Mar 20, 2017

Meet 10x's Jill Herschleb

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.

First, up we've got Jill L. Herschleb, our Sample Prep group leader!

I am a Bay Area native, and from a young age I knew that I would be a scientist. During the summer, I attended "Marine Mammal Camp" and dissected owl pellets while most of my friends played soccer. I was lucky to be surrounded by inspiration, including the Marine Mammal center in Sausalito, the Exploratorium, and the (old!) Academy of Sciences. Science is a vast and wide open field, but as soon as I read Jurassic Park, I knew that Genetics would be my focus and passion.

I received a BS in Genetics from UC Davis (Go Aggies!) and a Ph.D in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison (Go Badgers!). For the last 15 years, I have been building tools and systems for nucleic acid analysis, including optical mapping, high-throughput molecular counting, and currently Linked-Reads and single cell gene expression.

I lead the Sample Prep group at 10x Genomics. Our team develops specific protocols and general best practices for preparing high-molecular weight DNA for the Chromium Genome Solutions and single cell suspensions for the Chromium Single Cell Solutions. HMW DNA samples and single cell suspensions are both technically challenging to prepare, and it’s our team's responsibility to develop products and/or test 3rd party products to provide the easiest and most robust protocols for our customers. One example is our protocol for HMW DNA extraction from fresh-frozen tissue, which yields ~300 kb fragments of DNA using a familiar magnetic bead workflow (no more gel plugs!).  The protocol can be found here.

To promote women in science, two words come to mind: positivity and action.

  • Positivity: In the workplace, help women scientists' voice be heard by noticing and acknowledging their results, ideas, and observations. Amplify their accomplishments. Outside of the workplace, read articles by women scientists and share them with your colleagues.
  • Action: Speak up when you notice that a panel at a conference is male-dominated. Even better, take action by offering to mentor a younger woman scientist (or future scientist!). I am a better scientist because of the women who mentored (and continue to mentor) me, and I aim to provide that service to the next generation. I am extremely proud to be a part of this community.