The ACPFG Bioinformatics Central (University of Adelaide) Node

The ACPFG Central Node offers postgraduate qualifications (PhD, Masters and Honours degrees) in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in conjunction with the University of Adelaide.  We also offer Student Internships for undergraduate students.

The focus of the bioinformatics group at the central node is to work closely with the biologists who work here to provide the data analysis capability for their projects.

This involves analysing very large and complicated datasets that are generated by the tools of modern molecular biology and genetics, called Functional Genomics. Functional genomics identifies the function of genes and their products in an organism (such as cereal crops). It focuses on the dynamic aspects of cell function and combines a range of ‘-omics’ techniques such as transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and genomics.

Dealing with this complexity is a significant challenge which needs a multidisciplinary approach, so our group consists of researchers with a range of skills, such as:

  • Storing, sorting and visualizing massive amounts of data to make it accessible is the core of informatics and so we devote significant resources to setting up the appropriate databases and coding custom-designed interfaces.
  • Analysing and interpreting the data.  Our task may be to search for a gene or discover connections between genes, or elucidate underlying networks of proteins and metabolites.  This area of research is Computational and Systems Biology and requires a wide range of mathematical and statistical techniques as well as proficiency in the development of efficient computer algorithms.
  • Tying together the mathematical, computational, statistical and biological components of a project to understand the outcomes and drive research forward is a really important part of our work.  It’s what makes bioinformatics such a fascinating and truly multidisciplinary research area to work in.

Examples of ACPFG research projects we’re involved with include the study of molecular mechanisms that give rise to tolerance of cereal crops to drought and high levels of salinity, sequencing projects designed to study variations of gene activity in response to stress, transport mechanisms underlying plants efficient use of nutrients as well as studies of changes of gene sequences due to evolutionary processes.  

Bioinformatics students don’t need to have a background in biology, and can apply using the process described below. Students who have lab skills in biochemistry or chemical engineering, but are interested in the use of computer-modelling in biology may be interested in structural biology.

Scholarships at the Central Node

The ACPFG Central node offers scholarships in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology.  However, as these scholarships are limited, we ask students to also to apply for scholarships offered by the University of Adelaide.  Scholarships can also be obtained externally. International Students are eligible to apply but must be able to cover the cost of University tuition fees.

Scholarships available:

Student Internships for Undergraduate Students

The Central ACPFG Adelaide node offers Student Internships for undergraduate students wanting to experience Bioinformatics & Computational Biology before they complete their degree.

We seek motivated, enthusiastic 2nd or 3rd year students who are studying one of these fields: computational science, mathematics, physics, biochemistry (with programming skills) or molecular biology (with programming skills).

 Successful students will receive a stipend of AUD $300 per week for up to 10 weeks.  Scholarships are available all year round and the commencement date can be negotiated.  This Student Internship Scholarship does not cover airfare and so is intended for students living locally.  International students living locally are welcome to apply.

Contact point for the ACPFG Central (University of Adelaide) Bioinformatics & Computational Biology Node:

Please send applications (see checklist) or enquiries to Dr. Ute Baumann