About us

Our Story

Who's Behind the squirrel?

We are a small team of consumer genetic testing and genetic privacy enthusiasts located in Toronto, Canada

DNASquirrel in an independent entity that is not affiliated with any genetic test provider or other organization.

Ryan Davey, PhD

Ryan is the founder and human face of DNASquirrel.  

Ryan’s interest in consumer genetics and genetic privacy stems from his professional experience as a scientist in the field of point-of-care medical diagnostics, and from his personal experience as a carrier of a genetic mutation implicated in a common hereditary cancer syndrome.

Ryan’s interest in squirrels is also personal. As a child, Ryan had a pet squirrel ‘Rambo’ who had to be released after his parents learned first-hand the impressive tenacity of squirrels to obtain and hide food and other objects of interest.

What Are We Up To?

That’s easy:

  • We want to encourage consumers to protect their genetic privacy while still participating in direct-to-consumer genetic testing.
  • We want to offer consumers strategies and tools to help them safeguard their genetic privacy.

Why choose a Squirrel as a mascot?

Squirrels offer a nice analogy for genetic privacy:

  • Squirrels are nature's experts at collecting and safeguarding resources. Did you know that when a Grey Squirrel thinks it's being watched, it will create fake food stashes in order to mislead would-be thieves? Protecting your genetic privacy requires an identical tactic: using an alias when interacting with genetic testing companies in order to keep your true identity hidden.
  • Squirrels don't just stash food, they also effectively recover and use it as needed. Likewise, we don't just advocate for genetic privacy, we also want to encourage participation in genetic testing.
  • Everybody likes squirrels, unless you own a bird-feeder.