Dr Ballouz obtained her PhD from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCRI) in 2013, working with Dr Merridee Wouters and Dr Bruno Gaeta. Her work was on candidate disease gene prediction methods and analysis. She then moved to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL, NY) for her postdoctoral training with Dr Jesse Gillis where she worked on developing methods to assess and analyse transcriptomics data and the gene-gene networks built from them.

In 2020, Dr Ballouz started her own group at the Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics (GWCCG) at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (GIMR). Her research focused on using single-cell transcriptomic data to understand sex differences in the immune system and sex-biased diseases.

Dr Ballouz’ central scientific interest is to understand the genetic architecture of disease, through the power of computational biology. Her group’s approach to addressing the “genotype-phenotype” question has been through developing gene co-expression networks and using these networks for downstream analyses, in the hope of discovering the underlying molecular properties of disease.

Exploiting biological properties, powerful algorithms, and meta-analytic tools, Dr Ballouz’ aims to solve some of the remaining questions we have around sex-specific disease risk. And with data from the genome, transcriptome, epigenome, and proteome increasing exponentially, robust tools and practices constantly remain to be established and updated to analyse this deluge.

A warm welcome to CSE!