About Us

The NSW Systems Biology Initiative

The New South Wales Systems Biology Initiative was established in mid-2008 with foundation funding from the New South Wales Office for Science and Medical Research (OSMR) and the University of New South Wales.

Our mission is to do cutting-edge research in molecular systems biology, bringing together expertise in proteomics, genomics and bioinformatics.

We are funded to provide collaborative bioinformatics expertise and services to users of NCRIS-funded genomic and proteomic facilities, specifically the Ramaciotti Centre for Gene Function Analysis, the Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Facility (BMSF), the Australian Proteome Analysis Facility (APAF) and Southern Cross Plant Science at Southern Cross University.

We also provide collaborative bioinformatics support to groups at UNSW and elsewhere. For researchers in non-profit organisations in the state of New South Wales, these services are provided free of charge.

What we do


the de novo assembly of genomes


  • bacterial and fungal genomes are routine
  • we are working on a koala genome assembly project

the analysis of RNA-seq data for differential gene expression analysis


  • through mapping against reference genomes
  • and by de novo transcriptomics approaches, as for the Koala and Australian black field cricket.

the construction and analysis of protein-protein and integrated networks


  • in photos fothe model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • including domain-domain interactions and protein post-translational modifications
  • in normal and diseased human.

Using systems biology to link gene and protein expression data to phenotype


  • using pathway analysis, gene set enrichment
  • using subsets of genes involved in signaling and transcriptional control
  • using networks as a scaffold for analysis.

Proteomic analysis, to understand the role of protein modifications in intracellular networks


  • Analysis of protein methylation and protein methyltransferase discovery
  • Determining the role of modifications in the regulation of protein-protein interactions, in protein ‘interaction codes’
  • Development and use of the conditional two-hybrid technique
  • SILAC for detailed comparative analysis of protein expression in complex samples