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A new chapter for our CEO

Baroness Nicola Blackwood, Chair of the Board at Genomics England, announces that CEO Chris Wigley will be moving on from the role in late 2023.

Dear friends of Genomics England,

I am writing to announce that, after four exceptional years with Genomics England, Chris Wigley will be moving on from the CEO role towards the end of the year to an exciting role back in the private sector at the intersection of business building, healthcare and the latest AI capabilities.

Those four years have been remarkable. When Chris started at Genomics England back in 2019, he was given a mandate to develop and deliver ideas about what a “100,000 and beyond” Genomics England could do, and I and the Board are still in awe of all that he and the team have achieved together in that time, not least…

• sustaining and scaling Genomics England’s mission-driven culture, anchored on working for and with patients and participants

• working with the NHS Genomic Medicine Service to launch the world’s first Whole Genome Sequencing diagnostics service at national scale to the benefit of dozens of thousands of patients and their families

• expanding our research footprint, including launching the world’s largest human sequencing programme to develop insights into the genetic biomarkers of COVID, identifying the key locations on the genome associated with severe response and highlighting Baricitinib as a complementary therapeutic to reduce mortality

Of course, the journey is never over. We are just now scaling some of our most important programmes like the newborn sequencing programme, which will ultimately be a 100-year journey with that cohort of pioneering babies.  From 100,000 genomes to 100 years of impact, Genomics England’s journey is bigger than any individual; it’s a journey we’re on together. 

We will soon be launching the formal recruitment process to find and appoint Chris’s successor, who should be in place by the autumn for a smooth handover period.

In the meantime, it’s business as usual – Chris and the team will be getting out of bed each day to serve patients and research participants, clinical teams, and all of our stakeholders.

Stepping back, I want to thank Chris on behalf of the whole Board for his incredible energy and dedication in leading Genomics England over the last four years, as well as thank him for his service in his secondment into the NHS for the first six months of the Pandemic. We’re incredibly proud of what Genomics England has achieved in that time, and very grateful to everyone who we have achieved it with – all of our participants, colleagues and partners.

Baroness Nicola Blackwood, Chair

Media contact

[email protected]

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