Bist Career week – Round table: Data Science

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Join us for BIST Career Week to prepare for your future! The week will consist of five days packed with morning workshops and afternoon round tables, with inspiring speakers from different backgrounds, trajectories, and jobs.

This year’s round tables will be focused on a variety of career possibilities including scientific group leadership, science communication, pharma and industry, data science, and consultancy. Wherever your next move may be (inside or outside academia!), the BIST Career Week is for you.

Round tables are a great opportunity to meet people working in different jobs and sectors. Join us and learn what they did and how is a normal day in their jobs. All related to science, but all different: come and get inspired!


Round table 4: Data science


Anna Quaglieri, bioinformatics data scientist (Mass Dynamics)

Anna Quaglieri got her Bachelor and Master in Statistics between the University of Bologna, Glasgow and Melbourne and completed her master thesis in Population Genetics at WEHI in Melbourne. After more than 6 years in genetic medical research at the same institute, where she got her PhD in Cancer Genomics, Anna worked as a Data Scientist for the Melbourne AI consulting company Eliiza, for 1.5 years. Anna recently joined a new Melbourne startup, Mass Dynamics, which offers an online platform to explore and analyse Mass Spectrometry data.




Kiana Toufighi, data scientist at Avanade

Kiana Toufighi has worked as a Principal Data Scientist at Altius, a boutique Data and AI consultancy in London, until acquisition by Avanade, a multinational consultancy based in Seattle. Since January of 2021, Kiana has had the role of Group Manager at Avanade. With a background in Computer Science (BSc, MSc) from the University of Toronto, Kiana has led and delivered multiple large-scale projects in retail, supply chain, commercial aviation, and public sectors, from conception through to design, development, and productionisation. Having obtained a PhD in Systems Biology from CRG-UPF in Barcelona, where she studied how circadian rhythms regulate stem cell differentiation and how protein networks change during cell differentiation, Kiana has unique expertise in extracting salient information from complex, noisy, and often incomplete data capturing real-life processes and applying analytics at scale to understand complex systems. She regularly devises, advises on, and actively leads the implementation of innovative statistical and machine learning approaches to generate actionable, business-relevant models and predictions.


Abel Torres, lecturer at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).

Abel Torres has a degree in Biology from UB and a PhD in Neurosciences from UAB. His doctoral thesis was about the use of stem cells as a treatment for spinal cord injuries. After completing his thesis, Abel completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alberta, Canada. During his postdoctoral fellowship, he became involved in projects aimed at facilitating the open share of data from biomedical research and left the lab bench to make the transition to data science. Abel now holds a position as a lecturer at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), where he devotes his research time to the application of data science and machine learning to solving biomedical issues in multidisciplinary projects. In addition, Abel teaches biostatistics and data science in the master’s degree in biomedicine at the UCSF. Although he has not finished making a complete transition, Abel has not done any wet lab work for 3 years and is beginning to consider himself a data scientist.


David Talavera, lecturer in Genetics/Genomics at The University of Manchester

David Talavera studied Biology at the University of Barcelona. After a brief stint as an experimentalist in a Plant Molecular Biology lab, he shifted to the Bioinformatics/Computational Biology field for his PhD. At IRB Barcelona, he studied the protein variation produced by alternative splicing under the supervision of Dr Xavier de la Cruz and Prof Modesto Orozco. After completing his PhD he moved to the European Bioinformatics Institute to work in the group led by Prof Dame Janet Thornton. He moved to the University of Manchester in 2009, where he was involved in a variety of projects: from characterizing protein-protein interactions and molecular coevolution, to studying transcriptional and translational control. He was appointed a Lecturer in Genetics/Genomics in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences in 2015, and his current research focuses on studying the effect of combinations of variants. He is also the Co-Director of the MSc Bioinformatics and Systems Biology programme.




Five workshops and five round tables throughout the July 5-9 week.

See here the complete Career Week programme

If you need any additional information you can write to

Note that the Career Week activities are designed for BIST Community members, but they are opened to the whole scientific community and the access to the events is free.