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Chief Data Scientist, Indigenous Genomics

BSc(hons) PhD

Dr Jimmy Breen is the Chief Data Scientist of the Telethon Kids Indigenous Genomics research group in Adelaide. His group is the primary curator of multi-omic datasets produced in the South Australian PROPHECY (Predicting Renal, Ophthalmic, and Heart Events in the Aboriginal Community) Cohort study, a project aimed at assessing the levels of complications in Aboriginal people with Diabetes.

During his 17-year career as a Bioinformatician, Dr Breen has led data analysis for projects in many areas of genomics research, including agricultural genomics, plant host-pathogen research, ancient DNA, epigenetics and population genomics, and more recently, reproductive and cancer biology. As a PhD student and Postdoctoral Research Fellow, he led the first whole-genome assembly analyses (published in Plant Cell) of the Bread Wheat genome, analysed oral microbiome data for >48,000-year-old Neandertal (published in Nature), and lead data analysis for a NIH-funded Human Placenta Project investigating Pregnancy Complications in South Australia.

Since 2019 he has led the development of a clinical sequencing pipeline funded through an ‘Australian Genomics’ Cancer Flagship project (led by Professor Deborah White) and continues to work with the SAHMRI Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Research Group

on clinical sequencing projects. He is also a member of the Australia-wide Zero Children’s Cancer (ZCC) ZERO2 ALL/Lymphoma Expert Group which develops Precision Medicine protocols for children with high-risk and non-high-risk cancer.

His group’s research interests include:

  • Building secure genomics data infrastructure for Indigenous Healthcare
  • Investigating complex diseases using high-throughput genome sequencing
  • Developing Precision Medicine approaches for clinical diagnosis