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 Leadership Advisory Board

Janina M. Jeff, Ph.D. M.S., Illumina

Bioinformatics Scientist at Illumina and Host of "In Those Genes" Podcast

Spelman College Alumna Janina Jeff Janina M. Jeff, Ph.D., M.S., is a population geneticist, bioinformatician, STEAM-activist, educator, motivational speaker, and podcaster. Dr. Jeff is the first African American to graduate with a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from Vanderbilt University and is a graduate of Spelman College (class of 2007).

Dr. Jeff  is currently a staff bioinformatics scientist at Illumina, where she develops pipelines for content annotation, selection, and design of population specific genome-wide content for Illumina’s genotyping array portfolio that enables healthy population screening. In 2018, she was selected as one of three winners (out of 18,000) from Spotify’s Sound-Up Bootcamp for her podcast, “In Those Genes” is an international award-winning podcast that uses genetics to decode the lost histories of African descended Americans through the lens of Black culture. "In Those Genes" has been recognized by IndieWire, The New York Times, and Third Coast Audio Festival.

Dr. Jeff was recently named as one of the top 100 Influential African Americans by The Root magazine as well as Top 40 Under 40 Alumna with Spelman College, The National Quality Minority Forum and The Network Journal. Her TEDx talk, “Afrofuturism Through the Power of the Genome” is similar to her work and challenges the misuse of genetics information and empowers the Black community to learn the value that lies within their genomes work.


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