A/Prof Marcel Dinger

Head - Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, Lab Head - Genome Informatics

Principal Research Fellow

Conjoint/Adjunct Role(s)

Conjoint Associate Professor, St Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Australia

Marcel Dinger is the Chief Executive Officer of Genome.One, Head of the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics (KCCG) and conjoint Associate Professor at St Vincents Clinical School of UNSW Australia. KCCG was one of the first sites in the world to implement the HiSeq X Ten genome sequencing platform, which has capacity to sequence 18,000 whole human genomes per year. The aims of the Centre are to establish genomic medicine in routine healthcare and to leverage clinical genomic data for research. Marcel also heads the Genome Informatics Laboratory, which is focused on understanding and dissecting the function of noncoding regions of the genome that are associated with human disease and development.

Prior to joining the Garvan Institute, Marcel headed the Cancer Transcriptomics laboratory at the Diamantina Institute at the University of Queensland. Marcel undertook his postdoctoral studies at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience where he studied the role of long noncoding RNAs in mammalian development and disease. During his postdoc, Marcel led a number of key studies demonstrating the dynamic and specific expression of long noncoding RNAs that prompted extensive functional studies of these transcripts that were commonly assumed to be “junk”.

Marcel was awarded his PhD in 2003 from the University of Waikato in New Zealand. In 2016, he was admitted as a Fellow of the Faculty of Science of the Royal Society of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) by Research. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a founder of two successful IT companies.

Research Interests

The role of noncoding regions of the genome in disease
Understanding the informational architecture of the mammalian genome
Increasing the clinical utility of genome sequencing
The evolution of the tumour genome during cancer progression

Awards and Honours

2016 - Fellow of the Faculty of Science (Research), Royal Society of Pathologists of Australasia
2012 - Theo Murphy Think Tank Participant
2010 - NHMRC Career Development Award Level 1
2010 - AMATA Best Oral Presentation
2009 - Queensland Government Smart Futures Fellowship
2008 - Fresh Scientist
2005 - Foundation of Research, Science and Technology New Zealand Postdoctoral Fellowship
1999 - University of Waikato PhD Scholarship
1997 - University of Waikato Masters and Honours Awards


2016 - Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
2003 - PhD, Biochemistry, University of Waikato - New Zealand
1998 - MSc (Hons I), Biochemistry, University of Waikato - New Zealand
1996 - BSc, Biochemistry & Genetics, University of Waikato - New Zealand

Selected Publications

Signal B, Gloss BS, Dinger ME. Computational Approaches for Functional Prediction and Characterisation of Long Noncoding RNAs. Trends in Genetics 32:620-37.

Thomson DW, Dinger ME (2016). Endogenous microRNA sponges: evidence and controversy. Nature Reviews Genetics 17: 272–283.

Clark MB, Mercer TR, Bussotti G, Leonardi T, Haynes KR, Crawford J, Brunck ME, Cao KA, Thomas GP, Chen WY, Taft RJ, Nielsen LK, Enright AJ, Mattick JS, Dinger ME (2015). Quantitative gene profiling of long noncoding RNAs with targeted RNA sequencing. Nature Methods 12:339-42. 

Gloss BS, Dinger ME (2015). The specificity of long noncoding RNA expression. Biochim Biophys Acta 1859:16-22.

Quek XC, Thomson DW, Maag JL, Bartonicek N, Signal B, Clark MB, Gloss BS, Dinger ME (2015). lncRNAdb v2.0: expanding the reference database for functional long noncoding RNAs. Nucleic Acids Research 2015; 43:D168-73. 

Mattick JS, Dinger ME (2013). The extent of functionality in the human genome. HUGO Journal 7: 2.

Cheetham S, Gruhl F, Mattick JS, Dinger ME (2013). Long noncoding RNAs and the genetics of cancer. British Journal of Cancer 108:2419-25.

Clark MB, Johnston RL, Inostroza-Ponta M, Fox AH, Fortini E, Moscato P, Dinger ME*, Mattick JS* (2012). Genome-wide analysis of long noncoding RNA stability. Genome Research 22:885-898.

Mercer TR, Gerhardt DJ, Dinger ME, Crawford J, Trapnell C, Jeddeloh JA, Mattick JS, Rinn, JL (2012). Targeted RNA sequencing reveals the deep complexity of the human transcriptome. Nature Biotecnnology 30:99-104.

Khaitan D*, Dinger ME*, Mazar J, Crawford J, Smith MA, Mattick JS, Perera RJ (2011). The melanoma-upregulated long noncoding RNA SPRY4-IT1 modulates apoptosis and invasion. Cancer Research 71:3852-3862.

Mercer TR*, Dinger ME*, Mattick JS (2009). Long noncoding RNAs: insights into function. Nature Reviews Genetics 10:155-159.

Dinger ME, Amaral PP, Mercer TR, Pang KC, Bruce SJ, Gardiner BB, Askarian-Amiri ME, Ru K, Soldà G, Simons C, Sunkin SM, Crowe ML, Grimmond SM, Perkins AC, Mattick JS (2008). Long noncoding RNAs in mouse embryonic stem cell pluripotency and differentiation. Genome Research 18:1433-1445.

Mercer TR*, Dinger ME*, Sunkin SM, Mehler MF, Mattick JS (2008). Specific expression of long noncoding RNAs in the adult mouse brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105:716-721.

Amaral PP, Dinger ME, Mercer TR, Mattick JS (2008). The eukaryotic genome as an RNA machine. Science 319:1787-1789.

A/Prof Marcel Dinger

Division Overview

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