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NSW Systems Biology Initiative Staff

Director

Prof Marc Wilkins Professor Marc Wilkins is the Director of the Initiative. Professor Wilkins holds the chair of Systems Biology in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences. His research interests involve the proteomics of protein-protein interactions and systems biology. Specifically, Professor Wilkins' research focuses on the dynamics of protein-protein interaction networks, and the role that gene expression and protein post-translational modifications play in the control of protein interactions and thus delivery of cellular function in yeast and human cells.
For more information about Prof Wilkins' research, please click here.

Deputy Director

Prof Ian Dawes Professor Ian Dawes is a Scientia Professor and holds the chair of Molecular Genetics in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences. In 2007, he was elected to the membership of the Australian Academy of Science. Professor Dawes’ research interests revolve around regulation of gene expression, functional genomics and systems biology. His research group studies how the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae regulates gene expression under a range of important conditions including oxidative stress, cell differentiation, one-carbon metabolism and pre-mRNA splicing.
For more information about Prof Dawes' research, please click here.

Affiliated Staff

Dr Richard Edwards Dr Richard Edwards a Senior Lecturer in Bioinformatics in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences. His research focuses on the evolutionary and network dynamics of protein-protein interactions mediated by short linear motifs (SLiMs). Research in the group combines sequence analysis tools with structural data and protein-protein interaction networks to predict novel SLiMs and understand their role in cellular processes and disease. For more information about Dr Edwards' research, please click here.

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Dr Zhiliang Chen Dr Zhiliang Chen started working at the SBI in 2012. In 2007, she received her Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics from Shanghai Jiaotong University in China. She then did her PhD in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW, focusing on "Computational Algorithms for Analysing Human Immunoglobulin Diversity from High-throughput Sequencing of Rearranged Genes". Her current interests at SBI include genome analysis and RNA-Seq using next generation sequencing.
Dr Nandan Deshpande Dr Nandan Deshpande is a postdoctoral fellow working at the SBI. He graduated with an MS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas (Southwestern Medical Center) in Dallas, USA. As a bioinformatics scientist at the Institute of Bioinformatics (Bangalore, India), he was involved in many projects based on genomic data integration, visualization and analysis. His PhD, titled "'SYSTEM'atic integration of glycosylation related processes: A bioinformatic initiative", was based on the analysis of glycosylation related pathways. His current interests at SBI include the assembly and annotation of genomes sequenced using next generation sequencers.
Dr Melissa Erce Dr Melissa Erce was awarded her PhD in 2010. In her thesis entitled the "Analysis of the RNA degradosome in a marine Vibrio species", she used biochemical techniques such as immunoprecipitation, Blue Native-PAGE and two dimensional Blue Native/SDS-PAGE to identify the proteins comprising the RNA degradosome, a large multiprotein complex involved in the post-transcriptional control of gene expression. Her current work involves the development of a modified two-hybrid system to detect protein-protein interactions which are facilitated or blocked by post-translational modifications as well as the investigation of how protein methylation may impact on protein structure.
For more information about Dr Erce's research, please click here.
Dr David Fung Dr David Fung is a molecular biologist turned bioinformatician. After graduating with a MSc at the University of New South Wales, he spent 10 years in human genetics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of Sydney. In 2000, after studying software engineering at the University of Technology Sydney, his interests shifted to bioinformatics. He commenced his PhD, entitled "Visualisation and Analysis of Biomolecular Networks", at the University of Sydney in 2005. David's research is currently focused on the network modeling of hepatocellular carcinoma as well as human protein-disease networks.
For more information about Dr Fung's research, please click here.
Dr Gene Hart-Smith Dr Gene Hart-Smith is an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow working at the SBI. He completed a PhD in the field of polymer chemistry - utilising mass spectrometry as a primary tool - and has since applied these analytical techniques to the study of biological systems. His research at the SBI is centred around the examination of protein-protein interaction networks. He is particularly interested in the impacts of post-translational methylation on the dynamics of these networks, and is currently developing and applying mass spectrometric methods towards the investigation of these phenomena in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Dr Ignatius Pang Dr Ignatius Pang completed his PhD in 2010 on the topic "The Dynamics of Protein Interaction Networks." In his thesis, he explored different mechanisms that govern the dynamics of protein-protein interactions - such as how changes in domain-domain interactions, post-translational modifications, and protein abundance can dynamically switch on/off protein-protein interactions. He also performed a large-scale screen of arginine and lysine methylation in the yeast proteome, and found that there are more methylated proteins than previously thought. Before starting his current role, Ignatius worked in Deloitte as a part of their data analytics team. His current research projects include protein methylation, as well as understanding how human genetic variations can influence the dynamics of protein interaction networks, thereby providing insights into the cause of human diseases such as cancer.

Dr Susan Corley Dr Susan Corley starting working as a Bioinformatics Research Scientist at the SBI in 2012. She graduated with a BSc (Hons), majors in Chemistry and Pharmacology from the University of Sydney in 2005 and then went on to complete a PhD at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (ANU). Her research focussed on the neural protein, Shadoo, and more generally explored protein-RNA interactions. This research was undertaken using computational and biophysical approaches. Her current interest is in using genomics and transcriptomics to better understand neural function and dysfunction. Susan has also attained LLB (UQ) and LLM (USyd) degrees and has worked as a lawyer and Tribunal Member. She retains an interest in the law, particularly in its application to the burgeoning field of genomics.

Bioinformatics Research Scientists

Natalie Twine Natalie Twine has a B.Sc. in molecular biology, a research Masters in Bioinformatics and worked in the Leukaemia Sciences group at Kings College London in microarray and genomic data analysis. In November 2009, Natalie was seconded to Intersect as part of the Genomic Data Storage (GDS) Project. She has since returned full-time to the SBI and has been responsible for RNA-seq collaborations as well as those involving analysis of microarray data.
Aidan Tay Aidan Tay graduated with a BE(Bioinformatics) and MS in Biomedical Engineering from UNSW. He has been involved in genome assembly and annotation of the Campylobacter showae bacteria. His current work at SBI looks at developing tools for integrating genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data.