Victorian Cancer Bioinformatics Symposium 2020
Wednesday 28th October 2020

Invited Speakers

Professor Shannon McWeeney

Shannon is a Professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and Head of the Division of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at Oregon Health and Sciences University. She is the Associate Director for Computational Biomedicine at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. In 2010, she was selected as a Kavli Frontiers Fellow by the US National Academy of Sciences. Her work is at the intersection of computer science, biostatistics, genetics and medicine to develop approaches to solve research bottlenecks, as wells as novel ways to visualize and interpret information. In addition, she has a career-long commitment to data sharing and patient engagement. She served as a member of the Enhanced Data Sharing working group for the NCI Blue Ribbon Panel for White House Moonshot Initiative. Since 2018, she has been a memmber of the Biden Cancer Initiative Data Sharing and Patient Empowerment workstream.

Shannon's presentation is sponsored by the Australasian Genomic Technologies Association.

Professor Cristin Print

Cristin graduated in Medicine from the University of Auckland in 1989 and began research while working as a house surgeon in Dunedin, NZ. A PhD in the University of Auckland led to a four-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia using genetic modification techniques to study development and cell death. He then spent six years in Cambridge University, UK, where he was a Fellow of St Edmunds College and developed a deep interest in genomics and bioinformatics. While there he co-founded a bioinformatics biotechnology company that became listed on the Tokyo stock exchange in 2007. In late 2005 he returned to the University of Auckland where he leads a cross-disciplinary research team of clinicians, biologists, data scientists and statisticians who use genomics, systems biology and bioinformatics to better understand human disease, especially cancer. He leads the Genomics Into Medicine Strategic Research Initiative in Auckland and Chairs the Auckland Regional Tissue Bank Scientific Advisory Board. He is a Director of the NZ Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) and is Vice President of the Auckland Museum Institute (the Auckland branch of the Royal Society of NZ), a Principle Investigator in the Maurice Wilkins Centre and member of the Science Leadership Team of the 'Healthier Lives' National Science Challenge. Previously, he served as President of the NZ Society for Oncology and was Director of the Bioinformatics Institute at the University of Auckland.

Professor Vanessa Hayes

Vanessa is the Petre Chair of Prostate Cancer Research at the University of Sydney and Head of the Laboratory for Human Comparative and Prostate Cancer Genomics at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Her research interest lies in using the variation in the human genome to define human origins and evolution, and how genome variation triggers, drives and ultimately defines treatment for prostate cancer. As such her focus has taken her to Africa with the greatest within continental human genome variation and significant prostate cancer disparity. Driven by advances in genome technologies, from the earliest mutation detection methods, to the first applications of next generation sequencing technologies, more recently her team has been combining whole genome sequencing with next generation optical mapping to identify complex structural genomic rearrangements of particular significance to human cancers, including prostate cancer.

Associate Professor Mark Cowley

Mark is a bioinformatician, who leads the Computational Biology group at the Children's Cancer Institute. He is also an early-mid career fellow of the NSW Department of Health, and Associate Professor at UNSW Medicine. Mark's research typically involves developing bioinformatics approaches to better understand the molecular basis underlying human disease, with a highly translational focus. As such, Mark has played a leadership role within two of Australia's largest precision medicine trials, namely the Zero Childhood Cancer program, and the Molecular Screening and Therapeutics (MoST) program (2016-8). Mark's multi-disciplinary team attempts to bridge the gap from vast amounts of molecular data (WGS, RNA-Seq or Targeted-Seq) to improved health outcomes, through making molecularly-informed treatment decisions in real-time, for children and adults with poor-outcome or rare cancers.