Project Description

Dr Ken McGrath


Australian Genome Research Facility Ltd (AGRF), Brisbane

Next-generation sequencing overview (Game of Thrones Edition)

Next generation sequencing & bioinformatics

Monday 4 July 2016

Ken McGrath is the node manager of the Brisbane Lab of the Australian Genome Research Facility, based at the UQ St Lucia campus. Ken has worked with plant and microbial genetics and transcriptomics, and completed his PhD in biochemistry and molecular pathology at UQ in 2005. Following this, his postdoctoral research involved examining the transcriptomes of mixed microbial communities in industrial and agricultural settings. In 2009, Ken joined the AGRF, and currently manages a range of lab processes and sequencing projects including next-generation sequencing platforms. Ken is also a founding member of the “eXtreme Microbiome Project” – an international collaboration studying microbial communities of the extreme environments around our planet.


The “Next-Generation Sequencing” landscape is one of constant change, with new and emerging technologies always competing with established platforms – much like the different characters and families from the “Game of Thrones” universe. Using this analogy, Ken talks about the sequencing technologies that have had their day on the throne, and looks in detail at the current rulers – and who is best positioned to usurp them. In doing so, Ken will explain how the sequencing technologies work and give examples of projects that can be run on them, as well as hint at what’s “next” in Next-Gen.