Upcoming events hosted by or involving Genetics Otago will be listed here. Please check back regularly for updates. A calendar of events that may be of interest to our members can be found at the bottom of this page and in the sidebar of other pages on this site, please note that this includes events hosted outside of Genetics Otago.
- VISG Seminar Series
- Variant Analysis Hub Workshop
- Postgraduate Retreat
- GO Symposium
- Calendar of Events
VISG Seminar Series
The Virtual Institute of Statistical Genetics (VISG) Hub is a key part of Genetics Otago, providing a platform for researchers to collaborate and exchange knowledge and expertise in statistical genetics. The VISG Hub hosts seminars, workshops, and other events to promote statistical genetics research and foster collaboration between researchers.
We’re excited to announce our monthly genetics research seminars, aimed at connecting researchers in the field. The seminars will commence in May 2023 and will be hosted by GO’s Virtual Institute of Statistical Genetics (VISG) Hub along with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Otago. These seminars will be available in person or via Zoom, and all are welcome.
Date: 3rd Thursday of the month
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
- May: Associate Professor Phil Wilcox, University of Otago
- June: Professor Mik Black, University of Otago
- July: Dr Ludovic Dutoit, University of Otago
– please note that this seminar will be held on the 27th of July rather than the 20th due to ICG.
- August: Dr Setegn Alemu, AgResearch
- September: Ee Cheng Oi, Abacus Bio
- October: Franziska Weik, Beef + Lamb NZ Genetics
- November: Dr Jane Symonds and Dr Megan Scholtens, Cawthron
– please note that this seminar will be held on the 17th of November rather than the 16th due to the GO Annual Symposium.
If you would like the Zoom details for this event, please contact us.
The seminar will be held on the 21st of September, 11 am in St David Complex Seminar Room A G.02 and will be given by Dr Ee Cheng Ooi, AbacusBio.
Title: Using SNP effects to understand the underlying biological mechanisms linking traits: a study of milk yield and fertility in dairy cattle
Abstract: Fertility in dairy cattle has declined as an unintended consequence of single trait selection for high milk yield. The antagonistic genetic correlation between milk yield and fertility is now well-documented, however, the underlying physiological mechanisms are still uncertain. To understand the relationship between these traits, we developed a method that clusters variants with similar patterns of effects and, after the integration of gene expression data, identifies the genes through which they are likely to act. Biological processes that are enriched in the genes of each cluster were then identified.
One of the clusters included variants that increase milk yield and decrease fertility, where the ‘archetypal’ variant (i.e., the one with the largest effect) was associated with the gene GC, while others were associated with TRIM32, LRRK2, and U6. These genes can be characterized by their effects on transcription and alternative splicing, suggesting that these processes are likely contributors to the antagonistic relationship between the two traits. Another cluster, with archetypal variant near DGAT1 and including variants associated with CDH2, BTRC, SFRP2, ZFHX3, and SLITRK5, affected milk yield but had little effect on fertility and are characterized by their effects on insulin, adipose tissue, and energy metabolism. A third cluster with archetypal variant near ZNF613 and including variants associated with ROBO1, EFNA5, PALLD, GPC6, and PTPRT affected fertility but not milk yield, and were characterized by their effects on GnRH neuronal migration, embryonic development, and/or ovarian function.
The use of archetypal clustering to group variants with similar patterns of effects may assist in identifying the biological processes underlying correlated traits. The method is hypothesis-generating and requires experimental confirmation. However, we have uncovered several novel mechanisms potentially affecting milk production and fertility such as GnRH neuronal migration. We anticipate our method to be a starting point for experimental research into novel pathways which have been previously unexplored within the context of dairy production.
Biography: Ee Cheng Ooi is a cattle vet and consultant at AbacusBio, an agricultural science and technology company based in Dunedin. She is originally from Melbourne, Australia, but moved to New Zealand after completing her PhD in the genetic improvement of fertility in dairy cattle last year. After a decade of working for the Australian dairy industry, she decided to broaden her horizons by working across a variety of other countries and species, including beef and sheep. Her interests lie in agricultural extension, livestock production systems, veterinary epidemiology, and biostatistical analysis.
If you have any questions about this seminar series please contact us.
Variant Analysis Hub Workshop
Session 1 will start with an exploration of the core features of Nextflow and learning the fundamental commands and options for executing workflows. Next, we will learn the core features of nf-core and its tooling. This knowledge will then be applied as we learn the structure of an nf-core workflow and how customize its execution. Finally, we will learn about nf-core tooling for users and how it can help you execute your workflow.
The ideas and skills you learn during Session 1 will then be applied during Session 2 where we will explore the source code of the `nf-core/sarek` workflow. We will learn how to build a run command and then customize its execution. The session will finish by discussing how to execute Sarek at scale using full-size data.
Date: 11th and 12th October 2023
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Venue: Online (Dunedin Hub for attendees is Hunter Centre Computer Lab 1.15)
Registration for this event is via Eventbrite, please use the button below to be redirected to the registration page.
This workshop material will be run on the NeSI High Performance Computing (HPC) platforms – there is no need to install any software for this workshop. Instructions on how to access the NeSI HPC service will be sent out with the confirmation letter to registrants
Genetics Otago would like to thank the below contributors to this event:
The biennial Genetics Otago Postgraduate Retreat is happening in 2023! This event is open to all PGDipSci, Hons, MSc and PhD students who are using genetics as part of their research – you do not need to be enrolled as a GENE major.
Date: Friday 27th of October 2023
Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Location: Gallery Room, Staff Club
The day will begin with tea and coffee before the formal programme begins at 9:00 am. They day will include sessions on science communication, Māori language, careers, wellbeing and ethics and will be fully catered. A full programme will be posted here once it is finalised.
Please register for this event using the button below
The Genetics Otago Annual Symposium is expanding in 2023! We will be holding a three day event, with two days of Hub workshops followed by the full day symposium. Posters will be on display for the three days and we hope to get as many members as possible involved in this free event!
Date: 14th – 16th November 2023
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Venue: St David Lecture Theatre Complex (and Genetics 300-level teaching Lab)
Genetics Otago Hubs will host workshops on the 14th and 15th of November. You will be able to register for these when you register for the main Symposium. Full details on these workshops are still to come but we plan to host the following:
- eDNA Hub: workshop to cover analysis and processing of environmental DNA data.
- CRISPR Hub: workshop to cover gRNA design and optimisation, CRISPR screens and data analysis.
- Oxford Nanopore Sequencing Hub: a combo wet lab/computational workshop covering nanopore sequencing and small group data analysis.
- Ethical Legal and Societal Considerations (ELSC) Hub: a panel-focused workshop to stimulate discussion around National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report
- Outreach Hub: media training plus tips for increasing visibility for your own research
- Outreach Hub: teacher training on newly developed resource kits.
- Variant Analysis Hub: nf-core pipeline data analysis workshop overflow (for those who missed out in October)
We will add more details as they come in, so stay tuned.
The main Symposium will take place on the 16th of November in the St David lecture theatre. This will feature invited speakers as well as selected abstracts. At the conclusion of the Symposium the 2023 GO Award winners will be announced (more details below).
Confirmed invited speakers:
- Dr Nathan Kenny, Ngāi Tahu and Te Ātiawa (Department of Biochemistry)
- Associate Professor Sara Filoche (Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Women’s Health – Wellington)
- Dr George Wiggins (Department of Pathology and Biomedical Science – Christchurch)
Genetics Otago presents annual awards as part of the Symposium programme. In 2023 we will be presenting awards in the following categories:
- The Genetics Otago Award
- Senior and Peer Mentor Awards
- Student Supervisor Award
- Student and ECR Publication Awards
- Student and ECR Poster Awards
- Science Communication Award
Nominations and entries for these awards are now open and will close at 5:00 pm on the 27th of October 2023. Full details of the awards and how to enter can be found here.
The programme of events will be posted here once finalised.
Registration for this event will open soon. Abstract submission will be part of the registration process, all abstracts must be submitted by no later than 5:00 pm on the 27th of October 2023.
Calendar of Events
The below is a calendar of events hosted by GO as well as events hosted by others that may be of interest to our members. If you have an event you would like us to include please contact us here.
athology Department Seminar Series for 2022 begins this Friday 4th February. Our speaker will be Prof. Greg Anderson from the Centre for Neuroendocrinology & Department of Anatomy (University of Otago) who will present a seminar entitled “A neuronal circuit for stress-induced infertility”.
The seminar will be held at the usual time of 1pm in the D’Ath Lecture theatre and accessible over zoom due to the Red Light settings (please contact the organiser for the link). For those attending in person, there will be refreshments provided at 12.45pm (~15min before the seminar). Details of which will be provided closer to the time.
Our Pathology Department Seminar Series for 2022 continues as a Research Forum this Friday 11th February. The Forum will be hosted by Dr. Karen Reader- Operations Manager, Otago Micro and Nanoscale Imaging (OMNI). Karen will be presenting on “Tools for your Research–An introduction to the Flow Cytometry, Histology, Confocal and Electron Microscope units”.
The forum will be held at the usual seminar time of 1 pm in the D’Ath Lecture theatre and accessible over zoom due to the Red Light settings, contact organisers for link.
For those attending in person, there will be refreshments provided at 12.45pm (~15 min before the seminar). Food will kept for collection in the foyer near the back entrance of the D’Ath lecture theatre. We have a capacity for 50 people in the D’Ath.
This two-day course is a fun introduction to the appropriate application and interpretation of biostatistical concepts for people working in clinical research with no formal statistical training. The focus will not be on carrying out analyses, but rather on understanding the appropriate use of statistical methods, the implications when underlying assumptions are not met, and how to interpret statistical results. Course material will be presented through examples, and all statistical analyses will be performed by the course instructors. There are no software requirements.
This is a hands-on workshop, based in a computer lab, aimed at researchers and research students who need to use statistical software for their research. The Biostatistics Centre recommends Stata as an ideal software package for many health sciences researchers. It is reliable, easy to use, has a wide range of commonly used statistical analysis options and produces publication-quality graphics.
This is an introductory level course, no previous experience with the software is necessary. The workshop focuses on the use of software for simple statistical analyses.
Please note, the University of Otago now offers Stata SE FREE to all staff and students.
This 2-day course provides an introduction to regression modelling approaches. The scope of the course runs from basic principles of regression methods, deciphering the output of statistical analyses, and the practicalities of running these various regression methods.
As part of this course you will be encouraged to think about broader study design issues, including how to deal with confounding, interactions and variable selection.
This is an intermediate-level statistics course intended for researchers/research students who need to use regression modelling in their work. Participants should either have completed the Introductory Biostatistics for Health Researchers Course or have equivalent knowledge.
Please note, participants must come with their own laptop with R or SAS or Stata software installed, and be able to import data sets, generate new variables and be confident using the software they have installed. The University of Otago now offers Stata SE to all staff and students.
Prof. Alex McLellan from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology (University of Otago) will present a seminar entitled “Genetically engineered lymphocytes for the treatment of solid cancers” at our Pathology Department Seminar Series on Friday 18th February 2022. The seminar will be held at the usual time of 1pm in the D’Ath Lecture theatre and accessible over zoom due to the Red Light settings.
Please contact the organisers for Zoom details.
For those attending in person, there will be refreshments provided at 12.45pm (~15 min before the seminar). Small packed lunches will be available- some sandwiches, choice of chips, popcorn, oaty bars and choice of packed beverages. Food will be kept for collection in the foyer near the back entrance of the D’Ath lecture theatre 😊 . We have a capacity for 50 people in the D’Ath.
Longitudinal studies are common in health-related areas. These studies require appropriate statistical analyses that account for the correlated nature of the data. This two-day course provides an introduction to a range of common approaches for modelling longitudinal and correlated data. Topics covered include descriptive analysis of longitudinal data, linear mixed models, and generalised estimating equations (GEE) for modelling longitudinal data. This course has a strong application focus. You will be learning how to implement these methods using Stata software and interpreting longitudinal results.
This course is designed for quantitative researchers/students who need to have a better understanding of longitudinal models in their work. Participants should have either completed the Regression Modelling course offered in the Centre or have equivalent knowledge in regression modelling for both continuous and discrete data AND have either completed the Stata course offered by the Centre or be familiar with using Stata.
Please note, participants must come with their own laptop with Stata software installed, and be able to import data sets, generate new variables and be able to carry out regression analyses using Stata software.
The University of Otago now offers Stata SE to all staff and students.
This Friday, March 4th Associate Professor Ben Wheeler from the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health (Dunedin) will be presenting the seminar titled “Technology for the management of Type 1 Diabetes – Past, Present, and Future”. Attached is the poster
The seminar will be held at the usual time of 1 pm over Zoom. Please see poster for Zoom details.
Small packed lunches will be available for collection in the ground floor tea room from 12:45 pm onwards.
We look forward to seeing you on Friday!
Sunali & Jisha
Are you interested in mentorship as a mentor or mentee? On the 9th of March at 12-1pm the Early and Mid-Career Researchers (EMCR) Committee will be running its first professional development workshop of 2022.
The session is titled ‘Getting the most out of mentorship: Tips for Mentors and Mentees’. We would like to encourage all early and mid-career researchers to join us and learn more about this opportunity. The session will be run over zoom and our guest speaker is Suzy Keene.
Please contact the Organiser for Zoom link details.
STEM Women – Australia & New Zealand Careers Event
I wanted to invite your students to a free virtual careers event, focused on graduate roles and internships, based In Australia & New Zealand.
During the event, students will network live (chat, audio and video!) with graduate employers in different industries, hear insightful presentations from exhibiting companies and ask questions to a panel of women already working in STEM roles!
This event is targeted towards people who identify as female and are studying or recently graduated from, a STEM-related course at university. Students can also apply for graduate roles and internships within the event platform and have skipped interview stages through networking with graduate recruitment teams at our events, so this truly is a unique and exciting opportunity! We have a limited number of places for this free event.