Computational biology

Computational biology

Computational biology research field

Computational Biology involves the application of mathematics, statistics, and computer science to the study of biology. The focus of our research is to make sense of biomedical data and biological systems. We use tools such as high performance computing with the aim of understanding and curing disease.

Computational biology research at WEHI

The disciplines of computational biology and bioinformatics play key roles in basic and translational research at WEHI. As well as having a dedicated Bioinformatics division, we have researchers with expertise in computational biology and bioinformatics embedded in many other divisions. The Centre for Computational Biology brings these research scientists together.

Our computational biology researchers are focused on:

  • Understanding the genetic drivers of cancer and how to cure it.
  • Developing computational methods to understand tumour evolution.
  • Understanding how immune cell populations grow and differentiate.
  • Analysing the genomes of disease-causing parasites, including the malaria parasite, Plasmodium spp, and the scabies mite, Sarcoptes scabiei.
  • Analysing the microbiomes of children at risk of type I diabetes.
  • Many other projects using computation to understand and cure human disease.

Key aspects of our computational biology program are:

  • Developing state-of-the-art high performance computing resources in the Institute.
  • Facilitating access to external computational resources.​
Researchers: 

Professor Melanie Bahlo

Photo of Professor Melanie Bahlo
Professor
Melanie
Bahlo
Laboratory Head; Leader, Healthy Development and Ageing Theme

Dr Rory Bowden

Dr Rory Bowden photographed smiling at the camera
Dr
Rory
Bowden
Genomics Laboratory Head and Centre Manager, WEHI Advanced Genomics Facility

Dr Yunshun Chen

Dr Yunshun Chen
Dr
Yunshun
Chen
Laboratory Head

Dr Nadia Davidson

Dr Nadia Davidson
Dr
Nadia
Davidson
Laboratory Head
Dr Saskia Freytag profile shot
Dr
Saskia
Freytag
Population Health and Immunity

Professor Phil Hodgkin

Professor Phil Hodgkin
Professor
Phil
Hodgkin
Joint Division Head

Professor Tony Papenfuss

Tony Papenfuss
Professor
Tony
Papenfuss
Laboratory Head; Leader, Computational Biology Theme

Dr Belinda Phipson

Dr Belinda Phipson photographed in a garden
Dr
Belinda
Phipson
Laboratory Head

Professor Gordon Smyth

Professor Gordon Smyth writing on a whiteboard
Professor
Gordon
Smyth
Joint Division Head
Illustration of Milton, a research computing mascot

Milton is the interface for a high-performance research computing cloud enabling Institute scientists to process massive data sets from their research.

Three cancer researchers looking at a mobile device

Computational biology has enabled our researchers to develop a new method to identify melanoma patients with improved rates of survival.