Mar 22, 2017

Meet 10x's Sofia Panagiotopoulou

Shauna Clark

Women’s History Month is all about sharing the stories of women who’ve helped shape our world. And, here at 10x, we love any opportunity to highlight the contributions of women, especially when it comes to scientific discovery. But, instead of focusing on the great women of the past, we're featuring women who are making a difference in science right now. We talked to four 10x’ers about how they got into science, what they do at 10x, and how we can all promote women in science, and we'll be posting each of their profiles periodically throughout the rest of the month.

Today, we get to find out more about Sofia Panagiotopoulou, who works on our Computational Biology team!

My name is Sofia Panagiotopoulou and I’m a Senior Scientist in the Computational Biology group at 10x Genomics. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved math and problem solving. The idea of teaching machines how to solve problems fascinated me and that inspired me to study computer science. I received a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the Athens University of Economics and Business in Greece after which I joined the Computer Science Ph.D. program at Stanford University. At Stanford, I used machine learning and statistics to study the mechanisms that turn genes on and off in human cells.

At 10x Genomics, I developed novel algorithms for detecting and phasing structural variants in whole genome and exome sequencing data, using the long-range information provided by the Linked-Read data type. It’s very exciting to see these algorithms being actively used by researchers to discover and report complex structural variation in disease. Currently, I’m developing pipelines for assembling the receptor sequences of thousands of immune cells using the 10x single-cell sequencing platform.

I think that girls are encouraged to pursue science when, from an early age, they are presented with role models of successful women in science, especially if these women come from their immediate environment. I think that 10x, with its numerous female scientists, should become an active advocate for women in science by, for example, promoting the participation of 10x women in hackathons, career fairs, and presentations in universities around the country. Part of what makes 10x Genomics great is the diversity of its workforce, and we should use every opportunity to highlight that.