Technovation National Pitch 2017

Technovation National Pitch 2017

My current work involves capacity building in biomedical research and data science as part of H3ABioNet. H3ABioNet is a pan-African bioinformatics network that connects 27 African institutions across 16 countries. This NIH-funded network aims to provide the necessary infrastructure and skills to conduct cutting-edge research in order to improve African populations health outcomes. I have a background in computer sciences with a PhD in Bioinformatics from the Laboratory of Informatics, Robotics and Microelectronics, Montpellier, France (LIRMM). After graduating in 2013, I was very excited about the prospect of contributing to the rising bioinformatics capacity-building network in Africa, and wanted to be part of it. As part of H3ABioNet, I co-lead a number of projects and am a member of the consortium management committee. I am currently leading the Big Data Analytics and Machine learning tools for application to biomedical data working group. I am also co-leading the sustainability and outreach work package and developing strategic public outreach plans including audiences such as governments, patients, and youth. I enjoy teaching, designing courses and peer learning processes. I have been involved in organizing and teaching in a number of international courses.

I am an open science and open education advocate, dedicating time for designing curricula, organizing trainings, and leading engaging discussions. Much of this work is meant to challenge traditional scientific workflows and promote the open science culture in Africa. I was awarded an Open Science Fellowship from the Mozilla Foundation and was nominated as one of the “50 People Who Are Making the Internet a Better Place.”

Following my passion for educating and empowering young women, I founded Technovation Tunisia in 2015. This non-profit is dedicated to teaching young girls coding and entrepreneurship skills while addressing challenges in their communities as part of the global Technovation challenge program. I designed and managed various programs aiming at teaching young girls various skills ranging from digital to story telling and communication skills in collaboration with UN Women, UNICEF, Orange Foundation and the US Embassy in Tunisia and have also been an invited speaker and panelist at a number of national and international events focusing on Women and Girls in Technology.

I am currently relocating from Tunis to Seattle, but am fortunate to call many places home. I enjoy taking on new challenges and working with people across different backgrounds, cultures, and languages. When I am away from my computer and not busy running workshops, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, travelling, discovering new cultures and food around the world, biking, kayaking, practicing yoga and also spending time with my camera taking portraits and photographing the outdoors.

Awards and Memberships

I have won several awards and I am an active member in various organizations including:

  • Visiting researcher at Harvard School of Public Health. January-April 2017

  • Named to Mozilla’s Network50, 50 people who are making the internet a better place. 2017

  • Elected Vice-President African Society of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (ASBCB). 2016-2019

  • Technovation best regional ambassador award. 2016

  • Alumna of the month, International Exchange Alumni, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. January 2016

  • Founding member of Tunisian American Alumni Network. 2016

  • Joint Anita Borg Institute and Techwomen award for change makers in Tech, Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing. 2015

  • Techwomen alumna, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. 2014

  • Merit PhD Scholarship for High Technology from the Islamic development bank. 2010-2013

  • Averroes award for exchange programs in Technology. 2009

  • Member of the International Society of Computational Biology (ISCB). 2010-present