Warp drive for biomedical discovery

10 November 2016

It’s an exciting time to be a biomedical researcher, says visiting expert at Deakin.

The advent of population-scale human genome sequencing is yielding enormous insights into the genetic causes of disabilities and other diseases.

It’s also changing the way we understand human cell and developmental biology, and human disease.

That’s according to Professor John Mattick, Executive Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, who will present a guest lecture hosted by Deakin University’s Centre for Pattern Recognition and Data Analytics (PRaDA) on 17 November.

Prof Mattick’s lecture, “Biomedical discovery in warp drive: the integration of genomic data, clinical records, the Internet of things and machine learning,” will explore how the integration of millions of genome sequences with clinical records, and other information from the Internet of things, can create an N-dimensional genotype-phenotype correlation ecosystem.

This ecosystem can then be interrogated with a variety of techniques such as agnostic pattern analysis programs and machine learning, irrespective of the reason for collecting the information in the first place.

“It is early days yet, but this approach is already yielding stunning results and insights,” Prof Mattick said.

“This will revolutionise biomedical discovery, and transform medicine and healthcare, both individually and systemically.”

As a leader in his field, Prof Mattick has made several seminal contributions to molecular biology, including the development of one of the first recombinant DNA-based vaccines, and the genetic characterisation of bacterial surface filaments called type IV pili involved in host colonisation.

In the past 20 years, he has pioneered a new view of the genetic programming of humans and other complex organisms by showing that the majority of the genome, previously considered as “junk,” actually specifies a dynamic network of regulatory ribonucleic acids that guide differentiation and development.

PRaDA Director Prof Svetha Venkatesh said the Centre was excited with the prospect of using pattern analysis, advanced algorithms and machine learning for biomedical discovery.

“We believe this seminar given by Prof Mattick will help our researchers to get a deeper look into this prospect and to be more ambitious about the development of a better quality and more efficient healthcare system,” she said.

To register for Prof Mattick’s lecture, to be held on Thursday 17th November at Deakin’s Waurn Ponds Campus, visit https://johnmattick.eventbrite.com.au

The advent of population-scale human genome sequencing is yielding enormous insights into the genetic causes of disabilities and other diseases.

Key Fact

The advent of population-scale human genome sequencing is yielding enormous insights into the genetic causes of disabilities and other diseases.

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