Women in Data Science: Belinda Seto, Ph.D.

Belinda Seto, Ph.D.
Deputy Director
Office of Data Science Strategy

Co-leads the NIH FHIR Working Group

Women leading data science communities:
My colleagues and I lead data science initiatives/projects in the NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science. For my projects, I recruited team members from the NIH institutes and centers. We all have varying perspectives and vision for data science. Some colleagues may not view data science broadly, albeit they are experts in their fields of research. Nonetheless, we have become nuclei of the NIH data science community. Through our collaborations, we in turn are emissaries for data science to the extramural grantee communities. I see this as a concentric circle of expanding national or even global communities of data science.

What advice or encouragement would you give to a young, aspiring, woman data scientist?

There have been numerous advances in data science, fueled by the creative energy and innovation of many.  Women play an increasingly important and leadership roles in this field, as evidenced by the leadership in the NIH Office of Data Science Strategy. There are opportunities beyond the NIH, in academia and private industries. With education and training in quantitative sciences, women are well-prepared to “swim with the sharks” in this growing and competitive field of data science.

What do you think is the biggest data science accomplishment NIH has achieved in the past year and why?

The accomplishments are both technical, and socio-cultural. For the latter, many silos have been reduced and the willingness and readiness to collaborate are demonstratively strong. On the technical front, there are successful examples toward a NIH data ecosystem, both at the foundational level and at the leading edge.

What's a fun fact about you?

I’m a serious Tai Chi practitioner and wield a sword. Tai Chi is about balance and I practice this philosophy in all aspects of my life. But watch out, I do lose balance with my sword once in a while!!

Dr. Seto holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry. She was featured in a blog post titled "Women in Tech at NIH: Togetherness Enables Transformation" guest authored by ODSS Director Dr. Susan Gregurick for the NLM's Musings from the Mezzanine in September 2020 and a lecture Gregurick delivered in March 2021 titled "Women Leading the Way: Stories of the Women (and Men) Making an Impact on Data Science at NIH."

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This page last reviewed on March 19, 2021