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UK’s genomics and personalised medicine expertise showcased at major international gathering

Published on 08/04/16 at 10:57am

The UK’s expertise in genomics was showcased at a major international gathering to foster global collaboration in this burgeoning field. 30 representatives of governments, healthcare providers, academic and industry met British experts to discuss the 100,000 Genomes Project and other UK-based innovations within the field of genomics.

That particular project will sequence 100,000 of the genomes of NHS patients and combine with NHS data. Already at an advanced stage of their long-term plan, the project led by Genomics England will integrate genomic and personalised medicine into the day-to-day delivery of healthcare.

Delegates who attended participated in a study tour to see in practice how the UK is approaching the introduction of genomics into clinical medicines, as well as a 2-day conference entitled “The impact of the genomics revolution on global health – how can governments respond?”

Speaking at the conference, minister of state for community and social care at the department of health, Alisatair Burt, said: “The larger and more diverse the population we study, the more we will learn about inherited diseases and cancers. This means that, together, we can develop, more quickly, very accurate diagnostic tests and personalised treatment.

“If you want to be at the cutting edge of healthcare planning, delivery and medicine, then genomics should clearly be a key focus. We hope that, as a result of this event, we will see more collaboration internationally in the extraordinarily exciting field of genomics medicine.”

The event, itself, was organised by Healthcare UK. Their medical director, Professor Rory Shaw, comments: “Because of the UK’s strength in this field, other countries can take advantage of our knowledge and systems. Many countries don’t have the academic infrastructure to handle and analyse data, and many have populations too small to see significant numbers of rare diseases.

“The UK can offer help ranging from education and training to setting up genomic medicine centres linked to the UK network. Collaboration could be a massive benefit for mankind.”

Sean Murray

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