8th July 2009

Visit by His Royal Highness The Duke of York

Genome Campus visit highlights outstanding research and resources

His Royal Highness The Duke of York (left), with Professor Allan Bradley, Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (centre) and Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust (right).

His Royal Highness The Duke of York (left), with Professor Allan Bradley, Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (centre) and Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust (right).

His Royal Highness The Duke of York, visited the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus today to hear about the contributions made by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the neighbouring European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) to the global scientific community. His visit included a discussion about engaging young people in science and in the social issues arising from genetics.

With a long standing interest in science and innovation, the Duke of York is the UK's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. His role involves fostering innovation and enterprise and encouraging investment and improved conditions for UK scientific and technological organisations and businesses.

The Duke of York arrived in the mid-morning and was greeted by Professor Allan Bradley, Director of the Sanger Institute and Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust. The Duke was then briefed by Allan Bradley about the activities of the Sanger Institute and by Graham Cameron, Associate Director of the EBI about its activities. This was followed by an introduction to Human Genetics, from Professor Mike Stratton, Head of the Sanger Institute's Cancer Genome Project.

"The Sanger Institute is a world leader in research into the genetics of human health and disease," says Allan Bradley. "We are delighted to take this opportunity to show His Royal Highness The Duke of York the outstanding technology and facilities that are available here. This is also an excellent opportunity to discuss with him some of the highlights of, and challenges facing, genetic research at this time. Together, we can develop awareness of genomic research and the Sanger Institute's globally significant role."

" We are delighted to take this opportunity to show His Royal Highness the Duke of York the outstanding technology and facilities that are available here. This is also an excellent opportunity to discuss with him some of the highlights of, and challenges facing, genetic research at this time. "

Prof Allan Bradley

His Royal Highness The Duke of York with staff in the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus' DiNA

His Royal Highness The Duke of York with staff in the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus' DiNA.

After the initial briefing, the Duke was taken on a tour of the Sanger Institute, which included a visit to a laboratory where he was shown a zebrafish model of human muscular dystrophy. This was followed by a tour of the Campus Data Centre, a massive computing centre with an impressive 4 petabytes - about 25,000 laptops' worth - of data storage capacity. The Duke then visited the Sanger Institute's sequencing centre, the largest in the world.

After the tour, the Duke was accompanied by Allan Bradley, Mark Walport and a group of Sanger Institute researchers for a working lunch in the Genome Campus' historical 17th Century Hinxton Hall, where they discussed wider issues of genetics for society.

The Duke of York has been the UK's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment since 2001, after serving for 22 years in the Royal Navy. Working with Government, and in particular, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), His Royal Highness's role involves promoting the UK as an attractive inward investment destination for foreign investors; creating more positive business conditions for British businesses investing overseas; and helping UK companies export their products to emerging and established markets.

Accompanying the Duke of York on his visit was Philip Yea, his senior business adviser and the Lord-Lieutenant Hugh Duberly Esq CBE, who represents the Crown in Cambridgeshire and receives members of the Royal Family on visits to the county.

Notes to Editors


Selected Websites


The European Bioinformatics Institute

The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and is located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in Hinxton near Cambridge (UK). The EBI grew out of EMBL's pioneering work in providing public biological databases to the research community. It hosts some of the world's most important collections of biological data, including DNA sequences (EMBL-Bank), protein sequences (UniProt), animal genomes (Ensembl), three-dimensional structures (the Macromolecular Structure Database), data from microarray experiments (ArrayExpress), protein-protein interactions (IntAct) and pathway information (Reactome). The EBI hosts several research groups and its scientists continually develop new tools for the biocomputing community.
www.ebi.ac.uk




The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, which receives the majority of its funding from the Wellcome Trust, was founded in 1992. The Institute is responsible for the completion of the sequence of approximately one-third of the human genome as well as genomes of model organisms and more than 90 pathogen genomes. In October 2006, new funding was awarded by the Wellcome Trust to exploit the wealth of genome data now available to answer important questions about health and disease.

Websites

The Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. We support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. Our breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. We are independent of both political and commercial interests.

Website

Sanger Institute Contact Information:

Don Powell Press Officer
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Hinxton, Cambs, CB10 1SA, UK

Tel +44 (0)1223 496 928
Mobile +44 (0)7753 7753 97
Fax +44 (0)1223 494 919
Email press.office@sanger.ac.uk