About the lab

Our group develops and applies state-of-the-art methods to analyse and comprehend complex genetic datasets. These methods are used to discover the genetic causes of human disorders such as epilepsy, ataxia, dementia, motor neuron disease and Parkinson’s disease, speech disorders and retinal disorders.

We are a highly collaborative laboratory, working closely with clinician researchers to reach important outcomes for families with genetic disorders.

In recent years our research has focused on brain (neurological) and retinal disorders, but we have also worked on infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis (TB). Our analysis of data produced by new genomic technologies is identifying genetic causes for diseases that have previously proven intractable to analysis.

The software we develop is made freely available to others, empowering the broader research community.

Our mission

Detection and understanding of genetic risk factors.


The Bahlo laboratory haS developed innovative methods and software for genetic analysis that have led to major genetic discoveries, including diagnostically critical identification of new genes and genetic pathways implicated in neurological and retinal disorders.

Key discoveries include:

  • discovery of new genes for ataxia and epilepsy
  • discovery of the genetic drivers for MacTel, a retinal disorder
  • development of pipelines for the analysis of data to improve diagnostics
  • development of novel methods to identify repeat expansions, a type of genetic mutation that causes disease
  • bespoke analyses of complex data sets that outline new avenues for future bench work, often working closely with clinician collaborators


Lab research projects

Lab team

Our lab’s work is highly collaborative usually working in a team with wet lab scientists and clinician scientists. Most of our lab members have backgrounds in the statistical, mathematical and physical sciences.

At WEHI, we collaborate closely with divisions within the Healthy Development and Ageing Theme and the Computational Biology Theme and also have collaborations with other labs throughout the institute.

We welcome PhD enquiries from individuals wishing to become involved in statistical genetics to investigate genetic risk factors through analysis of cohort data.

17 members
Dr Brendan Ansell
Senior Research Officer
Haonan Shen
Masters Student (by coursework)
Bronwyn Grinton
PhD Student
Joshua Reid
Research Assistant
Erandee Robertson
Research Officer
Jacob Munro
PhD Student
Karen Oliver
PhD Student
Pin Sun
Research Officer
Samaneh Farashi
Research Officer
Liam Scott
PhD Student
Dr Fei Wang
Research Officer
Jiru Han
Research Officer
Dr Vicki Jackson
Senior Research Officer
Dr Haloom Rafehi
Senior Research Officer
Dr Liam Fearnley
Senior Research Officer
Dr Mark Bennett
Senior Research Officer
Interested in supporting our research?

Your support will help WEHI’s researchers make discoveries and find treatments to ensure healthier, longer lives for you and your loved ones.

Contact our friendly team to find out how you can help.