Researcher biography

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have contributed to the discovery of a huge number of genetic risk variants associated with many complex diseases. Availability of published GWAS and other genomic data has led to the development of new statistical genetics methods that can be applied to address many scientific questions, accelerating research in emerging branches of genomics, including disease diagnosis, prevention, informing treatment (pharmacogenomics) and understanding disease comorbidity. My research focuses on the application of such data to better understand and manage cardiovascular disease.

Sonia was awarded her PhD at University College London (UK) in cardiovascular genetics. From 2016-2020 she was the lead analyst for the HERMES Consortium, co-leading one of the largest genetic studies of heart failure to date. In 2018, she was awarded an NHMRC Early Career Researcher Fellowship to investigate the relationship between cardiovascular and brain-related disorders using large-scale genetic and genomic data. Her recent research includes using genomic data to investigate the unknown effects of commonly used cardiovascular medication on psychiatric disorders and was awarded a 2020 NHMRC IDEAS grant to expand on this research. She began her National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship in 2022, using genomics to improve the understanding, prevention, and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Sonia is also the recipient of the 2020 Genetic Society of Australasia Early Career Award, 2020 Women in Technology Rising Star Science Award, a 2021/2022 Australian Superstar of STEM, 2022 UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award, and 2022 Queensland Young Tall Poppy Award.