BGI researches and modifies human genes with its goal being to make its genetic sequencing and information cost effective enough for everyone to use and benefit from. Its exploration of human physiology and general medical science will help to pave the way towards greatly improved human health.
When asked to imagine a futuristic gene research dome full of scientists led by a founder that engages in fun activities with his employees and keeps a little gym by his modest desk, you’d likely picture that this founder was a young entrepreneur. However, sometimes what is real is remarkably different than expectations, and in the case of BGI, reality is much more striking than assumptions. 62 year old Wang Jian founded his company in 1999 as a non-profit and because of his leadership and vision, BGI is experiencing unprecedented growth. While many individuals at his age are preparing to retire, Wang remains instrumental in BGI’s culture and operations.BGI’s Shenzhen campus has 6000 dedicated campus employees, while an unprecedented one third of its employees hold their Ph.D. degrees – possibly the largest concentration of Ph.D.’s in China. BGI focuses primarily on research that explores diagnostic tools and personal genomics, such as genetic mapping, which allows people to explore their family history and genetic disposition in incredible detail.This procedure currently costs thousands of dollars, but with continuously upgraded technology BGI aims to reduce the price to equal to that of an average taxi ride.It would be easy to expect that in a highly profitable industry, BGI’s main objective would be to drive revenue and growth. But just as their founder refuses to conform to society’s expectations, BGI has set itself apart. As the company continues to drive down costs and strive for affordable services, it’s easy to question why the company is doing this. For founder Wang and his staff, the answer is simple; “for the good of humanity.