Centre for Population Genomics

Our Leaders

Daniel MacArthur

Daniel is the Director of the Centre for Population Genomics, based jointly at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne. 

Daniel completed his PhD at the University of Sydney before moving to postdoctoral studies at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK, and then a faculty position at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Boston. In this position he co-directed the Broad Institute’s Program in Medical and Population Genetics, as well as the NIH-funded Center for Mendelian Genomics, which sequenced the exomes, genomes, and/or transcriptomes of over 10,000 individuals from families affected by severe Mendelian disease. He also led the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD) consortium, which produced the world’s largest catalogues of human genetic variation, spanning nearly 200,000 individual exomes and genomes.

Daniel returned to Australia in 2020 to lead the new Centre for Population Genomics, which will focus on developing tools and resources useful for the implementation of population-scale genomic medicine in Australia.

Cas Simons

Cas leads the Rare Disease Analysis Team, developing improved approaches to identifying the cause of rare genetic diseases. Cas has more than 15 years of experience in computational biology and rare disease research.

Chris Richards

Chris leads the Project Management Team at the CPG. Chris has a research background in animal model genetics and over nine years of experience managing research programs in industry, academic and not-for-profit settings. Chris oversees project operations across the Centre by combining the best parts of research and project management approaches to deliver on the CPG's impact-driven agenda.

Elise Richards

As the Business Manager for CPG, Elise leads the Administration & Operation Teams at the Centre. Working closely with the Centre Director and other team leads, she is responsible for overseeing the development, implementation, and ongoing management of operational best practices across a range of domains including finance, IT, administration, compliance, communications, and CPG culture. She is currently completing an MBA at AGSM.

Hannah Nicholas

Hannah is the Lead Academic Liaison for the CPG.

Hannah has over twenty years’ experience as a scientist, educator and research manager. Prior to joining CPG, Hannah held a research and teaching academic position in Molecular Biology at the University of Sydney. More recently she worked as a research programme manager at the Genome Institute of Singapore.

Hannah holds a Bachelor of Medical Science (Hons) from the University of Sydney and a DPhil in Genetics from the University of Oxford.

Katie de Lange

Katie leads the Population Analysis team, leveraging large-scale genomic datasets to better understand human health and disease. She has a background in computational biology, getting her BCMS(Hons) degree in computer science from the University of Waikato, New Zealand and her PhD in statistical genetics from the University of Cambridge (based at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute).

Most recently she has spent several years in the drug discovery industry, including at Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston and the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Switzerland, where she was working to translate genomic insights into novel therapeutics.

Maia Ambegaokar

Maia leads the Inclusive Genomics Team. She has over 25 years’ executive experience internationally and in Australia in health, human rights and international development.

Before joining the start-up team at CPG, she was Health Systems Advisor at the World Health Organisation in Geneva advising national governments on health policy; Director, Specialist Health Service at Abt Associates in Canberra advising the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on international health assistance; and Director Consulting at Social Ventures Australia in Sydney and Perth, advising corporates, governments, not-for-profits and philanthropic organisations on their social impact strategies.

Maia holds a MBA from the London Business School and a MSc Medical Demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. An innovative thinker about participatory and place-based approaches to building diverse, inclusive, fair communities and person-centred services, Maia is passionate about CPG’s work to address the fundamental inequity in genomics: the lack of ancestral diversity in genomic research and thus in genetic medical care.

Garvan Faculty

Ira Deveson

Ira is an early career researcher with expertise in clinical genomics, biotechnology and bioinformatics. He leads the Genomic Technologies research lab within CPG and the Garvan Institute’s Nanopore Sequencing Facility. He previously completed a PhD (2014-2017) and post-doc (2018-2019) at the Garvan Institute under Dr Tim Mercer. Ira is supported by an MRFF Investigator Grant (EL2) and philanthropic funding from the Kinghorn Foundation.

Jodie Ingles

Jodie is a mid-career clinical researcher and Head of the Clinical Genomics Laboratory and NHMRC Career Development Fellow (NHMRC Excellence Award in 2018 for top-ranked applicant). Jodie is a cardiac genetic counsellor in the Department of Cardiology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and has worked with families with inherited heart diseases since 2003. She completed a PhD and Master of Public Health from The University of Sydney. She is a co-lead of the Rare Disease Genomics Strategic Program at Garvan Institute.

Owen Siggs

Owen is a clinician-scientist and leads the Genomic Medicine team. He is a Strategic Program co-lead and Snow Fellow with a career focus on the clinical impact of inherited and acquired genetic variation.

Owen trained in science and clinical medicine in Adelaide, in immunology and genomics at the John Curtin School of Medical Research with Professor Chris Goodnow, as a John Monash Scholar at The Scripps Research Institute in California with Nobel Laureate Professor Bruce Beutler, and at the University of Oxford with the Nuffield Professor of Medicine Richard Cornall. He was then a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow at The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and a Junior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, and a Visiting Fellow at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

His research career has spanned the use of large-scale genome-wide mutagenesis to discover the function of genes essential for immunity, to the use of exome and genome sequencing to diagnose severe inherited diseases. Current interests include the use of large population and disease cohorts to understand the impact of germline and somatic genetic variation, and pathways to apply this information in clinical practice.