COMBINE17 Careers panel

As part of the COMINE Symposium 2017 we will be running a careers panel we you will have an opportunity to ask question of people with a diverse range of experience across science and industry.


Des Higgins


Des Higgins was educated at Trinity College, Dublin where he was awarded a PhD in 1988 for research on numerical taxonomy of Pterygote insects. He has an international reputation in bioinformatics as an innovator, a leader, and a practical provider of working solutions to key problems and is currently Professor of Bioinformatics at University College Dublin.

Research in the Higgins laboratory focusses on developing new bioinformatics and statistical tools for evolutionary biology. The main focus is on the development and maintenance of the Clustal package for multiple sequence alignment. Originally written by Des in 1988, Clustal has gone one to be one of Nature’s 10 most cited papers. Higgins also works on transcriptomics and proteomics data analysis and he is a PI in Systems Biology Ireland.

Emily Hackett-Jones


Emily Hackett-Jones is an applied mathematician who has recently transferred into bioinformatics, working at the Centre for Cancer Biology, University of South Australia. Since completing her PhD in mathematical physics at the University of Durham, U.K., she has worked in diverse fields including string theory, ecology, mathematical biology and data science for digital marketing.

She particularly enjoys working with experimentalists on problems that can be translated to mathematics. Currently she is working with the Goodall lab on micro RNAs, circular RNAs and the epithelial to mesenchymal transition, the process that drives cancer metastasis. Hackett-Jones beings a wealth of experience in academia, both here and overseas, and in industry.

Jeremy Hack


Jeremy Hack is a Systems Administrator at eRSA working predominantly with Linux systems, High Performance Computing and the Nectar Research Cloud. His background in analytical chemistry, mass spectrometry and signal analysis lead him to Linux system administration and signal processing using open source software.

Having experienced the challenges of “big-data” first hand, he’s committed to helping users access the tools and resources they need in their computing environment. Jeremy is able to provide insight into the differences between academia and working in an academic support role.

Maely Gauthier



Maely Gauthier is a genome bioinformatician working in diagnostics at SA Pathology. She completed a PhD and post-docs in marine and clinical genomics at The University of Queensland and the University of Zurich, contributing to multiple scientific publications.
Maely has also worked briefly as a computational scientist for QFAB providing bioinformatics support to research groups, before taking her current position with SA Pathology. Her everyday job entails developing and maintaining diagnostic pipelines, and providing bioinformatics support to medical scientists, researchers and geneticists.