NEWS

SING conference celebrates unique collaboration

We were delighted to support the first SING Australia conference, which brought Indigenous researchers and academics from a range of disciplines together to learn from each other and to drive the future of genomics research.

The Summer Internship for Indigenous Peoples in Genomics (SING Australia) brought together scholars in Indigenous knowledge, bioinformatics, anthropology, bioethics, legal studies, community engagement and clinical research to explore the impacts of genomics on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Genomics is the study of genomes, the complete set of genes or DNA belonging to an individual or group. It has many applications, including in medicine, but increasingly it is also used in ancestry testing, determining the provenance of human remains, and biodiversity and conservation efforts.

The workshop, – held at Deakin University in Geelong in November 2019 – covered technical and laboratory skills in genomics, as well as ethical and social implications of genomics research. Lab activities included extracting DNA from river red gum tree leaves.

Laura Weyrich, SING Austalia committee member and a senior researcher with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH), said the “inspiring” week-long workshop brought Indigenous researchers and academics from a range of disciplines together to learn from each other.

“Our first event has facilitated the development of a growing network of Indigenous scholars, set to bring an Indigenous voice and leadership into the genomics field,” she said.

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