Who We Are

Who We Are

The Centre for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease (GOHaD), co-supported by The University of Western Australia (UWA), Curtin University and the Royal Perth Hospital Medical Research Foundation (RPH MRF), comprises a multi-disciplinary team of genetic epidemiologists, statistical and molecular geneticists, biostatisticians, bioinformaticians and computer programmers with a mission committed to ‘Advancing global health through the application of statistical genetics, bioinformatics, functional genomics and human phenomics.’

The burden of common human diseases, including cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, asthma and respiratory disorders, schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders, presents one of the greatest global health challenges in human medicine today. Genetics, epigenetics and the environment are recognised to play a major role in these diseases. Much effort is now being focussed on identifying the genes and more specifically the variations within genes that predispose an individual to risk of these diseases.

Rapid technological advances in DNA sequencing and other high-throughput ‘omics’ technologies now enable a ‘whole view’ of human genomic variation. Advances in supercomputing capabilities in combination with new statistical genetics methods and bioinformatics tools now make it feasible to efficiently interrogate these large omic datasets at an epidemiological scale. There is mounting optimism that this new knowledge will lead to the development of new ‘genomic medicines’, including improved diagnostics and risk prediction tools, interventions and personalised treatments that will alleviate the health burden of common disease globally.

Our Centre brings together key expertise and resources required to drive this new era of genomic discovery, reducing the need for replication of valuable research resources across the many clinical research groups in Western Australia whose major focus and responsibility is the provision of healthcare. The Centre is positioned to form collaborative partnerships with these clinical groups, which provide essential access to clinically and phenotypically characterised patients who are appropriate candidates for genetic/omics analysis.