Monash Bioinformatics Platform

The mission of Monash Bioinformatics Platform  (MBP) is to enhance the quality of research at Monash with the help of a core group of highly experienced bioinformaticians. MBP provides a hub for Bioinformatics activities at Monash University and its collaborators by building a community of bioinformaticians across Monash. MBP aims to provide comprehensive bioinformatics infrastructure needs at the Monash. Three focus areas of MBP are:

  1. Collaborative research.
  2. Expert advice on experimental design and analysis.
  3. Hands-on training and seminars on wide range of technical topics relevant to Monash researchers.


Platform Contacts


  Scientific Director   A/Prof David Powell

Scientific Director

A/Prof David Powell

A/Prof David Powell is the scientific director of the Monash Bioinformatics Platform.

David is a lead Bioinformatics scientist with PhD in computer science in 2001 at the Monash University Melbourne Australia.  The focus of his thesis was on algorithms for the optimal alignment of two or three sequences of biological data. David has developed bioinformatics tools for analyzing and visualizing biological data analysis.

Some of the popular bioinformatic applications developed by David and his group are: Velvet Assembler Graphical User Environment ( VAGUE ), a multi-platform graphical front-end for Velvet, degust, a tool to analyze, explore and visualize RNAseq expression analysis and FriPan a web-based tool for exploring bacterial pan-genomes.

After a stint in industry between 2006 and 2012, David rejoined Monash university in a bioinformatics research position.  In 2015, he took on the role of Director of the Monash Bioinformatics Platform to develop and build a core bioinformatics capability at Monash campuses.

David's research interest are in the area of bulk and single cell RNAseq, data visualization and integration of omics data such as RNAseq , proteomics, ChiPseq , ATACseq.

  Bioinformatics Manager   Dr. Sonika Tyagi

Bioinformatics Manager

Dr. Sonika Tyagi


Dr. Sonika Tyagi has joined the platform in July 2017 from the Australian Genome Research Facility Ltd. (AGRF). Sonika brings in over 10 years of academic and industry Bioinformatics work experience since obtaining her PhD in Bioinformatics in 2007. 

Before joining AGRF Sonika has worked as postdoctoral researcher at the University of Queensland, Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Sonika is also very active in Bioinformatics learning, education and training and is member of national and international organisations working in the area.

For your bioinformatics queries you can contact her at


Key Monash Researchers

Traude Beilharz


RNA Systems Biology Laboratory

Dr Traude Beilharz heads the RNA Systems Biology Laboratory.   

We are interested in how both coding and non-coding RNA is expressed and regulated in cells, and how the fine-tuning of this expression, which differentiates health from disease, is maintained.

Next-gen sequencing provides a holistic, systems level view of the RNA expression profile in cells, and since disease often leaves signature fingerprints of deregulation on such profiles, NGS can be a powerful diagnostic for various disease states including for cancer. My lab uses custom RNA-seq technologies in a diverse set of model organism and cultured-cells to study RNA dynamics. Specifically, we are interested in the post-transcriptional regulation of RNA that determines when, where and how often, mRNA is translated to make proteins. Because we seek to understand how every RNA in our system is regulated, our experiments often have 100s of millions of data-points and thus require the input of computational biologists.

Mirana Ramialison

Systems Developmental Biology

The Ramialison group is studying development and disease. They are a multidisciplinary team of computational and molecular biologists who specialise in genomics. They conduct their research using new genomic technology and the zebrafish as a model organism. 

Despite the availability of genome sequences for many model organisms, our understanding of developmental gene regulatory networks (GRNs) is still relatively poor. The Ramialison laboratory focusses on increasing our knowledge of network understanding by generating quality datasets, integrating this information using computational modelling, performing cross-species comparisons and using a combination of bioinformatics tools and zebrafish as a model system.

A/Prof. Jose M. Polo leads the Reprogramming and Epigenetics Laboratory. The laboratory is interested in the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms that govern pluripotency and the reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. 

Being able to specifically reprogram a mature cellular program into a pluripotent state and from there back into another particular cellular program provides a unique tool to dissect the molecular and cellular events that permit the conversion of one cell type to another. We use bioinformatics extensively in our lab to analyse the transcriptomic and epigenetic changes that occur as cells change type.