CV

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

Dec 2016 – current          Principal Investigator (Systems Biology), Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, A-STAR

Dec 2013 – Dec 2016       Senior Leadership Fellow in Bioinformatics & Head of the Transcriptomics Core Facility at The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford

I am responsible for the Transcriptomics Core Facility for the Jenner Institute. We support Jenner Investigators and collaborators to identify transcriptomics correlates of vaccine efficacy and immunogenicity for a broad range of novel and licensed vaccines in adults, children and livestock. These findings could suggest ideas for new immunomodulatory molecules to improve vaccines for infectious diseases such as malaria, TB and influenza.

 

Honorary Appointments:

Dec 2013 – current         Honorary Research Associate, King’s College London

Feb 2011 – current          Honorary Research Associate, UCL Institute of Neurology

Feb 2011 – current           Honorary Research Associate, Imperial College London

 

Previous Appointments:

Feb 2011 – Nov 2013        Research Associate, King’s College London

I worked on an MRC funded project UK Brain Expression Consortium to study expression QTL (eQTL) in ten brain regions extracted in parallel from 134 healthy controls. The aim is to provide an understanding of genetic regulation of gene expression and alternative splicing in human brains. An immediate application is the follow-up of GWAs hits from Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and relevant phenotypes.

 

2008 – 2011                      Biostatistician/Epidemiologist, Respiratory Epidemiology and Public Health, Imperial College London

I co-lead three genetics consortiums (asthma, hayfever and bronchial hyper responsiveness), participated in five other genetics consortiums and contributed replication data to various other projects. I am in charge of quality control and analysis of the GWAs data for the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) (n=2,312) and also analyze respiratory, allergy and lung function phenotypes from the Northern Finnish Birth Cohort of 1966 (NFBC66) (n=5,000). This has lead to three first-authored or joint first-authored publications among several others. I was supported by funding from an EU project and Department of Health, UK.

 

2004 – 2007                     Medical Statistician, Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford

I conducted research in methodologies relevant to the design and analysis stage of gene expression microarrays. I was funded by Cancer Research UK and therefore provided various analytical support to Cancer Research UK researchers in Oxford.

 

2002 – 2004                     Research Assistant, Genome Institute of Singapore

Provided various statistical and bioinformatics support to senior researchers. I was invited to give a short presentation on my work to the Steering Advisory Committee.

 

EDUCATION/QUALIFICATIONS

2004 – 2009                DPhil*                                                  University of Oxford

2001 – 2002                MSc in Applied Statistics                    University of Oxford

1998 – 2001                B. Comm (Actuarial Studies)              University of Melbourne

* DPhil topic: Increasing statistical power and generalizability in genomics microarray research. Supervised by Professors Douglas G. Altman and Chris C. Holmes.

 

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP/AWARDS

2012 – 2013                Trainee                                                American Society of Human Genetics

2011 – 2012                Member                                              European Respiratory Society

2010 – 2011                Charted Statisitician & Fellow            Royal Statistical Society

2010 – 2011                Charted Scientist                                Science Council

 

PRIZES AND AWARDS

2010                Young Scientist Sponsorship, European Respiratory Society (ERS)

2008                My ERS abstract was voted as top 5% of all the abstracts submitted

2004                3-year PhD studentship by Cancer Research UK

2001                Exchange year to Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

2001                Melbourne Abroad Prize Scholarship

1998                Top Student Award for achieving best results at A-levels

1994                Best Student Award and prize money for lower secondary certificate

 

RESEARCH INTERESTS

My research interest is in applying and developing appropriate statistical techniques to reveal genetic mechanisms of diseases. Having lead and participated in numerous international genetics consortia to help identify variants associated with complex diseases, I realized that there is currently a gap in the knowledge about how these variants influence gene expression, protein levels and subsequently the individuals themselves. In my current post, I help bridge this apparent disconnect by studying the genetic regulation of gene expression in multiple brain tissues.

  

TEACHING AND TRAINING

2007, gave weekly tutorials to 4 MSc students during their taught course (9 months). I am in regular contact with two of them, both of whom are completing the DPhil in statistical genetics.

2012, co-supervised the research component (3 months) of two MSc in Informatics at King’s College London to develop several bioinformatics webtools. One of the project was to provide a user friendly access and visualization of the eQTL results from the UK Human Brain Expression Consortium that we are currently analyzing. The other project involved a set of general utility webtools (calculating linkage disequilibrium using the latest 1000 Genomes data, identifying probes that contain polymorphisms). I was involved in planning their research project, directed their work, trained them in Unix, PhP, R as well with writing up and providing feedback.

I have acted as demonstrator and computer practical demonstrators for the following modules

  • Microarray bioinformatics module in University of Oxford (July 2005, May 2006, October 2006).
  • Ad-hoc assistance with the computer practicals for students from the University of Oxford Doctoral Training Centre (Life Sciences Interface).
  • STATA practical course in University of Oxford
  • Summer School in Genetic Association Studies in King’s College London (June 2012)

 

STATISTICAL CONSULTANCY

In addition to my statistical genetics research, I provide ad hoc statistical advice to researchers in Oxford, King’s College London and externally.

 

COMPUTER SKILLS

Statistical languages               R, Bioconductor, S-PLUS, Stata (basic), SPSS (basic)

Genetics software/tools          Ensembl, ProbABEL, MACH, minimac, PLINK, QUICKTEST, QuTie, snpMatrix, SNPTEST, matrixEQTL etc.

Shell scripting                          awk, bash scripting, sed and other unix/linux tools

Web-related languages           PhP, Perl CGI and DBI, HTML and javascript

Programming languages        C (basic), Perl (basic), PhP (basic)

Word processing                     LaTeX, Emacs (+ESS), MS Word

Presentation                            LaTeX package beamer, MS PowerPoint

Databases                               MS Excel (intermediate), MySQL (basic)

Platforms                                Linux (various distros), Windows (2000, XP, 7)

 

GRANTS/FUNDING EXPERIENCE

  1. Named researcher in “Using genetic variability in whole transcriptome expression in cells and tissues to understand the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease” (~£1.4 million from the Medical research Council). Lead PI: Prof. John Hardy. Co-PI: Dr. Michael E Weale and Dr. Mina Ryten.
  2. Named researcher in “The regulation and function of MIR137 in schizophrenia” (submitted). Lead PI: Prof. John Quinn.
  3. DPhil funding from Cancer Research UK (2004 – 2007). With the help of Prof. Altman, I co-wrote the application request for DPhil funding.

 

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

  1. Ad-hoc reviewer for Nucleic Acids Research Journal, Human Molecular Genetics and Pancreatic Cancer Research UK charity
  1. Participation in Genetics Consortiums
    1. The ECRHS-SAPALDIA-EGEA collaboration
    2. Analysis in Population-based Cohorts of Asthma Traits (APCAT)
      consortium
    3. The SpiroMeta Consortium
    4. GABRIEL consortium (A Multidisciplinary Study to Identify the Genetic and Environmental Causes of Asthma in the European Community)
    5. The Transnational Asthma Genetics (TAG) Consortium
    6. The Early Growth Genetics (EGG) and Early Genetics and Longitudinal Epidemiology (EAGLE)
  1. Membership in European Respiratory Society (ERS), European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) and Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society

 


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