Over the past few years, the technological advances in genetics, particularly with the advent of massively parallel DNA sequencing, have dramatically increased the role of information sciences in genomics. The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA), the peak professional body responsible for training and accreditation of Pathologists in Australasia recognized this by holding two workshops in 2011 to address the specific issues and needs raised by the implementation of massively parallel sequencing and bioinformatics in diagnostic pathology.
A number of achievements have been made since this workshop. Initially, the bioinformatics requirements for accreditation as a genetic pathologist were defined in some detail in the recently revised and released curriculum for training in medical genomics. Also, existing resources to improve the bioinformatic competencies of diagnostic laboratory professionals were identified. One of the outcomes of this has been the development of an RCPA/AACB/HGSA four-day intensive workshop in bioinformatics which will be provided later this year. This workshop includes trainers from important stakeholder institutions such as EMBL, Bioplatforms Australia, and the CSIRO.
In order to foster capacity building, and to advance the development and integration of bioinformatics within diagnostic genomics, the RCPA has now developed links with the Australian Bioinformatics Network (ABN). The aim of this link is to facilitate the development of networks, interaction, education and communication. We hope the network will help to connect pathologists with bioinformaticians, resources and opportunities.
Dr Melody Caramins, Dr Graeme Suthers, (RCPA Genetics Advisory Committee), Dr Debra Graves (CEO, RCPA)