Putting the R in Bioinformatics to develop better tools for gene expression analysis

Dr Matt Ritchie, Laboratory Head, Molecular Medicine Division, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Bioinformatics analysis and software underpins each and every new discovery made using genomics data in medical research. This talk will give an overview of recent advances in gene expression technology and showcase our work in developing new statistical methods and open-source software for use in such analyses. Improved methods for prioritizing genes and pathways and new plotting capabilities that allow more intuitive exploration of both raw and summarized data will be presented. Their use will be demonstrated on data sets that explore gene expression changes induced by the epigenetic regulator Smchd1 and in models of apoptosis. An overview of my lab’s future research directions involving single-cell and long-read sequencing will also be given.

Dr Matt Ritchie is an NHMRC Career Development Fellow and Laboratory Head in the Molecular Medicine Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. He is an experienced computational researcher, with skills in analysing high-throughput sequencing data and developing open-source software for Bioinformatics analysis. Through close collaboration with bench scientists, his analyses have led to novel insights on epigenetic processes, hematopoiesis and apoptosis that have been published in leading journals including Cell, Cancer Cell and Genome Biology.