Associate Professor Rod Lea

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Associate Professor Genome Informatics

1998    Bachelor Health Science (Hons), Griffith University

2002   PhD (Statistical Genetics), Griffith University


Rod is a mid-career researcher involved in identifying genetic factors involved in the susceptibility, pathogenesis and treatment response for human diseases. His specialist expertise lies in the fields of statistical and computational genetics and genomics. He has a particular interest in developing and applying bioinformatic techniques to analysing large and multidimensional omic data sets in relation to health outcomes. A/Prof Lea is currently Head of Computational Genomics within the Genomics Research Centre and also convenes and teaches bioinformatics for undergraduate and Masters degrees at QUT.

Over the past 15 years Rod has used his expertise to address complex data analysis problems incorporating multiple levels of genetic, environmental and clinical information.  His research efforts to date have led to 162 co-authored publications in high impact journals such as Nature, American Journal of Human Genetics, PLoS genetics, Genome Biology (Citations = 4736, H index = 37).

Rod has been employed academic at 4 different universities in Australia and New Zealand and has developed and delivered undergraduate and postgraduate courses in bioinformatics, biostatistics and statistical genetics.  He has supervised 17 PhD students and 25 Masters and Honours students and has acted as a collaborator and consultant on a large number of research projects requiring bioinformatics and biostatistics expertise. Rod is a regular reviewer for NHMRC and ARC grant applications and sat on organising committees including Gene Mappers conference and ANZGene.

Currently, he manages a research programme focusing on using genome informatics to analyse whole genome and epigenome next generation sequencing data with a particular interest in developing predictive signatures for personalised treatments of neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, migraine, epilepsy and memory disorders.


  • Lea RA, Fang Kho P, Benton MC, Eccles D, Haupt LM, Hewitt AW, Sherwin JC,Mackey DA, Griffiths LR. (2018) Expression QTL analysis of glaucoma endophenotypes in the Norfolk Island isolate provides evidence that immune-related genes are associated with optic disc size. J Hum Genet, 63,(1), pp.83-87.
  • , , Macartney-Coxson, Donia, , , Carless, Melanie A., Chambers, Geoffrey K., Bellis, Claire, Goring, Harald H., Curran, Joanne E., Harper, Jacquie L., Gibson, Gregory, Blangero, John, & (2015) A Phenomic Scan of the Norfolk Island Genetic Isolate Identifies a Major Pleiotropic Effect Locus Associated with Metabolic and Renal Disorder Markers. PLOS Genetics, 11(10), e1005593-e1005593.
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  • Lea RA, Maltby VE, Sanders KA, White N, Benton MC, Scott RJ, Lechner-Scott J. (2017) Differential methylation at MHC in CD4(+) T cells is associated with multiple sclerosis independently of HLA-DRB1.. Clin Epigenetics, 9, pp.71.