Powering forward – Genomics England’s COVID-19 response
Genomics England has launched a next-generation genomic research platform that will play a key role in the response to COVID-19. It is hoped this research environment will transform how genomic data is made usable for global biopharma and academic scientists, providing world‑class patient data security, while enabling the flexibility required at the cutting edge of science. Nikki Withers spoke to Thorben Seeger, who is instrumental in delivering this initiative, to find out how it will advance genomic research in the future.
When the UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced the 100,000 Genomes Project in 2012, it put the UK at the forefront of genomics research. Genomics England (GEL), a company that was fully owned and funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, was established to deliver the project and sequence 100,000 whole genomes from National Health Service (NHS) patients, something that at the time no one had ever previously attempted.
Now, in response to the current coronavirus pandemic, GEL has launched a next-generation genomic research platform that will play a key role in the research response to COVID-19. GEL has partnered with a British deep-tech company, Lifebit, and is using global cloud provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) to power the platform.