Growing our Data Science expertise in the US

Published on 05/31/2021

5 min read

My educational and professional journey is a pretty straightforward one, and would have probably been entirely pursued in my native Canada if it wasn’t for a sudden move that happened during my PhD.

Miling Wang, Manager, Bioinformatics

My educational and professional journey is a pretty straightforward one, and would have probably been entirely pursued in my native Canada if it wasn’t for a sudden move that happened during my PhD. Unexpectedly, my PhD professor joined the University of Miami and I decided to follow him. This wasn’t planned but it’s probably the catalyst for my current career path.

In Florida, I completed a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, investigating the expression and function of long noncoding RNA in amyloid formation, and in that pursuit, I quickly had to involve bioinformatics in my focus. The main motivation for that is a pretty classic tale: as the molecules we discovered in the lab were not well-characterized, it pushed us to develop our own unique NGS and bioinformatics workflow to look at expression and function. While the learning curve was steep (I had never touched a terminal before that), the process was rewarding and it opened up the possibility of pursuing opportunities outside the lab. 

I graduated in 2018 and started looking for a job in the field of biology that could fulfill my interests in NGS, bioinformatics and client services.

In early 2019, I heard of SOPHiA GENETICS, a foreign company recently installed in the US and looking to grow a team here. I was up to the challenge and applied to a bioinformatician position. I joined the company on April 1, 2019, as one of the first members of the Data Science team in Boston, MA. Data Science being at the heart of what the company does, the team was already pretty big in Europe, but here on the other side of the Atlantic, everything was to be built from scratch.

Now, two years after I joined, I manage the bioinformatics services team for North America. We are a team of four people and growing, looking to hire more talents. Our focus is quite broad as we support a wide range of products, meaning that our work is never dull. All in all, the inherent nature of what we do allows us to be excited to go to work every day. I have no doubt there are still other elements to discover in the human genome related to human health; that’s what makes me so passionate about my job. The growing adoption of NGS and the discovery of other next generation sequencing technologies are key elements in elevating standards of care for various diseases. Knowing that what I do on a daily basis can impact people as an end benefit and improve their quality of life is immensely rewarding.

When you work for a growing company like SOPHiA GENETICS, another interesting aspect is that it allows you to grow with and within the company. Our core business being so innovative and evolving, there are plenty of learning opportunities That’s why I could quickly evolve in my role and now be in charge of my own team after less than two years with the company.

At SOPHiA GENETICS, the way we work is simple: we focus on the finish line. When you know you can contribute to something greater than yourself that can benefit other people, that’s when you can thrive to be at your best level. We push boundaries by being always at the forefront of innovation with our solutions, while being responsive to the needs of our users. But all of this wouldn’t be possible without the help and mutual support of a great team. People, colleagues, teammates, are a big part of who we are as a company. I’m surrounded with supportive, motivated, hard-working and passionate people at all levels; this creates an authentic company culture that boosts all of us, every day.

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