Matt Field is a Prinicipal Senior Research Fellow in Bioinformatics at the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine at James Cook University. He currently holds an NHMRC CJ Martin Early Career Research Fellowship and was recently awarded the Frank Fenner Early Career Fellowship for the highest scoring ECR applicant. Dr 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 25 peer reviewed publications in high impact journals such as Nature (x2), Nature Methods, and PNAS (x2), which have been cited over 3000 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.


  • BC3203: Bioinformatics (Level 3; TSV)
  • BC5203: Advanced Bioinformatics (Level 5; TSV)
  • Bioinformatics
  • Personalised Medicine
  • Tropical Disease
  • Disease Causing Variants
  • 2020 to present - Principal Bioinformatics Fellow, James Cook University (Cairns, Australia)
  • 2018 to present - Co-director, Centre for Tropical Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology (Cairns, Australia)
  • 2010 to present - 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
  • 2020 - ECR Merit Allocation at National Computational Infrastructure
  • 2018 - James Cook University Rising Star
  • 2017 - Frank Fenner Early Career Fellowship
  • 2018 to 2021 - NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship
  • 2018 - American Society for Human Genetics
  • 2018 - Chair Bioinformatics Advisory Board QCIF
  • 2016 - Executive member Australian Bioinformatics And Computational Biology Society
  • 2015 - International Society for Computational Biology

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

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 45+ 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.

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
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.
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)
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
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.
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)
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
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.
Matt Field (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
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
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.
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 Health Service District and Torres & Cape Hospital & Health Service)
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 (administered by QIMR)
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.
James McCarthy, Bart Currie and Matt Field (QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Royal Darwin Hospital and Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
skin health; NGS; Scabies; diagnostics; Genomics; Bioinformatics

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.

  • The population genetics, distribution and thermal tolerance of the peppermint stick insect (Megacrania batesli) (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Analysis of Hookworm Infection-Induced Changes in the Intestinal Microbiome of People at Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Ecological Investigations and Control of Mosquito Disease Vectors (Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus) in the Torres Strait (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Identification of viral versus bacterial triggers in immune cells from AECOPD patients (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • High-throughput and high-definition analysis of human T cell repertoires in health and disease (2020, PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Molecular profiling of immunity to infectious diseases using human challenge models (2020, PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Investigating the immunomodulatory properties of hookworm recombinant secretome (2019, PhD , Secondary Advisor)

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)

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  • E4.110, Queensland Tropical Health Alliance (Cairns campus)
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