Associate Professor Lachlan Coin is a mathematician with a research focus on developing genomics and bioinformatics tools in infectious disease and cancer. He was originally drawn by the rigour and intellectual challenge of pure mathematics but now uses his maths background as a toolkit for solving complex problems in analysing high throughput biological data.

Associate Professor Coin is best known for using approaches borrowed from machine learning, statistics and probability theory to interrogate genomic data.

In particular, Associate Professor Coin has focussed on using these approaches to uncover genomic deletions and amplifications and has identified changes that are associated with increased risk of obesity and diabetes.

He has also developed approaches for finding minimal biomarker signatures associated with disease, and has applied these approaches to find biomarkers that distinguish bacterial from viral infection, and for the presence of active tuberculosis infection. He is also applying his methodology to develop a diagnostic tool for cancer from cell free DNA

Ultimately, Associate Professor Coin is motivated by making discoveries that are routinely used in clinical practice and to inform public policy to improve health outcomes.


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Researcher biography

I was awarded a PhD in bioinformatics from the University of Cambridge in 2005 for research into the evolution of protein domains. I took up a position as Reserch Council UK research fellow in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Imperial College (located at St Marys Hospital), where I investigated the role of genetic variation in complex disease. In particular I developed tools for characterising copy number variation in order to better understand the role of copy number variation in complex phenotypes, which lead to the identification of copy number variants associated with obesity. I also developed tools for identification of pathways associated with disease as well as for analysing pleitropic SNPs. With Professor Mike Levin, I also investigated the use of gene expression microarrays to discover biomarkers of active tuberculosis. In 2012 I took up a research group leader position at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland. I also took up an ARC Future Fellowship in 2012.

Featured projects Duration
Medical genomics and bioinformatics