40 under 40

Our 2013 edition of the list features young hotshots who are rocking businesses as diverse as air travel, natural gas, and genetic coding, as well as—if you can believe it— government.

8. Jun Wang

40u40 jun wang beijing geonomics
  • Age: 37
  • Title: Director
  • Company: BGI

Imagine a grain of rice that can suck pollutants out of the soil; or a cancer treatment so targeted and personalized it exists for only one person—you; or a worldwide database of not just every human's genetic code but the genomes of every living thing, a sort of biological Google. This is the work of Wang, a genomics professor and the director of gene-sequencing center BGI (formerly Beijing Genomics Institute). The institute generates about six terabytes of data a day, and it often falls on Wang to see the forest through the trees. He is a busy man: scientist, professor, author of more than 100 papers. His ultimate goal, he says, is to take these extraordinary things and sell them to ordinary people. It's already working. That depollutant rice may soon come to market.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated September 30 2013 03:41 PM ET
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