Today’s Myridian Monday spotlight is on John Ryan, the Senior Director of Operations and an employee of Myriad for over 12 years.

John Ryan

I have worked at Myriad for over 12 years in a variety of roles.  In my current role, I am involved with the operational production of our diagnostic tests.  Currently I help manage the efforts of Accessioning, Clean Room Robotics, Data Analysis, Report Generations and Data Management.  In addition to my main duties, I have also had the opportunity to be involved with our Lean Outreach program for Physicians and Health Care Practices and with the establishment of our European Laboratory in Germany.   

My family has been significantly affected by Breast, Ovarian and Prostate Cancer.

  • My paternal great grandmother and four out of her six sisters died from Breast or Ovarian Cancer.  
  • My Paternal Grandfather died of Prostate Cancer.
  • My eldest sister has suffered through two bouts of Breast Cancer
  • My middle sister was diagnosed earlier this year with DCIS.

After my oldest sister’s first diagnosis with cancer, my father decided to be tested and was determined to have a VUS in BRCA2.  

In the intervening years, my father, my wife and I strongly encouraged my eldest sister to get tested.  Sadly she did not want to get tested and was very concerned with being able to obtain health insurance.  Even after a second bout with Breast Cancer, she did not want to get tested.  This did not change for 11 years from her original diagnosis.  However, sometime in 2010, she read an article by a patient of Myriad who had tested positive and had a mastectomy.  She contacted me and with my other sister we made a pact to all be tested.  

Both of my sisters and I carry this mutation in BRCA 2.  

The testing of my eldest sister along with a more complete family history led to the reclassification of our mutation from VUS to Suspected Deleterious.  

For my oldest sister, while this knowledge came after two bouts with Breast Cancer, this knowledge gave her great peace of mind in pursuing a Bilateral Mastectomy and an Oophorectomy.  

My other sister knew that she was also positive and had had a hysterectomy and was on a heightened surveillance for Breast Cancer.  This heightened surveillance led to the discovery of a very early stage DCIS.  She then elected to undergo a Bilateral Mastectomy.

Since my test results, I am on heightened surveillance for Male Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer.  I can proudly say that I have had my first screening mammogram.  

Myriad’s BRAC testing, Patient Speaker Program and Variant Classification Program have all had a powerful effect upon my family.  Knowledge is Power!

  • Without Myriad’s BRAC testing, we would not know that we carried this BRCA2 Mutation.  
  • Without the Myriad Patient Speaker Program, I don’t know if my eldest sister would have ever gotten tested.
  • Without the efforts of the Variant Classification Program, I don’t know how long it would have taken for our VUS to be reclassified as Suspected Deleterious.

It makes me truly proud to be a part of the Myriad Team.

— Michelle Landon, MS, CGC
Associate Product Manager

Myriad Genetics Blog: Shelly Cummings

In recognition GC Awareness Day and GC Awareness Month, get to know Shelly Cummings, one of Myriad’s genetic counselors.