The Genome Campus

The Genome Campus is a 55-acre estate south of Cambridge in the grounds of Hinxton Hall. Nestled in the quiet countryside of these landscaped gardens, are two world-class research facilities: the Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI). The Wellcome Trust bought the site in 1994 as a home for the new Sanger Centre. Since then the site has developed to become the British hub of biomedical science. The Campus is also home to the Wellcome Trust Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences programme and the Wellcome Trust Conference Centre.

The Campus includes Hinxton Hall: a 17th Century, Grade II listed mansion.

It would have been hard for the first researchers to imagine how the Campus would develop over the years. First came a painstaking restoration of the Grade II listed 17th century Hinxton Hall and excavation of its grounds. The excavation drew evidence that Neolithic ancestors had walked the very same site: those first researchers on the site, whose science looked with such anticipation into the future, were afforded an unprecedented glimpse of the past.

In 1996, both the Sanger Centre and the neighbouring EBI began to migrate into purpose built new buildings. These would be home to some of the most important genetic discoveries of the 20th and 21st Centuries. A second building development to extend the Campus' facilities was opened in 2005, creating a state-of-the-art new home for staff amenities and a data centre to house the growing data storage needs of the Sanger Institute and EBI.

Throughout the years, the adjoining parkland and Wellcome Trust funded wetland sites have developed a diverse ecosystem: the facilities are enjoyed by dog-walkers, families and local people.

[Genome Research Limited]

Click an an image in the gallery to enlarge it.

The Morgan plaza The campus plaza by night The Data Centre. The Institute's computer systems can store up to 4 petabytes of data The Morgan Building's atrium The Centre has a total of 4 petabytes of data storage capacity Air cooling system in the Data Centre The Sulston Building The Sulston Building The Sulston Building The Sanger Institute's Library The Genome Campus Plaza. The Plaza was created as part of the 2005 extension of the campus The Genome Campus Plaza The Genome Campus Plaza The Genome Campus Plaza People at lunch outside the Morgan Building Silver sculpture in the Genome Campus Plaza The Morgan Building Water feature outside the Morgan Building, looking down to people at lunch outside the Sulston Building Sculpture The Sanger Institute Sequencing Centre. The Sanger Institute has one of the largest sequencing centres in the world The Sanger Institute Sequencing Centre People at lunch in the DiNA The Morgan Building interior The Morgan Building interior The Morgan Building interior Staff playing football in parkland at the Genome Campus Staff playing football in parkland at the Genome Campus, with the 17th Century Hinxton Hall in the background Playing frisbee in front of the Sulston Building The European Bioinformatics Institute. The Sanger Institute shares its location on the Genome Campus with the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), an outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratories (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. The EBI is home to nearly 400 staff and is a world leader in research in bioinformatics. For more pictures of the EBI, please visit Attendees at a Wellcome Trust Scientific Conference in the Crick Auditorium - part of the Wellcome Trust Conference Centre located at the Campus Wellcome Trust Advanced Courses use dedicated training lab and IT facilities to teach scientists and clinicians from all over the world

Around 1500 people work on the Genome Campus and together they are working to reduce the impact that our research has on the environment.

A large Campus population, a 24-hour data centre, and high-throughput research can lead to elevated energy consumption and waste production. We therefore have a profound responsibility to manage these outputs of our research so as to minimise the use of energy on Campus and manage the disposal of waste effectively. As part of this aim Campus Facilities Management and staff have worked together to establish energy saving and recycling initiatives.

Genome Campus Energy Campaign

The Genome Campus strives to reduce its carbon footprint and as part of this aim has achieved ISO 14001 accreditation. We have several initiatives to reduce our energy consumption and encourage staff to 'be green'. These have included:

  • The installation of rain harvesters to reduce water consumption
  • Cedum roofing to minimise rain water run off
  • Replacement of internal lights with low wattage LEDs and external lights with re-chargeable bollards
  • Production of monthly utility reports which are available internally for staff to see
  • Installation of energy-efficient air-con chillers and pumps across the campus
  • Introduction of "Switch on to switching off" post-its to encourage staff to switch off their computers

Green Travel Plan

In addition to these initiatives, the Campus has developed a multi-award winning Green Travel Plan.

One of our responsibilities is to help staff by providing ways to get to work while minimising their carbon footprint. The Genome Campus' Green Travel Plan has received several awards for its efforts:

  • 2005 Travel plan excellence award
  • 2006 Travel planner of the year
  • 2006 Certificate of continued excellence
  • 2007 Certificate of continued excellence
  • 2008 Certificate of continued excellence

Car Share: Thanks to a popular car sharing initiative the number of single occupancy vehicles travelling to work has gone down from 70% of staff in 2002, to less than 50% in 2009.

Buses: The Campus currently runs ten bus routes, serving Cambridge, Saffron Walden and several of the surrounding villages. Every day, more than 250 people travel on buses both to and from the campus.

Cycle to work campaign: The cycle to work campaign encourages staff to meet up and cycle to work in groups. Incentives include free breakfast on arrival and the expertise of Dr Bike, who offers free bike services. To encourage cycling to work, in 2004 the Wellcome Trust paid for a new cycle path on the difficult stretch of road along the A1301 to the campus.


The number of staff and scale of our research means that Genome Campus currently produces 187 tonnes of landfill waste each year. As such, we need to maximise the amount of waste we recycle. Efforts to increase the amount of waste recycled include the installation of paper recycling bins in all meeting rooms and facilities for recycling plastic, mixed paper, metal and biodegradable waste throughout the campus. General waste to landfill in these areas has been reduced by 75 per cent. Plans are in place to eliminate the use of individual desk bins by encouraging staff to use multi-stack recycling facilities instead.

To raise awareness of our green initiatives, special days are held throughout the year. These days provide staff the opportunity to get information and freebies and enter competitions and prize draws.

The Sanger Institute hosts the campus Library. It provides campus staff and students with access to the most up-to-date information sources available, assisting campus researchers maintain their position at the cutting edge of scientific progress.

The Library never closes and is open to all campus researchers.

An extensive range of online journals and databases is accessible by all staff on site. There is also access to a rapidly expanding range of e-books. We still provide the more traditional services, such as loaning books, obtaining articles and papers by inter-library loan and paper copies of the high impact science journals are provided on the Library's shelves for browsing.

A quiet study area is available for graduate researchers, or indeed any campus staff or visitors, to work away from the labs, along with a reading and relaxing area for browsing the newspapers and magazines.

The Library is intimately involved in assisting researchers provide open access to their work by making sure any publications are cited in UK PubMed Central.

Around 1500 people work on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus. The site houses extensive scientific resources, including a data centre, a research support facility and state of the art laboratory spaces. In addition to providing the resources necessary to support the science of the Institute, the campus offers an equally impressive range of facilities for its staff.

For parents raising young children, a Workplace Nursery allows them to integrate childcare into their working day. Two cafes and onsite restaurant provide lunchtime options for all tastes and offer a routine change of scenery where staff can enjoy their daily coffee break. For a special occasion there is the Red Lion in Hinxton, offering a traditional pub menu just a stroll away from the campus. Those more health-conscious among the staff can enjoy subsidised membership of the onsite gym, join one of the many exercise classes available, or compete in the campus' own football or volleyball league.

The Sports and Social Club arranges social activities that punctuate the Institute's calendar. Burns' Night Supper, the Mid-Summer Ball and Bonfire night are favourites with staff. But quiz nights and other events throughout the year pack the social calendar, helping people across the Sanger Institute and neighbouring European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) to meet and get to know each other.

The campus also provides an intellectual environment in which the brightest minds can flourish. Regular seminars featuring internal and invited speakers and conferences that bring together specialists from across the globe cement the Genome Campus' position as a hub for biomedical research.

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