The Centre of Neurogenetics and Statistical Genomics (CNSG) comprises ~35 postdoctoral and graduate researchers. CNSG is internationally recognised for their innovative methods in the analysis of genetic data of complex genetic traits. CNSG is structured into 6 research themes. CNSG also hosts the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) Bioinformatics Core that services QBI's in-house Illumina HiSeq sequencer.
Most human diseases and traits are complex, meaning that their etiology comprises multiple genetic and environmental effects. Understanding which genes are involved and how the joint effect of genes and the environment leads to disease is a key need for furthering prediction/prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. Our understanding of the genetic basis of common diseases has undergone a revolution in the past 5 years, due to advances in high-throughput genetics and genomics technologies. The enormous amount of data generated by new technologies has led to the emergence of whole genome hypothesis-generating biomedical research, progressing at an ever-increasing pace. The challenge is to maximise the value of these data to generate new knowledge and ultimately to benefit patients, which is the driving force behind all research in CNSG. A key outcome of CNSG's research is dissemination of software to the international research community. CNSG's analytical research helps integrating a wide range of data, including on gene expression and pharmacogenomics, to unravel the biological complexity of complex genetic traits and progress towards the goals of improved diagnosis and new treatments.
Although the methodological research of CNSG can be applied to any complex disease, disorder or trait, being based within UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute means that disorders of the brain and nervous system including schizophrenia, major depression, MND/ALS and Parkinson’s Disease are our primary health interests. CNSG's imaging genomics group integrates multi-modal brain imaging data with cognitive performance focussing on adolescence and healthy aging.
Professors Peter Visscher and Naomi Wray are co-directors of CNSG, and Associate Professors Jian Yang and Margie Wright are QBI Faculty. Since its establishment in 2014, the CNSG Team has attracted $10M of new competitive funding including from NHMRC, ARC, the Motor Neurone Research Institute of Australia, the CRC for Living with Autism, the US National Institutes of Health and the Brain and Behaviour Foundation.
Key words: Complex Trait Genomics, Psychiatric Genomics, Neurological Disorder Genomics, System Genomics, Cognitive Ageing Genomics, Imaging Genomics