Dr Bill Skarnes

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 of 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 postdoctoral training, 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 cells mutagenesis team 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 the International 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.

Selected Publications

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

    Shen B, Zhang W, Zhang J, Zhou J, Wang J, Chen L, Wang L, Hodgkins A, Iyer V, Huang X and Skarnes WC

    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, Atienza-Herrero J, Blake A, Chen CK, Easty R, Di Fenza A, Fiegel T, Grifiths M, Horne A, Karp NA, Kurbatova N, Mason JC, Matthews P, Oakley DJ, Qazi A, Regnart J, Retha A, Santos LA, Sneddon DJ, Warren J, Westerberg H, Wilson RJ, Melvin DG, Smedley D, Brown SD, Flicek P, Skarnes WC, Mallon AM and Parkinson H

    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, Bussell JN, Salisbury J, Clare S, Ingham NJ, Podrini C, Houghton R, Estabel J, Bottomley JR, Melvin DG, Sunter D, Adams NC, Sanger Institute Mouse Genetics Project, Tannahill D, Logan DW, Macarthur DG, Flint J, Mahajan VB, Tsang SH, Smyth I, Watt FM, Skarnes WC, Dougan G, Adams DJ, Ramirez-Solis R, Bradley A and Steel KP

    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, Iyer V, Mujica AO, Thomas M, Harrow J, Cox T, Jackson D, Severin J, Biggs P, Fu J, Nefedov M, de Jong PJ, Stewart AF and Bradley A

    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

  • The IKMC web portal: a central point of entry to data and resources from the International Knockout Mouse Consortium.

    Ringwald M, Iyer V, Mason JC, Stone KR, Tadepally HD, Kadin JA, Bult CJ, Eppig JT, Oakley DJ, Briois S, Stupka E, Maselli V, Smedley D, Liu S, Hansen J, Baldock R, Hicks GG and Skarnes WC

    Nucleic acids research 2011;39;Database issue;D849-55

  • 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, Beier DR, Lloyd KC, Bradley A and Skarnes WC

    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, Cox T, Young SG, Ruiz P, Soriano P, Tessier-Lavigne M, Conklin BR, Stanford WL, Rossant J and International Gene Trap Consortium

    Nature genetics 2004;36;6;543-4

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

    Mitchell KJ, Pinson KI, Kelly OG, Brennan J, Zupicich J, Scherz P, Leighton PA, Goodrich LV, Lu X, Avery BJ, Tate P, Dill K, Pangilinan E, Wakenight P, Tessier-Lavigne M and Skarnes WC

    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, Scherz P, Skarnes WC and Tessier-Lavigne M

    Nature 2001;410;6825;174-9

  • Capturing novel mouse genes encoding chromosomal and other nuclear proteins.

    Tate P, Lee M, Tweedie S, Skarnes WC and Bickmore WA

    Journal of cell science 1998;111 ( Pt 17);2575-85

  • Rapid sequence analysis of gene trap integrations to generate a resource of insertional mutations in mice.

    Townley DJ, Avery BJ, Rosen B and Skarnes WC

    Genome research 1997;7;3;293-8

  • 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

  • A gene trap approach in mouse embryonic stem cells: the lacZ reported is activated by splicing, reflects endogenous gene expression, and is mutagenic in mice.

    Skarnes WC, Auerbach BA and Joyner AL

    Genes & development 1992;6;6;903-18

  • 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

[Wellcome Library, London]

Bill's Project
Stem cell engineering
Research Area
Cellular genetics
* quick link - http://q.sanger.ac.uk/8oo5gk9i