Dr Joseph Powell

Dr. Powell is the head of the Computational Genomics Laboratory at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience. He currently holds an NHMRC CDF and was awarded the 2016 Commonwealth Health Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Health and Medical Research. His group uses large-scale, high-throughput genomic data to investigate how DNA sequence variants contribute to human disease. This research engages both sophisticated statistical methodology and high-performance computing resources for novel analyses and methods development. Dr. Powell is committed to both open-source code and data, and reproducible research practices.

Dr. Powell’s research has recently focused on the use of single-cell genomics to identify and understand the mechanisms by which common disease variation acts at a cellular level. This builds upon previous and ongoing work on the relationship between Genome Wide Association Studies variants and expression Quantitative Trait Loci, and the difference in genetic control of transcription between different cell types and tissues. Single-cell sequencing enables cellular heterogeneity in transcription to be identified, which has been one of the major limitations around our ability to understand the cellular processes by which loci contribute to common disease.

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