Genomic Surveillance Laboratory Platforms

Genomic Surveillance Unit

A team within the Genomic Surveillance Unit, we provide the genomic sequencing expertise that supports the monitoring of infectious diseases globally. The GSLP is a multidisciplinary team that runs all parts of the pipeline from sample receipt and library prep to next generation sequencing and post-alignment quality control checks.

About us

The GSLP was formed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team supported the sequencing of Sars-CoV-2 samples to aid the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) in tracking infections and new variants. At peak capacity in 2021, the Wellcome Sanger Institute was sequencing up to 64,000 COVID-19 samples per week – more than any other laboratory in the world.

Our lab continues to provide genomic data to the UKHSA regarding the prevalence and mutations of Sars-CoV-2 virus. However, as public health priorities have shifted, the team’s work has expanded to sequence other pathogens and their vectors, including respiratory viruses, malaria parasites, and Anopheles mosquitoes.

Our work

Alongside Sars-CoV-2 sequencing, the GSLP sequences samples for pathogens and their animal vectors across several projects.

The GSLP supports the Respiratory Virus and Microbe Initiative, led by Dr Ewan Harrison in the Sanger Institute’s Parasites and Microbes programme. The aim of this study is to provide large scale genomic surveillance of known respiratory viruses and identify unknown pathogens in the population. Among other functions, our team manages the millions of samples received during the pandemic, coordinating destruction and retention of samples for use in the RVI project.

The GSLP also provides sequencing support for malaria genomic surveillance at the GSU. As a key partner within the Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network (MalariaGEN), the GSU’s genome sequencing expertise underpins the world’s largest genomic datasets for the malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, as well as Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles funestus, important malaria-transmitting mosquitoes in Africa. The GSLP team also supports the ANOSPP project, led by Dr Mara Lawniczak in the Sanger Institute’s Tree of Life programme, which aims to better understand Anopheles species diversity, population structure, and malaria transmission across Africa.

Our people

Core team

Photo of Mr Abey Cherian

Mr Abey Cherian

Advanced Research Assistant

Photo of Anastasia Galvin

Anastasia Galvin

Operational Lead

Photo of Ben Hyatt

Ben Hyatt

Advanced Research Assistant

Photo of Megan Louise  Pierce

Megan Louise Pierce

Advanced Research Assistant

Photo of Rory Yeadon

Rory Yeadon

Team Lead

Previous team members

Photo of Remi Clare

Remi Clare

Advanced Research Assistant

Photo of Catarina Morais Saraiva

Catarina Morais Saraiva

Advanced Research Assistant