- 16 August 2018
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Thursday 16 August 2018, 1.00 PM
Auditorium, Level 6, Bancroft Building
Capitalising on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to find genes for common diseases
Professor Nick Martin,
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Large scale GWAS continues to illuminate the genetic basis and underlying biology of numerous common diseases and complex traits. However, convincing results depend on recruiting large numbers of cases and controls and funding stringencies generally mean this must be done at minimal cost. Strategies for achieving this will be discussed and latest results for two psychiatric diseases, depression and anorexia will be presented. Opportunities for translation of results will be briefly explored.
Nick Martin graduated with honours in Genetics from the University of Adelaide in 1972 and obtained his PhD in genetics at the University of Birmingham. In 1978 he returned to a Research Fellowship at the Australian National University where he founded the Australian Twin Registry. After 3 years in the US he returned in 1986 to the Queensland Institute of Medical Research where he heads the Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory and continues longitudinal studies with twins of a wide range of complex traits of medical and behavioural interest. He also is involved in several large studies of cognition and brain imaging (EEG and MRI). His research over recent years has moved to genome wide association studies (GWAS) to locate genes influencing complex traits including anxiety, alcoholism, and dizygotic twinning. He developed methods for multivariate analyses and the analysis of gene-environment interactions. Most recently he has initiated projects to recruit large patient samples for GWAS of anorexia, depression and other psychiatric disorders. He has published over 1200 papers and is a fellow of the Australian academies of Science, Social Science, and Health and Medical Science.