Researcher biography

I am an NHMRC Career Development Fellow (Level 2, 2017–20) in the Program in Complex Trait Genomics at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland. I received my PhD in population genetics from UQ in 2004, receiving the Dean's Commendation for outstanding RHD thesis. I then undertook postdoctoral training in evolutionary and quantitative genetics at the University of Sheffield, before making the decision to apply my expertise in quantitative genetics to the study of human complex disease. I spent 12 months as a visiting scientist in Prof. Peter Visscher's group at QIMR in 2009, learning whole genome analysis methods, before accepting a position as Research Fellow at the Queensland Brain Institute. Since 2010, I have established a strong track record in psychiatric genetics, particularly in the interpretation of de novo mutations in psychiatric disorders (Nature Genetics 2013) and the genetic relationship between parental age and risk of mental illness (Nature Genetics 2016). The objective of my research is to improve understanding of the etiology of psychiatric and neurological disorders through innovative analyses of whole genome datasets. Current research projects in my group include (i) a major funded study on the systems genomics of autism (Autism CRC), (ii) systems genomics analysis of Parkinson's disease, (iii) genetic analysis of the risk of psychiatric disorders due to parental age (NHMRC), (iv) analysis of de novo mutations in schizophrenia (NHMRC), and (v) genomics of sex differences in psychiatric disorders (NARSAD Young Investigator Grant).