About Us

John Lai

John Lai


  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, APCRC-Q
  • Member, IHBI, QUT

Contact Details

+61 7 3443 7279


  • PhD (Molecular Endocrinology), Queensland University of Technology, 2007
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours), Queensland Institute of Medical Research, 2002
  • Bachelor of Applied Science, Queensland University of Technology, 2001


Dr Lai has been studying cancer genetics throughout his research career. His studies focus on genetic differences that predispose men to develop prostate cancer or which might predict the likely severity of their disease. He particularly focuses on genetic differences within genes or the promoters of genes that are regulated by androgens, which are an important mediator of prostate cancer progression.

Dr Lai has undertaken postdoctoral training at the University of Southern California (USC) under the mentorship of Prof. Coetzee. At USC, Dr Lai developed skills in RNAseq and ChIPseq that enables him to identify prostate cancer genes or promoter/enhancer elements in men on a genome-wide scale.

Continuing his skills in RNAseq and ChIPseq, Dr Lai has transitioned into computational biology where he develops computer programs to better understand prostate cancer in men. More recently, his research has focused on short tandem repeats (STRs) as genetic markers that might account for some of the missing prostate cancer heritability. His work typically involves using clinical prostate tumour samples, and blood isolated from men with and without prostate cancer.

Research interests

Short tandem repeats, RNAseq, ChIPseq, bioinformatics.

Current research projects

Short tandem repeats as genetic markers to predict prostate cancer risk and progression.

Top publications


  • Jiyuan An Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Bioinformatician), APCRC - Q
  • Jyotsna Batra NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellow, IHBI, Faculty of Health, QUT
  • Mikael Boden Research Fellow (Bionformatician), School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, University of Queensland