Dana Koslawsky studied at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, where she earned M.sc and B.sc in Biotechnology Engineering. During her Master’s degree her thesis was research based on developing a protein to prevent the formation of metastasis in breast cancer. Following her second degree, Dana worked as a research associate at ‘Compugen’, a biotech company that develop antibodies that encourage the immune system to fight cancer. Dana’s research is incredibly fascinating and her journey to getting there interesting. Dana is currently a Fellow in the Data Science track at ITC, and a recipient of Cheryl Saban’s Self-Worth grant for Women.
How did your interest for tech/coding/data science start? Were you always interested in this field? If not, why did you transition?
My interest in technology began in high school, where I chose to focus on biology and physics. I was exposed to coding for the first time in my first degree, in a C language programming course. I found it very challenging and interesting, and then I realized that in the future I would like to integrate the two fields- programming and engineering biology. Dealing with the data combines both fields and allows studying biological problems in a more computational way.
Why did you decide to join this ITC program? What made you choose ITC over other training providers?
I chose to join ITC because I felt they could provide me new tools and also expose me to companies in the industry. I also felt that they were adapting themselves to the needs of the industry and teaching their students accordingly.
What’s one advice you would give aspiring women? How can they get the most out of the ITC experience?
The advice I will give to ambitious women is to follow their dreams, to believe in themselves that they can achieve everything and of course work hard to achieve it. I would also advise them to be open to new learning styles and try to think outside the box.
What has been your proudest achievement in this field so far? (A cool project you worked on, a topic you wanted to learn, a challenge you overcame)
My proudest achievement is the publication of an article on the research I did in the thesis, it was very significant for me to see the outcome of my research.
In the program so far, my achievement is the ability to learn a lot of new things in a very short time and the ability to implement them.
What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry?
I think women and men are different in the way they look at things and analyze things. That’s why I think that especially today, there is a need for diversity of women and men in the industry, and I think that more and more people and companies believe this.
I’m not sure what the best part of being a woman in the industry, I believe that there is still some discrimination against women, I think there are still more male CEOs than women, and that men get paid more than women for the same job. But the fact that these things are beginning to change that promote, develop and encourage women, gives me hope.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not coding?
I love traveling in Israel and around the world, seeing new cultures and beautiful landscapes. I also like to dive and see the wonderful world that exists in the sea. I have two diving stars and have been diving for more than 15 years.
What’s next for you? Where would you love to see yourself in a few years?