Genomics England Making Significant Strides in System Built on Trust in NHS

Chris Wigley, CEO of Genomics England

Bio and Contact Info


0:00 Today transforming to a platform for diagnostics and research

7:39 Genomic driven reactions to COVID

12:31 Thinking about outputs as products for clinicians, not as reports

18:13 The key is trust—from patient samples to collaborative datasets, to citizen-run committees

25:50 Diversity a problem in AI as well - bias in the datasets

28:53 Has there been any public backlash?

35:36 What’s on the horizon?

38:56 Attn American data scientists: Genomics England is hiring. And they have awesome datasets.

“In an era where we look at these surveys about trust and everything’s going off the cliff, everyone still trusts the NHS. It’s so deep in the British psyche."

That’s today’s guest, Chris Wigley, the CEO of Genomics England, a government run company (a strange concept for us Americans), set up as a sequencing center for the UK’s NHS or National Health Service. The company also does massive bioinformatics work to bring genomics and EHR data together using the latest in machine learning methods. (Note to data scientists drooling over those legendary datasets: Genomics England is hiring.)

What many may not know is that Genomics England has finished the original 100,000 genomes it was set up to sequence and is now shooting for 500,000 genomes by 2024. Just this month the company set up a new platform that is split into two arms, one for diagnostics working with the NHS and one that is research based.

It’s our first interview with a CEO of Genomics England, and it’s a chance to ask everything. One comes away with a very optimistic picture for genomic medicine taking hold in a country where trust in a national healthcare system and rational science are just a given.

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