Panel and networking event

This COMBINE Careers Session is a panel and networking event for AMSI BioInfoSummer 2017 delegates, designed to showcase and highlight career opportunities in bioinformatics and provide a forum for discussion around the different career pathways.

All delegates are welcome to attend this free event – to hear from our panel of speakers about their experiences and provide some advice to their peers. Join us afterwards for an evening of networking and socialising at your own leisure.


  • Dr Mark Cowley, Garvan Institute, Sydney
  • Dr Tallulah Andrews, The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
  • Dr Michael Lawrence, Bioconductor, USA
  • Dr Saravanan Dayalan, Metabolomics Australia, The University of Melbourne
  • Dr Traude Beilharz, Biochemistry, Monash University, Melbourne

PLUS hear from Fiona Druitt on the AMSI Intern program

Event details

Date: Thursday 7 December 2017
Time: 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Venue: Racecourse Hotel, 895 Dandenong Rd, Malvern East VIC 3145
Register: via the Workshop & Extras Registration form

Dr Mark Cowley

COMBINE Careers Session

Team Leader – Translational Genomics, Senior Bioinformatics Research Officer, Early Career Research Fellow, Garvan Institute

Dr Mark Cowley is a bioinformatician, with expertise in Whole Genome Sequencing, and a passion for developing and translating genomics-based tests to the clinic to help patients with cancer and inherited genetic disorders. He is the head of the Tumour Genomics Program, and co-head of Translational Genome Informatics Program within the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics at Garvan Institute, and a mid-career fellow of NSW Health. Dr Cowley’s research involves developing approaches to understand the genetic drivers of disease, and use this information to improve patient care through providing a genetic diagnosis, or identifying therapeutically actionable mutations in cancer.

Dr Tallulah Andrews

COMBINE Careers Session

Post Doctoral Fellow, The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Tallulah is post-doctoral fellow in the Hemberg group, she is currently developing statistical tools for analysing single-cell RNA-seq data. Her main focus is on inferring regulatory networks from scRNA-seq by taking advantage of the high levels of biological heterogeneity between single cells. This work employs various parametric and non-parametric statistical tests to capture both the significance and nature of regulatory interactions. A key part of this work is the appropriate use of normalisation methods for scRNA-seq data to interpret and correct the technical noise particular to these experiments.

Dr Michael Lawrence

COMBINE Careers Session

Scientist, Genentech

Michael is a scientist in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology department at Genentech Research where he leads a group of scientists and engineers who build and maintain a software platform for the exploratory analysis of high-throughput genomic data towards the discovery of basic biology and new drug targets. His research interests include genomic data structures and APIs, genomic data visualization, and bioinformatics methods. Michael is a technical advisor and core contributor to the Bioconductor project, which is a community effort to construct a unified R-based platform for the comprehension of genomic data. He is also associate editor of the R Journal, associate editor of the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics (JCGS), a member of R core and a member of the R Foundation.

Dr Saravanan Dayalan

COMBINE Careers Session

Lead Scientist (Bioinformatics, Biostatistics), Metabolomics Australia, The University of Melbourne

Saravanan Dayalan is the Lead Scientist (Bioinformatics, Biostatistics) of Metabolomics Australia, The University of Melbourne. His interests are in large scale scientific data management systems, development of bioinformatics and biostatistical methods to tackle problems in Metabolomics and data standards.

Amongst other roles, he is the Acting Head of the EMBL-ABR MA Node, Standards Key Area Coordinator for EMBL-ABR and a member of the Data Standards Task Group of the International Metabolomics Society.

Dr Traude Beilharz

COMBINE Careers Session

Senior Research Fellow, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Monash University

Dr Traude Beilharz is currently the head of the RNA Systems Biology Laboratory at Monash University. She has a background in yeast RNA Biology and an borad interest in RNA  biology more generally. Traude has an extensive wet-lab research background including working with the Nobel Prize winning Prof. Randy Schekman and has been a great champion of bioinformatics at Monash. Traude brings to the panel the experience of a wet-lab biologist that understands the necessity for bioinformatics in the future of biological research.

Fiona Druitt

COMBINE Careers Session

Business Development Officer (VIC), Australian Mathematical Sciences Insititute (AMSI)

Fiona holds a Bachelor of Science with honours from Melbourne University, with majors in physics and applied mathematics. Fiona’s honours research was in the area of nonlinear analysis (integrability). Fiona also holds a Bachelor of Arts with honours from Melbourne University, majoring in cultural studies (gender studies) and creative writing. Fiona is about to submit an interdisciplinary PhD thesis that explores the divisions and multiplications of mathematics, physics, philosophy and history across historical time and across the ‘two cultures’ of Science and the Humanities (and the practical or theoretical disciplines within them).

Fiona also has a wealth of experience in R&D and in business development in the Petroleum Industry. As a Statistical Inventory Reporting Analyst (SIRA) for Leighton O’Brien Pty Ltd, Fiona’s role involved statistical monitoring of environmental data from underground petroleum tanks. She also contributed to Leighton O’Brien’s industry research and development and managed a corporate account for Leighton O’Brien’s SIRA program for over six years.

Fiona is passionate about the theory and application of academic research to problems that arise in nature, in society and in their intersections.

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