education, I decided to switch to genetics, as it would allow me to get my diploma and start supporting my family sooner.  This choice was not only best for my family, but also good for me individually as I was always very interested in data analysis and  the fascinating inherited mechanisms regulating all living creatures. 

As I reflect back, I don’t feel that this one decision determined my career necessarily. It was actually the  exciting people and atmosphere at Ben Gurion University that influenced my career the most. This is where I performed my undergraduate and graduate studies and completed my PhD thesis in Genetics and Molecular Biology under the supervision of wonderful scientists including Sir Aaron Klug, Nobel Prize laureate and President of Royal Society. 

Over the years the focus of my research shifted greatly, from sexual behavior of budding yeast (for real, look it up), mechanisms of longevity, breast and ovarian cancer research, to development of rapid human identification methods for the FBI – it was never boring. Throughout my career I have always been very lucky to have great colleagues and wonderful collaborators, and Variantyx is no exception.

Several factors brought me to join Variantyx, among which is the opportunity to fulfill my dream to participate in development of a comprehensive prenatal diagnostic genetic test. For me, prenatal testing stands out from all other tests, as it lets us detect and potentially treat a person’s problems as early as possible, and it is thrilling to work in this field. I truly believe that we succeeded in creating the best prenatal test on the market, and we are now working on enhancing it even further. I am a big fan of science fiction books promising a bright future, and here at Variantyx we have many new exciting developments in the making right now, and it is an honor to be  a part of it all! Go Variantyx!