The Theranos employee who reported the medical tech company to US regulators for allegedly doctoring its trials of a blood-testing device was the grandson of George Shultz, it has emerged.
Tyler Shultz, now 26, was working for Theranos - on whose board the 95-year-old former Secretary of State sits - in 2013, when the company was developing patient-friendly machines to diagnose illness from a blood drop.
That was a year before Theranos' valuation was marked at a massive $9billion, and two years before owner Elizabeth Holmes was declared the youngest-ever self-made female billionaire, worth $4.5billion.
But over time Shultz became suspicious of the company's practices and eventually blew the whistle - ruining Holmes' standing and his relationship with his grandfather in the process, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Whistleblower: Tyler Schultz (pictured) was on the staff of tech start-up Theranos when he says he found that test results were being doctored. He ended up blowing the whistle
Hero to zero: Founder Elizabeth Holmes was the youngest-ever self-made female billionaire in 2015 thanks to Theranos's $9b valuation. But Schultz's claim saw its value drop to $800m
Theranos was founded in Palo Alto, California, in 2003, but it wasn't until 2011 that George Shultz joined its board of directors.
Shultz had been Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan, and previously served in a number of positions under the Nixon administration.
The same year George Schultz joined Theranos, Tyler - then an engineering student - met the company's founder, Elizabeth Holmes, at his grandfather's home.
Holmes was just 27 at the time, and had a vision 'democratizing medicine' by making a machine that would instantly diagnose illness with just a drop of blood - a vision that Shultz says he fell in love with.
By 2013, he had moved from intern to employee at Theranos, where he was to check the accuracy of the blood analysis results in the company's Edison machines.
Those machines, he said, would give widely different results for the same samples - and Theranos dealt with the issue by throwing away results that were too wide of the mark.
That resulted in a report saying that the machine could correctly identify an STD 95 per cent of the time, even though the tests came back at 65 or 85 per cent, he said.
Later, he claims, he noticed that the Edison machines were failing the company's internal standards for blood tests, but those failures were also being discarded.
The doctoring wasn't happening on a lab level, Shultz said - the company's president, Sunny Balwani, was directly ordering the erring results destroyed.
Grandfather: George Schultz, Tyler's granddad and former Secretary of State to Ronald Reagan, joined the board of Theranos before Tyler signed up to work there
Testy: Schultz and his grandfather found their relationship strained after he went public about the alleged flaws in the testing of Theranos's Edison machine (pictured)
In early 2014, Shultz took his concerns to Holmes face-to-face without effect, and in March he anonymously revealed his claims of result-tweaking to a testing program that Theranos was enrolled in.
Program officials said it sounded like Theranos was 'cheating,' he told the Journal.
The following month he emailed Holmes his concerns and was contacted by Balwani, who allegedly sent him a rude email that insulted his mathematical ability and knowledge of lab procedure.
Shultz quit that day, starting a series of events that would see him pursued by lawyers and increasingly alienated from his grandfather.
The day he quit Theranos, Shultz says, Holmes