In celebration of February 11, International Day of Women & Girls in Science
‘The most rewarding aspect of our work is that the research we do and the genetic tests we develop can empower doctors to make better informed decisions that can improve patient outcome’
Dr. Alexia Eliades is the Oncology Team Leader at NIPD Genetics. She is part of the Research & Development department and she is responsible for designing and developing genetic tests for the prediction, detection and clinical management of cancers. Dr. Alexia Eliades is currently overseeing the PreSENTIA hereditary cancer screening and ForeSENTIA tissue biopsy tests.
How did you decide to study science?
Ever since I remember myself as a child I was always fascinated by science and had a curiosity to understand nature. I was fortunate enough to have teachers that inspired me and encouraged me to pursue a scientific field of study.
How did you decide on the specific field of science?
I got interested in cancer genetics because it’s a field that I could apply my academic background in understanding the molecular mechanisms implicated in cancer development. Cancer genetics and diagnostics has progressed rapidly in recent years as technology has enabled an unprecedented understanding of the etiology of this disease. I chose this field because it can revolutionize the way cancer is diagnosed and paves the way for personalized treatment that can impact patients’ lives.
What aspects of your field do you find the most rewarding?
The most rewarding aspect of our work is that the research we do and the genetic tests we develop can empower doctors to make better informed decisions that can improve patient outcome.
What qualities do you find indispensable for a researcher?
I believe that first and foremost you have to have the inner motivation to pursue science. This is a path that entails hard work, dedication, patience, critical thinking and a continuous curiosity to pursue new scientific questions.
What surprising lessons have you learned along the way that changed the way you used to think?
When I was still in my bachelor studies I had this perception that I would focus only on a certain field of study (neuroscience). Moving into my PhD I realized that in order to develop as a scientist the most important part was to find a mentor that can really inspire me, the scientific field came second to that. That is why I decided to pursue my PhD in biochemistry where I was fortunate to have a mentor that guided me and helped me to grow as a scientist.
If a young girl interested in science walked up to you for advice, what would you tell her?
I would tell her what I would say to any young person interested in science. This is an exciting time to be involved in science and especially life sciences. New technologies enable scientists to push the boundaries of our current knowledge. It’s an exciting journey of discovery but it entails motivation, dedication and passion. Find what your motivation is, culture your skills and be exposed to different scientific fields in order to find what inspires you the most. Be open to criticism from your peers and learn to work as part of a team. These are the keys to scientific growth and success.
What do you think are the biggest challenges for girls and women in science? What are the best ways to overcome these?
The biggest challenge for a woman in science is to balance her career and parenthood. It’s not easy but with the support and understanding of your family and with the proper work environment you can overcome these challenges.
What has changed the most since you became a scientist and how different do you think the role of women in the scientific world would be in 10 years?
During my academic journey I was fortunate to have inspiring female mentors that had leading roles in their academic institutions. However, I could see that women in these positions are underrepresented. A lot of young female scientist move into different professions due to the difficulty in advancing in science. I believe this will change in upcoming years. Engaging young girls into science from an early age, eliminating negative stereotypes regarding the role of women in today’s society and empowering them to pursue a scientific field of study through proper mentorship and guidance can help to increase women’s representation in science. This can have immense benefits not only for science but for society as a whole.
If you could have been a part of any past or future scientific discovery what would that be?
It’s the dream of every scientist to be part of scientific breakthroughs. If I have to pick one I would say it would be the discovery of CRISPR, a breakthrough gene editing mechanism that enables scientist to repair faulty genes. CRISPR allows scientists to study potential therapies to treat a number of diseases including cancer.
Who is a scientist that you look up to and why?
There are many incredible scientists that I look up to. I’m inspired by the work of many scientists that laid the foundations of modern genetics such as Rosalind Franklin as well as scientists that currently are revolutionizing the field of genetics and genome editing such as George Church, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier.
Dr. Alexia Eliades received her BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Athens. She went on to pursue a PhD at the Boston University School of Medicine in cancer biology and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Cancer Research UK in the University of Manchester. Dr. Eliades has earned a number of grants and fellowships, has written several publications in scientific journals and has presented her work in numerous conferences throughout the world. Dr. Eliades has been with NIPD Genetics since 2016.
NIPD Genetics is a leading, innovative biotechnology company that designs, develops, and provides a
broad spectrum of healthcare services to its customers through its expansive portfolio of molecular
and clinical laboratory tests in all disciplines.
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NIPD Genetics collects and processes your personal information according to the General Data
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persons with regards to the processing of personal data and for the free movement of such data (L.
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Accuracy – We take every reasonable step to ensure that personal data collected are
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NIPD Genetics has appointed a Data Protection Officer (DPO) who is responsible for overseeing and
ensuring that personal information is collected and processed in line with these principles. The contact
details of the Data Protection Officer (DPO) can be found below:
Postal address: 31 Neas Engomis street, 2409 Engomi, Nicosia, Cyprus
Telephone number: + 357 22266888
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We collect and process several types of personal information from and about users of our websites
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Your personal information is collected by NIPD Genetics for the following purposes:
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and services and our website for individuals.
To provide our products and services, NIPD Genetics may collect, receive and process biological
samples to isolate and sequence DNA. NIPD Genetics may then store resulting genetic information
and use genetic information to provide our products and services. In some cases, NIPD Genetics may
provide interpretations of genetic information on behalf of its customers, including healthcare
providers. This is only done pursuant to a written contract or a Sample Information Form with a
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This sensitive information described above is collected by NIPD Genetics for the following purposes:
To provide support and maintenance services to customers who use our products and services –
The legal basis for processing is to meet the requirements of a contract.
To provide genotyping and sequencing services and analysis for our customers, including
healthcare providers. The legal basis of this processing is to meet the requirements of a contract
or as allowed in the Sample Information Form with a patient’s informed consent.
To conduct genotyping and sequencing services and analysis for quality control, process and
product development and improvements, and optimization in our labs to reflect quality
improvements and advances in our technology. The legal basis for processing is the patient’s
informed consent given through the Sample Information Form.
Transfer of Data
Your information, including personal data, may be transferred to - and maintained on - computers
located outside your province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection
laws may differ than those from your jurisdiction.
If you are located outside Cyprus and choose to provide information to us, please note that we transfer
the data, including personal data, to Cyprus and process it there.
agreement to that transfer.
NIPD Genetics will take all reasonable steps necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and
an organization or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of your
data and other personal information.
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NIPD Genetics complies with the General Data Protection Regulation and will not sell or trade your
NIPD Genetics may disclose your personal information in the good faith that such action is necessary:
To comply with a legal obligation
To protect and defend the rights or property of NIPD Genetics
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To protect against legal liability
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We are committed to protecting the security of the information we collect, and we take reasonable
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PERSONAL DATA RETENTION
We may retain collected information even after you remove it from the website, our Services, or our
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personal information in accordance with applicable law.
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These third parties have access to your Personal Data only to perform these tasks on our behalf and
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We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of
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We will let you know via email and/or a prominent notice on our website, prior to the change
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NIPD Genetics ensures that it can respond immediately to requests that you make for the exercise of
your legal rights in accordance with data protection laws. These rights are as follows:
The right to withdraw consent at any time – in cases where processing is based on your
The right of access – at any given time you have the right to know what information about you
we hold and receive information about the processing activities we perform
The right to rectify – you have the right to correct, amend and complete personal data that is
The right to erasure (“right to be forgotten”) – you can request that your personal information
The right to object – you can object at any time to our processing of your personal information
The right to restriction of processing – this applies in the event:
You dispute the accuracy of your personal information and until it is verified
You oppose to the deletion of personal data and ask instead to delete the use of it
The personal information is no longer necessary for us
You object to the processing and we are considering whether our legitimate grounds
for processing prevail over the reasons you oppose to the processing
The right to data portability – at any given time you have the right to receive the personal
information we hold about you in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format
(pdf, word etc.). You also have the right to request that these data are transferred to another
service in a safe and secure way
You also have the right to lodge a complaint at any time to the Office of the Commissioner for Personal
We encourage you to contact us, should you wish to practice any of your legal rights or you have any