Thanks for taking the time to consider our Chief Scientist role. As we’ve outlined in the role description, we really do see this as a generational opportunity to lead and scale Genomics England’s science work, building on the great work of Prof. Sir Mark Caulfield over the last seven years since Genomics England’s inception.
I hope that as you learn more about the role you will be excited to join us. You’d be working closely with me in leading Genomics England Ltd, or “GEL” as we often say, into an exciting new chapter. If we get this right, we’ll transform the way healthcare works, and our people will have the time of their lives doing that. Please do watch my video interview with Richard Scott (our Clinical Director) if you have a moment, as we try to bring this to life.
At GEL, at the risk of stating the obvious, science is the core of what we do. We turn science into healthcare using technology. With the consent of participants and the support of the public, we are creating a lasting legacy for patients, the NHS and the UK economy. Initially this was through the sequencing of 100,000 genomes. Now we’re moving toward a future of bringing the insights from deep genomic research to bear on the mainstream of healthcare. What we do is for everyone, free at the point of care via our partnership with the NHS.
To deliver on this mission, we’re changing a lot as an organisation. We’ve moved from functional teams to a model anchored on the services we provide to NHS colleagues and the research and biotech community. We now have multi-disciplinary product teams in support of those services. For a lot of people at GEL, including our scientists, that’s a big shift from the past, and one they’re adapting to. There’s been a lot of change in the last year: most of the top team are new; about a quarter of the whole organisation have joined in the last 9 months; we’ve moved like many organisations to a fully remote model thanks to the pandemic.
Our science agenda is incredibly exciting. It’s anchored on our partnership with patients and participants whose data we use to advance insights into rare diseases, cancer, infectious disease, pharmacogenomics, functional genomics, multi-omics and more.
At a time when new sequencing technologies are coming onstream, multi-omics is becoming a practical reality, and the NHS Genomic Medicine Service gives us a live route to the entire population… we’ve never had as much opportunity to change people’s lives for the better with our work.
Personally, I’m looking for someone to work really closely with me, challenge me, have fun, bring fresh thinking, and enable the whole scientific ecosystem in a high energy “sleeves rolled up” way. If you’re excited by this outline of the role, we’d love to talk.
With best wishes,
Chris Wigley CEO, Genomics England