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Sema4’s Inaugural BIPOC Initiative Genomics Symposium 2022 – a BIG(S) Success!

As part of Sema4’s commitment to strengthen inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in scientific careers, Sema4 recently hosted its inaugural BIPOC Initiative Genomics Symposium at our Stamford headquarters. Organized by Sema4’s Diversity & Inclusion Council and our People team, the multiday event hosted select Ph.D. and post-doctorate students across the country interested in careers in clinical genomics for lecture presentations from Sema4 executive leaders and a chance to present their research studies in an original research symposium event.

The issue of underrepresented minorities in the sciences remains to be addressed. While individuals who identify as Black, Hispanic, and/or Indigenous Americans constitute one-third of the United States population, a Brookings Institute study found they represent less than one in 20 of faculty in sciences across universities. Therefore, BIGS 2022 was created to increase diversity in scientific careers and to promote the recruitment of underrepresented scientists at Sema4.

 

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Improving preeclampsia risk prediction by modeling pregnancy trajectories from routinely collected electronic medical record data

In this study, we explored modeling the risk of preeclampsia by reconstructing pregnancy journeys across tens of thousands of pregnancies through electronic medical record (EMR) data in addition to pre-and post-pregnancy data. Preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication, has been a leading cause of maternal mortality in the U.S. over the past two decades,3 and can lead to serious complications for both the mother and the fetus.  The mechanisms underlying preeclampsia have not been fully recognized and the only treatment for this condition is delivery. Thus, a personalized, precision medicine approach is needed to characterize preeclampsia risk and identify patients at risk of this condition earlier to better monitor, manage, and optimize therapeutic strategies, improve clinical outcomes, and lower adverse events.

The models we developed leverage dynamic characteristics along the pregnancy journey, capturing predictive features based on longitudinal data across each time protocol visit at the antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum stages. One of the key findings across the three pregnancy stages was that systolic blood pressure (SBP) predicts the risk of preeclampsia at 130 mmHg, which contrasts with the diagnostic guidelines of 140 mmHg defined by American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). As the first data-driven effort to predict preeclampsia events across the entire journey, we were able to capture important features contributing to preeclampsia prediction, and some of the findings give further credence to the underlying mechanisms associated with preeclampsia. Click the link below to read the full study and learn more about our additional findings.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Q&A with Regine Lim

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, an annual celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ accomplishments and critical contributions to U.S. history. To mark the occasion, we are featuring several employees at Sema4 discussing their stories of achievements and challenges throughout their journey. In our third Q&A, Regine Lim, Director of Remote Genetic Counseling, expresses her gratitude for her culture, discusses how her team is a community of “aunties and uncles”, and provides career advice for aspiring Genetic Counselors. Also read the previous installments of this series by clicking here and here.

What is your role at Sema4?

I am a Certified Genetic Counselor and extremely fortunate to lead Sema4’s Remote Genetic Counseling team. My role at Sema4 is enabling my team to do what they do best, which is deliver excellent patient care. I also recommend the blog post from my Sema4 colleague, Mabel Thomas, for a great read on genetic counseling.
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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Q&A with Sherard Cheung

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, an annual celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ accomplishments and critical contributions to U.S. history. To mark the occasion, we are featuring several employees at Sema4 discussing their stories of achievements and challenges throughout their journey. In our second Q&A, Sherard Cheung, Regional Sales Leader, Women’s Health, addresses the importance of being resilient in the face of adversity, being okay with choosing an unconventional career in the Asian American culture, and acquiring a unique skill set to forge your own career path in the field of medical sales.

What is your role at Sema4?

I am the Women’s Health Regional Sales Leader (commonly known in the medical sales world as an outside sales representative, territory manager, or account executive) for the downtown Chicago area. What that means is that each day, I am responsible for selling and promoting Sema4’s portfolio of reproductive and generational health solutions, Sema4 Elements®, to women’s health and primary care providers in the downtown Chicago market. Continue reading “Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Q&A with Sherard Cheung”

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Q&A with Xiang (Sean) Zhou

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, an annual celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ accomplishments and critical contributions to U.S. history. To mark the occasion, we are featuring several employees at Sema4 discussing their stories of achievements and challenges throughout their journey. In our first Q&A, Xiang (Sean) Zhou, VP of Data Science and Product Development of R&D, shares his perspective on remaining true to your roots, motivating others along the way, and going after your dreams.

 

What is your role at Sema4?

I lead a team focused on building clinico-genomic databases, specifically our precision oncology database and pan cancer disease database. This means conducting real-world evidence-based research and generating machine learning predictive models in terms of diagnosis and disease progression, building Centrellis® (the Sema4 healthcare insight platform) to deliver the dashboard information back to our healthcare partners. The last component is to facilitate the Sema4 Biopharma data delivery by preparing and delivering all the data to pharma each time a contract is signed between Sema4 and its partners. Continue reading “Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Q&A with Xiang (Sean) Zhou”

Women’s History Month Q&A with Dr. Marra Francis

March is Women’s History Month, which celebrates women’s contributions to events in history and contemporary society. To mark the occasion, we are featuring several female employees at Sema4.

Watch this video to hear from Dr. Marra Francis, Head of Medical Affairs, Women’s Health at Sema4, as she elaborates on her extensive experience as a female leader, her guiding force to pursue a career in the medical field, and more.

Also read the previous installments of this series by clicking here and here.

Women’s History Month Q&A with Jayana Mitchell

March is Women’s History Month, which celebrates women’s contributions to events in history and contemporary society. To mark the occasion, we are featuring several female employees at Sema4. In our second Q&A, Jayana Mitchell, Accounting Manager, talks about empowering her team and lessons learned from colleagues throughout her career.

What is your role at Sema4?

I currently hold the role of Accounting Manager in the Finance Department following two promotions since joining Sema4 almost four years ago. I strongly believe that the reason I have risen from one role to the next is because I care about my work. This is not just a paycheck for me, but also about personal growth. As the manager of four people, I want to provide value to my team. And, while technical skills are important, being able to manage with emotional intelligence allows me to handle my job and be mentally prepared. That is a priority for me.

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Women’s History Month Q&A with Valerie Zabala

March is Women’s History Month, which celebrates women’s contributions to events in history and contemporary society. To mark the occasion, we are featuring several female employees at Sema4 highlighting their stories of achievements, career lessons, and role models that inspire them. In our first Q&A, Valerie Zabala, PhD, Senior Manager of Oncology Program Management, discusses her passion for science, overcoming one of her biggest fears, and her advice to other women looking to build their careers.

What is your role at Sema4?

I’m the Senior Manager of the Oncology Program Management in our Oncology Business Unit, which partners with health systems, practices, individuals, and payors to enable the best precision oncology care of today while driving the therapeutic advances of tomorrow tailored to their needs.

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Black History Month Q&A with Yvonne Scott

February is Black History Month, an annual celebration of African Americans’ accomplishments and a time for appreciating critical contributions to U.S. history. To mark the occasion, we are featuring several of our African American employees at Sema4. Yvonne Scott, Senior Payroll Manager, delves into the intricacies of payroll in the Human Resources function, why Black History should be celebrated year-round, and more. Read the previous installments of this series by clicking here and here.

What is your role at Sema4?

I am the Senior Payroll Manager within Sema4’s Human Resources Department. My role consists of managing all the components of the payroll process for the entire employee population at Sema4.

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Black History Month Q&A with Demetrius Porter

February is Black History Month, an annual celebration of African Americans’ accomplishments and a time for appreciating critical contributions to U.S. history. To mark the occasion, we are featuring several of our African American employees at Sema4. Demetrius Porter, Laboratory Technologist, shares the importance of tenacity in adversity and how Sema4’s culture helps foster his core values.

What is your role at Sema4?

I am a Laboratory Technologist III working in our DNA extraction department pre-PCR (polymerase chain reaction), where I am responsible for extracting DNA from human specimen samples that arrive to us for a variety of testing.

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