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International experts-in-residence bring benefit

The Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance is forging important professional relationships with overseas colleagues and peer organisations, with several international experts visiting Melbourne during February and March.

Two data and genomics experts from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University are currently embedded as Experts-in-Residence with Melbourne Genomics and, during March, a London-based nephrologist (renal specialist) will enhance our connections with England’s 100,000 Genomes Project.

The Broad Institute experts are Danielle Ciofani (Director of Data Strategy and Alliances) and Alex Baumann (Senior Software Developer, Data Sciences and Data Engineering), who are visiting until early March. Danielle and Alex are sharing their expertise to benefit the building of our Alliance’s genomic data systems, and will give professional seminars at Monash Health and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

Dr Daniel Gale – visiting from 10 March – has played a key role in setting up the renal (kidney) component of the 100,000 Genomes Project, a UK-wide initiative to sequence the genomes of large numbers of NHS patients with rare diseases and embed genomic medicine into clinical practice. Dr Gale is an academic nephrologist at the University College London’s Centre for Nephrology, based at London’s Royal Free Hospital.

“Genomics is an international field, and we are very much a part of this here in Victoria,” said Dr Cathy Quinlan, a nephrologist at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and Leader of Melbourne Genomics Genetic Kidney Disease project. “The benefits of face-to-face interactions with our colleagues across the globe cannot be underestimated. Advances in genomic medicine increasingly will rely on sharing information globally, which will ultimately improve diagnosis and care for individual patients.”

Melbourne Genomics was also involved in a recent international workshop focusing on the development and evaluation of genomic education designed for healthcare professionals, hosted by the Australian Genomics Health Alliance. Participants included Dr Teri Manolio of the USA’s National Human Genome Research Institute, which has developed national education programs in the UK, Canada and the USA, and educators from around Australia.


Dr Daniel Gale is scheduled to give a professional seminar on Thursday 15 March, 4.30pm to 5.30pm at the Melbourne Children’s campus.

​[Image:  (L-R) Kate Birch (Melbourne Genomics), Alex Baumann (Broad Institute) and  Associate Professor Clara Gaff (Melbourne Genomics Executive Director) at the recent workshop].