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Data Science Spotlight - Scipher Medicine

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By deciphering RNA, Scipher Medicine is opening the door to a new era of patient treatment.

We connected with members of Scipher Medicine's data science team, to get an inside look at the company's technologies, various projects, the team's culture, and more.

Quick Hit Details

  • Year Founded:  2015
  • Number of employees: 100+
  • Number of engineers: 14 scientists
  • Industry: Biotech

Can you share a summary on what Scipher Medicine does?

Scipher’s goal is to improve patient outcomes by making sure that every patient is prescribed the appropriate therapy. We do this by developing diagnostics that predict whether or not a patient will benefit from existing therapies, And by identifying novel drug targets for patients that may not benefit from currently available therapies. 

What are some of the different technologies that the Data Science team gets to work with and at what scale?

Scipher applies state-of-the-art machine learning and deep learning methods to large patient datasets. Patient data streams into our datalake stored on AWS through which we can query populations of interest and launch pipelines for high throughput analyses. 

What are some of the interesting projects that the Data Science team is tackling?

Scipher is striving to change the paradigm of how drugs are prescribed in Rheumatoid Arthritis. By developing novel diagnostic tests, we hope to increase the efficiency of the healthcare system by eliminating the cost of ineffective therapy, and help patients by getting them the therapy they need in a timely manner. 

Does your Data Science team have a chance to work on projects outside of their day-to-day responsibilities?

Not specifically, but the defined projects are so broad that include multiple interesting projects. Projects that scientists across the world have been trying to tackle for the past decade. Scipher is very open to creative thinking and welcomes new ideas in exploring what the industry has been trying to achieve for a long time. What distinguishes Scipher is its proprietary platform that provides a unique lens to studying multi-omics data.

What is the culture like at Scipher Medicine for the Data Science team? 

Trust. Present the need, trust people and support along the way. Also, collaboration, innovation and delivering on goals.

What can a potential employee expect during the interview process?

Besides technical skills - assessment of rational thinking, being comfortable working on hard problems, passion for learning and a can-do attitude. We also look for demonstration of technical expertise, ability to communicate technical ideas, excitement for the subject matter, and ability to work as a team. 

Rapid Fire Q&A 

iPhone or Android? 


Coffee - hot or iced?

Hot in winter and cold in summer, why should we choose one? 

Favorite employee perk?

Lots of snacks in the office and free lunch a couple of days a week. 

What TV show describes the Data Science team’s culture?

Silicon valley 

What fruit represents the team projects?

Grape! From when it’s hard and sour (initial thoughts and idea generation) to when it’s sweet and sour and juicy (POC generation) and sweet raisin (product development) and the best part wine (seeing how the product touches patients’ lives). At Scipher the data science team gets exposure to the whole life cycle!

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By deciphering RNA, Scipher Medicine is opening the door to a new era of patient treatment.

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