The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) has awarded Dr Anna Cuomo a prestigious and highly competitive $156,000 post-doctoral fellowship to support her work studying the genetic basis of human diseases.
Dr Cuomo is a post-doctoral researcher at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, having started at the end of 2021. She is a computational biologist with a PhD in Statistical Genetics from the University of Cambridge and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), in the UK.
Her research focus is the development of statistical models that link variants in our DNA to the unique profile of single cells. This work helps uncover the molecular mechanisms by which genetic and environmental changes drive human disease risk.
The two-year fellowship will support Dr Cuomo’s genomics research work ,driving collaborative projects involving the Garvan Institute’s Cellular Genomics Pillar, led by Director Professor Joseph Powell, and the Centre for Population Genomics (CPG), led by Genomic Science Pillar Director Professor Daniel MacArthur.
Statistical models like the ones Dr Cuomo develops are a crucial component of how these two groups make sense of the enormous volumes of data generated by their experiments.
“It’s an honour to receive this fellowship to support my work at the Garvan Institute over the next two years,” says Dr Cuomo.
“One of the major projects I’m working on is the OneK1K project. We’re analysing data from 1,000 individual cells from 1,000 people to uncover how genetics contributes to the risk of immune disease at a cellular level and ultimately identify new targeted therapies for specific cell types in each patient. This project is currently the largest single-cell project in the world. We just wouldn’t be able to process and make sense of all of this information without new statistical and computational tools,” she says.
Professor Powell says this fellowship from the EMBO is a fantastic achievement for Dr Cuomo.
“This is a prestigious and globally competitive fellowship, and one rarely awarded to researchers in Australia. It’s a great outcome for Anna,” says Professor Powell.
“This fellowship acknowledges both the expertise that Dr Cuomo brings to the Garvan Institute and her analytical leadership of some of our pioneering genomics projects,” says Professor MacArthur. “We thank EMBO for their support of Dr Cuomo’s research and their recognition of the impact this work will have on the field of genomics.”
Professor Daniel MacArthur is a Conjoint Professor at UNSW Sydney. Professor Joseph Powell is Deputy Director of the Cellular Genomics Futures Institute, UNSW Sydney.