Genomics for Personalised Medicine and 21st Century Agriculture
The official completion of the first draft of the human genome in February 2001 marked the arrival of systematic, quantitative scientific methods and modern engineering to the biology of living cells. A wide range of novel DNA-level measuring technologies which have emerged in the last ten years, herald the arrival of personalised medicine where the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of diseases can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, improving the efficacy of treatments while lowering costs and side effects. Equal impact is expected in agriculture, where better varieties of livestock and crops can be bred more efficiently with targeted crossing, and where farm yield can be improved with seeds genetically selected to match varying growth conditions even within individual commercial farms.
The realisation of these promises is conditioned on the harnessing of relevant information, hidden in unprecedented quantities of data which are being generated by the ever expanding array of genomic technologies. This harnessing requires the emergence of novel sciences and technologies and the “convergence” of disparate research fields including medicine, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, computer science, and mathematics merged with advanced engineering for robust delivery of solutions.
The Bioinformatics team at the Victorian Research Laboratories of NICTA, located at the University of Melbourne, has created such a multi-disciplinary team, where “convergence” is taking place. Collectively, the team members have a wide experience in a broad spectrum of academic research fields, from pure maths to stem cell biology; years of industrial experience in mainstream industries and both the creation and running of start-up companies. Unique global-scale technical solutions have been developed in response to target medical problems in a wide range of focus areas, such as neuro-psychiatric disorders, cancer, heart disease and diabetes as well as crop breeding and management. All projects have been developed in close collaboration with local and overseas biological and medical partner institutions, as well as commercial partners, for the pilot delivery of benefits to consumers.
This website contains information on the team, its research and publications, and access to our various available software solutions through the links at the top of the page.