01 September 2014
Garvan bioinformatics expert, Kenny Sabir, has won the University of Sydney Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, so will now be competing at the Australian championships in Perth on 3 November.
The 3MT is a skills development activity that challenges PhD students to explain their research project to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.
The event is run in stages, first within faculties, and then within universities. University winners progress towards the Trans-Tasman finals.
Kenny is doing his part-time PhD in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies at the University of Sydney, studying the 3D structures of chromosomes. First he is visualising how they cluster with each other, and then he will analyse those clusters by using Big Data computation techniques.
Visualization is a tool that allows people to tap into their own brains – the best computers in the world.
“The human brain has the ability to recognise complex patterns quickly, and by visualising the structure of chromosomes, biologists will be able to see patterns that give them clues about how the genome operates,” said Kenny.
His 3MT talk discussed how 3D structures directly influence the expression of genes, and the ways in which different parts of the genome interact with one another.
Kenny has worked in Garvan’s Biodata Visualisation group for around two years. As its name suggests, the group develops tools that help life scientists use data to visualise underlying biological and biomedical processes.
Prior to Garvan, he worked at IBM for 8 years, and Bell Labs and Canon Research before that.
Kenny’s own relationship with computers started at the age of four, when his father bought him a Tandy computer with Basic installed.