100,000 Genomes Project

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100,000 Genomes Project
Project typeGovernment
Funding agency
DurationJuly 2013 – December 2018

The 100,000 Genomes Project is a UK Government project that is sequencing whole genomes from National Health Service patients. The project is focusing on rare diseases, some common types of cancer, and infectious diseases.[1][2] Participants give consent for their genome data to be linked to information about their medical condition and health records. The medical and genomic data is shared with researchers, to improve knowledge of the causes, treatment and care of diseases.[3]


The project was first announced by UK Prime Minister David Cameron in December 2012.[4] The Government set up a new company Genomics England to oversee the project[2] with the plan to focus on rare diseases, cancer and infectious diseases announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in July 2013. The project was also made possible by the National Institute for Health Research, NHS England, Public Health England and Health Education England. In 2015 Northern Ireland[5] and Scotland[6] also joined the project with plans to start work the following year. In 2016, the Welsh government issued a statement of intent[7] and is considering participating in the 100,000 Genomes Project.[6]

The initial participants were recruited from Cambridge University Hospitals, University College London Partners and Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust. The following medical centres joined the project a short time later: Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.

In September 2015, Genomics England announced it had contracted with interpretation partners Congenica and Omicia. This is in addition to ongoing work with sequencing partner Illumina.[8]

As of 1 October 2018, the 100,000 Genomes Project had completed the sequencing of 87,231 whole genomes in England[9] and results are in the process of being returned to NHS GMCs and ultimately back to participants; the first diagnoses from the Project were returned to patients in spring 2015 and over 2,000 families' results have been returned to the NHS in the rare disease programme to date (July 2017).[10]

In December 2018, the full 100,000 genomes milestone was reached.[11]

A 2019 review identified the initiative as an 'exemplar' in involving the public in genomic research.[12]

NHS Genomic Medicine Centres[edit]

Following the pilot studies, NHS England ran a tender to appoint NHS Genomic Medicine Centres with responsibility for recruiting suitable patients, gaining their consent to participate in the project and taking samples for whole genome sequencing by Illumina (company). The successful bidders designated as NHS Genomic Medicine Centres are:

In December 2015, two new NHS Genomic Medicine Centres were announced by NHS England:[13]

  • Yorkshire and Humber NHS GMC – designated for both cancer and rare disease.
  • West of England NHS GMC – designated for both cancer and rare disease.

There are now 13 designated NHS Genomic Medicine Centres (GMCs) across the country.

In 2017, Northern Ireland and Scotland began recruiting participants for the project and Wales aims to begin in 2017–18.


The Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership (GeCIP) includes 2,500 UK and international clinicians and scientists from approximately 300 institutions in 24 countries. There are plans to increase this number. Researchers are organised in "domains" formed around particular conditions, cancer types and research areas such as Machine Learning and Health Economics. The partnership is integrated with the NHS and the aims include improving the use of genotype and phenotype data in healthcare, and providing a platform for genomic research collaborations to add to the knowledge base for genetic disorders.

Industrial partnerships[edit]

From 2015 to 2017, 13 companies joined to form a pre-competitive industry trial, named the Genomics Expert Network for Enterprises (GENE) Consortium. This trial aimed to bring industry expertise into the 100,000 Genomes Project to identify potential benefits for patients, as the private sector is involved in developing new medicines and diagnostics for the NHS.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Jeremy Hunt launches genomics body to oversee healthcare revolution". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b "DNA mapping to better understand cancer, rare diseases and infectious diseases". UK Government. 2013-07-05. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
  3. ^ "Data access, security and privacy | Genomics England". Genomics England. 2015-03-10. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  4. ^ "DNA tests to revolutionise fight against cancer and help 100,000 NHS patients". UK Government. 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
  5. ^ "Northern Ireland joins the 100,000 Genomes Project". Genomics England. October 29, 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Scottish investment in genomic medicine". Genomics England. March 1, 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Written Statement -Statement of Intent for Genomics and Precision Medicine". The Welsh Government. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Genomics England announces interpretation partners and expands industry engagement | Genomics England". 2015-09-30. Retrieved 2016-09-16.
  9. ^ "The 100,000 Genomes Project by numbers". Genomics England. Retrieved 2 Oct 2018.
  10. ^ First children diagnosed in DNA project by James Gallagher published by BBC News on January 12, 2016
  11. ^ Fergus Walsh: Faster diagnosis from 'transformational' gene project 5 December 2018, bbc.co.uk/news, accessed 5 December 2018
  12. ^ Lacaze, Paul; Fransquet, Peter; Tiller, Jane; Nunn, Jack S. (2019). "Public Involvement in Global Genomics Research: A Scoping Review". Frontiers in Public Health. 7: 79. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2019.00079. ISSN 2296-2565. PMC 6467093. PMID 31024880.
  13. ^ "NHS England » New NHS centres add their might to world-leading genomics project". www.england.nhs.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-17.