Justin M. O’Sullivan, PhD, is an associate professor and associate director for research at the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland. Dr. O’Sullivan was awarded the 2010 Life Technologies Life Science Award for Emerging Excellence in Molecular Biology in New Zealand. He trained as a molecular microbiologist before completing postdoctoral fellowships on the genetic code in Candida albicans and transcription control in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The expertise he has developed allows him to follow structural clues to understand how the spatial organization of a genome – the way DNA is tightly coiled inside the cell nucleus – adds to the information that is hard-coded in the linear sequence of DNA bases that form genes. His current focus is on understanding how disease-associated mutations in non-coding DNA affect gene regulatory networks. Dr. O’Sullivan hypothesizes that this extra layer of information is vital for understanding major multi-genic diseases that involve a complex interplay between people and their environment.