Simon Morriss

Every issue, GRAZIA USA highlights Game Changers who inspire, educate and celebrate individuality, beauty and style. Meet Simon Morriss, the CEO of Genetic Technologies, a leading brand in genetic risk assessment which is changing how to detect illnesses with its breakthrough saliva-based test. 

At Genetic Technologies, we’re focused on identifying diseases through a very simple, noninvasive saliva-based test, called geneType, and a questionnaire with your doctor to identify someone’s risk [of genetic diseases] within their lifetime. We’re really focused on women’s health, particularly breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The inspiration has come in two parts — 85 percent of breast cancer that gets diagnosed has no links back to a family history. Most people may know about BRCA1 or BRCA2, made famous by Angelina Jolie, for example, but that’s only 5 percent of the cancers that are diagnosed in women. We’re inspired to make sure that we can identify early, because we now that early detection saves lives. And that’s what really inspires us as a company to bring this technology to women all around the world.

There are some people that just don’t want to know and that’s OK, but there are a lot of people out there that go, “Hey, I’d like to know if I’m potentially at risk of getting cancer so I can monitor it and get onto it early.” What’s most important is that when someone may be identified as high-risk, there are things that they can do. They can have a mammogram on an annual basis, instead of biannually. They can have more ultrasounds or MRIs, for example, so that they can be detected at stage one because we know that there’s close to a 90.8 percent survival rate if they’re detected at stage one versus stage two or three. It just makes me so proud to be able to help save lives and improve the health of populations worldwide through early detection and knowing your risk.

What motivates me to do this job and bring this technology to the world is deeply personal because my sister passed away from cancer. That’s why I want to change the game so badly. I’ve worked in the healthcare industry for 25 years. I have a love for having a positive impact on people’s lives and I have a love for emerging technologies and building brands, products and businesses. I love helping people and bringing technology to the world that actually improves the lives of individuals, and healthcare is a place that I can do that. That’s what drives me and that’s my purpose.

— As told to Colleen Kratofil

Read GRAZIA USA’s Spring issue featuring cover star Lucy Boynton: