Jaleal S. Sanjak, Ph.D., is a Data and Technology Advancement (DATA) National Service Scholar in the Informatics Core within NCATS’ Division of Preclinical Innovation, where he applies data science techniques to find commonalities among rare diseases. Prior to joining NCATS in September 2021, he worked as a lead data scientist at Gryphon Scientific, a small business research and consulting firm focused on the life sciences and public health. While at Gryphon, Sanjak worked across a broad array of topic areas, including statistical experimental design of dose-response studies, the development of Bayesian differential diagnostic models for infectious disease, large-scale literature review landscape analyses, and transcriptomic biomarker development.
In 2018, Sanjak received his doctorate from the University of California, Irvine, in the Mathematical, Computational and Systems Biology program, where he studied the population genetics of complex human traits and diseases. He used a combination of explicit evolutionary simulations and statistical genetic techniques to learn about how natural selection, mutation and demography affect patterns of genetic variation. As a health data fellow with Insight Data Science, Sanjak received further training in data science, including machine learning, for the health and life science industries. He hopes to merge his background in genetics with the broad array of data science capabilities within NCATS to drive advancements in the study of genetic and rare diseases.
Sanjak currently is interested in methods for clustering within knowledge graphs, developing ontologies for rare diseases, and leveraging public population genetic resources for rare diseases research.