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Student research project

Supervisor(s): David Ascher

Project summary

Analysing population based genetic variation to understand how proteins evolve, diseases arise and how to develop better more personalised treatments

This is a population genetics project. Much excitement has emerged from our recent ability to quantify with good resolution the human-specific constraint (also called 'intolerance') of human genes. We will use a collection of human and pathogen gene intolerance metrics and compare them to traditional metrics of phylogenetic conservation. The goal of this study is to use standing human and pathogen genetic variation from large population studies to identify genes, and regions of genes, under high selective pressures. These regions are likely to be very important for genetic diseases, but also make attractive drug targets as they are less variable. This project also has the potential to gain insight into why certain diseases occur more frequently in some populations, and why drugs are less likely to work in others.

Skill Development: This project is suitable for candidates interested in furthering their bioinformatics/biostatistics experience. Candidates undertaking this project will also gain experience in study design, data managements, data analysis, data interpretation and scientific reporting. 

This project is suitable for a Masters, Honours or PhD student.

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