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Queen Mary to host Genomics England on campus during delivery of 100,000 Genomes Project

Wednesday 30 April 2014

Queen Mary has been selected to host Genomics England at the Charterhouse Square campus, throughout the delivery of the Government’s 100,000 Genomes Project. Genomics England moved on to the campus on 21 April and are based on the ground floor of Dawson Hall. They will be based here at least until 2017.

Queen Mary has a unique and privileged role to play in the 100,000 Genomes Project. Professor Mark Caulfield, Co-Director of the William Harvey Research Institute, was named Chief Scientist for Genomics England in July 2013. In addition to Mark, a number of our staff are likely to be seconded to Genomics England and QMUL will provide core administrative infrastructure support.

Genomics England is also launching a programme of internships and will shortly be selecting their first QMUL candidate who will commence a six-month placement this summer. The programme is anticipated to expand in the months ahead, providing more of our students an opportunity to gain a significant head-start in the process and application of human genomics in science and medicine.

Professor Mark Caulfield, Centre Lead for Clinical Pharmacology at QMUL and Chief Scientist for Genomics England, said: ‘We are particularly proud to offer opportunities for our scientists and students to get involved in Genomics England. When the current programme is completed, we envisage a transformed application of genetics in UK healthcare – with new therapies being developed and emerging partnerships with industry. Queen Mary graduates who have interned with Genomics England will be in a strong position to contribute to these new opportunities both within healthcare and industry across the world.’

The completion of 100,000 Genomes Project is envisaged to drive a transformation of the application of genetics in UK healthcare – heralding improvements in early disease diagnosis, implementation of targeted therapies and initiation of new programmes for disease prevention. Collectively, the project is anticipated to deliver a range of new partnerships with industry. QMUL graduates, particular those who have had direct exposure to the implementation of the project, will be in a strong position to contribute to and benefit from these new opportunities both within healthcare and industry, here and abroad.

Sir John Chisholm, Executive Chair of Genomics England, comments: ‘We are delighted to be moving onto Queen Mary University of London grounds and we truly value their involvement and generosity in homing us. We look forward to working together on this cutting-edge initiative.’

Professor Richard Trembath, Vice-Principal for Health at QMUL, comments: ‘As a geneticist I am particularly pleased to be hosting Genomics England on campus and supporting them in delivery of this world-leading medical research programme. Enhancing opportunities for early disease diagnosis and prevention will be essential to making the step changes required for economic delivery of improvements in health care. Our local communities of East London face a unique set of health challenges and we anticipate our work on this initiative will benefit those most in need as well as the population as a whole.’

For more information about the 100,000 Genomes Project, visit the Genomics England website: www.genomicsengland.co.uk.

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