Who We Are
Dr. Patricia Bath, Ophthalmologist and Laser Scientist
Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, Physicist
Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb, Cancer Biologist
Annie J. Easley, Computer Scientist
BWCB serves Black women in computational biology, which is a discipline that combines mathematics, computer science, and other computational methods to analyze and identify novel findings in large-scale biological data. The field often interfaces with translational research, including genomics, drug development, and clinical trials, through approaches spanning data science, machine learning, and software development, to name a few. Computational biology continues to facilitate rapid development in medicine and human health, including the fast discovery and analysis of the ever-evolving SARS-CoV2 protein family, which catapulted vaccine development at exceptional scales. The computational biology field is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 20% by 2027; however, it is estimated that only 2% of this crucial workforce is Black, and 20% are women. Our community proudly represents trailblazing scientists at the intersection of these identities.
BWCB currently has 234 members, 68% are in North America, and the remaining 32% represent a wide array of African, European, and South American countries. Most members are currently at or beyond immediate post-graduate level education, with computer science, molecular biology, and computational biology among the top three degree programs pursued by our members. Most non-student employed members work as research scientists, analysts, and engineers or hold leadership positions such as faculty, directors, or industry/biotech group leaders.
To date, we’ve grown a broad internal and external audience across the field through science communication, such as seminars highlighting Black computational biologists, career-focused podcasts, and editorials. We’ve held internal networking events of various formats and facilitated journal clubs where members regularly discuss and practice analyzing current topics in the field with like-minded and supportive attendees. Since January 2020, we’ve mediated several connections of members to employment opportunities, graduate programs, and long-lasting peer and mentoring contacts. These key initiatives positively impact the success and retention of Black women in the computational biology field. Our mission allows us to fortify our platform to amplify this story and combat the erasure of these scientists.
To accelerate opportunity at the intersection of biology, math, and computer science for Black women globally
Centering Black women as scientists
Building equitable social capital for career advancement
Fostering transformative growth opportunities
BWCB is governed by a Board of Directors, Nonprofit Officers, and Core Team Coordinators who curate and strategically implement BWCB's vision, respectively.
Core Team Associates work cross-functionally to support the needs of the Core Team.
The Core Team meets monthly.
The Board of Directors meets quarterly.
JENEA I. ADAMS
University of Pennsylvania
Founder, Executive Director
In January 2020, I founded this community as a new Ph.D. student, looking to leverage the power of Black women scientists to change how we connect and learn collectively.
My research explores RNA processing signatures in pediatric blood disorders and cancers through computational method development with human transcriptomes.
CRYSTAL HUMPHRIES, PHD
Google; X, the Moonshot Factory
Board of Directors
Data scientist with Human Genomics Ph.D. Throughout my career, I have enjoyed answering the question "why": which combination of 'OMIC data is associated with a disease, what composition of people are most affected by ads, which combination of parameters in solution lead to the best experimental outcome, and most recently, which features of a molecule lead to the best product.
NYASHA CHAMBWE, PHD
Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health
Board of Directors
Dr. Chambwe’s research focuses on identifying the genetic and molecular features of cancers that differ across racial and ethnic groups, and the extent to which these differences reveal or explain race and ethnicity-based cancer health disparities.
University of Pennsylvania
Professional Development Coordinator
I study the relationship between Alzheimer's Disease and innate immunity genetic risk
Nadia Harerimana, MS
Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Interested in equalizing precision medicine approaches in Alzheimer's Disease genomics,
Roshonda Jones, PHD
Senior Bioinformatics Scientist
As a black woman in computational biology, I have always been the only one that looks like me in many of the spaces that I am in so I love how comfortable and open I can be with the members of BWCB.
My mission in my role as Secretary is to support BWCB by ensuring that the community runs effectively. I do this by arranging meetings and organizing the community’s materials. This is important to me because this supports communication and engagement with both members and stakeholders.