Dr Bill Skarnes | Senior Group Leader

This person is a member of Sanger Institute Alumni.

Bill is a Senior Group leader at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and leads the Stem Cell Engineering team. Bill's laboratory is currently exploiting new genome-editing technology to study gene function and to model disease in human stem cells.

Bill received his BSc and MSc in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. In 1992, he was awarded his PhD in Molecular and Medical Genetics from the University of Toronto where he pioneered gene-trapping technology in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. Following his postdoctoral training with Rosa Beddington in Edinburgh, Bill was a group leader at the BBSRC Centre for Genome Research in Edinburgh.

In 1997, Bill took up an appointment as an Assistant Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Here, his laboratory demonstrated the value of large-scale mutant ES cell resources for gene-based, phenotype-driven screens in mice. With colleagues in the Bay Area, Bill initiated the BayGenomics programme, the first large public gene trap resource.

Bill joined the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in 2003. From 2003 to 2014 Bill led the Mouse Developmental Genetics and ES Cell Mutagenesis teams that established a high-throughput pipeline for the production of many thousands of targeted gene mutations in mouse ES cells for EUCOMM (European Conditional Mouse Mutagenesis Program) and KOMP (Knockout Mouse Project) with funding from the European Union and National Institutes of Health . This mutant ES cell resource is the foundation for ongoing efforts by theInternational Mouse Phenotyping Consortium to elucidate the function of all 20,000 genes in the mouse.

Currently Bill's laboratory, Stem cell engineering is focusing on high-throughput engineering of human stem cells.

Publications

  • Off-target mutations are rare in Cas9-modified mice.

    Iyer V, Shen B, Zhang W, Hodgkins A, Keane T et al.

    Nature methods 2015;12;6;479

  • WGE: a CRISPR database for genome engineering.

    Hodgkins A, Farne A, Perera S, Grego T, Parry-Smith DJ et al.

    Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) 2015;31;18;3078-80

  • Efficient genome modification by CRISPR-Cas9 nickase with minimal off-target effects.

    Shen B, Zhang W, Zhang J, Zhou J, Wang J et al.

    Nature methods 2014;11;4;399-402

  • The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium Web Portal, a unified point of access for knockout mice and related phenotyping data.

    Koscielny G, Yaikhom G, Iyer V, Meehan TF, Morgan H et al.

    Nucleic acids research 2014;42;Database issue;D802-9

  • Genome-wide generation and systematic phenotyping of knockout mice reveals new roles for many genes.

    White JK, Gerdin AK, Karp NA, Ryder E, Buljan M et al.

    Cell 2013;154;2;452-64

  • A conditional knockout resource for the genome-wide study of mouse gene function.

    Skarnes WC, Rosen B, West AP, Koutsourakis M, Bushell W et al.

    Nature 2011;474;7351;337-42

  • Bi-allelic gene targeting in mouse embryonic stem cells.

    Tate PH and Skarnes WC

    Methods (San Diego, Calif.) 2011;53;4;331-8

  • Dual RMCE for efficient re-engineering of mouse mutant alleles.

    Osterwalder M, Galli A, Rosen B, Skarnes WC, Zeller R and Lopez-Rios J

    Nature methods 2010;7;11;893-5

  • Agouti C57BL/6N embryonic stem cells for mouse genetic resources.

    Pettitt SJ, Liang Q, Rairdan XY, Moran JL, Prosser HM et al.

    Nature methods 2009;6;7;493-5

  • A public gene trap resource for mouse functional genomics.

    Skarnes WC, von Melchner H, Wurst W, Hicks G, Nord AS et al.

    Nature genetics 2004;36;6;543-4

  • The Wnt co-receptors Lrp5 and Lrp6 are essential for gastrulation in mice.

    Kelly OG, Pinson KI and Skarnes WC

    Development (Cambridge, England) 2004;131;12;2803-15

  • Functional analysis of secreted and transmembrane proteins critical to mouse development.

    Mitchell KJ, Pinson KI, Kelly OG, Brennan J, Zupicich J et al.

    Nature genetics 2001;28;3;241-9

  • Defining brain wiring patterns and mechanisms through gene trapping in mice.

    Leighton PA, Mitchell KJ, Goodrich LV, Lu X, Pinson K et al.

    Nature 2001;410;6825;174-9

  • An LDL-receptor-related protein mediates Wnt signalling in mice.

    Pinson KI, Brennan J, Monkley S, Avery BJ and Skarnes WC

    Nature 2000;407;6803;535-8

  • Capturing genes encoding membrane and secreted proteins important for mouse development.

    Skarnes WC, Moss JE, Hurtley SM and Beddington RS

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1995;92;14;6592-6

  • Mouse embryonic stem cells and reporter constructs to detect developmentally regulated genes.

    Gossler A, Joyner AL, Rossant J and Skarnes WC

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 1989;244;4903;463-5

  • Production of a mutation in mouse En-2 gene by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells.

    Joyner AL, Skarnes WC and Rossant J

    Nature 1989;338;6211;153-6

  • Exploiting induced pluripotent stem cell-derived macrophages to unravel host factors influencing Chlamydia trachomatis pathogenesis.

    Yeung ATY, Hale C, Lee AH, Gill EE, Bushell W et al.

    Nature communications 2017;8;15013

  • One-step generation of conditional and reversible gene knockouts.

    Andersson-Rolf A, Mustata RC, Merenda A, Kim J, Perera S et al.

    Nature methods 2017;14;3;287-289

  • High-throughput discovery of novel developmental phenotypes.

    Dickinson ME, Flenniken AM, Ji X, Teboul L, Wong MD et al.

    Nature 2016;537;7621;508-514

  • The BAF chromatin remodelling complex is an epigenetic regulator of lineage specification in the early mouse embryo.

    Panamarova M, Cox A, Wicher KB, Butler R, Bulgakova N et al.

    Development (Cambridge, England) 2016;143;8;1271-83

  • Over-expression of Plk4 induces centrosome amplification, loss of primary cilia and associated tissue hyperplasia in the mouse.

    Coelho PA, Bury L, Shahbazi MN, Liakath-Ali K, Tate PH et al.

    Open biology 2015;5;12;150209

  • Cardiomyocytes from human pluripotent stem cells: From laboratory curiosity to industrial biomedical platform.

    Denning C, Borgdorff V, Crutchley J, Firth KS, George V et al.

    Biochimica et biophysica acta 2015

  • WGE: a CRISPR database for genome engineering.

    Hodgkins A, Farne A, Perera S, Grego T, Parry-Smith DJ et al.

    Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) 2015;31;18;3078-80

  • Off-target mutations are rare in Cas9-modified mice.

    Iyer V, Shen B, Zhang W, Hodgkins A, Keane T et al.

    Nature methods 2015;12;6;479

  • Conditional-ready mouse embryonic stem cell derived macrophages enable the study of essential genes in macrophage function.

    Yeung AT, Hale C, Xia J, Tate PH, Goulding D et al.

    Scientific reports 2015;5;8908

  • Is mouse embryonic stem cell technology obsolete?

    Skarnes WC

    Genome biology 2015;16;109

  • Efficient genome modification by CRISPR-Cas9 nickase with minimal off-target effects.

    Shen B, Zhang W, Zhang J, Zhou J, Wang J et al.

    Nature methods 2014;11;4;399-402

  • The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium Web Portal, a unified point of access for knockout mice and related phenotyping data.

    Koscielny G, Yaikhom G, Iyer V, Meehan TF, Morgan H et al.

    Nucleic acids research 2014;42;Database issue;D802-9

  • Molecular characterization of mutant mouse strains generated from the EUCOMM/KOMP-CSD ES cell resource.

    Ryder E, Gleeson D, Sethi D, Vyas S, Miklejewska E et al.

    Mammalian genome : official journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society 2013;24;7-8;286-94

  • Genome-wide generation and systematic phenotyping of knockout mice reveals new roles for many genes.

    White JK, Gerdin AK, Karp NA, Ryder E, Buljan M et al.

    Cell 2013;154;2;452-64

  • Mouse large-scale phenotyping initiatives: overview of the European Mouse Disease Clinic (EUMODIC) and of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Mouse Genetics Project.

    Ayadi A, Birling MC, Bottomley J, Bussell J, Fuchs H et al.

    Mammalian genome : official journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society 2012;23;9-10;600-10

  • Accessing data from the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium: state of the art and future plans.

    Mallon AM, Iyer V, Melvin D, Morgan H, Parkinson H et al.

    Mammalian genome : official journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society 2012;23;9-10;641-52

  • Dual RMCE for efficient re-engineering of mouse mutant alleles.

    Osterwalder M, Galli A, Rosen B, Skarnes WC, Zeller R and Lopez-Rios J

    Nature methods 2010;7;11;893-5

  • Agouti C57BL/6N embryonic stem cells for mouse genetic resources.

    Pettitt SJ, Liang Q, Rairdan XY, Moran JL, Prosser HM et al.

    Nature methods 2009;6;7;493-5

  • ES cell pluripotency and germ-layer formation require the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling component BAF250a.

    Gao X, Tate P, Hu P, Tjian R, Skarnes WC and Wang Z

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2008;105;18;6656-61

  • Notch, epidermal growth factor receptor, and beta1-integrin pathways are coordinated in neural stem cells.

    Campos LS, Decker L, Taylor V and Skarnes W

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2006;281;8;5300-9

  • The International Gene Trap Consortium Website: a portal to all publicly available gene trap cell lines in mouse.

    Nord AS, Chang PJ, Conklin BR, Cox AV, Harper CA et al.

    Nucleic acids research 2006;34;Database issue;D642-8

  • Tectonic, a novel regulator of the Hedgehog pathway required for both activation and inhibition.

    Reiter JF and Skarnes WC

    Genes & development 2006;20;1;22-7

  • Two ways to trap a gene in mice.

    Skarnes WC

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2005;102;37;13001-2

  • Polybromo protein BAF180 functions in mammalian cardiac chamber maturation.

    Wang Z, Zhai W, Richardson JA, Olson EN, Meneses JJ et al.

    Genes & development 2004;18;24;3106-16

  • The European dimension for the mouse genome mutagenesis program.

    Auwerx J, Avner P, Baldock R, Ballabio A, Balling R et al.

    Nature genetics 2004;36;9;925-7

  • The knockout mouse project.

    Austin CP, Battey JF, Bradley A, Bucan M, Capecchi M et al.

    Nature genetics 2004;36;9;921-4

  • A public gene trap resource for mouse functional genomics.

    Skarnes WC, von Melchner H, Wurst W, Hicks G, Nord AS et al.

    Nature genetics 2004;36;6;543-4

  • The Wnt co-receptors Lrp5 and Lrp6 are essential for gastrulation in mice.

    Kelly OG, Pinson KI and Skarnes WC

    Development (Cambridge, England) 2004;131;12;2803-15

  • Functional analysis of secreted and transmembrane proteins critical to mouse development.

    Mitchell KJ, Pinson KI, Kelly OG, Brennan J, Zupicich J et al.

    Nature genetics 2001;28;3;241-9

  • An LDL-receptor-related protein mediates Wnt signalling in mice.

    Pinson KI, Brennan J, Monkley S, Avery BJ and Skarnes WC

    Nature 2000;407;6803;535-8

Skarnes, Bill
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Bill's Timeline
2013

Awarded Yangtse River Scholar by the Chinese Ministry of Science

2003

Joined the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute as a Senior Group Leader

1998

Awarded Searle Scholar

1997

Appointed Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley

1993

Appointed Group Leader at the University of Edinburgh

1992

Awarded PhD from the University of Toronto

1991

Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Edinburgh

1985

Awarded MSc from McGill University

1982

Awarded BSc from McGill University