Statistical Genetics

The Statistical Genetics Laboratory studies the role that genetic variation plays in determining risk of disease and its risk factors. The laboratory develops and applies statistical genetic methods to gene mapping studies across a wide range of traits and diseases. One major focus is understanding genetic variation in various cancers. Cancers studied include melanoma, ovarian cancer and oesophageal cancer. This work will lead to better understanding of why particular individuals are affected by cancer or why they respond poorly to cancer treatment. Another major interest is ophthalmological genetics, with ongoing work to identify the specific genes involved in both eye disease and in underlying quantitative risk factors.


  • gene mapping studies on eye disease
  • translation of gene discoveries in eye disease using approaches such as genetic prediction
  • the modifiable risk factors that actually cause cancer
  • twin studies examining ophthalmogical traits
  • genetic factors underlying oesophageal cancer and its risk factors
  • response to chemotherapy in ovarian cancer
  • gene mapping studies in melanoma
  • statistical and computational methods in genetics


  • Associate Professor Matthew H. Law
  • Associate Professor Puya Gharahkhani
  • Dr Jue Sheng Ong
  • Xikun Han
  • Mathias Seviiri
  • Nathan Ingold
  • Dr Aniket Mishra
  • Dr Jiyuan An
  • Dr Yadav Sapkota
  • Dr Milly Tedja

Internal collaborators

External Collaborators

  • Professor Jamie Craig, Flinders University
  • Dr Kathryn Burdon, University of Tasmania
  • Dr Alex Hewitt, University of Melbourne
  • Professor David Mackey, Lions Eye Institute
  • Professor Janey Wiggs, Harvard Medical School
  • Professor Georgia Long & Professor Richard Scolyer, Melanoma Institute Australia
  • Dr Kevin Brown, National Cancer Institute Bethesda, USA
  • Professor Tim Bishop & Dr Mark Iles, University of Leeds
  • Professor Anna DeFazio, Westmead Hospital

We gratefully acknowledge support from the following organisations and funding bodies:

  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Australia Research Council
  • Cancer Australia
  • National Institute of Health
  • Perpetual Foundation
  • Worldwide Cancer Research