Associate Professor Pébay obtained her PhD in Neurosciences from the University of Paris VI in 2001 and subsequently joined Professor Martin Pera at Monash University to undertake research on human embryonic stem cells (hESC). She then continued her research in this area at the University of Melbourne where she commenced in 2007. Since 2012, Associate Professor Pébay has been appointed to both the Centre for Eye Research Australia and The University of Melbourne.
Associate Professor Pébay is the primary inventor of three international patents related to stem cell technology. She has published 28 peer-review articles and book chapters in the last five years and is on the editorial board of four international stem cell journals. Associate Professor Pébay established the first animal-free and chemically-defined culture medium for the growth of hESC and is now a recognized expert in the field of pluripotent stem cell biology.
Associate Professor Alicia Oshlack is a leader in implementing new bioinformatics methods in the biomedical context. She is a current National Health Medical Research Council Career Development Fellow with a growing national and international reputation.
A/prof Oshlack’s bioinformatics expertise is not just in analysis but also in methods development which leads to many independent research projects and publications. She is best known for her work on the analysis of RNA sequencing data but also works in the fields of epigenetics, clinical genomics and cancer.
She started her research career as an astrophysicist before moving to Walter and Eliza Hall as a post-doctoral scholar in the Bioinformatics division. She joined the Murdoch Childrens as Head of Bioinformatics in 2011.
Dr Austen Ganley, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Austen Ganley is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at University of Auckland. He has wide-ranging interests in genomics, and his work is characterised by the development of novel techniques to address fundamental questions in biology. He is an internationally recognised expert in the genomics of the ribosomal RNA gene repeats in eukaryotes, where he has made seminal advances in the relationship between transcription and recombination, and in the evolutionary dynamics of the ribosomal RNA gene repeats. His research involves a combination of bioinformatics and experimental approaches, and uses a variety of model systems, including yeast, filamentous fungi and mammalian systems.
Greg Neely completed his PhD in human immunology at the University of Calgary, Canada and went on to train in conserved functional genomics with Josef Penninger in Vienna, Austria. Since 2011, Greg have been running a lab in Sydney Australia using conserved functional genomics approaches to find novel human disease genes and pathways. Greg’s main interest is in age-related diseases involving the nervous system, including pain, neurodegeneration, and strategies to extend lifespan while preserving overall health.
An expert in genomics, Ian worked for several years as an investigator for the Institute for Genomic Research in the US, where he led the sequencing of many microbial genomes. He is an ISI Highly Cited Researcher and holds a NSW Life Science Research Award at Macquarie. Ian is currently using genome sequencing, metagenomics and functional genomics to understand how lateral gene transfer in bacteria enables them to adapt to different environmental niches Research interests: Understanding microbial physiology and evolution through global approaches such as genome sequencing, metagenomics, bioinformatics, transcriptomics and proteomics.
Pauls research centres on better understanding epigenetic regulation of transcription in diverse vertebrate representatives, specifically focussing on sex chromosomes dosage compensation. The ultimate goal is to understand how complex epigenetic silencing mechanisms evolved. During his PhD Paul focused on the gene content and evolution of marsupial Y chromosomes, and throughout his first postdoc in South Africa he focused on the genomics of Afrotheria (basal eutherian mammals; which include elephant, aardvarks, etc.).
He was awarded an ARC discovery project to further explore the epigenetics of vertebrate dosage compensation. The next stage of vertebrate genomics and epigenetics for his group involves much use of short read sequencing technologies.
Paul is currently using the Tasmanian devil to develop a technique for sequencing a whole mammal Y chromosome. For a study of dosage compensation in phylogenetically important vertebrate taxa, he has sequenced the transcriptomes from a male and female elephant, along with a male and female opossum. He uses ChIP-Seq to examine the chromatin modifications associated with vertebrate dosage compensation. He has ChIP samples being sequenced from the same opossum cell lines that the transcriptomes were sequenced, which will allow him to directly correlate transcription levels with chromatin modifications on a genome wide scale, avoiding problems associated with variation between individuals and tissue type.
Prof. Sean Grimmond is newly appointed Director of Cancer Research the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research and the Bertalli Chair in Cancer Medicine. He holds a Genetics degree from University of New England, a PhD in Pathology from the University of Queensland and became a Scientific Fellow of The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2011. Previous appointments include Founding Co-Chair of the Scottish Genomes Partnership (2014-2015), Founding Director of the Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics (2009-2013) and Professor of Genomics at the University of Queensland (2010).
Sean is a pioneer of whole genome and transcriptome analysis of cancer patients at scale, and has keenly pursued the underlying root-causes and key driver mutations behind many challenging types of cancer for many years. He has led Australia’s International Cancer Genome Consortium efforts since 2009 and engaged in foundational genomic discovery programs into Pancreatic, Ovarian, Oesophageal, Neuroendocrine cancers and melanoma. Since establishing the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research in 2016, his research has firmly focused on testing the clinical utility of genomics to improve the patient outcome through the advancement of genomic pathology, computational oncology and innovative cancer therapies.
Prof Hayes completed a PhD at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands in 1999, defining the genetic landscape of key regulator genes driving common human cancers. Returning to South Africa briefly, she headed a Genetics Laboratory focused on genetic risk factors associated with HIV/AIDS. Her interest in prostate cancer sparked by the late Prof Chris Heyns (1949-2014).
In 2003, she joined the Garvan Institute of Medical Research where she led a Cancer Genetics group focused on defining prostate cancer genetic risk factors in Australian men. This work awarded her the Cancer Institute of New South Wales Premier’s Award for Cancer Research Fellow (2007), an Australian Young Tall Poppy Award for Science (2008) and the Australian Academy of Science Inaugural Ruth Stephens Gani Medal for Human Genetics (2008).
Driven by advances in technology, in 2008 she moved to the Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia to establish one of the countries first next generation sequencing research laboratories. She used this technology to drive two large efforts, namely the Southern African Genome Project (Nature 2010) and the Tasmanian Devil Genome Project (PNAS 2011). These efforts resulted in representing Australia as a Fulbright Professional Scholar (Penn State University) and a Professorship at the J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego.
In 2014, Prof Hayes returned full-time to Australia and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research as the University of Sydney’s Petre Chair of Prostate Cancer Research, where she is continuing her research efforts in human comparative and prostate cancer genomics. She has maintained her interest in technology development.