I am a computer science and engineering graduate undertaking my doctorate of philosophy (Ph.D) with the University of Melbourne’s Systems Biology Laboratory. My research involves modelling the regulation of gene expression (how information is read from our DNA) using machine learning, information-theoretic and statistical approaches, with particular focus on the interactions and feedback mechanisms between transcription factors, histone modifications and DNA methylation. Any improvement in our understanding of gene expression has profound impact on our ability to prevent and treat human disease, and I am currently exploring the implications of my research in understanding epithelial-mesenchymal transition (associated with tumour invasiveness) in breast cancer.
Prior to commencing my Ph.D in systems and computational biology, my research focused on robotics, computer vision and machine learning. I was an active contributor to the RoboCup initiative in Istanbul 2011 and Mexico 2012 (as a member of the University of Newcastle’s NUbots), and more recently Eindhoven 2013 (as a member of CSIRO’s Gliders). Perhaps counter-intuitively, robotics and biology have a lot in common.
In addition to research, I am very passionate about improving scientific communication and education. I have received several teaching awards and nominations during my five years of tutoring (at the Universities of Melbourne and Newcastle) and regularly volunteer to present at public lectures, university open days and high school outreach programs.
In addition to serving as a personal blog, my articles address a number of themes: my current research, interests and achievements; present and upcoming opportunities offered by the University of Melbourne, specifically related to engineering and computer science; and general advice for students, both in improving their technical skills and broadening their versatility as tomorrow’s professionals.