Kelsey Florek

Data Science,
and Public Health.

A passion for applying creative approaches towards improving health in our communities

With a lifelong fascination for infectious diseases and a passion for public health, I have directed my career towards a passion of developing new ways to unravel complex biological questions. I am currently a Senior Genomics and Data Scientist at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH) where I lead a team of incredibly talented and dedicated public health data scientists. My work involves a combination microbiology, bioinformatics, statistics, and software development and I spend most of my time applying novel computational methodologies and building genomics and data analytics capacity leveraging emerging cloud-based technology both within the WSLH and the greater public health community.


A few notable projects that I have led include an easy to use web-based platform for performing bioinformatic workflows Easy Genomics, a repository of containerized applications StaPH-B Docker Builds; a toolkit of software and workflows for public health bioinformaticians StaPH-B ToolKit; and a dashboard for displaying SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance in Wisconsin WI SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Dashboard. You can find most of my work on my personal github k-florek or our lab’s github wslh-bio or wslh-data. These projects are built using technologies including AWS, Terraform, Nextflow, Python, R, Bash, Nodejs, Docker, and include a variety of genomics, machine learning, and evolutionary biology tools.


My work frequently involves close collaboration with the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Advanced Molecular Detection (OAMD) to develop pathways towards enhancing the public health workforce and improving access to data insights. I also serve as a steering committee member of StaPH-B a consortium of public health bioinformaticians committed to addressing the barriers affecting genomics in state public health laboratories.

In my spare time I enjoy creative ventures such as watercolor painting, photography, and board games along with active hobbies like backpacking and roller skating.