About

Matt Field is an Associate Professor in Bioinformatics at  at James Cook University. He currently holds an NHMRC Emerging Leader II Fellowship and was recently awarded the Frank Fenner Early Career Fellowship for the highest scoring ECR applicant. A/Prof Field is a founder and co-director of the Centre for Tropical Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology and specialises in developing high-throughput bioinformatic analysis pipelines.

In the last five years Dr Field has published 50 peer reviewed publications in high impact journals such as Nature (x3), Cell, Science Advances (x2) and PNAS (x2), which have been cited over 4000 times. He is also a Chief Investigator for the Centre for Personalised Immunology, an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence focused on bringing genomics and personalized medicine into routine clinical practice.

From 2010 to 2015 Dr Field worked as Senior Bioinformatics Manager at the Australian National University, developing software to uncover the underlying genetic cause of human diseases such as lupus, diabetes, and melanoma. During this time he developed a high-throughput variant detection pipeline which has analysed over 4000 exomes and 3000 genomes to date. He completed a PhD at ANU in medical science titled "Computational Analysis of Genetic Variation" with supervisor Chris Goodnow.

From 2004 to 2010 Dr Field worked as Assistant Bioinformatic Coordinator at the Genome Sciences Centre in Canada leading a group of bioinformaticians in a high-throughput research environment studying a variety of cancers. Prior to this, he completed two Bachelor of Science degrees in computer science and biology from the University of British Columbia.

 

Teaching
  • BC3203: Bioinformatics (Level 3; TSV)
  • BC5203: Advanced Bioinformatics (Level 5; TSV)
Interests
Research
  • Bioinformatics
  • Personalised Medicine
  • Tropical Disease
  • Disease Causing Variants
Experience
  • 2020 to present - Associate Professor, James Cook University (Cairns, Australia)
  • 2020 to present - Analysis Lead, Garvan Institue of Medical Research (Sydney, Australia)
  • 2018 to present - Co-director, Centre for Tropical Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology (Cairns, Australia)
  • 2010 to 2020 - Senior Bioinformatics Manager, Australian National University (Canberra, Australia)
  • 2016 to 2019 - Senior Bioinformatics Fellow, James Cook University (Cairns, Australia)
  • 2010 - Bioinformatics Software Development Team Leader, Biomatters (Auckland, New Zealand)
  • 2004 to 2010 - Assistant Bioinformatics Coordinator, Genome Sciences Centre (Vancouver, Canada)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
Honours
Awards
  • 2020 - ECR Merit Allocation at National Computational Infrastructure
  • 2018 - James Cook University Rising Star
  • 2017 - Frank Fenner Early Career Fellowship
Fellowships
  • 2022 to 2026 - NHMRC Emerging Leader II
  • 2018 to 2021 - NHMRC CJ Martin
Memberships
  • 2019 - Executive member Australian Bioinformatics And Computational Biology Society
  • 2018 - American Society for Human Genetics
  • 2018 - Chair Bioinformatics Advisory Board QCIF
  • 2015 - International Society for Computational Biology
Publications

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
More

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 72+ research outputs authored by Dr Matt Field from 2004 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

National Health & Medical Research Council - Investigator Grants

Developing Bioinformatics Capability to Diagnose Infectious Diseases using Clinical Metagenomics

Indicative Funding
$1,420,531 over 5 years
Summary
Current pathogen identification techniques are limited in terms of their speed, accuracy and inability to detect exotic pathogens. Using an unbiased metagenomic sequencing approach offers an improvement over current practice however supporting bioinformatics workflows are needed to support clinical implementation. This work can have enormous global reach with half the world?s population living in the tropics by 2050, many with limited healthcare options.
Investigators
Matt Field (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Keywords
Clinical Metagenomics; Infectious Diseases

Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre Limited - Research Seed Grants

Using portable long-read sequencing to diagnose Chronic Kidney Disease in regional North QLD Using portable long-read sequencing to diagnose Chronic Kidney Disease in regional North Using portable long-read sequencing to diagnose Chronic Kidney Disease

Indicative Funding
$50,000 over 2 years
Summary
This project addresses the early diagnosis of genetic predispositions for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), which poses an increasing burden on the North Queensland population and unequally affects the Indigenous Australian peoples. We will develop a mobile diagnostic pipeline that allows a rapid and cost-efficient screening for genetic CKD predispositions and circulating biomarkers using a targeted, DNA/RNA long-read sequencing approach.
Investigators
Ulf Schmitz, Andrew Mallett, Matt Field, Paul Horwood, Helen Wright, Chirag Patel, Ira Cooke and Ben Lundie (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, College of Medicine & Dentistry, College of Healthcare Sciences, Queensland Clinical Genetics Service and Pathology Queensland)
Keywords
long-read sequencing; Nanopore; Chronic Kidney Disease; Genetic Testing; targeted sequencing; transcriptomic complexity

Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre Limited - Research Seed Grants

Precision medicine for North Queensland Liver Cancer Patients

Indicative Funding
$50,000 over 2 years
Summary
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an aggressive and poorly treated liver cancer that is rapidly increasing in incidence in North Queensland. Most patients are ineligible to have their cancer surgically removed, and new systemic therapeutics only extend patient lives by six to eigth months. Thus, new treatment approaches are urgently required. Through the collaboration of surgeons, scientists and bioinformaticians we are developing Precision Medicine for North Queensland Liver Cancer Patients. Using bioinformatics and three dimensional culture models we will trial novel therapeutic approaches. This research will rapidly lead to new therapeutic approaches to treat HCC.
Investigators
Lionel Hebbard, Pranavan Palamuthusingam, Craig McFarlane and Matt Field (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Townsville Hospital and Health Services and Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Keywords
Cancer; Cancer Stem Cell; Organoids

Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre Limited - Microfunding Scheme

Bayesian disease mapping to identify the high-risk population within North Queensland and interventional program for oral cancer prevention.

Indicative Funding
$19,500 over 2 years
Summary
Oral cancer 5-year survival rates have remained less than 50% for several decades, despite significant improvements in treatment. This is primarily due to patients generally presenting late with advanced stages of the disease. Consequently, in many cases, oral cancer is incurable or requires extensive life-changing surgery and chemo-radiotherapy. Early diagnosis through targeted screening of high-risk population groups would result in more favourable survival rates and treatment outcomes. The aim of this project is to identify specific, local populations in Northern Queensland at increased risk of developing oral cancer with a view to developing a target screening program for oral cancers.
Investigators
Peter Thomson, Dileep Sharma, Matt Field, Poornima Ramamurthy and Yousef Abdalla (College of Medicine & Dentistry, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and Cairns & Hinterland Hospital & Health Service)
Keywords
Bayesian Disease Mapping; Oncology

Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre Limited - Contract Research

Can portable genome sequencing provide a rapid, comprehensive, point-of-care diagnostic test for Far North Queensland hospitals and healthcare centres?

Indicative Funding
$49,987 over 2 years
Summary
Respiratory disease, fevers, and sepsis are common in FNQ and treatment often requires admission to hospital. These infections have many different causes, and diagnosing them requires multiple tests that take weeks to perform. Consequently, patients are treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics before a pathogen is identified, leading to poorer outcomes for the patient and contributing to the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections. We will trial new genome sequencing technology as a point-of-care diagnostic test for fever, sepsis, and pneumonia at Cairns Hospital, and test the hypothesis that this approach will increase the proportion of infections that are diagnosed and reduce the time-to-diagnosis.
Investigators
John McBride, Cadhla Firth, Simon Smith, Joshua Hanson, Matt Field, Emma McBryde, John Miles, Damon Eisen and Chris Heather (College of Medicine & Dentistry, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine and Queensland Health)
Keywords
Genomics; Healthcare; pathogens

National Health & Medical Research Council - Development Grant

Hookworm peptide therapeutic for oral treatment of IBD

Indicative Funding
$732,700 over 2 years
Summary
We intend to develop an orally delivered peptide that can modulate the immune system and be developed as a therapeutic for inflammatory bowel disease. We have identified a peptide, derived from a hookworm protein, that alleviates the clinical symptoms of experimental colitis when orally administered to mice. The peptide has bioactivity with human cells ex vivo and displays desirable drug-like properties. The aim of this project is to acquire further data on the mechanism of action and formulation conditions to facilitate formal product development prior to licensing and clinical trials.
Investigators
Alex Loukas, Norelle Daly, Paul Giacomin, John Miles, Roland Ruscher, Keith Dredge, Istvan Toth, Mariusz Skwarczynski, Matthew Moyle, Ashley Waardenberg, John Croese, Matt Field and Tony Rahman (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, The University of Queensland and The Prince Charles Hospital)
Keywords
Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Peptide; therapeutic; Hookworm; Oral delivery

National Health & Medical Research Council - Early Career Fellowship - Australian Public Health and Health Services Fellowship

Developing Core Bioinformatics Capacity at the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine

Indicative Funding
$327,193 over 4 years
Summary
Cost effective next generation sequencing is now a reality, meaning the bottleneck for research projects has shifted from data generation to data analysis. Researchers at the Australian Institute of Health and Tropical Medicine (AITHM) are engaged in an increasing number of high-impact research projects that require timely access to high-throughput bioinformatics best-practices methodologies. This proposal outlines strategies to develop support for projects requiring bioinformatics within AITHM.
Investigators
Matt Field (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Keywords
Bioinformatics; Genomics; Computational Biology

Menzies School of Health Research - 2019/2020 Hot North Pilot and Translation Projects

Portable genome sequencing as a point-of-care diagnostic test in remote tropical Australia.

Indicative Funding
$36,159 over 1 year
Summary
Respiratory disease, fevers, and sepsis are common in tropical northern Australia, and treatment often requires admission to hospital. We will trial new portable genome sequencing technology as a point-of-care diagnostic test for fever, sepsis, and pneumonia at Thursday Island Hospital in Far North Queensland. We will test the hypothesis that this new approach will increase the proportion of infections that are diagnosed and reduce the time it takes to achieve a diagnosis. Throughout the course of this project, clinical staff and health workers will have the opportunity to be trained in specimen preparation, genome sequencing, and data interpretation.
Investigators
Cadhla Firth, John McBride, Joshua Hanson, Matt Field and Anthony Brown in collaboration with Simon Smith (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, College of Medicine & Dentistry, Cairns & Hinterland Hospital & Health Service and Torres & Cape Hospital & Health Service)
Keywords
Infectious Diseases; Diagnostics; Respiratory Health

Menzies School of Health Research - Ext_Source: NHMRC NATDCRP Hot North Pilot

Genomics for Undiagnosed Infectious Disease Evaluation and Diagnosis in Northern Australia

Indicative Funding
$5,000 over 1 year (administered by QIMR)
Summary
Diagnosis of scabies mostly relies on clinical symptoms as mites are extremely difficult to find in skin lesions of ordinary scabies (<20) which leads to under/misdiagnosis. This pilot project will address a long wanted need to develop a rapid diagnostic test for scabies. It is anticipated that this new DNA test will be highly sensitive and specific and will outperform standard microscopy. This will provide a powerful tool in scabies diagnosis particulary useful in clinical trials and epidemiologic studies.
Investigators
James McCarthy, Bart Currie and Matt Field (QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Royal Darwin Hospital and Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Keywords
skin health; NGS; Scabies; diagnostics; Genomics; Bioinformatics
Supervision

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

Current
  • Experimental Hookworm Infection in Humans with Metabolic Disease (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Targeting DNA Repair in HCC through Synthetic Lethality (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
Completed
Collaboration

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

Connect with me
Share my profile
Share my profile:
jcu.me/matt.field

Email
Phone
Location
  • E4.110, Queensland Tropical Health Alliance (Cairns campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Primary Advisor
Find me on…
Icon for Google Scholar profile Icon for ORCID profile Icon for Publons reviewer profile Icon for Twitter profile page Icon for Scopus Author page

Similar to me

  1. A/PROF Ulf Schmitz
    College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences
  2. Dr Ira Cooke
    College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences
  3. Prof Denise Doolan
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
  4. Dr Margaret Jordan
    College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences
  5. Dr Martha Cooper
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine