Laboratory-Head

I use mathematics, statistics and computer programming to analyse large genomic data sets for cancer and infectious diseases like malaria. Recently a lot of my work has focused on the Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease and we've contributed to some important discoveries about what kind of cancer it is. This has been really rewarding.

My day consists of talking with biologists and clinicians, supervising post-doctorate and university students in my lab, reading and writing scientific papers and preparing grant applications.

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We have some pretty grunty computers. We write software for these computers to analyse big data sets. One of the areas we are working on is developing new mathematical methods for finding mutations in tumour genomes. Bioinformatics is the next new wave. There is a shortage of people with the required maths skills for work in bioinformatics.

My preparation for this work was a PhD in Mathematics and Physics. My advice to anyone wanting to do this type of work is to continue with maths, it is important in lots of different areas of scientific research.

I love that I get to work on a wide range of important biological problems and can be part of making major discoveries about cancer, malaria, and the Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease. I travel to conferences and meetings and I do enjoy this. Much of the work we are involved with could not be done without the involvement of someone with strong mathematics skills.





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