AITHM James Cook University

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The biological sciences have entered a data-rich era due to the decreased cost and increased volume of sequence data. AITHM is leading the way with the development of in-house bioinformatics expertise to enable our researchers to incorporate cutting-edge bioinformatics methodologies in their projects. Bioinformatics as a field combines computer science, mathematics, biology and statistics to interpret and understand large biological data sets. Bioinformatics research is widely applicable across a variety of central AITHM research areas such as medical research, immunology, and microbiology. Bioinformatics uses techniques such as data mining, statistics, data-curation and analysis by utilising custom computer programmes designed to extract meaningful biological results from large data sets.

In 2016, Dr Matthew Field joined AITHM, to develop and provide innovative systems to support the Institute’s research. AITHM has active research projects across a wide variety of bioinformatic research areas such as microbiome, transcriptomics, and genomics and Dr Field is developing in-house analysis pipelines to support these projects. A large number of active AITHM research projects are studying the effect of the human microbiome on human health and Dr Field has developed in-house support for this analysis. Dr Field’s work will ultimately develop a complete microbiome workflow interface giving researchers access to the latest methodologies, developed specifically around the needs of AITHM projects, giving them a significant competitive advantage in their microbiome analyses.