The Info List - Sanger Centre

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The Wellcome Sanger Institute, previously known as The Sanger Centre and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, is a non-profit British genomics and genetics research institute, primarily funded by the Wellcome Trust.[1] It is located on the Wellcome Genome Campus by the village of Hinxton, outside Cambridge. It shares this location with the European Bioinformatics Institute. It was established in 1992 and named after double Nobel Laureate, Frederick Sanger.[2][3] It was conceived as a large scale DNA sequencing centre to participate in the Human Genome Project, and went on to make the largest single contribution to the gold standard sequence of the human genome. From its inception the Institute established and has maintained a policy of data sharing, and does much of its research in collaboration. Since 2000, the Institute expanded its mission to understand "the role of genetics in health and disease".[4] The Institute now employs around 900 people[citation needed] and engages in four main areas of research: Human genetics, pathogen genetics, mouse and zebrafish genetics and bioinformatics.


1 Facilities and resources

1.1 Campus 1.2 Sequencing 1.3 Scientific resources

2 Research

2.1 Cancer, Ageing and Somatic Mutation Programme 2.2 Cellular Genetics Programme 2.3 Human Genetics Programme 2.4 Infection Genomics Programme 2.5 Malaria Programme 2.6 Facilities/Expertise 2.7 Bioinformatics 2.8 Model organisms 2.9 Experimental biological models 2.10 Collaborations 2.11 Public engagement 2.12 Graduate training

3 Staff

3.1 Academic faculty 3.2 Associate faculty and international fellows 3.3 Scientific Advisory Board 3.4 Honorary faculty 3.5 Alumni

4 History

4.1 Management 4.2 Organizational and company spin outs 4.3 Human Genome Project

5 References

Facilities and resources[edit] Campus[edit]

The Wellcome Genome Campus

Commemorative stain window located in the Sulston building of the Wellcome Sanger Institute, to mark the opening of the Genome Campus.

In 1993 the then 17 Sanger Centre staff moved into temporary laboratory space at Hinxton Hall[5] in Cambridgeshire. This 55-acre (220,000 m2) site was to become the Wellcome Genome Campus, which has a growing population of around 1300 staff, approximately 900 of whom work at the Sanger Institute.[6] The Genome Campus also includes the Wellcome Trust Conference Centre[7] and the European Bioinformatics Institute. A major extension of the campus was officially opened in 2005;[8] the buildings accommodate new laboratories, a data centre and staff amenities.[9] In discussing the name of the centre, Sanger (still alive when the centre was opened) told John Sulston, the founding director, that the centre "had better be good." Sulston commented, "I rather wished I hadn’t asked."[10] Sequencing[edit] The Sanger Institute's sequencing staff handle millions of DNA samples each week.[citation needed] The Institute "capitalises on leading-edge technologies to answer questions unanswerable only a few years ago".[11] The advances in technology allow the Sanger Institute to carry out sequencing of the genomes of individual humans, vertebrate species and pathogens, at an ever-increasing pace and reducing cost. The Institute has more than 100 ongoing pathogen sequencing projects.[12] The output of the Sanger Institute is around 10 billion bases of raw sequence data per day.[13] Scientific resources[edit]

This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (April 2015)

Bioinformatic databases resources are one of the outcomes of research programmes that the Sanger Institute is involved in. Those hosted by the Sanger Institute include:

COSMIC,[14] a catalogue of somatic mutations in cancer DECIPHER, a database of chromosomal imbalance and phenotype in humans, using Ensembl resources[15] Ensembl,[16] a genome browser co-hosted by the European Bioinformatics Institute. GeneDB,[17] a pathogen sequence database MEROPS,[18] a peptidase database Mouse Genetics Project, including a database of standardised phenotypic analysis for many hundreds of mutant mice. Pfam,[19] a protein family database Rfam,[20] an RNA family database TreeFam,[21] a database of phylogenetic trees for animal genes Vega,[22] a vertebrate genome annotation resource WormBase,[23] a database on the biology and sequence of the model organism C. elegans and other related Nematodes. WormBase ParaSite, a database for the genomics for parasitic helminths (both Nematodes and Platyhelminthes).


This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (April 2015)

The Morgan Building (right), part of the Sanger Institute

Since 2000, the Sanger Institute has built on its sequencing skills to develop new programmes in postgenomic biology - understanding the messages in genes. As of 2016 (when the Institute's latest 5-year funding plan began), the Institute engages in several areas of research: Cancer, Ageing and Somatic Mutation Programme[edit] Provides leadership in data aggregation and informatics innovation, develops high-throughput cellular models of cancer for genome-wide functional screens and drug testing, and explores somatic mutation's role in clonal evolution, ageing and development. Cellular Genetics Programme[edit] Explores human gene function by studying the impact of genome variation on cell biology. Large-scale systematic screens are used to discover the impact of naturally occurring and engineered genome mutations in human induced pluripotent cells (hIPSCs), their differentiated derivatives and other cell types. It is one of the founder programmes driving the creation and organisation of the international Human Cell Atlas initiative. Human Genetics Programme[edit] The Institute's research in human genetics focuses on the characterisation of human genetic variation in health and disease. Aside from the Institute's contribution to the Human Genome Project, researchers at the Sanger Institute have made contributions in various research areas relating to disease, population comparative and evolutionary genetics. In January 2008, the launch of the 1000 Genomes Project, a collaboration with scientists around the globe, signalled an effort to sequence the genomes of 1000 individuals in order to create the "most detailed map of human genetic variation to support disease studies".[24] The data from the pilot projects was made freely available in public databases in June 2010.[25] In 2010, the Sanger Institute announced its participation in the UK10K project,[26][27][28] which will sequence the genomes of 10,000 individuals to identify rare genetic variants and their effects on human health. The Sanger Institute is also part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium, an international effort to describe different cancer tumour types.[29] It is also part of the GENCODE and ENCODE research programmes[30] to create an encyclopaedia of DNA elements.[citation needed] The Programme applies genomics to population-scale studies to identify the causal variants and pathways involved in human disease and their effects on cell biology. It also models developmental disorders to explore which physical aspects might be reversible. Infection Genomics Programme[edit] Investigates the common underpinning mechanisms of evolution, infection and resistance to therapy into bolster understanding of bacteria, viruses and parasites. It also explores the effects of genome variation on the biology of host-pathogen interactions, in particular host response to infection and the role of microiotia in health and disease. All the genomes after sequencing are made available at the web-based onsite-maintained database, GeneDB.[citation needed] Malaria Programme[edit] Integrates genomic, genetic and proteomic approaches to develop and enhance high-throughput tools and technologies to study specific biological problems relevant for malaria control and to understand the fundamental science of the human host, the mosquito vector and the Plasmodium pathogen. Facilities/Expertise[edit] All of this research is underpinned by expertise in a number of key areas: Bioinformatics[edit] The Sanger Institute's bioinformatics teams have developed IT systems for sequencing and postgenomic research. The Institute houses genome resources, RNA, protein and other family resources and functional annotation databases and resources. Researchers worldwide are able to use these resources to make inferences of genomic knowledge through computational analysis and integration of data.[citation needed] Model organisms[edit] Mouse and zebrafish teams at the Sanger Institute enable Sanger researchers to explore the genome sequences of these model organisms to understand basic biological mechanisms, and gene function in human health and disease. Project supported include the study of development, cancer, hearing and behaviour.[citation needed] Experimental biological models[edit] With the creation of the Sanger Institute-EBI Single Cell Centre and the Cellular Generation and Phenotyping pipeline, the Institute has developed state-of-the-art human induced pluripotent stem cell, induced pluripotent stem cell, single cell and organoid facilties to deliver the next generation of biological models. Collaborations[edit] Much of the Sanger Institute's research is carried out in partnership with the wider scientific community; over 90 percent of the Institute's research papers involve collaborations with other organisations.[31] Significant collaborations include:

1000 Genomes Project GENCODE and ENCODE (ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements) International Cancer Genome Consortium International HapMap Project[32] International Knockout Mouse Consortium International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium SNP (Single nucleotide polymorphism) Consortium The Copy Number Variation Project[33] The genome sequencing of S. pombe, C. elegans, mouse and the Malaria parasite. The Human Genome Project The UK 10,000 Genomes Project (UK10K)[34] Wellcome Trust - Department of Biotechnology, India Alliance[35]

Public engagement[edit]

Children at a public outreach event thread bracelets in four colours to spell out a DNA sequence.

The Sanger Institute has a programme of public engagement activity. The programme aims to make complex biomedical research accessible to a range of audiences including school students and their teachers, and local community members. The Communication and Public Engagement programme aims to "encourage informed discussion about issues relevant to Sanger Institute research"[36] and "foster a community of researchers who can engage effectively with different audiences".[36] The Institute hosts visits for more than 1,500 students, teachers and community groups per year. Visitors may meet scientific staff, tour the Institute and its facilities, and participate in ethical debates and activities. The programme also offers professional development sessions for teachers of GCSE and post 16 science through the national network of Science Learning Centres, and by hosting visits for groups interested in updating their knowledge in contemporary genetics. Videoconferencing into the Sanger Institute is also offered for Science Learning Centres, Science Centres and schools. The programme maintains a dedicated public website, yourgenome.org,[37] that is intended to help people understand genetics and genomics science and its implications for society. The website includes teaching resources for secondary school science teachers that have been developed with Institute researchers. Scientific and public engagement staff also collaborate on and contribute to national projects such as the UK's InsideDNA[38] traveling exhibition and the Who am I? gallery at The Science Museum.[39] They also participate in public events such as the Cambridge Science Festival. Graduate training[edit] The Institute operates two PhD training programmes: a four-year course for basic science graduates, and a three-year course for clinicians. The four-year course requires students to rotate around three different laboratories in order to broaden their scientific horizons before choosing a PhD project. Each student is required to choose at least one experimental and one informatics-based rotation project.[40] Institute houses approximately 50 pre-doctoral students, all of whom are registered at the University of Cambridge.[41] Staff[edit] As of 2015[update] the Sanger employs around 900 people, and is led by Michael Stratton. Notable scientific staff, faculty and alumni are listed below: Academic faculty[edit] As of 2015[update] a faculty of 42 scientists lead hypothesis-driven research, seeking answers to biomedical questions.[42] These include:

Allan Bradley FRS- Mouse genomics Peter Campbell - Cancer Genome Project Gordon Dougan[43] FRS - Microbial pathogenesis Richard Durbin[44] FRS - Genome informatics Ultan McDermott - Cancer Genome Project Julian Parkhill FRS - Pathogen genomics Julian Rayner - Malaria Michael Stratton - Cancer Genome Project Sarah Teichmann[45] - Gene expression genomics Eleftheria Zeggini[46] human genetics

Associate faculty and international fellows[edit] Associate Faculty members work part-time at the Sanger usually jointly with another organisation.[42] As of 2015[update] there are 16 associate faculty including:

Adrian Bird FRS - Epigenetic mechanisms in health and disease, Professor at the University of Edinburgh Ewan Birney FRS,[47] based at the European Bioinformatics Institute John Danesh, Professor in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge Chris Ponting - Computational genome biology, based at the University of Oxford Fiona Powrie, FRS, University of Oxford[48] Stephen O'Rahilly, Professor at the University of Cambridge Wolf Reik - Epigenetic reprogramming, based at the Babraham Institute Toni Vidal-Puig, Professor of Molecular Nutrition and Metabolism at the Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge

Scientific Advisory Board[edit] The Sanger Board of Management are guided by the scientific advisory board[49] whose members include Professor David Altshuler, Professor Anton Berns, Professor David J. Lipman, Professor Kevin Marsh and Professor Sir Paul Nurse. Honorary faculty[edit] The Sanger has an Honorary Faculty of researchers based at other research centres[50] This includes:

Martin Bobrow Gad Frankel - Cell and molecular biology of bacterial infection, Professor at Imperial College London Andy Futreal - Cancer Genome Project, based at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center John Sulston, University of Manchester - Science ethics, former Director

Alumni[edit] As of 2015[update] previous faculty members at the Sanger include:[51]

Alex Bateman, EMBL-EBI[52] Tim Hubbard, Professor at King's College London Leena Peltonen-Palotie (1952 – 2010)[53]

History[edit] Management[edit] John E. Sulston was the founding Director of the Sanger Institute. Sulston was instrumental in the choice of the Hinxton site for the Institute and remained there as Director until the announcement of the completion of the draft human genome in 2000.[54] Sulston graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1963 and completed his PhD on the chemical synthesis of DNA in 1966.[55] He shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Robert Horvitz and Sydney Brenner,[56] two years after standing down as Director of the Institute. In 2000, Allan Bradley left his appointment as Professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, in the USA, to take up the position as Director of the Sanger Institute. Bradley wanted to build on the achievements made by the Sanger Institute in the Human Genome Project by "concentrating on gene function, cancer genomics, and the genomes of model organisms such as the mouse and the zebrafish".[57] Bradley received his BA, MA and PhD in Genetics from the University of Cambridge.[58][59][60][61] In 2010, Bradley stepped down from his leadership role to form a startup company, but remains on the faculty of the Institute as Director Emeritus. Mike Stratton, who is a leader of the Cancer Genome Project and the International Cancer Genome Consortium, was appointed Director of the Sanger Institute in May of that year.[62]

Wellcome Sanger Institute

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute was established in 1992, funded by the Wellcome Trust and the UK's Medical Research Council. One of the primary goals of the Institute on its creation, was to "play a role in mapping, sequencing and decoding the human genome and the genomes of other organisms".[5] The Sanger Institute now hosts several research programmes aiming to elucidate the associations between genes and biological traits - most often disease susceptibilities. The Sanger Institute has, since inception, maintained a policy that "aims to provide rapid access to data sets of use to the research community".[63] Organizational and company spin outs[edit] The company Congenica was spun out of the Institute in the early 2000s to commercialize a clinical genetics analysis and reporting technology developed at the Institute, technology instantiated in Congenica's Sapientia platform.[64] Sapienta is used in several large scale genome intrepretation projects, including 100,000 Genomes Project.[64] Congenica is based at the Welcome Genome Campus, and completed a round of Series B financing in 2017.[64] Human Genome Project[edit] The Sanger Institute was opened in 1993, three years after the inception of the Human Genome Project, and went on to make the largest single contribution to the gold standard sequence of the human genome, published in 2004.[65] The Institute was engaged in collaborations to sequence 8 of the 23 human pairs of chromosomes (1, 6, 9, 10, 13, 20, 22, and X).[66] Since the publishing of the human genome, research carried out at the Institute has developed beyond sequencing of organisms into various biomedical research areas, including studies into diseases such as cancer, malaria and diabetes. References[edit]

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PMID 24288371.  ^ Nawrocki, E. P.; Burge, S. W.; Bateman, A; Daub, J; Eberhardt, R. Y.; Eddy, S. R.; Floden, E. W.; Gardner, P. P.; Jones, T. A.; Tate, J; Finn, R. D. (2015). "Rfam 12.0: Updates to the RNA families database". Nucleic Acids Research. 43 (Database issue): D130–7. doi:10.1093/nar/gku1063. PMC 4383904 . PMID 25392425.  ^ Schreiber, F; Patricio, M; Muffato, M; Pignatelli, M; Bateman, A (2014). "Tree Fam v9: A new website, more species and orthology-on-the-fly". Nucleic Acids Research. 42 (Database issue): D922–5. doi:10.1093/nar/gkt1055. PMC 3965059 . PMID 24194607.  ^ Wilming, L. G.; Gilbert, J. G.; Howe, K; Trevanion, S; Hubbard, T; Harrow, J. L. (2008). "The vertebrate genome annotation (Vega) database". Nucleic Acids Research. 36 (Database issue): D753–60. doi:10.1093/nar/gkm987. PMC 2238886 . PMID 18003653.  ^ Harris, T. W.; Baran, J; Bieri, T; Cabunoc, A; Chan, J; Chen, W. J.; Davis, P; Done, J; Grove, C; Howe, K; Kishore, R; Lee, R; Li, Y; Muller, H. 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European Journal of Human Genetics. 22 (9): 1100–4. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2013.290. PMC 4026295 . PMID 24424120.  ^ Muddyman, D; Smee, C; Griffin, H; Kaye, J (2013). "Implementing a successful data-management framework: The UK10K managed access model". Genome Medicine. 5 (11): 100. doi:10.1186/gm504. PMC 3978569 . PMID 24229443.  ^ "Wellcome Trust launches study of 10,000 human genomes in UK". Wellcome Sanger Institute. Retrieved 2010-06-28.  ^ "International Cancer Genome Consortium Homepage". International Cancer Genome Consortium. Retrieved 2009-01-23.  ^ "Wellcome Sanger Institute - ENCODE and GENCODE". Retrieved 2010-06-28.  ^ Figure based on data for 2008 retrieved from SCOPUS website ^ -, -; Gibbs, R. A.; Belmont, J. W.; Hardenbol, P.; Willis, T. D.; Yu, F.; Yang, H.; Ch'Ang, L. Y.; Huang, W.; Liu, B.; Shen, Y.; Tam, P. K. H.; Tsui, L. C.; Waye, M. M. Y.; Wong, J. T. F.; Zeng, C.; Zhang, Q.; Chee, M. S.; Galver, L. M.; Kruglyak, S.; Murray, S. S.; Oliphant, A. 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Sequence databases: GenBank, European Nucleotide Archive and DNA Data Bank of Japan Secondary databases: UniProt, database of protein sequences grouping together Swiss-Prot, TrEMBL and Protein Information Resource Other databases: Protein Data Bank, Ensembl and InterPro Specialised genomic databases: BOLD, Saccharomyces Genome Database, FlyBase, VectorBase, WormBase, PHI-base, Arabidopsis Information Resource and Zebrafish Information Network


BLAST Bowtie Clustal HMMER MUSCLE SAMtools TopHat


Server: ExPASy Ontology: Gene Ontology


European Bioinformatics Institute US National Center for Biotechnology Information Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics Japanese Institute of Genetics Broad Institute Wellcome Sanger Institute


International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) European Molecular Biology network (EMBnet) African Society for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (ASBCB) Japanese Society for Bioinformatics (JSBi)


Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB) Research in Computational Molecular Biology (RECOMB) European Conference on Computational Biology (ECCB) Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing (PSB) ISCB Africa ASBCB Conference on Bioinformatics Basel Computational Biology Conference‎ ([BC2]) International Conference on Bioinformatics (InCoB)

Computational biology List of biological databases Sequencing Sequence database Sequence alignment Molecular phylogenetics

v t e

Wellcome Trust

Centres and institutes


Francis Crick Institute Gurdon Institute Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour Science Learning Centres WTC for Cell-Matrix Research WTC for Gene Regulation and Expression WTC for Human Genetics WTC for Mitochondrial Research WTC for Molecular Parasitology WTC for Neuroimaging WTC for Stem Cell Research Wellcome Sanger Institute


Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine Wellcome Research Laboratories

Projects and facilities

1000 Genomes Project Big Picture Cambridge Biomedical Campus Cancer Genome Project ChEMBL COSMIC cancer database DECIPHER Diamond Light Source eLife Ensembl Farmcare Genome Reference Consortium Human Genome Project Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust MEROPS Pfam Rfam UK Biobank Wellcome Collection Wellcome Genome Campus Wellcome Library WormBase

Board of Governors

Tobias Bonhoeffer Alan Brown Damon Buffini William Burns Kay Davies Michael Ferguson Bryan Grenfell Richard Hynes Anne Johnson Eliza Manningham-Buller Peter Rigby

Executive Board

Jeremy Farrar Stephen Caddick Simon Chaplin Tim Livett Clare Matterson Ted Smith Danny Truell

Former directors

Peter Williams (1965–1991) Bridget Ogilvie (1991–1998) Michael Dexter (1998–2008) Mark Walport (2003–2013)

Other key people

William Castell Dominic Cadbury Harold Cook Oliver Franks Roger Gibbs Henry Dale Roy Porter David Steel David Stuart John Sulston Henry Wellcome

Awards and fellowships

Capital Awards Collaborative Awards in Science Investigator Awards in Science Institutional Strategic Support Fund Science Strategic Award Sir Henry Dale Fellowship Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship Wellcome Book Prize Wellcome Image Awards Wellcome Trust Centre Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow


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University of Cambridge


Chancellor The Lord Sainsbury of Turville (predecessors) Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope (predecessors) List of University of Cambridge people


Christ’s Churchill Clare Clare Hall Corpus Christi Darwin Downing Emmanuel Fitzwilliam Girton Gonville and Caius Homerton Hughes Hall Jesus King’s Lucy Cavendish Magdalene Murray Edwards (New Hall) Newnham Pembroke Peterhouse Queens’ Robinson St Catharine’s St Edmund’s St John’s Selwyn Sidney Sussex Trinity Trinity Hall Wolfson

Schools, faculties, and departments

ADC Theatre Department of Anglo-Saxon Department of Architecture Cambridge University Press (journals) Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities Institute of Astronomy Judge Business School Cavendish Laboratory Centre for India & Global Business Centre for the Study of Existential Risk Department of Chemistry Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Faculty of Classics School of Clinical Medicine Computer Laboratory Institute of Criminology Faculty of Divinity Department of Earth Sciences Faculty of Education Institute of Continuing Education Department of Engineering Department of Geography Godwin Laboratory Gurdon Institute Hamilton Kerr Institute Department of History and Philosophy of Science Faculty of History Faculty of Human, Social, and Political Science Institute for Manufacturing Faculty of Law Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy Centre for Mathematical Sciences Centre for Theoretical Cosmology Faculty of Mathematics McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research Cambridge–MIT Institute Laboratory of Molecular Biology Faculty of Music National Institute for Environmental eScience Needham Research Institute Department of Oncology Faculty of Philosophy Department of Physiology Department of Plant Sciences Department of Politics and International Studies Centre for Quantum Computation Sainsbury Laboratory Scott Polar Research Institute Sir William Dunn Institute of Biochemistry Wellcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre

Student life

Students' Union Graduate Union Air Squadron Amateur Drama Apostles BlueSci Cam FM Christian Union Conservatives Footlights May Week May Ball Labour Club Liberal Democrats Light Entertainment Society Moral Sciences Club Musical Society Philosophical Society SCA Spaceflight Union Society Cambridge University Wine Society Varsity (student newspaper) The Mays


Boxing Cricket Cross Country Dancing Football Gliding Golf Handball Ice Hockey Real Tennis Rowing

Openweight Men (CUBC) Lightweight Men (CULRC) Women (CUWBC)

Rugby Union Tennis


Cuppers The Boat Race Women's Boat Race Henley Boat Races The Varsity Polo Match Rugby League Varsity Match University Golf Match Rugby Union Varsity Match


Cambridge University Botanic Garden Cambridge University Health Partners Alan Turing Institute Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Addenbrooke's Hospital


Regent House Senate House In popular culture

fictional Cambridge colleges

Cambridge University Reporter

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Coordinates: 52°05′N 0°11′E / 52.083°N 0.183°E / 5