Professor Susan Clark
Professor Susan Clark was the founder and inaugural Chair of AEpiA. She led AEpiA for many years (2008-2021).
Sue began her journey into the epigenome during her PhD in 1982 at University of Adelaide, South Australia, where she became busy mapping and sequencing human histone genes, under the supervision of Dr Julian Wells.
Following several postdoctoral years at Biotechnology Australia working on the first recombinant vaccine development in Australia and eukaryotic expression of human inhibin, Il-3 and GMCSF, Sue returned to basic research as Group Leader of the Gene Regulation Unit at the Kanematsu Laboratories, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital where she developed and implemented bisulphite sequencing for DNA methylation analysis.
In 2000, Sue established and headed the Epigenetics Group at the Sydney Cancer Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and in 2004 moved her group to the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and initiated and led the growth of the Epigenetics Research Program in the Cancer Research Theme. Sue was appointed the inaugural Head of the Genomics and Epigenetics Theme at Garvan in 2015.
The DNA methylation studies conducted by Sue and her lab over the last twenty-five years have initiated so many exciting questions about the importance of epigenetics in early development and in disease, especially in cancer. By innovating new technologies (including bisulphite sequencing), to probe new questions, her team has made many exciting discoveries relating to DNA methylation patterns in normal and cancer genomes. Some of these discoveries have led to the commercialisation of new methylation-based tests for early cancer detection.
Sue’s contribution to science has been acknowledged with a number of awards over her career. In 2015 she was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and in 2017 she was awarded The Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Foundation: Medal of Excellence.
Early in 2008, Sue Clark brought a handful of epigenetics researchers from Australia together to form the Australian Epigenetics Alliance. The AEpiA has now grown to a membership of over 600, with members spanning not only Australasia, but the globe. In February 2021, our Victorian local organising committee hosted our eighth flagship Epigenetics conference, online for the first time. Our NSW team is now busy preparing for Epigenetics 2022, which will be held in September in Kingscliff, NSW.