Project Description

Dr Annette McGrath



The current and upcoming challenges and opportunities in bioinformatics

Next generation sequencing & bioinformatics

Monday 4 July 2016

Annette McGrath graduated from the National University of Ireland with a PhD in molecular biology and from The University of Queensland with a graduate diploma in statistics. Following postdoctoral work in bioinformatics on multiple sequence alignment, she worked for 3 years as a staff scientist and team leader in a biotech company in Auckland, New Zealand. She then spent 8 years as Head of Bioinformatics at the Australian Genome Research Facility, followed by Head of Bioinformatics at Queensland Facility for Advanced Bioinformatics in 2010. In 2011 she was recruited to establish and lead the CSIRO Bioinformatics Core, dedicated to enhancing capability in bioinformatics across CSIRO. She is a Principal Research Scientist and Team Leader in life science informatics in CSIRO Data61 with interests in the application of ‘omics technologies and big data and with a passion for bioinformatics education and training.
Molecular biology has become a data science, driven by advances in measurement and data acquisition technologies that allow very substantial amounts of data to be readily produced and aided by spectacular drops in the price of this data. The impact of this shift to a data-driven science can be seen across a broad range of applications – from human health, advanced manufacturing, agriculture and ecosystems. As molecular techniques improve, many practical and methodological challenges are presented by increased in data volumes, complexity and dimensionality of the data. Bioinformatics is facing challenges in managing, storing, processing, analysing and integrating different types of molecular biological information.

Nonetheless, there are a wealth of research opportunities emerging for bioinformaticians as effective analysis and interpretation of molecular bioscience data offers new ways to uncover hidden patterns in data and to build better predictive models.

This talk will present an overview of where genomics and bioinformatics are currently having an impact and will also take a look at some of the challenges and opportunities likely in coming years in the field of bioinformatics.