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Wed, Jan 20



Panel: Navigating the Ethical Landscape of “Big Data” as Black Women Scientists

Illuminating the experience of Black women biological/public health data scientists as architects of data narratives that impact our communities.

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Panel: Navigating the Ethical Landscape of “Big Data” as Black Women Scientists
Panel: Navigating the Ethical Landscape of “Big Data” as Black Women Scientists

Time & Location

Jan 20, 2021, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EST


About the Event

A community discussion focused on empowering Black womxn in or near largescale data sciences to move through their field with more knowledge and competence on the ethical impacts of handling “big data”, data justice, and bias from the particular perspective of a Black womxn in and outside of academia.

Panelists: Asia Mitchell, Ph.D., Janina Jeff, Ph.D., Danielle Purifoy, Ph.D. 

Asia Mitchell

Asia Mitchell works in clinical data analytics in Medical Affairs at Invitae, a team that supports clinical studies and informs scientific, government, and commercial communities on results from clinical genetic testing. Communicating accurate and accessible information to empower individuals and inform communities on healthcare decisions drives much of Asia's past and present work.

At Invitae, Asia leads analytics for a portfolio of reproductive health products including carrier, prenatal, and preimplantation genetic screening assays. Her past work includes, establishing data warehousing and collection for a state-wide genetic cancer screening program, applying next-generation sequencing to explore tumor evolution, creating large-scale computational and biological resources for heritability studies, and developing software for analyzing genomic data.

She holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Medical Genetics from Oregon Health & Science University, a graduate certificate in Biomedical Informatics from The University of Pittsburgh, and B.S. in Biochemistry from Chatham College.


Janina Jeff 

Janina M. Jeff is an American geneticist and senior scientist at Illumina. She was the first African American to earn a PhD in Human Genetics at Vanderbilt University and is the host and executive producer of In Those Genes, a podcast that links genetics, African American identity, and Black culture. She is specifically interested in identifying genetic variants that explain disease disparities across populations, as well as science communication. Jeff is a 2020 American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Advocacy Award winner and won the inaugural Spotify Sound-Up Bootcamp in 2018.

Dr. Jeff finished her postdoctoral training with Dr. Eimear Kenny and Erwin Bottinger at Mount Sinai hospital genetics and pharmacogenetics and now works at Illumina as a global bioinformatics specialist.

As an expert in statistical design and interpretation of large-scale genomic data, her research career was largely focused on the discovery of genetic loci that impact admixed populations, Hispanics and African Americans, for complex common diseases. Additionally, she is known for her expertise in population genomics, specifically in developing and implementing pipelines to handle complex genetic ancestry for genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in electronic medical records.


Danielle Purifoy 

Danielle Purifoy is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.​

She completed a Ph.D in Environmental Politics and African American Studies at Duke University. I earned a B.A. in English and Political Science from Vassar College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Her current research traces the roots of contemporary environmental conditions in the U.S. South, specifically in black towns dating back to the post-Bellum era. She has also written about the legal dimensions of environmental justice and equity in food systems.

She is the former Race and Place Editor editor at Scalawag, a magazine devoted to Southern politics and culture, and the current  Board Chair of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network. 

OK for Allies to listen in on a conversation that will primarily center Black womxn scientists.


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