Dr. Sema K. Sgaier is a Senior Program Officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Affiliate Assistant Professor, Global Health with the School of Public Health, University of Washington. Sema leads the Male Circumcision Initiative of the foundation and manages HIV prevention programs across Africa. Previously, Sema managed the Avahan program (the foundation’s HIV prevention initiative in India) in the states of Karnataka, Manipur, and Nagaland. She has also been working on the immunization and the Monitoring & Evaluation portfolios.
Dr. Sgaier comes from a background of scientific discovery. Prior to joining the foundation, Sema was a scholar at Harvard Medical School pushing the envelope of research on the Human Genome to discover new genes that underlie complex diseases. Sema was also a Fellow with the Centre for Global Health Research (University of Toronto) and worked with the Indian government to establish a National Health Surveillance System and a national Indian biobank.
She received her PhD in Genetics from New York University, her M.A in Neuroscience from Brown University and a B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey).