Computational Cell biology
Individual cells contain a number of distinct sub-compartments, termed organelles. These organelles function to compartmentalise distinct biochemical pathways and cell based physiological processes. Many proteins involved in these processes are therefore located or reside in just one of these compartments. My research group is the focused on understanding how individual proteins are compartmentalised within a cells various organelles. Membrane proteins have a crucial role in many cellular and physiological processes. They are essential mediators of the transfer of material and information between cells and their environment, between compartments within cells, and between regions of organ systems. The cellular complement of membrane proteins varies depending on cell type and subcellular location, however, our current estimates suggest that transmembrane proteins make up around 20%-30% of the total mouse proteome. One of the innovations of my research group is a synergetic approach that combines experimental evaluation with computational methods. Application of my research group’s multi-discipline expertise to specific important cell biology questions will make a significant impact in both cellular and computational biology. Within the computational biology field we are amongst the first to critically evaluate our computational predictions experimentally. Within the cell biology field we are provided the degree of confidence in computational predictions that will allow experimental scientists to critically evaluate their worth. All of our research outcomes are made available via our various online databases and prediction servers that are maintained within the group. Today I will present our computational pipeline to annotate the secondary structure of membrane proteins; the impact of alternative splicing on subcellular localisation and our Subcellular Localisation Database (http://membrane.imb.uq.edu.au/).
Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld, 4072 Australia
A PhD in Cell Biology from Monash University, Australia was followed by a post-doctoral position in cell biology/bioinformatics at the RW Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute, San Diego, USA. I returned to Australia as a Howard Florey Fellow at Monash University before taking up a Group Leaders Position within the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Australia in 2000. Currently I run a multidisciplinary research group focused on various aspects of Computational Cell Biology, within the Genomics and Bioinformatics Division. Recently, I have been awarded a NHMRC RD Wright Biomedical Career Development Fellowship and received the UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award. Currently, I am a member of several research bioinformatics based consortium including the FANTOM3 RIKEN Mouse Gene Encyclopedia projects, ARC Centre for Bioinformatics and Stem Cell Genome Anatomy Project (SCGAP).