Devoted to promoting Black women in computational biology, Jenea Adams is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania in the Perelman School of Medicine's Genomics and Computational Biology program. She is a member of the Yi Xing Lab at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Computational and Genomic Medicine.
A Janssen Oncology Scholar, Penn Presidential PhD Fellow, and a dual Master's Student in Statistics and Data Science at Wharton, Ms. Adams is experienced in developing and improving computational tools that leverage RNA biology for targeted cancer immunotherapy, and she is a recognized community advocate for minoritized computational biologists.
Her doctoral research explores the development of new genomics and bioinformatics tools, informed by RNA biology, to improve cancer treatment options with targeted immunotherapies. During her rotation, she employed computational tools developed in the lab (e.g., rMATS, IRIS) to investigate alternative splicing in pediatric and adult Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) data to reveal novel targets of CAR-T cell receptor-mediated immunotherapy. Currently, she focuses on the development of reproducible and scalable computational tools to interrogate the context-specific disease presentation of pediatric AML. She uses existing and novel splicing paradigms with integrated multi-omic analysis for the identification of targetable therapies on a personalized scale. Long-term, she hopes to continue using translational computational techniques to elucidate pathways for bridging the gap in clinical care and biomedical research representation for people from marginalized communities.
In addition to her scholarship, Ms. Adams founded The Black Women in Computational Biology (BWCB) Network, an intersectional community of Black women who are working toward (or interested in) a career that combines computational and quantitative sciences with Biology. BWCB has grown from a small collective to an internationally-recognized professional development community for broadening participation in computational biology for Black women across the diaspora.
She's taken this experience with global organizing and applied it to her commitment to broadening participation in bioinformatics training for undergraduates. In 2021 she co-founded and directed the Summer Comp Bio Preview at Penn, a first-of-its-kind, student-run, and fully-funded training experience for marginalized undergraduates interested in bioinformatics and computational biology training.