Beyond gene-level expression: mining large RNA-Seq datasets for new biomarkers and therapies

Project type

  • PhD and Graduate Research Masters
  • Honours
  • Masters by Coursework

Project details

RNA is the functional readout of the genome (DNA). In disease, changes in the sequence and abundance of RNA occur. Sequencing RNA is a powerful means to understand diseases and is used to revolutionise how we diagnose and treat them. As such, petabytes of RNA sequencing data have been generated and are available to the research community. However, current analysis approaches focus largely on RNA’s abundance (gene-expression), to the exclusion of its sequence (transcripts).

Despite this, numerous unique transcripts are expressed, including ones that drive disease. This project will analyse transcripts from large public databases to reveal the diversity of RNA across healthy and disease tissue, with a focus on cancer to aid the discovery of novel biomarkers and/or predictors of drug response.

About our research group

Our bioinformatics group is based jointly in the Blood Cells and Blood Cancer Division and the Bioinformatics Division at WEHI. It comprises of scientists and students from diverse backgrounds, such as wet lab biology, computer science, mathematics and physics.
We build new open source computational methods and approaches to mine omic data, and have an interest in transcriptomics sequencing, long reads, and analysing data without bias from a reference genome or its annotation. We are also involved in collaborative projects to understand cancer initiation, evolution and treatment response through changes to RNA.

Education pathways