Biopôle Women in Sciences Series
Interview with Semira Gonseth Nusslé, MD Cheffe de clinique at Unisanté Center for Primary Care and Public Health and CEO at Genknowme S.A.
February 11th was the International Day of Women and Girls in Sciences
Biopôle celebrated this day by interviewing women members of the campus who succeeded in their scientific career.
Here is the interview with Semira Gonseth Nusslé
, MD Cheffe de clinique at Unisanté Center for Primary Care and Public Health and CEO at Genknowme S.A.
What are you currently working on?
I launched my start-up, Genknowme, which is developing an epigenetic blood test to measure ageing and the impact of lifestyle at DNA level. I am also doing some academic research in the field of epidemiology of chronic diseases. But right now, most of my time is dedicated to piloting a COVID-19 seroepidemiological research project at Unisanté, Center for Primary Care and Public Health, in the Canton of Vaud, to measure the degree of herd immunity among the population and help guide the healthcare response to the pandemic.
Which job challenges are you about to face in the upcoming months?
I’ll need to raise funds for my start-up. The health restrictions resulted in lower demand for our tests than projected. Since the second wave of the pandemic, there have been virtually no government funds to support start-ups, and we have to rely on investors alone to bridge this gap in turnover.
Who is your role model in science?
I have a lot of respect and admiration for Prof. Steve Horvath, who first discovered the epigenetic clock in his lab at UCLA. He has been educating the public about epigenetics and ageing in particular for a few years now, and I believe that his work will greatly influence the future of epidemiology.
What is your wish for the younger generation of girls dreaming of working in STEM?
I hope that the institutions that will educate and employ these girls tomorrow are today able to set themselves the goal of going beyond the patriarchal model, which unfortunately persists at every level of our society.