21 August 2014
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UQ attracts world genomics expert

A WORLD expert in using computational science is joining the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience after receiving a $4 million fellowship to study chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancers.

Professor John Quackenbush, from the Harvard School of Public Health and Dana-Farber Institute in Boston was awarded an Australia Fellowship by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

He will team up with IMB director of Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics, Professor Sean Grimmond.

Grimmond and his team have developed technology to sequence ovarian cancers in unprecented detail to provides the basic data needed to understand molecular triggers behind the development of ovarian cancer.

The Queensland genomics centre is the largest genome sequencing facility in Australia.

Quackenbush said he chose to join IMB because it was one of the world’s leading biomedical research institutes and it would give him the opportunity to work with leading scientists.

Extensive investment and years of study have been dedicated to understanding the problem of chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer, however, few advances and fewer new therapies have resulted from that work.

Quackenbush will bring advanced analytical and computational methods to bear on addressing the problem of chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer.

He will also explore questions about the rules that govern how cells change state.

Quackenbush was presented with his fellowship by federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler on Thursday.

The computational scientist received a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1990.

Following two years as a postdoctoral fellow in physics, Quackenbush received a special emphasis research career award from the National Centre for Human Genome Research to work on the human genome project.


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