Benu Atri, PhD

Data Science I (Industry) Panel

Job Title: Lead Data Scientist

Current Employer: Mercury Data Science, Inc.


  • Ph.D. in Quantitative and Computational Biosciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX (2018)

  • M.S. in Bioinformatics, Banasthali University, Rajasthan, India (2009)

  • B.S. in Life Sciences, Ewing Christian College, Allahabad, India (2007)


I am a computational biologist by training with experience in evolutionary biology and microbiology. Currently, I work at Mercury Data Science (MDS), Inc. as a lead data scientist. I work with our company clients to solve their data-related problems in ways backed by scientific methodology. I rely on critical analytical thinking, carrying out root cause analyses, uncovering value, and my keen ability to communicate results effectively to clients.

My masters work involved solving biological problems through bioinformatics solutions. For my doctorate, I was able to continue bioinformatics work in my favorite field: evolutionary biology. My Ph.D. research was to uncover the role variations and co-variations play in protein evolution. I earned my Ph.D. at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, in the Quantitative and Computational Biosciences program.

Graduate school taught me the importance of good work ethic, problem-solving and the ability to persist. Over the years, my participation in leadership roles at several organizations within the Texas Medical Center and Houston area has added tremendous value to my personality and skills. I volunteer my time in scientific outreach by tutoring and blogging. As a stress buster, I enjoy swimming and long-distance bike rides (Finisher: MS150, Prairie 100K, MS150-2020).

Most useful skill sets acquired from/for your field:

  1. Use state-of-the-art analytics, machine learning & statistical methods for predictive modeling

  2. Research industry and business questions, leverage large volumes of data from internal and external sources, and

  3. Provide insights through storytelling and visualization to stakeholders for business-critical decisions.

What I love most about my job:

The people. Everyone at MDS has a shared vision and is dedicated to the company mission. There is a true spirit of cooperation making sure we all stay focused on the same goals: solving the clients' data problems, furthering the field, and making an impact all while growing professionally. We all support and challenge each other and continually offer constructive feedback.

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