Member Spotlight: A Chat with Ileana Delia Sabau, MD

Ileana Delia Sabau, MD
Ileana Delia Sabau, MD

The ASHG membership team recently sat down with Ileana Delia Sabau, MD an MD Specialist in Medical Genetics at Synevo Romania. As a part of the ESHG-Y, the European Society of Human Genetics’ Young Geneticists Committee, Dr. Sabau is passionate about engaging the next generation and shares her work in the field as well as her excitement for the future. She also touches on the importance of international collaboration with other ASHG members.

Tell us a bit about your work at Synevo Romania. What made you decide to study human genetics and how did that bring you to where you are today?

Ileana Delia Sabau, MD: I guess I have to thank my father for being my role model and an exceptional medical doctor, because this is how I decided to study medicine. I chose human genetics in my sixth year of medical school, when I attended an international conference where a professor held a lecture about genetics, and he underlined the importance of molecular pathways and the genetic differences between all individuals. That was the moment when I realized that the future of all discoveries was in our genes. I had to further investigate and so I did.

I currently work as an MD specialist in Medical Genetics at Synevo Romania. My daily activity consists of seeing patients and managing the Genetics Department which receives samples from all over the country. The laboratory has both a Cytogenetics and a Molecular Genetics Department.

What do you see as the next stage in your career path?

IDS: Being a clinician, as well as a researcher and teaching the medical students helped me have a comprehensive approach on how vast this territory of human genetics can be. I am trying to build this puzzle with small, but constant pieces so that it is stable and robust. I would like to contribute to bringing new technologies and discoveries to my country and help by being a link between Romanian patients, other medical specialists, and ASHG.

From a clinical perspective, how does your ASHG membership help you navigate your professional life? What have you found to be the most valuable?

IDS: ASHG membership shaped my professional growth even from my residency years, ever since I started attending the annual meetings and I learned so many new things and brought them back to my country. In this community I learned most of the guidelines and practices, also met important leaders in the field of human genetics and listening to their talks made me become one of them. ASHG also helped me make new liaisons with colleagues from all over the world and connect with them every time I want to share experiences and seek advice.

You have a passion for engaging the next generation of geneticists, as seen in your work with ESHG-Y. What advice would you give to trainees looking to become more involved?

ASHG Meeting Attendees interacting at Networking eventIDS: My collaboration with the ESHG-Y started from the need to make the young geneticists’ voices heard and empowered. When I was a resident, it was difficult to connect with colleagues from abroad, especially in our field of human genetics, so the motivation to bring together the young generation throughout Europe was our dream. I think that, as in all other domains, the secret lies in building strong, motivated young generations who are willing to help the next young generations to-be.

My advice for the trainees is to be determined and involved in shaping the next young community, just as they would like it to be. And not to forget to make friends along the way and have fun.

What are you most excited about that’s happening in the field currently?

IDS: I am very excited about the new gene and cell therapies for the different disorders, new cancer targeted treatments and how they reshape the lives of patients. This field is changing almost every day, but is so promising and bright. It is amazing how this field is evolving, even better than how I imagined it when I chose to practice as a medical geneticist.­­





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