Chris Wigley, CEO of Genomics England, talks about launching our strategy and the four pillars that underpin it, and how our Innovation Showcase event in September opened up conversations for our current strategic priorities.
Genomics England’s mission is powerful in its simplicity: to bring the benefits of genomic healthcare to everyone. We do that by providing two big services to enable the genomics ecosystem in England and the UK.
The first big service is enabling genomic healthcare: building on the foundation of the 100,000 Genomes Project, and in ongoing partnership with the NHS, we provide whole genome sequencing insights for patients with cancer and rare diseases. We have been encouraged by the early patient impact of this service and will continue to work to ensure access to all who would benefit as we scale.
The second big service is enabling genomic research: where patients consent to their de-identified data being shared with academic and biotech researchers, we support researchers to make new diagnostic and therapeutic discoveries, and to feed those insights back into healthcare to benefit patients. We work closely with our participants to deliver that mission, and through our Access Review Committee they choose which researchers have access to which data assets in our Trusted Research Environment.
We think of this as an infinity loop – the more we do in healthcare the more powerful the research assets become, the more we learn in research, the smarter healthcare delivery becomes, and the more we and the NHS can help patients.
These core activities are underpinned by four pillars: engaging to build trust, building scalable technology, empowering our people, and enabling the Life Sciences Vision for the UK.
Trust: We continually earn the trust of our participants and the wider ecosystem, as the trusted custodians of this incredibly important national dataset.
People: We will continue to attract and work with the best people in the world, from scientists, ethicists, engineers, doctors to financiers and operations people.
Scalable technology: We are prioritising scalable technology as we transition to becoming a platform delivery service.
Life Sciences Vision: Genomics England plays a critical role in delivering on the vision for life sciences and healthcare in the UK through our core activities and our many partnerships.
See below for explainer video:
In order to bring some of these themes to life, we recently hosted the Genomics England Innovation Showcase 2021, which was a tremendous success with over 1,500 folks coming along to the sessions. Discussions were held on key factors impacting our project goals and the genomics and genetics field as a whole. Q&A sessions were open to address challenges through awareness and open conversation.
The sessions held were on COVID-19, whole genome sequencing in the NHS Genomic Medicine Service, using genomics in newborn screening, new cancer technologies and equality and diversity in genomic healthcare.
You can watch them on our YouTube channel by clicking each session’s link below; all sessions include closed captions.
- Solving the Covid puzzle: Why do some healthy people become seriously ill?
Dr Richard Scott (Chair), Dr Kenneth Baillie, Prof Sharon Peacock
- A world first: Whole genome sequencing in the NHS Genomic Medicine Service
Dr Ellen Thomas (Chair), Prof Dame Sue Hill, Chris Wigley
- Newborn sequencing: The value and the vision
Simon Wilde (Chair), Prof Neena Modi, Sarah-Jane Marsh, Dr Richard Scott, Rebecca Middleton, Catherine Joynson, Alice Tuff-Lacey
- Cancer 2.0: Integrating long-read sequencing technology and multimodal data
Parker Moss (Chair), Emma McCargow, Prof Darren Treanor, Prof Andrew Beggs, Dr Greg Elgar, Dr Serena Nik Zainal, Dr Alona Sosinsky, Dr Prabhu Arumugam
- Genomics for all: Ensuring euality and diversity in genomic healthcare
Dr Maxine Mackintosh (Chair), Dr Dan Rhodes, Dr Harpreet Sood, Dr Sufyan Dogra, Dr Natalie Banner
We are very excited about our journey bringing the benefits genomics into mainstream healthcare and making sure that it is relevant to all communities. We’re looking forward to sharing this journey with our participants, research communities, industry partners, healthcare professionals and beyond. Keep your eyes peeled!
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