The 100,000 Genome Project and how we support research, a blog by Dr Janet Messer

Last updated on 7 Dec 2018

We were very pleased to offer our congratulations this week, as Genomics England, in partnership with NHS England, reached their ambitious goal of sequencing 100,000 whole genomes from NHS patients. The target was set to help patients with rare diseases, to put genomic medicine services in place for the NHS and to enable research to take place to develop new treatments.    

janet-messerThe 100,000 Genome Project was unique in its scale, so we were keen to help advise Genomics England on how to implement the project across the NHS. Our experts and our close relationships with NHS organisations meant that we were able to devise a model that reduced bureaucracy and made it easy for the NHS to be a partner in this hugely successful project. And as the project has expanded, we’ve helped advise on the governance arrangements for bringing in existing tissue banks.

This sort of bespoke advice is a key part of how we support the research community, making it easier to conduct high-quality research. 

It’s always pleasing when research we’ve been able to support leads to changes that improve services and treatments, and this is a fantastic example of this. We are continuing our support to Genomics England, helping them in the roll out of a genomics medicines service and advising on the handling of consent in the new service.

It’s clear that, from the start, Genomics England have taken a “people-powered” approach, recognising the importance of maintaining patient and public confidence. The success of the project is a demonstration of how involving patients in advising and making decisions on research projects can make a real difference. We add our voice to the many that have congratulated Genomics England on their achievement, and are incredibly proud to have played our part in that.

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