Yael Joffe
Visionaries - 4 weeks ago

Meet Yael Joffe, Personalising Healthcare Services through Genetics

Yael Joffe lost her grandmother to cancer. This inspired the South African health entrepreneur to launch 3X4 Genetics in 2018.

The event opened her eyes to the reality and ineffectiveness of the traditional healthcare system in the world. With this loss, she channelled her energy into studying medicine and dietetics.

During her research, she found that drugs merely stall and conceal illnesses rather than prolong people’s health. In her quest for a better solution, Joffe stumbled on genetics.

Through 3X4 Genetics, she provides a complete solution using cutting-edge testing techniques via a network of highly skilled practitioners.

The path to 3X4 Genetics

Yael Joffe grounded herself in the health space and became a renowned scientist with a doctorate in Nutrigenomics and Functional Nutrition from the University of Cape Town. She believes that with the knowledge gained, she can develop and provide DNA-driven individualised medical advice to people.

To Joffe, “Genes make up the baseline “code” by which your body functions. Everything we do in our lives links to what we have inherited; your genetic makeup influences every single choice you make throughout your life”.

Therefore, understanding the hidden knowledge in our genes will give us immeasurable access to making the right choices for our bodies.

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3X4 Genetics

In 2018, she founded 3X4 Genetics which uses a DNA test kit that breaks down and analyses more than 134 genes. 

The genes include those that may affect metabolism, inflammation, detoxification, fitness, body weight, hormones, cognition, and response to diet and supplements.

With its effectiveness, different healthcare practitioners patronise and use 3X4 Genetics tests to analyse and understand various medical conditions. 

Yael Joffe said, “We are building a digital, interactive version of our Blueprint to improve the healthcare service. This product will give practitioners and patients an interactive user experience as they navigate their gene results, pathways, and health categories.

It will enable easy customisation of recommendations for practitioners, helping them give up-to-date, personalised recommendations for their patients. We are designing it to save the practitioner preparation time”.

Scaling the business beyond the shores of Africa

In 2019, 3X4 Genetics received $2.5 million in Series A funding from Alethea Capital, a US-based venture capital.

In 2020, the funding was used to expand the startup into the United States healthcare sector. With the opening of its new office in Seattle in 2021, Michael Hubbard was named the new chief executive officer of 3X4Genetics.

He said, “I am excited about the tremendous opportunity to bring actionable genetics information to more people worldwide.

We have seen that technology provides an amazing amount of data to individuals to manage their health and performance. 3X4 is bringing genetics into this digital health realm, and I see us as ideally situated for rapid adoption”.

More on Yael Joffe

Apart from being a renowned scientist, Yael Joffe is a mother to two children: Hannah and Jack and a lover of animals. This is evident in her having two dogs and three cats.

Although her work is one of her happy places, one way she cools off from a hectic day is outdoor swimming. She says, “ I love swimming, anywhere and anytime. Especially in oceans, lakes, and rivers, not in chlorinated overheated gym swimming pools”.

The world-acclaimed nutrigenomic also loves teaching. She said, “The best part of my work is seeing clinicians become experts in the nutrigenomic space, very clever and enlightened practitioners that make me super proud”.

She has published some in peer-reviewed journals and co-published three books: It’s Not Just Your Genes, The SNP Journal, and Genes to Plate.

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