The Jackson Laboratory logo
Skip to content

A conversation with Edison Liu

by Barry Teater

Q: What motivates you in life?

A: To do good. To enjoy what is beautiful.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest successes?

A: To have raised wonderful children with good values. I am also pleased with my role in building institutions and in shaping young minds.

Q: To what do you attribute your success?

A: Hmmm…Probably a confluence of many factors: luck, hard work, doing what I enjoy, recovering quickly from failure, having good friends, balancing pride with humility.

Q: How would you describe your leadership style?

A: Fair, decisive, forward thinking, inclusive, firm. This is how I would like to be considered. Whether I have achieved this is probably best judged by others.

Q: What are your children doing now?

A: Ashton, 25, is in Beijing, working in a start-up company that provides home health care for the
elderly. Connor, 20, is a junior majoring in biology at Washington University in St. Louis and is a
premedical student. Summitt, 15, is a sophomore at the Singapore American School.

Q: How many siblings do you have?

A: I have one brother, Dennis, who is 22 months younger than I am. He is an anesthesiologist in San Jose, Calif., and is an accomplished bass player. We used to play music together.

Q: Do you have any family pets?

A: Two dogs: Otto, a Shih Tzu/cocker spaniel cross, and Frisco, a West Highland white terrier.

Q: Is there anything about yourself that people may find surprising?

A: I own a small farm in Illinois, and I love Thai massage and foot reflexology.

Q: Were you, by chance, named after Thomas Edison?

A: Yes. When we arrived in the U.S., my parents wanted my brother and me to have American names. Looking in a dictionary, they found "Edison." Because he invented the light bulb, they thought the name was appropriately "bright."