NCIG extends warm congratulations to Associate Professor Stephen Leslie who has been awarded the Moran Medal by the Australian Academy of Science. A/Professor Leslie collaborates with NCIG on NHMRC-funded research to develop and Indigenous reference genome.
The citation for the award reads: Associate Professor Leslie has made major contributions to mathematical genetics. The thrust of his research is developing methods for analysing modern genetic/genomic data, focusing on understanding the role of genetics in human disease and how genetics informs studies of human population history. He applies novel approaches to genetic data to understand the history of populations and infer past migration events. Stephen's work on the British population is a landmark in the field, impacting history, archaeology, anthropology, and linguistics. It is a blueprint for studies in other populations and a benchmark for understanding natural genetic variation in human populations, crucial for disease studies. In other work, he has revolutionised the study of immune-system genes, particularly those crucial to the body's mechanism for detecting 'self' (one's own tissues) from 'non-self' (such as viruses and bacteria), by enabling these genes to be included in large studies for the first time. This work has led to important discoveries associating these genes to serious diseases.
A two-minute video about Stephen's work can be viewed here: YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxgPu3Kz1e8