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Annual Report

Enabling Disciplines

AITHM has continued to build and strengthen its capacity to support cutting edge research in line with its dedicated aim of solving major health problems in tropical Australia, South-East Asia, the Pacific and the Tropics worldwide. Leaders in enabling disciplines support research teams, and state-of--the-art facilities at AITHM, has continued to bolster the Institute’s research teams to further develop their scope. The use of Big Data to streamline projects, and support from leading genetic and genomic research scientists is fundamental to the Institute’s research into infectious and chronic diseases across the Tropics. Specifically, AITHM has focused on providing genotyping, transcriptional profiling deep sequencing and bioinformatics knowledge and expertise to researchers. This bioinformatics support provides new and enhanced research capacity, reduces information gaps and increases researcher efficiency by improving scalable workflows and automation.

As AITHM’s research progresses, support and enabling work will continue to be in high demand, providing vital evidence for research teams. The recruitment of Senior Research Fellow in Bioinformatics, Dr Matt Field, has significantly enhanced the Institute’s strength in this area. Dr Field’s work has typically focused on the development of flexible and scalable bioinformatics workflows with a focus on reproducibility. A key development has been the creation of a bioinformatics network throughout AITHM and across Australia, embedding bioinformatics into research teams linked to the national agenda. His work provides important new research capacity for the Institute.

Also key to growing capacity in this area has been the continued development of AITHM’s Biobank, which supports and enhances the Institute’s ability to store and use biological samples.

Biobank establishment

The Biobank facility supports the work of AITHM’s priority research areas, including across both infectious and chronic diseases, and facilitates new research within these areas, and with external research institutions. Once fully operational, AITHM’s Biobank will provide greater opportunity for samples to be used for cross-disciplinary research between groups to address health issues in the Tropics. The biobank has been strategic in providing leverage for generating projects for AITHM research groups which will, in turn, increase the utility of the biobank and further capacity.
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Bioinformatics – using ‘Big Data’ to support health research

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.
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