Speakers at ICG-13

Speakers at ICG-13

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Biography

Robin earned his veterinary degree and Dr med vet (1988) in Switzerland, and his PhD (1990) and DVSc (2000) at The University of Melbourne, Australia.His main focus has been on developing and using genomic, bioinformatic and other technologies to investigate socio-economically important parasites, and develop novel diagnostic methods and intervention strategies. Key goals have been to foster early career researchers in parasitology, and establish advanced technologies and concepts to gain improved insights into the biology of parasites, disease processes and host-parasite interactions at the molecular level.Robin has been an editor and is on the editorial boards of some key international scientific journals. He is a DipEVPC, FASM and FASP, and has received a number of awards and honours including the Bancroft Mackerras Medal,Fulbright Professorial Scholarship, the WAAVP-Bayer Award for Excellence in Research and the Alexander von Humboldt Professorial Research Prize. Currently, he is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor at The University of Melbourne.


Abstract

The expanding ‘universe’ of parasite genomes

Robin B. Gasser

The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia

robinbg@unimelb.edu.au

 

Compounded by massive global food and water shortages, diseases caused by parasitic worms have a devastating, long-term impact on hundreds of millions of people and animals worldwide. As no vaccines are available for most of these parasites, control relies heavily on the use of a relatively small panel of anti-parasitic drugs. The excessive and widespread use of such drugs, particularly in livestock animals, has led to serious drug resistance problems around the world, such that there is an ongoing need for the discovery or development of new interventions, preferably built on sound knowledge and understanding of the molecular biology, physiology and biochemistry of parasites. However, very little is known about these aspects for most parasitic worms. We have been using next-generation sequencing and informatic technologies to decode and annotate the genomes and transcriptomes of socioeconomically important parasites. The present talk will provide a perspective on the expanding parasite genome universe, ‘big data’ analyses and the need for complementary laboratory- and field-based investigations to give ‘omic data sets the meaning that they deserve.


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