Dr Joshua Ho
Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) affects 8 out of 1,000 live births and it is the biggest single cause of child mortality and hospitalisation. Determining the genetic cause of a CHD patient is critical for genetic counselling and, in some cases, diagnosis and treatment.
Dr Ho’s research team is using cutting edge DNA sequencing technology to sequence the entire genome of CHD patients and their family members. Furthermore, they are developing new ‘cloud-based’ computer programs to make analysis of human genomic data much more economical and reliable, significantly reducing the barrier of adopting human genomic technology in clinical practice, thus making personalised genome-based medicine a reality.
As part of the CSIRO’s ICT in Schools Program Joshua is collaborating with an ICT teacher in an independent school to integrate computer programming in the teaching of mathematics and science in year 6 classes.
He also initiated an effort to use modern social media to communicate our scientific work to the community, directing the production of a 4-minute YouTube video clip that explores how scientists use advanced DNA sequencing and computational technology to crack the genetic code of human heart diseases. He is also actively engaged in the local scientific community to train junior scientists and students.