CTBMB Research Themes

The Centre for Tropical Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology brings bring together researchers across James Cook University with national and international experts to ensure appropriate high throughput molecular data and analysis is being incorporating into projects which are improving the quality of life for people residing in the tropics. CTBMB aims to increase research efficiency by reducing redundancy via the coordination of research efforts across this dynamic field of research.

The research interests of our members span four distinct themes:

Research Focus

The health and disease in the tropics platform aims to better understand a variety of tropical diseases from the perspective of both host and parasite. Researchers are working to better understand both infectious and chronic diseases such as tuberculosis, dengue, and diabetes and increasingly are incorporating high throughput molecular data into their work to better understand diseases pathogenesis. Discovering the underlying genetic mechanism of such diseases will allow us to deliver the targeted therapies bringing precision medicine to the tropics.

Theme Leader

Dr Matt Field

Research Focus

The tropical biodiversity platform aims to use the latest molecular techniques and analyses to obtain a better understanding of tropical biodiversity.  Situated in one of the richest areas in the world in terms of biodiversity, researchers are increasingly using such technologies to promote cutting-edge ecological and environmental research in the tropics. Such research is leading to the wise management, conservation and sustainable use of tropical terrestrial and coastal ecosystems, in Australia and across the tropics.

Theme Leader

Dr Natalie Dillon

Research Focus

Organisms unique to the tropics are increasingly being sequenced due to the decreasing cost and increased throughput of sequencing technologies. Researchers at the centre are leaders in the development of genomic resources for tropical non-model organisms including numerous aquaculture species, corals and tropical pathogens.  However, many of these resources are not developed to their full potential due to the lack of suitable bioinformatics tools for their analysis. The centre aims to bring together researchers to develop methods suitable for bioinformatics in the tropics.

Theme Leader

Dr Roger Huerlimann

Research Focus

Research into tropical food production focuses not only on the aquatic, aquaculture, and agriculture that produce food, but also the industries and communities that utilise them. Multidisciplinary collaborations between researchers at the centre ensure appropriate molecular data generation and bioinformatic analyses are being utilised to intelligently guide projects aiming at increasing production. We aim to be a key player in helping secure food production in the tropics for future generations.

Theme Leader

Associate Professor Jan Strugnell

Research Focus

In the last decade, the size and complexity of biological data sets have exploded with biology now a data rich science. As a result, biologists are working with increasingly complex and large data sets and require training to effectively manage and analyse such data. The need to develop platforms to educate researchers in bioinformatics, statistics and data science is critical to meet the burgeoning demand for people skilled at wrangling and making sense of biomedical data

Theme Leader

Dr Martha Cooper