Functional Genomics in the Cloud

Work at the Australian National University (ANU) in collaboration with Microsoft partner, BizData, has shown how cloud computing can be harnessed to tackle genome analysis, simulations and visualisations, potentially opening the door for widespread clinical applications. In this seminar, Dr Sebastian Kurscheid will demonstrate how cloud computing and the right analytical framework can be used to interpret functional genome structures. This work contributes to the broader understanding of how the non-coding parts of the genome are involved in regulatory mechanisms. Dysregulation of these regulatory mechanisms by external factors or somatic mutations can cause and contribute to pathogenic processes, such a tumorigenesis and metastasis. Dr Kurscheid will present recently published research which unveiled the involvement of the histone variant H2A.Z in the process of epithelial to mesenchymal transition. In addition to the biological aspects and relevance of the work, this seminar will also discuss how cloud computing can be used in the processing, analysis and dissemination of research data.

Dr Sebastian Kurscheid is a biological data science research fellow in the group of Prof David Tremethick in the Department of Genome Science at ANU’s John Curtin School of Medical Research. His main research interests are the study of chromatin structure during development disease, and how functional chromatin structures contribute to the regulation of transcription. Beyond this, as a technologist, he is interested in leveraging existing high-performance and cloud computing platforms for driving cutting-edge research and educating the next generation of computational biologists and bioinformaticians.