We are proud to announce the panellists for the COMBINE Symposium 2014 Careers Panel:
Alicia completed a PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Melbourne in 2003. Later that year she joined the Bioinformatics Division at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. She is now Head of Bioinformatics at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and an NHMRC Career Development Fellow. Her research interests include analysis methodology for genome wide expression profiling using RNA seq and microarrays, ChIP seq and epigenetic analysis and DNA mutation detection using next generation sequencing. She also has numerous collaborations that use genome wide techniques to understand mechanisms and treatments of disease.
Dr. John Wagner leads the life sciences team in IBM Research- Australia, and also manages the IBM Research Collaboratory for Life Sciences–Melbourne, housed within the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative at the University of Melbourne.
Dr. Wagner received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of California, Davis in 1990. He remained at UC Davis for his graduate studies, receiving a Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics in 1994, and his doctorate in Applied Mathematics in 1998. During this time, Dr. Wagner worked on mathematical models of cellular calcium regulation and dynamics with the late Dr. Joel Keizer at the Institute of Theoretical Dynamics. Dr. Wagner then received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health, working with Dr. Leslie Loew at the National Resource for Cellular Analysis and Modeling at the University of Connecticut Health Center. During this time, Dr. Wagner worked with fifteen other researchers from around the world to complete the text, Computational Cell Biology, that Dr. Keizer was working on when he passed away, and was an active member of the Systems Biology Markup Language community. Since joining IBM in 2004, Dr. Wagner has worked on mathematical and computational models in cancer, neuroscience, and enzymology; authored a dozen research papers; and filed ten patent applications.
Mrs Lavinia Gordon studied physiology and pharmacology, with a brief stint working for Novartis Pharma in Switzerland, before completing a Masters in Research in Bioinformatics at the University of York. She subsequently worked at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, with collaborative projects at the Sanger Institute and EMBL-EBI, and then moved to Melbourne to take up a position in the bioinformatics group at WEHI. After five years she moved to work as a senior bioinformatician at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in September 2006. In April this year she accepted a position as the bioinformatics manager at the Australian Genome Research Facility, Australia’s largest provider of genomics services and solutions.
Simon Gladman is a bioinformatician at the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative where he works on microbial genomics and metagenomics. He has degrees in Chemical Engineering and Computer Science.
Simon started out as an engineer in food and dairy research as part of the old Department of Agriculture’s Food Research Institute in Werribee. He then joined CSIRO as a Dairy Engineer/Scientist and was CSIRO’s research cheesemaker and cheese process engineer for over 10 years. He has experience in process modelling and optimization, dairy processing technologies and food production. During his life at CSIRO he has been covered in milk, chocolate, cream and satay sauce. He once made 3.5 tonne of cookie dough for a trial using 35 kg bags of M&Ms.
After quite some time, someone suggested (since he could turn a computer on) that he get involved in the new field of bioinformatics as it looked kinda challenging. Simon was a founder of the Melbourne Bioinformatics Alliance. He spent the next few years sequencing and assembling cheese starter bacteria, bacteriophage and food pathogenic organisms.
In 2011 Simon finally left CSIRO to join the VLSCI’s Life Sciences Computation Centre as a bioinformatician. He was part of the team that developed the Genomics Virtual Lab for use on the Australian Research Cloud. He currently works on microbial genomics and lecturers in the Master of Science (Bioinformatics).
Simon is level 10 Enlightened.
Dr Meg Woolfit is a scientist and writer for Eliminate Dengue, a research program working to implement a natural method to reduce the spread of dengue. She is part of the team developing Path, a learning platform based on storytelling. This platform will help Eliminate Dengue field sites around the world share skills, knowledge and local adaptations of our methods.
Meg keeps one foot — or at least a toe — in research, by providing bioinformatic and genomic analysis support to collaborating labs at Monash University, and by writing and editing research papers. Meg also occasionally does freelance structural editing, copy editing and proofreading of research papers and grant applications.