Datacast Episode 1: From Molecular Biologist to Data Scientist with Dr. Jon Leslie

I'm creating a new podcast about Data Science called Datacast! The 1st episode is my interview with Dr. Jonathan Leslie, Head of DS @Pivigo. Listen to learn more about his journey from molecular biologist to data scientist.

Guest Bio

Dr. Jonathan Leslie obtained his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of London, studying blood vessel formation at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute. After 20 years of researching the molecular processes underlying cancer, he turned to data science and founded a freelance consultancy business. He is passionate about promoting open-source software and routinely volunteers as a mentor in the R-programming and data science communities.


Show Notes

  • (2:10) Jon reflected on his academic career and explained why he pursued an advanced degree in Biology. He also went over his post-doc fellowship at Cancer Research UK.

  • (4:45) Jon discussed the zebra-fish project he worked on during his post-doc research at King’s College London.

  • (8:13) Jon talked about the developmental biology work he did at the embryology lab at University College London.

  • (10:00) Jon explained why biological data are noisy.

  • (10:58) Jon explained his motivation behind his transition from academia to industry.

  • (15:04) Jon’s advice for Ph.D. students and post-doc researchers who want to make a similar transition.

  • (16:20) Jon talked about his freelance data science project to build a recommendation system aiming at women struggling with Type 2 diabetes.

  • (21:32) Jon talked about his experience running his data science consultancy business.

  • (25:32) Jon’s advice to improve data storytelling skill.

  • (26:59) Jon presented a high-level overview of his company Pivigo.

  • (31:11) Jon talked about his role as Pivigo’s Head of Data Science.

  • (34:50) Jon went over the industries that are Pivigo’s clients.

  • (36:30) Jon went over the skills that data science talents need to develop.

  • (37:53) Jon’s advice to transition from individual contributor to manager.

  • (41:51) Jon mentioned the talks he gave recently at O’Reilly Strata Data Conference in London.

  • (46:48) Closing segment.

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