Genomics England announces appointment of new Chief Scientific Officer

Genomics England today announces the appointment of Professor Matt Brown as the organisation’s new Chief Scientific Officer following a rigorous recruitment process.

Professor Brown is an internationally renowned clinician-scientist, and is currently Professor of Medicine at King’s College London, as well as Director of the NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre.

He has a deep background in genomics, and has previously been Director of Genomics and Distinguished Professor at the Queensland University of Technology.

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New public dialogue finds support for the use of whole genome sequencing in newborn screening – providing that the right safeguards and resources are in place

Father holding baby

A new national public dialogue commissioned by Genomics England, the UK National Screening Committee and UK Research and Innovation’s Sciencewise programme finds that members of the public are broadly supportive of the use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) in newborn screening. However, they expect proper consideration to be given to designing and planning any future use of this technology. This, they recommend, includes involving the public and ensuring appropriate resources, investment and safeguards are in place.

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Genomics England’s 8th Birthday: Chris on forging a path towards better healthcare for all

Eight years ago today, Genomics England was launched with a mission to ‘unlock the power of DNA’ through the 100,000 Genomes Project. For nearly a decade we’ve worked to make this a reality. Now we are expanding on what we’ve learned, to help shape the future of healthcare in the UK.

The 100,000 Genomes Project was the most ambitious of its kind anywhere in the world. It combined genomic sequence data with medical records to create a ground-breaking research resource that developed researchers’ knowledge about genomics and has been responsible for driving real-world clinical results.

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New Non-Executive Directors join Genomics England Board

Genomics England is excited to announce the appointment of Andrew Eland, Annalisa Jenkins and Vikram Bajaj to the Board as Non-Executive Directors.

Andrew Eland, CEO and Founder of Diagonal Work

Andrew, a software engineer by trade, has spent time working with Google, DeepMind and, more recently, Diagonal Work. He originally joined Google in 2005, working predominantly on Google Maps, and was appointed as Engineering Director in 2010. He left four years later to take up another Engineering Director position,

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Blog: Let’s talk about the ‘G’ word

In this blog, Chris Wigley, CEO of Genomics England, tells us in his own words why it is so important for us to talk to as many people as possible about genomics, and why we have launched our podcast, The G Word.

I’ve spent my career at the intersection of technology, ethics and human stories. Now, I lead the amazing team here at Genomics England. We’re trying to bring the benefits of genomic medicine to everyone,

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The G Word: Genomics England launches new podcast

This week, Genomics England has launched its first company podcast. ‘The G Word’ will be hosted by Chris Wigley, our CEO, who will talk to a wide variety of people about all things genomics, with the aim of making the topic more accessible and understandable to all.

He says:

Most people understand that our DNA is the blueprint that lies at the heart of our cells and bodies. Many people have done mail-order genetic tests to explore their heritage,

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National Genomic Research Library grows to over 110,000 clinically linked genomes

The National Genomic Research Library (NGRL) now contains one of the richest genomic datasets in the world for both rare disease and cancer research, following the curation and addition of all consented genomes from the 100,000 Genomes Project. The Library now holds the data of over 110,000 clinically linked genomes, from over 97,000 participants. 

This latest data update to the Genomics England Research Environment, the platform to access the NGRL, is a major milestone for the 100,000 Genomes Project as well as future research.

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Baroness Dido Harding stepping down from Genomics England Board

Baroness Dido Harding has decided to step down from the Board of Genomics England with immediate effect, to concentrate on her role as interim Chair of the newly formed National Institute for Health Protection, as well as her on-going role as Chair of NHS Improvement.

We’re hugely grateful to Dido for her contribution to Genomics England, for sharing her knowledge and experience during her time on the Board, and also for her direction and counsel during her time as our interim Chair.  

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100th birthday of pioneering British scientist Rosalind Franklin

The Chair of Genomics England is calling on young women across the United Kingdom to follow in the footsteps of Rosalind Franklin, a British chemist and X-ray crystallographer who played a key role in the discovery of DNA, and whose centenary is being celebrated today.

Baroness Nicola Blackwood, a former Minister for Life Sciences at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), paid tribute to Franklin, whose contribution to discoveries about DNA made possible the sequencing of the human genome,

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Genomics England launches next-generation research platform central to UK COVID-19 response

British tech company Lifebit and Amazon Web Services to support a dedicated environment for researchers working on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments

Genomics England (GEL) has today launched a next-generation genomic research platform that will play a key role in the research response to COVID-19. This ground-breaking research environment will transform how genomic data is made usable for global biopharma and academic researchers. It will provide world-class patient data security,

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Twenty years on from sequencing the first genome

In this opinion piece, Chris Wigley, CEO of Genomics England, shares his reflections on the 20th anniversary of the first genome to be sequenced.

Not for a century has the world witnessed a pandemic on anything approaching the scale of COVID-19. Millions have been infected, almost half a million have died, economies have been shut down, jobs lost, schools closed, families divided, and civil liberties restricted to levels unknown outside war time.

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UK leading on patient-centric precision medicine research

A novel system which will allow rare disease patients and their caregivers to add additional information about themselves to research databases is being developed by Sano Genetics in collaboration with Zetta Genomics and Genomics England. The system will add an important layer of patient derived information to the groundbreaking precision medicine research being carried out through Genomics England. The information provided by individuals may be reported by participants directly, for example daily symptom tracking,

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New partnership to sequence human genomes in the fight against coronavirus

  • Genetic susceptibility to coronavirus to be tested in ground-breaking nationwide study
  • Genomes of thousands of patients with coronavirus will be sequenced to understand how a person’s genetic makeup could influence how they react to the virus
  • Genomics England partners with University of Edinburgh to lead research drive to support the search for new treatments

Find out how to register interest to take part in the GenOMICC study. Read more >

Baroness Blackwood appointed Chair of Genomics England

Baroness Nicola Blackwood has been appointed Chair of Genomics England, succeeding Baroness Dido Harding, who has served as Interim Chair since November 2019.

Genomics England was established in 2013 to deliver the 100,000 Genomes Project in partnership with the NHS and helped to cement the UK’s world-leading position in genomic science.  Following the successful sequencing of 100,000 whole genomes in December 2018, Baroness Blackwood will support Genomics England through its next phase of development,

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Genomics England’s response to COVID-19

At Genomics England, we continue to carefully monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation as it rapidly evolves. Our immediate priorities are to protect and support the health and well-being of our staff, and the professional and social communities with whom we work, whilst continuing to work with our partners at NHS England, as well as those in government, industry, medicine and academia, to accelerate genomic research and healthcare.

In response to government advice, we are working proactively to reduce the spread of the virus.

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Rare Disease Day 2020 – diagnosis is just the start of another journey for patients

Today is Rare Disease Day 2020. The 100,000 Genomes Project is coming towards an end as we have finished sequencing everyone’s genomic samples, and are working hard to get the last few reports back to the NHS. To mark and raise awareness for the occasion, we asked Dr Christine Patch, Clinical Lead for Genetic Counselling at Genomics England, to give us her perspective.

Projects such as the 100,000 Genomes Project and others are directly facilitating new genetic diagnoses for patients with rare disease.

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Participants in 100,000 Genomes Project instrumental in ground-breaking advance in understanding of bowel cancer growth

Genomic data provided by participants in the 100,000 Genomes Project has helped Cancer Research UK researchers identify how a common type of gut bacteria could contribute to bowel cancer.

The research, undertaken by a team of international researchers led by Professor Hans Clevers in the Netherlands, shows that a toxin called colibactin released by a strain of E. coli, causes unique patterns of DNA damage to the cells lining the gut.

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Genomics England and Illumina partner to deliver whole genome sequencing for England’s NHS Genomic Medicine Service

Genomics England and Illumina today announced a new agreement to deliver up to 300,000 whole genome equivalents over the next five years, with an option to increase to 500,000. Samples will be provided through the NHS Genomic Medicine Service and the network of seven genomic laboratory hubs across England, which were established in 2018. This supports NHS England’s ambition to lead the world in introducing whole genome sequencing into routine healthcare.

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New Year Honours for Genomics England Board members, Jonathan Symonds CBE and Professor Dame Sally Davies DBE

Genomics England’s former Chairman, Jon Symonds CBE, has been Knighted for services to UK Life Sciences and Finance. Jon brought tremendous leadership, insight and direction to Genomics England during his tenure as Chairman, and his firm belief in the potential for genomic science to transform the way in which healthcare is delivered has been critical in driving our vision. We are very fortunate to have Jon’s continuing insights and direction as he continues to serve on the Board,

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