J. B. Douglas Postgraduate Awards of the SSA NSW Branch

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You are invited to attend the 17th Annual J. B. Douglas Postgraduate Awards of the SSA NSW Branch followed by the Annual Lecture and Dinner.

We are excited to have nine student speakers confirmed for the day. A copy of the programme can be downloaded here:

Date: Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Venue: Aerial UTS Function Centre (Level 7, Building 10), University of Technology Sydney. 235 Jones Street, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia.

1:00pm – 5:15pmStudent Presentations
5:15pm – 6:00pmAwards Presentation
6:00pm – 7:00pmAnnual Lecture – Professor Jean Yang
7:00pm – onward: Pre-dinner drink at 7:00 and dinner from 7:30pm

Professor Jean Yang

University of Sydney

Integrated single cell data analysis for understanding mechanisms of neuronal diversity
Technological advances such as large scale single cell transcriptome profiling have exploded in recent years and enabled unprecedented insight into the behavior of individual cells. Identifying genes with high levels of expression using data from single cell RNA sequencing can be useful to characterize very active genes and cells in which this occurs. In particular single cell RNA-Seq allows for cell-specific characterization of high gene expression, as well as gene coexpression. In this talk, I will describe a versatile modelling framework to identify transcriptional states motivated by a collaborative project involving neuronal single cell data.

Neuronal cell systems exhibit extraordinary levels of complexity. Thus it is of great interest to explore the ways in which this neuronal diversity is generated and manifested to achieve such complexity. One proposed mechanism is patterns of gene transcription across neurons. We will describe how a gamma-normal mixture model is used to identify active gene expression across cells; we then use these to characterise markers for olfactory sensory neutron cell maturity and to build cell-specific coactivation networks.  Finally, we will describe an approach using bioinformatics and statistics to evaluate evidence of gene transcriptional mosaics as a mechanism for achieving diversity of neuronal cells.

Biography of Professor Jean Yang

Jean is currently a professor and a NHMRC CDF Fellow in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at University of Sydney. Her research work has centered on the development of statistical methodology and the application of statistics to problems in genomics, proteomics and biomedical research. In particular, her focus is on developing methods for integrating expression studies and other biological metadata such as miRNA expression, sequence information and clinical data. As a statistician who works in the bioinformatics area, she enjoys research in a collaborative environment, working closely with scientific investigators from diverse backgrounds.

Jean obtained a bachelor’s degree in statistics from the University of Sydney before studying for her PhD in the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Berkeley. She worked under the supervision of Terry Speed on the design and analysis of cDNA microarray experiments.  Previously she was an Assistant Professor in Department of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco and has relocated back to Sydney in 2005 and started a lectureship position with University of Sydney. 

When: 23/11/2016
Time: 1:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Cost: Free
Location: Aerial UTS Function Centre (Level 7, Building 10), University of Technology Sydney.,
235 Jones Street,

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