From a role as a leader in the 12-year Human genome project, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has built on its sequencing skills to develop new programmes in postgenomic biology - understanding the messages in genes. The Institute endeavours to maintain a position at the forefront of experimental and computational genome research.

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute's research projects fall into six main areas of research: Human genetics, Mouse and Zebrafish genetics, Cellular genetics, Pathogen genetics, Malaria and Bioinformatics. Each project is led by a member of the Institute's Faculty.

Our projects are listed below:

[Genome Research Limited]

Human Genetics

  • Analytical genomics of complex traits - Aims to identify the genetic determinants of complex human traits by using next-generation association studies to detect novel disease loci
  • Cancer genome project - Uses sequence and high-throughput mutation detection to identify genes critical in the development of cancers
  • Genetic epidemiology - Explores genomic diversity and its impact on infectious and cardiometabolic risk factors among populations
  • Genetics of common neurological diseases - Identifies genes and variants contributing to neurological diseases to better understand pathogenic mechanisms
  • Genomics of inflammation and immunity - Aims to understand common human disease by identifying and characterizing mutations underlying disease susceptibility
  • Genomic mutation and genetic disease - Aims to elucidate the genetic architecture of developmental disorders, and characterise mutation processes in mammalian genomes
  • Genomics of quantitative variation - Uses quantitative intermediate traits to unravel novel mechanisms underlying common, complex diseases
  • Human evolution - Investigates genetic variation in apes and humans to understand our evolutionary past and its implications for our current health
  • Maintenance of genome stability - Focuses on understanding how cells detect, signal the presence of, and repair DNA damage
  • Medical genomics - Elucidates the genetic basis of common human disease using statistical and computational approaches
  • Metabolic disease group - Identifies genes linked to type 2 diabetes and obesity to better understand the aetiology of the diseases
  • Molecular cytogenetics - Aims to detect rare structural changes in chromosomes to understand the causes of certain inherited disorders
  • Pre-cancer - Explores how mutant epithelial stem cells evolve into tumours using sequencing, transgenic models and biophysical analysis
  • Regulatory evolution in mammalian tissues - Compares how transcription and transcriptional regulation vary during evolution and the implications this regulatory plasticity has for diseases such as cancer
  • Signatures of mutagenesis in somatic cells - Explores patterns of mutations or signatures that arise in human cells to understand how DNA damage and DNA repair processes contribute towards aging and cancer
  • Translational cancer genomics - Investigates how genetic alterations contribute to cancer and impact on cellular responses to anti-cancer medicines

Mouse & Zebrafish

Pathogen Genetics

  • Bacterial genomics and evolution - Investigates how variation in bacterial genomes relates to their hosts/niche, changes over time and geography or in response to therapeutic interventions
  • Host-microbiota interactions - Studies the host-pathogen interactions that are linked to disease and transmission in experimental murine models and human populations
  • Microbial pathogenesis - Elucidates interactions between the host and the pathogen to understand how we respond to infection
  • Parasite genomics - Uses sequencing to uncover the genomic basis for differences in the biology of strains or species of parasites
  • Pathogen genomics - Sequences small genomes and analyses the data for information on DNA structure and function
  • Systems biology of host-pathogen interactions - Explores the inter-relationship between host and pathogen by using systems biology methods and differentiated mutant ES cells
  • Virus genomics - Explores the diversity of DNA and RNA viruses and host-pathogen interactions using next-generation sequencing


Computational Genomics

Cellular genetics

  • Pancreatic genetics - Identifies signalling and regulation networks controlling pancreas development and their involvement in metabolic disorders
  • Single-cell genomics - Aims to develop methods to study DNA mutation and genomics in single cells to explore genetic differences between cells and how this diversity is related to disease
  • Stem cell engineering - Exploits new genome-editing technology for the study of gene function and disease modelling in human stem cells
  • Stem cell genetics - Develops novel genetic engineering technologies in embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells for genetic screening and healthcare therapies
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