Australian genomics technology association (AGTA) conference 2015

Neil Saunders (pictured below) from the transformational bioinformatics team gave an oral presentation at AGTA, one of the largest genomics conferences in Australasia, on his recently developed tool for visualising genomic variants on the 3D structure of proteins, VVA. VVA is capable of processing files generated as part of modern medical genomics studies and hence integrates well with the discovery process for novel disease variants.

Denis Bauer chaired the session on “clinical genomics and the future of healthcare” in which Prof Joris Veltman (Radboud University) and Natalie Thorne (Melbourne Genomics Health Alliances) presented very convincing cases on how genomic sequencing avoids “diagnosis odysseys” by covering all potential disease markers simultaneously and thereby reducing health care costs dramatically. Other highlights included Dr Serena Nik-Zainal (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, U.K) who beautifully illustrated the use of genomic profiles (frequency of observed nucleotide tri-mers) for identifying cancer subtypes and Assistant Professor Cole Trapnell (University of Washington, U.S.A) who illustrated the benefit of grouping cells by their differentiation speed for identifying gene expression networks in single-cell experiments.