Prof Stephan Beck, PhD FMedSci

Professor of Medical Genomics, University College London

Stephan was a member of faculty at the Sanger Institute is a being maintained as a historical record of his time at the Institute.


This person is a member of Sanger Institute Alumni.

This page is no longer being updated and serves as a record of Stephan’s time at the Sanger Institute.

Stephan Beck PhD FMedSci is Professor of Medical Genomics at the University College London (UCL) Cancer Institute.

Using experimental and computational approaches, his laboratory has broad interests in the genomics and epigenomics of phenotypic plasticity in health and disease. His research aims to advance translational, regenerative and personalized medicine.

He received his PhD in 1985 from the University of Konstanz where he studied DNA structure. After appointments at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, Millipore Corporation in Boston and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, he joined the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in 1996.

During his tenure as Head of Human Sequencing (1998-2006), he played a leading role in the sequencing and analysis of the human and mouse genomes. He is a founding member of the Human Epigenome Project and the Personal Genome Project UK and serves on numerous national and international advisory boards. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and recipient of a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

At the Sanger Institute, Stephan’s Immunogenics laboratory studied the genetics and epigenetics of the immune-subgenome. It employed high-throughput technologies to investigate fundamental aspects of the immune system and their roles in evolution and disease. Its model systems were the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) and the Leukocyte Receptor Complex (LRC).


The laboratory was a founding member of several international resources that generated much of the underlying data for individual projects using both experimental and computational approaches:

  • The MHC and LRC Haplotype Projects
  • The Human Epigenome Project (HEP)

Research foci

The laboratory focused on:

  • Comparative (epi)genomics
  • Technology development
  • Inflammatory and autoimmune diseases