Dr Jingmei Li is a woman in science aspiring to do science for women. A Senior Research Scientist at the Genome Institute of Singapore, she is passionate about using genetics and epidemiology to improve women’s health. Her current projects focus on breast cancer prevention, detection, treatment and support. She is a recipient of numerous scientific awards including a UNESCO-L’Oréal International Fellowship, a National Research Foundation Singapore Fellowship and a Singapore National Academy of Science Young Scientist Award. She has spoken at events organized by TEDx, Asia-Europe Foundation, HSBC Women Leaders Forum and Disney.
A “genomic miner” would be a perfect term to describe Dr Jingmei Li’s early scientific pursuits in human genetics. Comparing large groups of people with certain diseases and people who do not, she identifies genetic markers that can predispose one to such diseases. To dig for potential “hits” in genome-wide association studies, she places millions of data points into colourful Manhattan plots that resemble New York’s super skinny towers. These genetic signals are like Rosetta Stones that help us to understand the language of life in DNA. Not satisfied with simply painting genetic landscapes, Dr Li is dedicating her time to ensure that these gold nuggets of knowledge find a way to the wider public.