Talk Title: Designing and analysing single-cell RNA sequencing experiments


Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) is rapidly becoming a tool of choice for biologists wishing to investigate gene expression at greater resolution, particularly in areas such as development and differentiation. Single-cell data presents an array of bioinformatics challenges: data is sparse (for both biological and technical reasons), quality control is difficult and it is unclear how to replicate measurements. As scRNA-seq datasets have become available so have a plethora of analysis methods.

In this talk I will discuss challenges associated with analysis of this data and some important considerations we have identified in making the best use of single-cell RNA-seq. I will demonstrate how simulating data sets can be used in evaluating analysis methods. I will also discuss our analysis of a complex kidney organoid dataset, showing how more cells and different levels of clustering help to reveal greater biological insight.

Alicia Oshlack


Associate Professor Alicia Oshlack, Head of Bioinformatics, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Associate Professor Alicia Oshlack is a leader in implementing new bioinformatics methods in the biomedical context. She is a current National Health Medical Research Council Career Development Fellow and the winner of several awards including the inaugural Georgina Sweet Award for women in quantitative biomedical research (2016) and the Australian Academy of Science Gani Medal for Human Genetics (2011).
A/Prof Oshlack’s bioinformatics expertise is not just in analysis but also in methods development which leads to many independent research projects and publications. She is best known for her work on the analysis of RNA sequencing data but also works in the fields of epigenetics, clinical genomics and cancer.
She started her research career as an astrophysicist before moving to Walter and Eliza Hall as a post-doctoral scholar in the Bioinformatics division. She joined the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute as Head of Bioinformatics in 2011.

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