Wellcome Sanger Institute

Cellular Generation and Phenotyping

Scientific Operations

The Cellular Generation and Phenotyping (CGaP) core facility provides central cell biology support to the Sanger Institute. CGaP takes a unique approach at the institute by partnering with faculty groups in order to deliver the scale-up of existing protocols to facilitate 'Science at Scale'. We function as a contract research group for the institute, running multiple, distinct cell biology based projects. The facility has expertise in cell derivation from primary tissue, iPSC and organoid derivation, cellular differentiation, CRISPR library screening, functional bioassays, phenotypic assays and end point analysis (e.g. Immunocytochemistry).

Our approach is very much to work in partnership with faculty groups for the duration of any project, since due to the evolving nature of cellular biology, protocols often change during the course of a project’s lifespan. Broadly the group’s expertise can be divided into the following key areas:

Cell derivation

Currently this is the production of stem cells from skin or blood or the production of organoids from tissue biopsies.

Phenotypic characterisation

Using techniques such as high content imaging and cell-based bioassays we are able to characterise cells by their surface markers and their responses to stimuli. Such techniques often have application in the validation of gene editing and of therapeutic targets.

Cellular differentiation

The differentiation of precursor cells into a committed linage such as a neuronal cells or macrophages. Ideally differentiation assays are coupled with phenotypic and functional assays to ensure that the resulting cells have the appropriate characteristics.

CRISPR Library Screens

Running whole genome knockout CRISPR libary screens to help idenitfy new drug targets using cancer cell lines, iPSCs and organoid models.

Media production

Supplying all cell growth media, differentiation medias, growth factors and coated plates needed by the department and faculty groups with overlapping interests.

Research and Development

Work in the group is underpinned by a research and development function which undertakes continual improvement across the group in order to introduce new techniques and to increase capacity and quality of existing ones.

Core team

Photo of Leighton Sneade

Leighton Sneade

Principal Technical Assistant

Photo of Dr Charlotte Beaver

Dr Charlotte Beaver

Senior Scientific Manager

Photo of Laura Letchford

Laura Letchford

Senior Research Assistant

Photo of Dr Mya Fekry-Troll

Dr Mya Fekry-Troll

Advanced Research Assistant

Photo of Dr Daryl Cole

Dr Daryl Cole

Advanced Research Assistant

Photo of Miss Maria Victoria Garcia-Casado

Miss Maria Victoria Garcia-Casado

Advanced Research Assistant

Photo of James Haldane

James Haldane

Research Assistant

Photo of Dr Adam Hunter

Dr Adam Hunter

Senior Research Assistant

Photo of Dr Andy Day

Dr Andy Day

Senior Scientific Manager

Photo of Ceri Govan

Ceri Govan

Principal Technical Assistant

Photo of Dr Hazel Rogers

Dr Hazel Rogers

Senior Research Assistant

Photo of Alexandra Neaverson

Alexandra Neaverson

Research Assistant

Photo of Malin Andersson

Malin Andersson

Advanced Research Assistant

Photo of Luke Foulser

Luke Foulser

Research Assistant

Previous team members

Photo of Dr Céline Gomez

Dr Céline Gomez

Senior Scientific Manager

Photo of Anthi Tsingene

Anthi Tsingene

Research Assistant

Photo of Rizwan Ansari

Rizwan Ansari

Advanced Research Assistant

Photo of Sam Barnett

Sam Barnett

Advanced Research Assistant

Photo of Eleanor Gillman

Eleanor Gillman

Research Assistant

Related groups


We work with the following groups



HipSci brings together diverse constituents in genomics, proteomics, cell biology and clinical genetics to create a UK national iPS cell resource and use it to carry out cellular genetic studies. Between 2013 and 2016 we aim to generate iPS cells from over 500 healthy individuals and 500 individuals with genetic disease. We will then use these cells to discover how genomic variation impacts on cellular phenotype and identify new disease mechanisms.



INSIGNIA is a study focused on the investigation of patterns of mutations (signatures) in inherited and other progressive genetic diseases.Cancer is the ultimate genetic disease characterised by many thousands of mutations that accumulate within the genome of a cancer patient. The sets of mutations observed in a cancer genome are the overall outcome of a number of different mutational processes. These are caused by an underlying mechanism of DNA damage, and subsequent attempts by the cell to repair that damage. As a result, each mutational process will leave a distinctive mark or mutational signature on the cancer genome.In the same way that counting tree rings can tell us about the age and growth of that tree, the mutational signatures 'buried in the genome' can provide us with information on the biological changes that have occurred during the course of cancer (or other genetic disease) development.



OpenTargets is a unique public-private initiative to apply cutting edge genetics research to the problem of drug taregt identification and validation. They have generously funded several projects in our lab on the application of CRISPR technology to human IPS-derived model systems



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