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SAGC Scientific Advisory Committee

The role of the SAGC Scientific Advisory Committee (SAGC SAC) is to advise and support the SAGC Advisory Board on the quality, direction, scope, and focus of the SAGC’s capabilities and business. The SAGC SAC is also expected to provide input into the strategic direction of the SAGC, in cooperation with the SAGC Centre Manager and Platform Lead/s.

The SAGC SAC includes a designated Chair, and its membership is determined by the SAGC Advisory Board.

Membership consists of local researchers, clinicians, consumers and/or other significant stakeholders with expertise including, but not limited to, genomics and bioinformatics, data analytics and/or stakeholder engagement. Expertise, career stage, culture and gender are all be determinants of membership.

Alan Boddy

Associate Professor Bettina Berger
Scientific Director, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
The University of Adelaide

With a background in biotechnology and a PhD in molecular plant biology, A/Prof Bettina Berger used a two-year fellowship at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics to focus on the then emerging field of plant phenomics. Since 2010, A/Prof Berger has work at the Adelaide node of the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility and in 2015 became Scientific Director. She enjoys the diversity of working in a national research facility, with a whole range of different users, research questions and challenges on a daily basis. A/Prof Berger has focused on establishing protocols and methods for high-throughput screening of various plant species in controlled environments using imaging technology to help the research community take advantage of the benefits that modern phenotyping techniques have to offer.

A Borneman 

Dr. Anthony Borneman
Principle Research Scientist
The Australian Wine Research Institute

Anthony is a Research Manager at the Australian Wine Research Institute and an Affiliate of the University of Adelaide. He leads research that is focused on applying genomics to understand the genetic basis of biological diversity in winemaking, including grapevines, commercial wine yeast and bacteria and wild ferments.

Professor Alex Brown 

Professor Alex Brown
Aboriginal Health Equity Theme Leader at SAHMRI, and Professor of Medicine at the University of Adelaide

Alex is an internationally leading Aboriginal clinician/researcher who has worked his entire career in Aboriginal health in the provision of public health services, infectious diseases and chronic disease care, health care policy and research. He has established three highly regarded research groups over the last 15 years, and currently leads a large research group (50% of whom identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait islander Australians). Much of his work has been at the difficult interface of geographical isolation, complex cultural context, severe socioeconomic disadvantage, inequitable access to and receipt of care and profound health disparities. His transdisciplinary program of research focuses on documenting the burden and contributors to health inequality in Indigenous Australians, with a primary focus on cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and cancer. Since commencing at SAHMRI 8 years ago, he has overseen the establishment of an integrated centre of excellence in Indigenous chronic disease and public health research. He leads projects in CVD epidemiology and policy; the social, clinical, and biological correlates of diabetes and its complications; intervention trials; documenting cancer inequalities and how best to overcome them; innovative mixed-methods primary care research; and evaluations of health care models, systems and programs.

RobEdwards  Professor Robert Edwards
Director of Bioinformatics and Human Microbiology
Flinders Accelerator for Microbiome Exploration (FAME)

Rob is the Director of Bioinformatics and Human Microbiology for the Flinders Accelerator for Microbiome Exploration (FAME). He coordinates the computational analysis of DNA sequences associated with the microbiome. Although Rob's research focus is on the human microbiome, he has also published work on many different environments. Prof Edwards research focus has led to breakthroughs in our understanding of how viruses interact with their hosts, and how viruses from around the world carry important genetic information.
Elina Hypponen  Professor Elina Hypponen
Director of the Australian Centre for Precision Health at
University of South Australia, and Senior Research Fellow at SAHMRI

Professor Hyppönen has an interdisciplinary background, with academic qualifications in epidemiology, medical statistics, nutrition and public health, and an extensive track record working with large scale genetic association studies. Professor Hyppönen has a H-factor of 73, having been cited over 19,000 times in the past five years only. She has authored more than 170 high-profile refereed publications and several book chapters. She leads the Nutritional and Genetic Epidemiology group which has a focus on using genetic tools to inform on dietary and lifestyle guidelines for optimal health. Her current interests are related to implementing phenomewide analyses and systems epidemiology approaches to establish effective strategies for disease prediction and prevention.
Dr Wai Yee Low Dr. Wai Yee Low
Senior Bioinformatician
Dr. Wai Yee Low has more than 9 years post-doctoral experience in academia, mainly in genomics and bioinformatics. He has expertise in analysing genomic data of a diverse range of bovine species such as cattle, water buffalo and gaur, which has resulted more than 40 research publications, including multiple papers in Nature Communications and Nature. He also created the first indicine cattle (Brahman) reference genome and played a key role in the creation of more cattle pan-genomes through his affiliation with the Bovine Pangenome Consortium. 
Jessica Marathe 

Dr. Jessica Marathe
Cardiologist, Royal Adelaide Hospital

Jessica Marathe is a cardiologist currently undertaking subspecialty training at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide. She completed her undergraduate medical training at the University of Tasmania in 2012, and subsequently moved to Adelaide to complete her internship and has worked in Adelaide since. Jessica has had a longstanding interest in cardiovascular genetics, having helped established the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Genetic Heart Disease Registry in 2010. She is a member of the Cardiac Genetics Subcommittee of the Statewide Cardiology Clinical Network, and helped establish the original clinical pathway for cardiac genetic testing within South Australia. Jessica is also about to submit her PhD which has focussed on cardiovascular genetics, including patient experiences living with inherited cardiac conditions.

Luciano Martelotto

Associate Professor Luciano Martelotto
Head of the Development Laboratory of the Adelaide Centre for Epigenetics (ACE)
South Australia ImmunoGENomics Cancer Institute (SAIGENCI)

A/Prof. Martelotto was the Scientific Director of the Single Cell Laboratory at Harvard Medical School, Department of Systems Biology, Harvard University (USA) before joining ACE/SAIGENCI. During his role at the Single Cell Lab at HMS he led a team of technology specialist in charge of developing, implementing, and offering methods of single-cell profiling to build a bridge between researchers and single-cell technologies in their quest to understand how cells collectively perform systems-level functions in healthy and diseased states. He is also the Chief Technology Officer and member of the Advisory Board of OmniScope, a European biotechnology company that uses a universal diagnostic tool – for which Luciano has been key in its development, that scans the immune system through a simple and non-invasive clinical test to broadly detect diseases at the earliest stages. He is also a Technology Advisor for Paragon Genomics (USA), Honeycomb Bio (USA) and recently appointed Scientific Advisor of the Single Cell Laboratory at Harvard Medical School.

Hamish Scott 

Professor Hamish Scott
Joint Director of the CCB ACRF Cancer Genome Facility
SA Pathology

Prof Scott leads a dynamic academic/diagnostic department integrating basic and clinical research. It has developed and translated new genomic technologies including national and international firsts, for both germline (e.g. accredited WES and RNAseq) and somatic (e.g. BCR-ABL resistance) disease for improved diagnosis, treatment and monitoring. He is both an advocate for and user of national diagnostic and research genomic networks for patient benefit. For example, he is the scientific lead of a national “Genomic autopsy of perinatal death” study (MRFF – GHFM) through Australian Genomics and a molecular screening and clinical trial pilot program, the Molecular Screening and Therapeutics in Leukaemia and Lymphoma (MoST-Lly) with Omico.

Luke Selth 

Associate Professor Luke Selth
Director of the Prostate Cancer Research Group
Flinders University

Selth completed his PhD at University of Adelaide and then undertook post-doctoral studies at the London Research Institute, funded by a prestigious European Molecular Biology Organization post-doctoral fellowship. He returned to Adelaide in 2009 and has since established an internationally-recognised research program aimed at improving outcomes for men with prostate cancer. Selth regularly publishes his research in prominent journals including recent papers in Cancer Research, Nature Medicine, European Urology, Science Translational Medicine, EMBO Journal, Oncogene and Nucleic Acids Research. His lab is currently funded by Cancer Council SA, Movember, The Hospital Research Foundation, Flinders University, the Flinders Foundation and Cancer Australia.

Deb White 

Professor Deborah White
Director of the Cancer Program, and Deputy Precision Medicine Theme Leader at SAHMRI, and Professor in Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide and Health Sciences at Uni SA.

Prof White’s research focus is genomics and rationally targeted therapies in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML). She holds peer reviewed grants from: The William Lawrence and Blanche Hughes Foundation and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (USA), the NHMRC, the Leukaemia Foundation Australia (LFA), Channel 7, Cancer Australia, Tour de Cure and the Cancer Council SA (CCSA). Professor White has presented more than 170 papers at scientific meetings, and authored more than 100 scientific publications as well as being an inventor on several international patents. Professor White is the National Flagship Lead for the ALL Stream of Australian Genomics, and SA scientific lead for Zero Children’s Cancer. She is an active member of the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) being a member of the NHMRC Academy, the Translational Research Program Advisory Committee, and the Women in Health Science (WiHS) Committee. She is a member of the Editorial Board for a number of scientific journals.

In 2014 she was recognised as the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) Leading Light for her Medical Research and in 2016 was awarded the University of Adelaide James McWha medal. In 2019 she was awarded the prestigious NHMRC Research Excellence Award and in 2020 the Beat Cancer Women in Leadership Award.