Daniel Cameron

Daniel Cameron

PhD student Daniel Cameron
PhD student Daniel Cameron

Why did you choose the institute for your PhD?

Having a ‘non-traditional’ background in commercial software development, a key factor for me in deciding to do a PhD here was the high level of support the institute provides to its students.

The strong bioinformatics program at the institute provides a perfect opportunity to apply my background in mathematics and software engineering, and transition into the world of medical research.

What do you see as the benefits of doing a PhD at the institute?

I don’t have a background in biology, so I have found the weekly seminars and the student journal clubs invaluable for expanding my knowledge. These exemplify the culture of learning fostered by the institute. The institute’s student association also provides both social and academic activities ranging from trivia nights to an inter-institute social soccer competition.

The institute’s strong relationships with other organisations allow me to access the wide range of data from external collaborators that is essential for my PhD.

What is the subject of your research?

My PhD is focused on developing new, improved ways to analyse the huge amounts of data produced by modern genomic sequencing. I aim to develop algorithms that would convert this data into a form that is usable in a laboratory or clinical setting. My PhD is specifically looking at detecting genomic rearrangements, and how they relate to cancer development.

What does a typical working day involve?

As a bioinformatician, my typical day involves a lot of time spent at a computer interspersed with discussions with colleagues, lab meetings and division or institute-wide seminars. My work involves large data sets, so most tasks take multiple days to complete.

What did you do before starting your PhD?

I hold a Bachelor of Engineering (Software), and a Bachelor of Science (Discrete Mathematics) from The University of Melbourne. In my honours thesis, I developed a computer vision algorithm for automatically correcting changes in lighting conditions for autonomous soccer-playing robots. I then worked for 10 years in the commercial software development industry.