Scotland to join the 100,000 Genomes Project

6th June 2016


Scotland is to join a project to map all the genes of people with genetic diseases, like cardiomyopathy, and cancer in a bid to find out more about the illnesses and promote the search for better treatments.

The 100, 000 Genomes Project was launched in England in 2012.  Now a Scottish Gernomes Partnership (SGP), a collaboration of Scottish universities and the NHS, has won £4m from the Scottish Government and £2m from the Medical Research Council.

Patients from Northern Ireland are already taking part in the project, and Welsh authorities are expecting to get involved soon.

By finding out more about whole genome sequence – or the entire genetic code – of patients, it is hoped that genetic diseases can be understood better and new ways to test, manage and treat them devised.

Four hospitals - Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow – will be involved.. Around 300 patients, plus their families, will be invited to take part in the project.

Professor Tim Aitman, co-chair of the partnership and director of the University of Edinburgh’s centre for genomic and experimental medicine said:

“The remarkable advances in genome technology over the past five years will now be available to patients in the Scottish NHS, bringing a new dimension of healthcare to Scottish patients with cancer and inherited diseases.”

Dr Nathan Richardson, head of molecular & cellular medicine at the Medical Research Council, said: “Recent technological advances in genome sequencing alongside developments in assimilating and interrogating vast and complex data sets offer exciting opportunities to better understand disease and improve precision healthcare..”

The SGP was founded with a £15m investment by the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow in January 2015. This funding enabled the universities to buy state-of-the-art equipment for sequencing human genomes on a large scale and faster than before.

It is hoped the first Scottish patients will be enrolled in the project this summer.


Bottom of Form