Committee bio

Professor David Tremethick

Professor David Tremethick

Head of the Department of Genome Sciences,

The John Curtin School of Medical Research,

Australian National University, Canberra


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Prof David Tremethick received his BSc (Hons) in 1985 (University of Sydney) and his PhD in 1990 (Macquarie University and CSIRO).

David’s PhD studies involved studying the role of chromosomal proteins in regulating transcription. He was then awarded a NIH Fogarty Fellowship and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Rochester in the US where he developed an in vitro chromatin assembly to study how chromatin contributes to and regulates the gene activation process. Here he identified an ATP-dependent spacing activity and showed that the two-step nucleosome assembly process facilitated transcription factor access.

David then returned to Australia and established his own laboratory at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the ANU (1993).

The aim of David’s work is to understand and link chromatin structure with its role in controlling the differentiation process. To do this, his lab is studying histone variants and chromatin function.

David’s group has established a number of new and complex techniques, including the first in vitro chromatin assembly system employing recombinant histones, as well a range of novel structural and biophysical approaches. To investigate chromatin function, they are establishing new biological systems ranging from Drosophila genetics to mouse embryology, and most recently they have become experts in mouse spermatogenesis and mouse stem cell differentiation.

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 nearly 300, with members spanning not only Australasia, but the globe.  We hosted our seventh flagship conference, Epigenetics 2017 in Brisbane, and our VIC team is busy preparing for Epigenetics 2020 in Melbourne in November – watch this space!