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Personal profile

Biography

Kat is a computational biologist specialising in infectious disease genomics, and a Professor at Monash University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is currently a HHMI-Gates International Research Scholar and Viertel Foundation Senior Medical Research Fellow, and Editor in Chief of the UK Microbiology Society journal Microbial Genomics.

Kat has a BA/BSc from the University of Western Australia majoring in Biochemistry, Applied Statistics and Philosophy, with Honours in Genetics (2004); a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute on the genomics of typhoid fever, supervised by Gordon Dougan, Julian Parkhill and Duncan Maskell (2009); and a Masters in Epidemiology from the University of Melbourne (2011). She has also held Early Career (2010-2013) and Career Development (2014-2017) Fellowships from the NHMRC of Australia.

Kat has been awarded the Australian Academy of Science’s Gottschalk Medal for Medical Research (2017), a Georgina Sweet Award for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science (2016), L’Oréal-UNESCO Rising Talents Fellowship (2015), the NHMRC Research Excellence Award for the Top-Ranked Career Development Fellow (2014) and L’Oréal For Women In Science Australia & NZ Fellowship (2013).

Research interests

Kat runs a computational genomics research group utilising genome sequencing, phylogenetics, spatiotemporal analysis and epidemiology to study the evolution and transmission of bacterial pathogens, including tropical diseases such as typhoiddysenteryE. coli diarrheaand tuberculosis; and hospital associated pathogens such as Klebsiella and Acinetobacter. Her lab is particularly interested in the global health crisis of antimicrobial resistance, using genomic epidemiology tools to understand the evolutionary history and global dissemination of multidrug resistant pathogens, and developing new tools for prospective surveillance and tracking of emerging problems in the public health and clinical infectious disease space. The lab are also interested in human, animal and environmental microbiomes, and their role in chronic disease, infectious disease, and horizontal gene transfer. They develop bioinformatics software when needed, including laboratory and computational methods for nanopore sequencing. The lab publishes open access papers (usually with preprints available before peer review, links on the right), deposits all data in public databases, and releases open source code.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Epidemiology, MEpi, University of Melbourne

Award Date: 2 Dec 2011

Molecular Biology, PhD, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 12 Nov 2009

Biochemistry, Applied Statistics, Philosophy, BSc/BA (Hons), University of Western Australia

Award Date: 2 Dec 2005

External positions

Honorary Research Fellow, University of Melbourne

2019

Professor of Microbial Systems Genomics, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Apr 2018 → …

Research area keywords

  • Infectious disease genomics
  • Computational genomics
  • Genome sequencing
  • Phylogenetics
  • Spatiotemporal analysis
  • Epidemiology
  • Bacterial pathogens
  • Tropical diseases
  • Antimicrobial resistance

Network

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