Dr | PhD Candidate & Research Assistant+61 7 3845 3809
Mathias is a cancer genetic epidemiologist with medical training. He completed his medical degree (MD) from Makerere University, Uganda in 2011 before working as a clinician. In 2016 he completed his Master of Public Health from The University of Melbourne. His research focused on the impact of resting heart rate on all-cause, all-cancer and cardiovascular disease mortality. He identified a positive association between resting heart rate, long term changes in resting heart rate and mortality. In 2019 he started his PhD in Statistical Genetics at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and Queensland University of Technology. His PhD topic is “Exploring the genetics of skin cancers”. He has utilised statistical genetics and bioinformatics approaches to identify genes, genetic markers and potential drug targets for skin cancer risk, and survival. He has utilised polygenic risk scores to stratify organ transplant recipients for skin cancer risk. He previously worked as a senior public health leader and clinician in Uganda, and as an epidemiologist. He has won multiple prestigious and highly competitive international scholarships. Recently he was also awarded an Early Career Grant to advance his research.
2021 (December) – Current: Research Assistant
2019 (April) – Current: PhD Candidate
2021 (July- December): Research Assistant, Statistical Genetics Lab, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia.
2017-2019: District Health Officer, Wakiso District Local Government, Uganda
2017-2019: Senior Medical Officer, Wakiso District Local Government, Uganda
2016: Research Associate, Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.
2013-2014: Medical Officer, Wakiso District Local Government, Uganda
2011-2012: Intern Doctor (Junior Residency), Lubaga Hospital, Kampala, Uganda.
His current research utilises statistical genetics and bioinformatics approaches to identify genes, genetic markers and drug targets for skin cancer risk, survival and treatment response. He focuses on both keratinocyte (non-melanoma skin) cancer and melanoma. He is heavily involved in studying both clinical/environmental and genetic risk factors (polygenic risk scores) for stratification of skin cancer risk in organ transplant recipients who are at extreme risk. Polygenic risk scores have the potential to be clinically useful in guiding management of skin cancer in organ transplant recipients. He works under the mentorship of Prof. Stuart MacGregor and A/Prof. Matthew Law in the Statistical Genetics Lab.
He identified that resting heart rate and temporal changes in resting heart rate are positively associated with all-cause, all-cancer and cardiovascular disease mortality (PMID: 29269380).
He has applied polygenic risk scores to organ transplant recipients and effectively stratified them for their skin cancer risk (PMID: 32615124 & PMID: 34089721).
His causal inference work has led to a better understanding of dietary modifiable risk factors for skin cancer risk (PMID: 34088753).
His work on gene mapping has identified 19 novel genes for skin cancer susceptibility.
His current work is exploring genetic risk factors for survival from melanoma.
2022-Current: Member – Associate Member Council, American Association for Cancer Research
2022-Current: Co-Convener, Queensland Epidemiology Group, Australasian Epidemiology Association
2021-Current: Associate Member, American Association for Cancer Research
2020-Current: Member, American Society for Human Genetics
2020-Current: Mentor, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS) Mentoring Program, The University of Melbourne, Australia.
2020-Current: Member, Australasian Epidemiology Association
2015-2016: Member, Public Health Association of Australia
2021: Member – Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Students Committee, Centre for Genomics and Personalised Health, Queensland University of Technology.
2021-2022: Early Career Researcher Grant, Australian Skin and Skin Cancer Research Center, Australia
2019-2021: Faculty of Health Research Excellence Top up Scholarship, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
2019-2021: Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship, Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
2015-2016: Australian Awards Scholarship, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia.
2014: International Training Program Scholarship, SIDA & Lund University, Sweden.
2014: Commonwealth Professional Fellowship, The Commonwealth Commission in the United Kingdom.
2006-2011: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery Scholarship, Makerere University, Uganda.
2019 – Current: PhD Candidate at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and Queensland University of Technology. Supervised by Professor Stuart MacGregor, Associate, Associate Matthew Law, and Professor Dale Nyholt. PhD topic: “Exploring the genetics of skin cancers”.
2016: Master of Public Health (Epidemiology & Biostatistics), The University of Melbourne, Australia.
2014: Diploma in Reproductive Health (DRH), Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK.
2012: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB), Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.