Dr Cheetham has a long-term interest with understanding the functions of the noncoding genome. He conducted his Honours project with Professor John Mattick at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, UQ. His research focussed on differentiating human protein-coding and noncoding RNAs. For his PhD, he joined the group of Professor Andrea Brand at the University of Cambridge, on a Herchel Smith Studentship. There he studied the functions of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in neural development and the mechanisms through which they act. Dr Cheetham expanded the application of DamID including developing a novel method to map lncRNA-chromatin associations in vivo and developing Targeted DamID for the mammalian cells.
Following his PhD Dr Cheetham has joined Professor Geoff Faulkner’s group to continue to investigate the roles of “junk” DNA in human biology. In 2019 Dr Cheetham was awarded an NHMRC Peter Doherty Early Career Fellowship commencing in 2019.