Altruistic, enterprising, human genomic data expert, Repositive CEO

Fiona Nielsen has applied her genetic disease research expertise into two notably successful organisations. First came DNAdigest, a non-profit educator, facilitator and engagee on issues regarding access to genomic data. She then realised that to get funding she needed to create a social enterprise. In this podcast Fiona expresses her reasons for founding Repositive, why she has chosen her board so meticulously, and that if you can't take a no, then don't start a company!

Fiona is a bioinformatics scientist, turned entrepreneur and founder of Repositive in 2014. Having worked at Illumina developing tools for interpretation of next-generation sequencing data and analysing cancer and FFPE samples sequenced on the latest technology, Fiona realised how difficult it is to find and access genomics data for research. DNAdigest was founded as a charity in 2013 to promote best practices for efficient and ethical data sharing and, soon after, Repositive was established to provide a new software platform and mechanism for data sharing. Fiona was nominated for the 2013 WiSE award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Fiona’s experiences prior to founding DNAdigest and Repositive ranged from software consulting for web development, content management systems and scientific software for bioinformatics research.  Her areas of expertise include computer science (algorithm development, software production, eXtreme Programming, and project management) and bioinformatics (protein secondary structure prediction, structural studies, eukaryote genetics, phylogenetic analysis, ChIP-on-chip, ChIP-seq, next generation sequencing, cancer, and genetic variant discovery).

Produced by Mark Cotton, Twitter.

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Podcast links:

Fiona Nielsen

Repositive - aiming to speed up genetic diagnostics and research through efficient data access solutions.

DNAdigest - works to promote and enable easier and more efficient sharing of genomic data for research.

Illumina - sequencing and array-based solutions for analysis of genetic variation and function, in fields ranging from cancer research to agriculture.

Wayra - part of Telefónica Open Future_, a global innovation network open to partners, Wayra UK is committed to the internationalisation and scalability of UK-based start-ups, including those founded by migrant entrepreneurs and by people from diverse backgrounds.