The research team includes both national and international leaders in prostate cancer research, as well as a number of researchers new to the field, and specifically promotes the contribution of emerging and mid-career researchers. This team has a track record of original, high-impact discoveries and recurrent funding, and have the necessary industry collaborations to facilitate future translation of their findings.
Niall Corcoran MB BCh BAO PhD FRACS(Urol) is a urological surgeon and research scientist with clinical appointments at Royal Melbourne and Frankston. He is a principal research fellow in the Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne, where he holds the prestigious Movember – Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Clinician Scientist Award through the Prostate Foundation of Australia’s Research Program. He is also the Research and Education Lead in GU oncology at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and chairs the Prostate Cancer Optimal Care Pathway expert working group through the Victorian Cancer Agency. His clinical interest is in the surgical and multimodal management of high-risk prostate, and his clinical research interests are risk stratification for early prostate cancer, neo-adjuvant and adjuvant trials for high-risk disease and early phase clinical studies for castration-resistant disease. His basic research interest lies in the molecular events underlying the development and progression of lethal prostate cancer, and the discovery and development of new agents for high-risk disease.
Paul Boutros, Ph.D., M.B.A., is a renowned data scientist and professor in the departments of human genetics and urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He currently serves as director of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Cancer Data Science program and associate director of cancer informatics at the UCLA Institute for Precision Health, and is a member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research.
Prof Boutros pursued his undergraduate education at the University of Waterloo in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. His undergraduate thesis focused on modelling DNA damage, and was awarded First Place in the National Undergraduate Chemistry Conference. During his PhD degree he received several awards, including the CIHR/Next Generation First Prize and the Invitrogen Canada Young Investigator Silver Award. He received his PhD in 2008 for his work on cancer biomarkers and started his independent research career with an appointment at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
Today his research group focuses on using new DNA sequencing technologies to improve diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. In particular, A/Prof Boutros is involved with the Canadian Prostate Cancer Genome Network (CPC- GENE), a national outcomes based project focusing on developing biomarkers to predict which intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients will suffer relapse, and which can safely be placed on active surveillance protocols. Additionally, he works on a number of experimental and algorithmic approaches to generating robust biomarkers, particularly in a non- or minimally-invasive fashion.
Boutros has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers, and in his leadership roles as professor in the departments of human genetics and urology, he is currently working to support personalizing therapy for cancer by developing novel statistical methodologies. He leads the ICGC-TCGA DREAM Somatic Mutation Calling Challenge that is setting global standards for analyzing cancer genomic data, and drives programs in cancer genomics, data science and biomarker translation.
Margaret Centenera is a Research Fellow from the University of Adelaide, located at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). Her research is focused on improving the clinical management of men with prostate cancer, through androgen receptor targeting, testing efficacy of novel therapeutics and discovery of innovative markers of response to current and emerging prostate cancer treatments. She obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in 2008 at the University of Adelaide. As part of her postdoctoral studies, Dr Centenera developed a patient-derived explant model of prostate cancer as a more clinically relevant and translational research approach. Dr Centenera spent 2012 as a visiting scholar in the USA, UK, Europe and Australia to train researchers on the explant technique. While at the University of Leuven in Belgium, she undertook a short-term Fellowship in the Laboratory of Lipid Metabolism and Cancer. On returning to Australia, Dr Centenera was appointed Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia Young Investigator from 2013 to 2015 at the University of Adelaide. In 2014, she was invited to join and help establish a new prostate cancer research group where she is now the Senior Research Fellow and leads a biomarker research program centred on the explant model.
A/Prof Collins is a medical oncologist, specialised in the field of breast cancer at Warrnambool Hospital. He also is currently Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Regional Oncology Deputy lead. He holds a conjoint Associate Professor in the School of Medicine, Faculty of Health at Deakin University. A/Prof Collins is a member of national and international oncology research community: American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO); European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO); Medical Oncology Group of Australia (MOGA); Breast Cancer Trials; Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate (ANZUP). He was an associate investigator on an NHMRC project grant APP1064244 for, Development and Pilot Testing of an Evidence-Based, Tailored, Computerised Risk Assessment and Decision Support Tool (iPrevent) to Facilitate Discussions About Breast Cancer Prevention and Screening Measures. He has an Australian Innovation patent this tool. He will be allocating 20% of his research time to this application project. A/Prof. Ian Collins is an academic medical oncologist working in regional Victoria, with a strong research interest in risk prediction and management of solid tumours with familial predisposition. As the deputy lead for Regional Oncology at VCCC, Ian will facilitate access for remote and rural patients to clinical trials encompassed within this research program.
Professor Hovens was awarded a PhD in 1992 at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. In 1992, Professor Hovens took up a post- doctoral position with Prof Walter Schaffner at the Institute for Molecular Biology in Zurich. In 1995, Prof Hovens moved to the Institute for Medical Virology in Zurich as an independent Group Leader, with an Honours student and two PhD students. Publications arising from the work here included papers in Journal of Cell Biology and Nature Biotechnology in 1999. In late 1998 Prof Hovens moved to the Dep. of Surgery Uni. of Melbourne as a Group Leader. He continued his collaboration with Dr Steve Stacker, Ludwig Institute, which resulted in a publication in Nature Genetics in 2000. In 2001 Professor Hovens was promoted to Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Surgery and then in 2005 as Director of the Prostate Cancer Research centre in the Departments of Urology and Surgery, University of Melbourne, Royal Melbourne Hospital. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009 and to full Professor in 2016. His work has led to the co-discovery of a small, water soluble activator of the PP2A phosphates pathway and for which a number of international patent applications have been filed and a company founded, Velacor Therapeutics Pty Ltd, to commercialise this discovery. He has also developed a novel inhibitor of androgen signalling which has been commercialised through another start up, CCH Pharma Pty Ltd and which was the subject of multiple patent applications.
Maarten J. IJzerman is a full professor and the VCCC Chair of Cancer Health Services Research in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences in Melbourne Australia and a honorary principal research fellow at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. He also holds a fractional appointment as a professor in the University of Twente, the Netherlands.
Maarten is leading a global research team working on data-driven value-based cancer care and the role of molecular diagnostic for personalized medicine, in particular cancer and childhood arthritis. His research expertise is health economics, clinical decision support and health services research. Following his PhD in 1997, he was appointed CEO of the Roessingh Rehabilitation Research Institute. In 2007 he was appointed professor and chair in the University of Twente, where he initiated the HTSR department, directed the Health Sciences program (2007-2011), served as the acting director of the MIRA institute for Biomedical Engineering and Technical Medicine (2013-2014) and was the dean for Health & Biomedical Technology in the School of Science and Technology (2015-2017). Maarten developed international research experience at Case Western Reserve University and Metrohealth (Cleveland, USA), Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (Baltimore, USA) and the Harvard School of Public Health (Boston, USA). He is an active member of international societies, such as the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), where he was a member of the Board of Directors between 2013-2015, and the program chair for the 20th European meeting (2017) in Glasgow, UK. Until 2019, Maarten was a member of the Board of Directors of a large teaching hospital (Maximá Medisch Centrum) and an institute for radiation oncology (Radiotherapiegroep) in the Netherlands.
Professor Tony Papenfuss is a computational biologist and bioinformatics researcher. He leads a research laboratory in the Bioinformatics Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (since 2010), where he is also the Theme Leader for Computational Biology. He has held a joint appointment as a group leader at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (since 2013), where he established the Computational Cancer Biology Program and remains Co-head of this program. In 2017, Professor Papenfuss was appointed to be a Professor at the University of Melbourne in the Department of Medical Biology and the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology. Professor Papenfuss also led the establishment of the Australian Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Society Inc—our national peak body and professional society. He was founding President (2014-2018) and is the current Past President.
Professor Papenfuss’ research involves the development of novel computational methods to analyse and make sense of cancer '-omics' data, and he applies these methods to make new discoveries. A major focus of his work is cancer evolution, particularly in melanoma. He and his team are also interested in complex genomic rearrangements and the mechanisms underlying extreme amplification in genomes. His team has developed novel methods to identify these rearrangements that are amongst the current state-of-the-art. With this approach, his team recently discovered the dynamic mechanisms underlying the formation of giant cancer-associated neochromosomes, and have characterised how melanoma evolves.
Danny Park is a molecular biologist and bioinformatician. He is the Academic Lead of a team of expert bioinformaticians at Melbourne Bioinformatics, The University of Melbourne. He has contributed over 80 original research articles, patents and book chapters in titles including Nature Genetics, Cancer Discovery and American Journal of Human Genetics, as well as field-leading technical journals such as BioTechniques, Analytical Biochemistry and BMC Bioinformatics. This work has been supported by numerous competitive research grants, including awards from NIH, NHMRC and CCV. Danny’s methods relating to enhanced solid-phase PCR and targeted DNA sequencing are in widespread use in clinical diagnostics and discovery, and include TGA-certified commercial products.
Danny’s research interests include cancer genetics, targeted sequencing applications, cancer immunology and relationships between mutations and protein function effects.
Assoc Prof Parker holds a Senior Faculty position at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, where she leads the Cancer Microenvironment and Immunotherapy laboratory and currently holds a Victorian Cancer Agency Mid-Career Fellowship for her translational cancer immunology research (2017-2021). After obtaining her PhD in 2002, Dr Parker began postdoctoral training in the Department of Oncology at Johns Hopkins University, USA prior to returning to Australia to work on cell specific mechanisms of breast cancer metastasis at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, where she was promoted to Team Leader in 2012 and moved to La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science as a group leader and co-leader of the Cancer Theme in 2013.
A/Prof Parker’s research group has a particular interest in crosstalk between tumour cells and immune effector and suppressor cells, with a key focus on tumour inherent type I IFN signalling and precision immunotherapeutic approaches in breast and prostate cancer, including combination immunotherapy trials in preclinical metastasis models and biomarker development in clinical trials. Apart from research funding from NHMRC, CCV and PCFA, she has secured commercial collaborations and was awarded a VMRAF grant to trial IFN inducers in TNBC. A/Prof Parker has received awards and fellowships throughout her career: NHMRC Career Development Award Level 1 (2009-2013); La Trobe Research Excellence Award (2013); ARC Future Fellowship (2014-2017); and Joseph Sambrook Award for Research Excellence (Peter Mac) in 2015. Dr Parker will dedicate 20% of her research time to this project application. Dr Parker is a midcareer researcher with an established international reputation in the field of immune regulation of metastatic spread in particular in the bone microenvironment where her group has made a number of seminal discoveries.
After completing a national-award winning PhD in computer science in 2007, and then a research internship at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, Bernard returned to the University of Melbourne to take up a lecturing position in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. In 2010 he joined the newly-formed VLSCI (now Melbourne Bioinformatics), a $100M project to build a world-leading centre for bioinformatics and computational biology. In making the transition from computer science to bioinformatics, Bernard recognised the exciting new opportunities provided by the genomics revolution in biomedicine, and was inspired to apply his computing and analytic skills to important problems in human health.
During his years at Melbourne Bioinformatics, Bernard has established himself as an expert in the development of novel techniques for the analysis of large-scale genomics data sets, resulting in the production of tools which have driven key discoveries in human disease, and which can be re-applied in many different contexts. As Lead Bioinformatician for Human Genomics, Bernard heads several high profile, multidisciplinary research projects, with national and international partners.
In 2017 Bernard was awarded a Victorian Health and Medical Research Fellowship, funded by the Victorian Government.
Prof. Phillip Stricker, AO, is a urologist and one of the leading experts in the treatment of prostate cancer in Australiasia. He is the Chairman of the Department of Urology at St Vincent’s Campus, the Director of St Vincent’s Prostate Cancer Centre and a Clinical Director of research at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre.
Prof. Stricker’s clinical practice is dedicated to the treatment of prostate cancer. Prof. Stricker introduced brachytherapy to Australia in 1996, developed the transperineal biopsy technique in 1997, developed and maintained a structured program of follow-up and monitoring for patients on active surveillance since 1999, commenced the first robotic radical prostatectomy program in NSW in 2006 and has been pivotal in the introduction of Focal Therapy Nanoknife treatment to Australia since 2013.
His area of research focuses on the quality of life in patients after treatment, perfecting surgical techniques, the introduction of less invasive surgical techniques, utilising medical imagining for the detection and evaluation of prostate cancer and tailoring therapy for all patients with prostate cancer. Prof. Stricker was the driving force in creating one of the largest prostate tissue banks and clinical databases in the Southern Hemisphere which is currently housed within The Kinghorn Cancer Centre.
Ben Tran is a Medical Oncologist, MBBS, FRACP at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and is a Clinician Scientist at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. His clinical focus is Genitourinary (GU) tumour stream, particular, testicular and urothelial cancers. Dr Tran’s research interests uniquely occupy the two ends of the spectrum in Early Drug Development, and Real World Data (RWD). He set up Australia’s first National Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer Registry (ePAD), Australia’s first Testicular Cancer Registry (iTestis) and Australia’s first Bladder Cancer Registry (BLADDA). He believes that establishing robust platforms for RWD collection can facilitate research, not only data-related, but also translational by linking to tissue and blood specimens, and clinical through the conduct of registry-based trials. Grant funding has allowed him to conduct much of this research; since returning to Australia in early 2012, awarded several grants totalling almost $10M. Following completion of Medical Oncology training in Australia, Dr Tran completed an overseas Fellowship in Drug Development and Urological cancers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada. There, he gained extensive experience in treating GU cancers, conducting Phase I clinical trials, implementing a large scale molecular profiling program and managing large multi-centre databases containing real world patient data. Dr Tran is currently leading the GU medical oncology program at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the GU clinical trials program within the Parkville Cancer Clinical Trials Unit. Additionally, he holds several leadership positions within the National GU community, including Chair of the GU Tumour Group within Cancer Trials Australia, and Chair of the ANZUP Germ Cell Tumour Subcommittee. Regularly, Dr Tran is invited to speak at National scientific meetings and has been a member of the organising committee for several National conferences. He established Australia’s first Phase I clinic and is Principal Investigator on several Phase I studies including First Time in Human studies. Dr Tran’s research are internationally recognised with several International collaborations that have led to publications and presentations at International meetings, particularly in testicular cancer. He is on steering committees of two multinational research projects in testicular cancer, and have conducted research that has led to changes in clinical practice world-wide.
The Cancer Consumer Advisory Committee provides advice, guidance and insights to enable strategic connections, research and clinical project partnering, knowledge and information sharing, and a consumer point-of-view.
Committee Chair, Sophy Athan has a strong interest and varied experience in advocating in the health sector. She is passionate about improving the patient experience and patient health outcomes.
She has presented at conferences and scientific forums, contributed to several strategic initiatives, and provided strategic direction for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) and our alliance members.
Ms Athan is a Director of her own company. She was previously a senior public servant in both state and local governments.
Elles Stijnen is a biomedical scientist and since her move to Australia in 2019 working as a research program manager at the Australian Prostate Centre. In her current role she is assisting the principal investigator of the PRECEPT project and focusses on further developing the research activities at the APC.
Elles has more than 20 years of experience working in a variety of complex and non-profit healthcare organisations, mainly hospital care, primary care and nursing homes. In the Netherlands, she was involved in several programs and projects focused on integrated care and disease management, value-based breast cancer care, stroke rehabilitation and transition of care between the hospital and primary care. Besides a degree in biomedical sciences she also has a degree in nursing and certificates in lean management, six-sigma and patient logistics.
Dr Edmond Kwan is a Medical Oncologist and translational researcher at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. In his role as a Principal Investigator in the Urology-Oncology Clinical Trials Program, he leads multiple investigator-led and industry-sponsored studies in prostate cancer and renal cell carcinoma. His primary research interest is in genitourinary malignancies and circulating biomarker research. Dr Kwan is currently completing his PhD at Monash University, focusing on identifying mechanisms of drug resistance in advanced prostate cancer through the analysis of circulating DNA and RNA in the blood, supported by a postgraduate scholarship from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). His work has led to a publication in the high impact journal European Urology, multiple oral/poster presentations at national/international conferences and positive grant funding to support the development of a circulating tumour DNA panel in patients with advanced hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. In August 2020, Dr Kwan will relocate to University College London to undertake a prostate cancer postdoctoral fellowship in the Treatment Resistance Laboratory led up Professor Gerhardt Attard. Ultimately, Dr Kwan intends on returning to Australia and establishing long-term roots as a clinician researcher at a major academic institution leading innovative projects that seek to benefit patients with urological malignancies.
Benjamin Thomas is a consultant urological surgeon at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. He specializes in urological oncology surgery including robotic surgery.
He completed his undergraduate medical degree at the University of Melbourne (MBBS) and his urological training through the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS). He completed fellowships at Cambridge University Hospitals, Cambridge and the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. He was also an invited visitor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York. He was a substantive consultant urological surgeon at Cambridge University Hospitals where he was Chair of the Urological Cancer Multidisciplinary Team and Lead for Robotic Surgery. He was also the lead surgeon for the Anglian Germ Cell Cancer network encompassing East Anglia and North and East London.
He has a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge (MPhil) for research in circulating RNA as a biomarker in prostate cancer. He was also the principal investigator in multiple studies for prostate and bladder cancer in Cambridge and was on the NIHR Clinical Studies Group for testicular cancer.
Dr Thomas will be devoting 40% of his research time to this project application.
Dr Justin Bedő studied Software Engineering at the Australian National University receiving his bachelor degree in 2004. In 2009, he was awarded a PhD by the ANU in the area of Machine Learning. His PhD investigated novel machine learning algorithms applied to bioinformatics problem, in particular plant breeding and cancer genomics. From 2008–2014 he was a researcher in the Diagnostic Genomics group at NICTA, continuing his research into data mining techniques with applications to the medical and agriculture sector. During 2010–2012, Dr Bedő was also a Postdoctoral Fellow at IBISC, France, working on dynamical systems modelling. Dr Bedő worked in industry experience at IBM Research Australia from 2014–2016 before commencing at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute as the Stafford Fox Centenary Fellowship in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology for Rare Cancers in 2016.
Dr. Koen Degeling obtained his Industrial Engineering and Management degree with distinction from the technical University of Twente in the Netherlands, specializing in Healthcare Technology and Management. His research focuses on the application of operations research methods in healthcare to evaluate and optimize oncology pathways. He was awarded a doctoral degree with distinction for his thesis “Simulation Modeling to Optimize Personalized Oncology”, which provides methodological guidance for, and demonstrates the potential of simulation and optimization methods to improve oncology care. During his time as PhD Candidate at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, Koen was appointed as Honorary Researcher at the University of Melbourne. He joined the Cancer Health Services Research department within the University of Melbourne in 2019 to establish a research program on evaluating and optimizing oncology care using real-world data. Koen has been involved in several multidisciplinary national and international collaborations with established oncology and health services research groups.
Dr Jung is currently employed as a Research Scientist at Melbourne Bioinformatics (formerly known as Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative; VLSCI), the University of Melbourne since 2011, after finishing his PhD at the Institute of Molecular Biosciences, the University of Queensland. Prior to the PhD, he worked for Macrogen Inc., Korea as a founding member of the company’s Bioinformatics team, where he played a key role in setting up the bioinformatics analysis procedures for high throughput sequencing data and helped the company gain a national and international reputation for their bioinformatics services. For the first several years at Melbourne Bioinformatics, Dr Jung had worked closely with Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory, University of Melbourne (GEL), Cancer Council Victoria (CCV) for the analysis of epigenetic and genetic risk factors associated with various diseases including cancers. From 2018, Dr Jung started collaboration with Prof Christopher Hovens and A/Prof Niall Corcoran of the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and has been an active player at the Australian node of Pan-Prostate Cancer Group, an international consortium for prostate cancer study. Dr Jung has published over 35 papers across his career, which have been cited more than 1000 times.
Katie Owen is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Parker laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, headed by Associate Professor Belinda Parker. As an active member of both PRECEPT and the international prostate cancer research consortium, ProMis, Katie’s work focuses on understanding the immunoregulatory mechanisms that govern bone metastasis in castrate-resistant prostate cancer, including tumour cell dormancy and the eventual outgrowth of prostate cancer cells in the bone microenvironment. Her research has identified that suppression of a key innate immune signalling pathway in prostate cancer cells in bone impacts both bone homeostasis and immune surveillance mechanisms to engender a tumour-permissive niche. These findings have led to the development of a novel immune-based combinatorial approaches that decrease bone-metastatic outgrowth and enhance the effectiveness of agents solely aimed at systemic immune activation by increasing tumour cell immunogenicity. Stemming from this research, she is now working on the development of targetable immune signalling biomarkers of bone metastasis and is investigating how therapeutic induction of tumour-intrinsic immune pathways impacts prostate cancer diagnosis, risk stratification and patient outcome—a line of investigation that will be utilised in the PRECEPT program.
Amanda has been working in health and research for the past 15 years including oncology clinical trials and health services research. She commenced work as a Research Fellow in Health Economics and Cancer in the Cancer Health Services Research group in October 2018. Amanda is a health services researcher and health economist working on several projects in prostate cancer that use clinical registries and data linkage to optimise treatment sequencing strategies, patient survival outcomes and costs. She has critiqued a health technology assessment of oncology diagnostic testing to inform government healthcare funding decisions in collaboration with the Health Economics Unit.
In her previous role, Amanda drove a departmental research program under executive leadership at Cabrini Institute. Research included evaluating several online education resources for health care services and hospital-based interventions using administrative and clinical datasets.
Her qualifications are a Bachelor of Nursing, Master of Public Health and Master of Health Economics. Amanda was awarded a Deakin University Scholarship for Excellence and Cabrini Institute post-graduate scholarship for her studies.
Dr Riccarda Peters is a Research Fellow at the Cancer Health Services unit at the University of Melbourne. Within the PRECEPT program, Riccarda works on the assessment of preferences of physicians and patients to follow a biomarker based treatment recommendation for the management of localised prostate cancer.
Riccarda has completed her PhD at the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University in 2019. Her research has focused on modifiable risk factors in cognitive ageing. She has been involved in several clinical trials with a focus on improving health and cognition in older participants. For her work she has received a stipend from the Emerging Researchers in Ageing (ERA) for a research visit at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Riccarda has completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
Bethany is a research assistant in the Hovens/Corcoran research laboratory. She graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Biomedical Science Advanced with Honours in 2020. She has worked on multiple projects and has experience with multiple cancer models and numerous biochemical and molecular biology techniques. She has recently moved to the University of Melbourne where her research is focused on prostate cancer prognosis and treatment.
Completed a BSc in Computing and Software Systems at the University of Melbourne in 2019, alongside a UROP placement in the Papenfuss lab at the WEHI. Currently employed as a bioinformatics research assistant at the same lab, investigating projects in computational cancer biology.
After a varied career that included early work in machine learning with Artificial neural networks, teaching children with ASD, and volunteering to supervise learner drivers, in 2013 I started a change to bioinformatics with a graduate diploma at RMIT Melbourne. My next experience in this field was a VLSCI summer internship at La Trobe Institute of Molecular Science with Dr Brian Smith, editing a website application for predicting helices in proteins. Since 2014 I have been a research assistant in the Papenfuss Laboratory in the Bioinformatics Division at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Parkville, Melbourne. Most of my work has been on genome and DNA analysis, and data visualisation. In this role I have contributed to projects involving gene insertion in malaria parasites, describing the faecal microbiomes of healthy human volunteers and poisoned mice, and characterising variants in the genomes of prostate tumours and other cancers.