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The Genome Odyssey by Dr. Euan Angus Ashley
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The Genome Odyssey

Medical Mysteries and the Incredible Quest to Solve Them

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Narrator Dr. Euan Angus Ashley

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Length 10 hours 39 minutes
Language English
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This program is read by the author.

In The Genome Odyssey, Dr. Euan Ashley, Stanford professor of medicine and genetics, brings the breakthroughs of precision medicine to vivid life through the real diagnostic journeys of his patients and the tireless efforts of his fellow doctors and scientists as they hunt to prevent, predict, and beat disease.


Since the Human Genome Project was completed in 2003, the price of genome sequencing has dropped at a staggering rate. It’s as if the price of a Ferrari went from $350,000 to a mere forty cents. Through breakthroughs made by Dr. Ashley’s team at Stanford and other dedicated groups around the world, analyzing the human genome has decreased from a heroic multibillion dollar effort to a single clinical test costing less than $1,000.

For the first time we have within our grasp the ability to predict our genetic future, to diagnose and prevent disease before it begins, and to decode what it really means to be human.

In The Genome Odyssey, Dr. Ashley details the medicine behind genome sequencing with clarity and accessibility. More than that, with passion for his subject and compassion for his patients, he introduces listeners to the dynamic group of researchers and doctor detectives who hunt for answers, and to the pioneering patients who open up their lives to the medical community during their search for diagnoses and cures.

He describes how he led the team that was the first to analyze and interpret a complete human genome, how they broke genome speed records to diagnose and treat a newborn baby girl whose heart stopped five times on the first day of her life, and how they found a boy with tumors growing inside his heart and traced the cause to a missing piece of his genome.

These patients inspire Dr. Ashley and his team as they work to expand the boundaries of our medical capabilities and to envision a future where genome sequencing is available for all, where medicine can be tailored to treat specific diseases and to decode pathogens like viruses at the genomic level, and where our medical system as we know it has been completely revolutionized.

A Macmillan Audio production from Celadon Books

Euan Ashley is a Professor of Medicine and Genetics at Stanford University. He was born in Scotland and graduated from the University of Glasgow. He attended Oxford University, completing a PhD there before moving to Stanford University where he trained in Cardiology. He joined the Stanford faculty, where he led the team that carried out the first medical interpretation of a human genome and holds the Roger and Joelle Burnell Chair in Genomics and Precision Health. Ashley has received awards from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. He was recognized by the Obama White House and received the Medal of Honor from the American Heart Association.

His articles have appeared in the many journals, including Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Nature and Cell. He appears regularly on local and national radio and TV. He is the founder of three companies and advisor to several Silicon Valley companies. With three young children, he spends his spare time trying to understand American football, playing the saxophone, and conducting research on the health benefits of single malt Scotch whisky.

Euan Ashley is a Professor of Medicine and Genetics at Stanford University. He was born in Scotland and graduated from the University of Glasgow. He attended Oxford University, completing a PhD there before moving to Stanford University where he trained in Cardiology. He joined the Stanford faculty, where he led the team that carried out the first medical interpretation of a human genome and holds the Roger and Joelle Burnell Chair in Genomics and Precision Health. Ashley has received awards from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. He was recognized by the Obama White House and received the Medal of Honor from the American Heart Association.

His articles have appeared in the many journals, including Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Nature and Cell. He appears regularly on local and national radio and TV. He is the founder of three companies and advisor to several Silicon Valley companies. With three young children, he spends his spare time trying to understand American football, playing the saxophone, and conducting research on the health benefits of single malt Scotch whisky.

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