Seminars and Events

Every week, there are a range of seminars and events held across the Alfred precinct, by the Alfred Research Alliance members. Check in here regularly to see what’s on!

Gene-Disrupting Variants in 141,456 Humans: Lessons for Biology and Drug Target Discovery.

12.30 – 1.30pmFRIDAY 15 FEBRUARY  |  Seminar Room, Education Centre


Presenter: Prof Daniel MacArthur

Chair: A/Prof Mike Innouye

Daniel MacArthur is an institute member at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and co-director of the Broad’s Program in Medical and Population Genetics. In addition to his roles at the Broad, MacArthur is a group leader in the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. His work revolves around the use of large-scale genomic data to interpret genetic variants, particularly in the context of rare, severe genetic diseases.

MacArthur’s team has assembled the largest collection of sequences of the protein-coding region (exome) of the human genome, creating a resource called the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD). This collection currently contains DNA sequencing data from over 140,000 individuals, and is made publicly available for anyone to use. As a result it has become the default reference database for clinical genetics labs, and is accessed over 15,000 times every day. It also serves as the basis for the Human Knockout Project, an ambitious global endeavour seeking to characterize the clinical impact of the disruption of each of the 20,000 genes in the human genome.

In addition, MacArthur leads a number of efforts applying genomic technologies to the diagnosis of very rare genetic diseases. He co-leads the Broad’s Centre for Mendelian Genomics, which uses both DNA and RNA sequencing technologies to investigate the genetic basis of rare diseases in thousands of families every year. In the first three years of the Centre’s operation it has been able to return genetic diagnoses to over 1,200 families – many of whom had been waiting many years for an answer using standard clinical testing – and identified nearly 100 likely new genes associated with a wide variety of diseases.

MacArthur was recognized for his work with the Harvard Medical School’s Young Mentor Award in 2016, the Massachusetts General Hospital Martin Prize in 2017, and was also the first ever recipient of the American Society of Human Genetics Early-Career Award in 2017.

Reflections on primary prevention from the ASPREE trial

2 pm – 3pm, February 19, 2019 | Seminar Room, Education Centre

This Burnet Institute event is part of the Institute’s WoI seminar series. 

Presenter: Professor John McNeil

Professor John McNeil AM, MBBS (Adelaide), MSc (London), PhD (Melbourne), FRACP, FAFPHM, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

Professor McNeil was Head of Monash Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPHPM) at the Alfred Hospital from 1986 to January 2019. His principal expertise is in epidemiology and his research activities have typically involved the application of epidemiological methods to problems in clinical medicine and public health.

Under his leadership the SPHPM has experienced a sustained period of growth, increasing from 8 staff in 1986 to a current staff complement of over 700 (including 49 Professors). It contains core ‘methodology platforms’ in epidemiology, biostatistics and data-management which have enabled DEPM to establish itself as one of the major national centers of expertise in clinical trials and clinical registries.  The SPHPM is regularly involved in sensitive & urgent public health investigations such the Fiskville firefighters, the Hazelwood mine fire & the cancer clusters amongst Victorian Parliamentarians. In 2010 he was awarded membership of the Order of Australia in recognition of his services to public health.

The ASPREE Trial

ASPREE (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderley) is an international clinical trial to determine whether daily low-dose aspirin increases survival, free of dementia and physical disability, for healthy older people. The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study assesses aspirin for prevention of cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression and some cancers. It is being undertaken in more than 19,000 participants in Australia and the USA.


Sports Cardiology Conference

8am – 5.30pm SATURDAY 19 JANUARY 2019 | Lecture Theatre, Education Centre

Hosted by Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, this one-day conference is aimed at medical professionals who have an interest in sports cardiology, including general practitioners, sports scientists, trainees in cardiology or sports and exercise medicine, cardiac physiologists, and consultants.

A keynote address from Prof Ben Levine, ‘Exercise, the antidote for the ageing heart’ will kick off a packed program of case studies, international perspectives on screening, practical sessions, quizzes and real-world learnings and advice.

It’s your best opportunity to update yourself on the very latest in sports cardiology, so don’t miss out.

Cost: $260 | Students: $160 | SPECIAL DISCOUNT Alfred Research Alliance members* – $160

Find out more, or register here

*Students and employees of Alfred Health, Monash University CCS or SPHPM, Baker Institute, Burnet Institute, and of La Trobe University or Deakin University at the Alfred precinct in Melbourne, are members of the Alfred Research Alliance.



9 – 10am | Seminar Room,  Education Centre

Case Study

Dr Emma Foster

Determinants of Disability Progression in Secondary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

Dr Nathanial Lizak

Followed by morning tea



2.30 – 3.30 pm | Boardroom 1, Level 6, Alfred Centre

High Throughput ANI Analysis of 90K Prokaryotic Genomes Reveals Clear Species Boundaries

Andrew Perry – Read article here prior to the seminar

 Multi-Omic Profiling Reveals Dynamics of the Phased Progression of Pluripotency

Anup Shah – Read article here prior to the seminar.