Kathleen Barnes, PhD, came to the study of personalized medicine before its name was ever coined. She started her career in medicine as a nurse, then went on to earn a PhD in biomedical anthropology, where she examined how environment and culture impacted the biology of individuals. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins in immunogenetics, where she then worked for 23 years as a researcher examining the genetics of complex lung disease and other immunological diseases. She visited CU when the university had just started creating a vision for using “big data” as a path to personalized medicine. After a series of visits, she was asked to lead the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine and build it from the ground up.