Genomics England and the 100,000 Genomes Project was launched just a few years ago. But we are built on a legacy of scientific research that stretches back to the 1950’s and beyond. Here we’ve put together a timeline of highlights, from the discovery of the structure of DNA, to our recent advances in genomic medicine.
James Watson and Francis Crick, with contributions from Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, discover the double helix structure of DNA. Find out more about the history of their discoveries on the YourGenome site. (Image ‘Template from Crick and Watson’s DNA molecular model, 1953’ Science Museum London via Wikimedia Commons.)
Frederick Sanger develops a DNA sequencing technique which he and his team use to sequence the first full genome – that of a virus. Visit the Wellcome Trust pages to view a short animation about his work.
1990 – 2003
The Human Genome project was launched in 1990. It took 15 years, £2 billion and thousands of scientists to complete the first draft of the human genomes sequence. The sequence was mapped and declared complete in 2003. Read our short article with reflections on the historic day.
2008 – 2010
The 1,000 Genomes project was launched in 2008. In 2010 a project was launched to sequence 10,000 genomes – UK10K.
The 100,000 Genomes Project was launched by former Prime Minister David Cameron. It is the largest sequencing project of it’s kind in the world.
Genomics England was established to deliver the 100,000 Genomes Project.
The 100,000 Genomes Project begins and the first patients are recruited.
11 NHS genomic medicine centres across England were announced. The centers recruit and consent patients to the project.
NIHR Biosample Centre for storage of Project samples was opened.
First diagnoses for patients in the project, Leslie Hedley and his daughter Terri Parker.
Our Clinical Interpretation Partnership (GeCIP) had their first meeting. GeCIP brings together researchers, clinicians and trainees from both academia and the NHS. Their work will enable us to better interpret genomic data, leading to better clinical understanding and better patient outcomes.
Our collaborations with Industry was launched. The GENE Consortium is the way we are working with industry to speed up the development of new treatments and diagnostics for patients.
Over 2,300 whole genomes sequenced. See the project update for details.
Northern Ireland joins the 100,000 Genomes Project with funding from the Northern Ireland Executive.
Two new NHS Genomic Medicine Centres join the 100,000 Genomes Project, meaning patients across England will have the opportunity to take part.
Two patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital become the first children to receive a diagnosis from the 100,000 Genomes Project.
Minister for Life Sciences, George Freeman MP, announces further funding for Genomics England and the 100,000 Genomes Project, as well as the start of the cancer main phase of the Project.
We have now sequenced 6,597 whole genomes. See more facts and figures from Project. We’ll be updating this timeline throughout the project too.