Dr. Seminara is a Senior Advisor to the Director in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, where she provides scientific guidance and advice to division leadership in the scientific direction of the division as it relates to strategic priorities for DCCPS and NCI.
From 2014 to 2015, Dr. Seminara was on an assignment as Consulting Professor to the Stanford Cancer Institute, where she was involved in the planning and implementation of several large, interdisciplinary projects that have relevance to DCCPS programmatic priorities in the emerging field of integrative epidemiology. In her former post as Senior Scientist and Cohorts and Consortia Team Lead for the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP), Dr. Seminara led a cross-EGRP effort for the design, implementation and evaluation of collaborative efforts, resulting in a thriving network of more than 60 interdisciplinary and translational cancer epidemiology consortia with national and international reach. Dr. Seminara has designed and co-led large international initiatives such as the OncoArray Network and the Genetic Associations and Mechanisms in Oncology (GAME-ON): A Post-Genome Wide Association Initiative, a multi-million dollar project aimed at investigating the genetic architecture of common cancers and expediting the translation of genomic data into preventive and therapeutic applications. She designed and implemented the Breast Cancer Family Registry and Colon Cancer Family Registry cohorts and related biobanks and made substantial contributions to the development of NCI and NIH policies related to genome-wide association studies (GWAS), such as data sharing. She also played a key role in the scientific coordination and evaluation of cancer cohorts by leading the development of an innovative approach to the support of cancer cohorts infrastructures (Core Infrastructure and Methodological Research for Cancer Epidemiology Cohorts U01), the launch of the Cancer Epidemiology Descriptive Cohort Database and the Cohorts Metadata Repository, as well as representing the EGRP OAD with the NCI Cohort Consortium.
Dr. Seminara has more than 20 years of experience in NIH's intramural and extramural programs. She received NCI Director Merit Awards both for outstanding and sustained scientific and managerial leadership of the NCI Cohorts Consortium and in recognition of vision, creativity, persistence and dedication in the development of the NCI program in the genetic epidemiology of cancer, as well as an NIH Director Award for outstanding teamwork, skills and dedication in the development of the landmark NIH GWAS data sharing policy. Before coming to NIH, Dr. Seminara was Associate Professor and Associate Director for the Center for Inborn Metabolic Diseases in the Department of Pediatrics of the Catholic University Medical School in Rome and a visiting scientist in the field of inborn errors of metabolism and diabetes research, with a joint appointment at NIH/NIDDK and Howard University. She received a Ph.D. (with Honors) in Cellular Physiology and Pathology from the Catholic University of Rome, Italy, an MS in Molecular Biology from the University of Rome, Italy, and an interdisciplinary MPH in Epidemiology and Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley.