Dr Daniel Thomson

Research Officer

Daniel undertook his PhD studies through Adelaide University at the Centre for Cancer Biology, South Australia, under Prof Gregory Goodall and Dr Cameron Bracken. He currently holds a research officer position in the Genome Informatics lab headed by A/Prof Marcel Dinger.

Primary research interests are based around RNA biology in the context of cancer research, using a broad range of approaches including molecular, cell biology, genomics and bioinformatics tools. Work performed during PhD studies and previous research assistant appointments has focused on assessing the function of microRNAs in cancer; this has broadened to include many aspects of non-coding RNA biology including the study of transcribed human pseudogenes.

Research highlights over the last five years include the functional characterisation of small RNAs thought for decades to be non functional degradation products of highly expressed transfer RNAs, ribosomal RNAs and small nucleolar RNAs. Alongside a bulk of work assessing the function of microRNAs, in particular the role of miR-200 microRNA family in breast cancer metastasis and the role of miR-124 in brain cancer progression.

Research Interests

• non-coding RNA
• microRNA
• genomics
• bioinformatcs
• molecular biology
• pseudogenes
• cancer


2014 - PhD, Adelaide University, School of Medicine - Australia
2010 - Bachelor of Biotechnology (Hons), Flinders University - Australia

Selected Publications

Thomson, D.W. and Dinger, M.E. (2016) Endogenous microRNA sponges ; Evidence and controversy. Nature Reviews Genetics.

Thomson, D.W., Pillman, K.A., Anderson, M.L., Lawrence, D.M., Toubia, J., Goodall, G.J. and Bracken, C.P. (2015) Assessing the gene regulatory properties of Argonaute-bound small RNAs of diverse genomic origin. Nucleic acids research.

Quek, X.C., Thomson, D.W., Maag, J.L., Bartonicek, N., Signal, B., Clark, M.B., Gloss, B.S. and Dinger, M.E. (2014) lncRNAdb v2.0: expanding the reference database for functional long noncoding RNAs. Nucleic acids research.

Bracken, C.P., Li, X., Wright, J.A., Lawrence, D.M., Pillman, K.A., Salmanidis, M., Anderson, M.A., Dredge, B.K., Gregory, P.A., Tsykin, A. et al. (2014) Genome-wide identification of miR-200 targets reveals a regulatory network controlling cell invasion. The EMBO journal, 33, 2040-2056.

Thomson, D.W., Bracken, C.P., Szubert, J.M. and Goodall, G.J. (2013) On measuring miRNAs after transient transfection of mimics or antisense inhibitors. PloS one, 8, e55214

Thomson, D.W., Bracken, C.P. and Goodall, G.J. (2011) Experimental strategies for microRNA target identification. Nucleic acids research, 39, 6845-6853 

Bracken, C.P., Szubert, J.M., Mercer, T.R., Dinger, M.E., Thomson, D.W., Mattick, J.S., Michael, M.Z. and Goodall, G.J. (2011) Global analysis of the mammalian RNA degradome reveals widespread miRNA-dependent and miRNA-independent endonucleolytic cleavage. Nucleic acids research, 39, 5658-5668

Fowler, A., Thomson, D., Giles, K., Maleki, S., Mreich, E., Wheeler, H., Leedman, P., Biggs, M., Cook, R., Little, N. et al. (2011) miR-124a is frequently down-regulated in glioblastoma and is involved in migration and invasion. European journal of cancer, 47, 953-963.

Dr Daniel Thomson

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© Garvan Institute 2013