Dr Leslie Burnett

Principal Medical Geneticist/Medical Director

Dr Leslie Burnett

Professor Leslie Burnett is Principal Medical Geneticist and Medical Director within the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, and Genetic Pathologist within the Immunology and Immunity Theme, at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Dr Burnett is a Clinical Pathologist, with scope of practice

Biography

Professor Leslie Burnett is Principal Medical Geneticist and Medical Director within the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, and Genetic Pathologist within the Immunology and Immunity Theme, at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

Dr Burnett is a Clinical Pathologist, with scope of practice in Genetic Pathology and Chemical Pathology (Clinical Chemistry), and research in computational biology and bioinformatics.

He pioneered the development of a number of pathology and genetics initiatives, which are today mainstream clinical services. These include founding Australia’s first Community Genetics program, being Medical Director of Australasia’s first Whole Genome Sequencing laboratory, and developing the world’s first pre- and post-analytical quality assurance programs in pathology. He has served as Ministerial appointee, Chairman, or President of a number of National and International bodies in pathology and genetics.

Professor Burnett is Conjoint Professor at St Vincent’s Clinical School, UNSW Medicine, Honorary Professor in Pathology and Genetic Medicine in the Northern Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, and has been an Honorary Associate of the School of Information Technologies at the University of Sydney. 

He is a passionate teacher and communicator about the genetics and genomics revolution.

Professor Leslie Burnett is Principal Medical Geneticist and Medical Director within the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, and Genetic Pathologist within the Immunology and Immunity Theme, at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

Dr Burnett is a Clinical Pathologist, with scope of practice in Genetic Pathology and Chemical Pathology (Clinical Chemistry), and research in computational biology and bioinformatics.

He pioneered the development of a number of pathology and genetics initiatives, which are today mainstream clinical services. These include founding Australia’s first Community Genetics program, being Medical Director of Australasia’s first Whole Genome Sequencing laboratory, and developing the world’s first pre- and post-analytical quality assurance programs in pathology. He has served as Ministerial appointee, Chairman, or President of a number of National and International bodies in pathology and genetics.

Professor Burnett is Conjoint Professor at St Vincent’s Clinical School, UNSW Medicine, Honorary Professor in Pathology and Genetic Medicine in the Northern Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, and has been an Honorary Associate of the School of Information Technologies at the University of Sydney. 

He is a passionate teacher and communicator about the genetics and genomics revolution.

Awards and Honours

FRSN 2016 Royal Society of NSW
FFSc (RCPA) 2010 Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
FACB 2005 National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry, American Association of Clinical Chemistry
FAICD 2005 Australian Institute of Company Directors
FCHSE 2004 Australian College of Health Service Management
FHGSA 2002 Human Genetics Society of Australasia
FAIM 1991 Australian Institute of Management
FCAP 1987 College of American Pathologists
FRCPA 1984 Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
MAACB 1984 Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine

The Meritorious Service Award of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, in recognition of “contributions to Quality, and exemplary contributions to College affairs” (2012)
The Management Science Award of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry, in recognition of “achievements of an individual who has made outstanding contributions in management sciences to the clinical laboratory and healthcare industry” (2004)
Australia Day Award for Community Service, to the Tay-Sachs disease Program (1996)
NSW Employer of the Year for Training Excellence, NSW Department of Industrial Relations, Employment, Technical and Further Education (1994)

Education

MSc (Bioinformatics) 2013 University of Sydney
DBA 2002 Souther Cross University
PhD (Medicine) 1986 University of Sydney
MBBS (Hons 1) 1980 University of Sydney
BSc (Med)(Hons 1) 1978 University of Sydney

Selected Publications

  1. Gibson J, Fieldhouse R, Chan M, Sadheghi-Alavijeh O, Burnett L, Izzi V, Presikov AV, Gale DP, Storey H, Savige J. Prevalence estimates of predicted pathogenic COL4A3 - COL4A5 variants in a population sequencing database and their implications for Alport syndrome deduced from likely pathogenic variants in population sequencing databases. J Am. Soc. Nephrol. (In press)
  2. Cousens NE, Tiller J, Meiser B, Barlow-Stewart K, Rowley S, Ko A, Mahale S, Campbell IG, Bankier A, Burnett L, Jacobs C, Jams P, Trainer AH Neil S, Delatycki MB, Andrews L. Evaluation of two population screening programs for BRCA1/2 founder mutations in the Australian Jewish Community: A protocol paper. BMJ Open (2021) BMJ Open 11(6):e041186.
  3. Minoche AE, Lundie B, Peters GB, Ohnesorg T, Pinese M, Thomas DM, Zankl A, Roscioli T, Schonrock N, Kummerfeld S, Burnett L, Dinger ME, Cowley MJ. ClinSV: Clinical grade structural and copy number variant detection from whole genome sequencing data. Genome Medicine (2021) 13(1):1-19 https://doi.org/10.1186/s13073-021-00841-x 
  4. Mallawaarachchi AC, Lundie B, Hort Y, Schonrock N, Serum SR, Gayevskiy V, Minoche A, Hollway G, Ohnesorg T, Hinchcliffe M, Patel C, Tchan M, Mallett A, Dinger ME, Rangan G, Cowley MJ, Harris PC, Burnett L, Shine J, Furlong TJ. Genomic Diagnostics in Polycystic Kidney disease. Eur J Human Genetics (2021) 29(5), 760-770 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41431-020-00796-4 
  5. Pillay B, Fusar M, Gray P, Statham A, Burnett L, Bezrodnik L, Kane A, Tong W, Abdo C, Winter S, Chevalier S, Levy R, Masson C, Schmitt Y, Bole-Feysot C, Malphettes M, Macintyre E, Villartay J-P, Zegler J, Smart J, Peake J, Aghamohammadi A, Hammarström L, Abolhassani H, Picard C, Fisher A, Latour S, Neven B, Tangye S, Ma C. Somatic reversion of pathogenic DOCK8 variants alters lymphocyte differentiation and function, resulting in clinical improvement. J Clin Investigation (2020) 131(3) https://doi.org/10.1172/jci142434 
  6. Tangye S, Phan TG, Gray PE, Wong M, Burnett L. The Clinical Immunogenomics Research Consortium Australasia (CIRCA): A distributed network model for genomic healthcare delivery. J Clin. Immunol. 2020 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10875-020-00787-6 
  7. Kirk EP, Barlow-Stewart K, Selvanathan A, Josephi-Taylor S, Worgan L, Rajagopalan S, Cowley M, Gayevskiy V, Bittles A, Burnett L, Elakis G, Lo W, Buckley M, Colley A, Roscioli T. Beyond the panel: preconception screening in consanguineous couples using the TruSight One “Clinical Exome”. Genetics in Medicine 2018 1-5 (2 July 2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41436-018-0082-9 
  8. Ding L-E, Burnett L, Chesher D. The impact of reporting incidental findings from exome and whole genome sequencing: Predicted frequencies based on modelling. Genetics in Medicine 2015; 17(3):197-204. (advance online publication 31 July 2014) DOI:10.1038/gim.2014.94.
  9. Lew RM, Burnett L, Proos, AL, Barlow-Stewart K, Delatycki M, Bankier A, Aizenberg H, Field MJ, Berman, Y, Fleischer R, Fietz M. Ashkenazi Jewish population screening for Tay Sachs disease (TSD): the Australian experience and a systematic review of the literature. J Paediatr. Child Health 2015; DOI:10.1111/jpc.12632. PMID: 24923490
  10. Lew RM, Proos A, Burnett L, Delatycki M, Bankier A, Fietz M. Tay Sachs disease in Australia: Reduced disease incidence despite stable carrier frequency in Australian Jews. Med. J Aust. 2012; 197(11/12):652-654. DOI: 10.5694/mja12.11010. PMID: 23230938
  11. Burnett L, McQueen MJ, Jonsson JJ, Torricelli F. Report of the IFCC Taskforce on Ethics: Introduction and Framework. Clin Chem Lab Med 2007; 45(8): 1098–1104.
  12. Burnett L, Barlow-Stewart K, Proos A & Aizenberg H. The GeneTrustee: A universal identification system that ensures privacy and confidentiality for human genetic databases. J Law Med. 2003; 10(4):506-513. PMID: 12852322
  13. Burnett L, Hegedus G, Chesher D, Burnett J & Costaganna G. Application of Process Capability to Quality Control in a Clinical Chemistry Laboratory. Clin Chem 1996; 42:2035-7.
  14. Burnett L, Proos A, Chesher D, Howell V, Longo L, Tedeschi V, Yang V, Siafakas N, & Turner G. The Tay - Sachs disease Prevention Program in Australia: Sydney Pilot Study.  Med J Aust 1995; 163:298-300. PMID: 7565235
  15. Burnett L.  Development of a superior strategy for computer-assisted nucleotide sequence analysis. Nucl Acids Res 1986; 14:47-55.
  16. Burnett L, Basten A & Hensley WJ.  An exhaustive tree-searching algorithm for high-resolution computer-assisted nucleotide sequence analysis, Computer Applications in the Biosciences 1985; 1:153-160.
  17. Burnett L, Basten A & Hensley WJ.  Complementary relationship between repetitive sequences in the SV40 early gene pre-promoter enhancing region and the big-T antigen splice junction exons. J theor Biol 1984; 110:533-540.
  18. Burnett L.  A model for the mechanism and control of eukaryote gene splicing.  J theor Biol 1982; 97:351-366.