Garvan researchers make a splash at the Lorne Genome Conference

Garvan congratulates four scientists who received awards at the 2018 Lorne Genome Conference 2018 for their research into cancer, chemotherapy resistance, epigenetics and genomic technology.

Back: Marina Pajic; Front (L-R): Ira Deveson, Qian Du, Katherine Giles

27 February 2018

The Lorne Genome annual meetings are a highlight in the research calendar for many at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and this year was no exception. Scientists from across Garvan’s research Divisions travelled to Lorne, Victoria in February to present their work at the 39th Lorne Genome Conference, and four researchers – Dr Marina Pajic from the Cancer Division, and PhD students Qian Du, Ira Deveson and Katherine Giles from the Genomics and Epigenetics Division – received awards at the event.

Dr Marina Pajic, Cancer Division: Millennium Science Young Investigator Award

The focus of Dr Pajic’s research is the development of personalised treatment approaches for pancreatic cancer. At the conference she discussed her work in a presentation entitled “Integrative analysis of in vivo models of pancreatic cancer reveals complex mechanisms behind treatment failure and provides new tools for effective targeting.” Dr Pajic’s findings demonstrate the power of new patient-derived laboratory models to study the genomics and gene activity of chemotherapy-resistant tumours.

Qian Du, Genomics and Epigenetics Division: Promega Best Student Abstract Award

In her presentation, entitled ‘DNA replication timing shapes the cancer epigenome,’ PhD student Ms Du described her studies on the differences in DNA replication in prostate cancer cells, compared to non-cancerous cells – and why the differences might matter. Ms Du was one of two Best Student Abstract Award winners.

Ira Deveson, Genomics and Epigenetics Division: Student Poster Prize

Mr Deveson won a Student Poster Prize for his study entitled “Representing the human genome with chiral DNA reference standards.” He demonstrated his latest work on Sequins - synthetic ‘mirror’ DNA sequences that reflect all the key features of the human genome, and allow standardisation and comparison of genome sequencing datasets, to improve the quality of clinical genome analysis.

Katherine Giles, Genomics and Epigenetics Division: Travel Award

PhD student Katherine Giles received a Travel Award to attend the conference. She presented a talk entitled “BRG1 maintains chromatin at active enhancers and the expression of proliferation genes in prostate cancer.” Ms Giles’ work focuses on investigating epigenetic activity – that is, the patterns of chemical ‘decorations’ that are added to DNA – in prostate cancer cells to understand why genes are turned on or off so erratically in prostate cancer.


We enjoyed following the Lorne Genome activity on Twitter on #LorneGenome – below are some of our favourite tweets!

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