Sarion Bowers, PhD | Head of Policy

Bowers, Sarion

As a leader in much of its research the Institute is often faced with new ethical and governance challenges, across a range of topics. It is my role to work with national and international policy makers and science advocates to develop good governance and legislation and to ensure the Institute has policies in place that make our research legally compliant and of the highest ethical standards.

The research at the Sanger Institute touches on a very wide range of ethical and legal issues, and topics such as use of human tissue and sharing of genomic data can be very sensitive. It is therefore critically important that our research respects the expectations and privacy those individuals who volunteer to particpate in our research. As a result, my job has a wide remit.
I am currently working on a number of projects including:

  • Looking at how to improve the quality of the data we share and how researchers can better identify useful datasets.
  • The ethical, legal and policy issues around use of human tissue in large-scale resources for the science community.
  • The ethics and governance of genome editing.
  • Good research practice and academic conduct.
  • All-Party Parliamentary Group on innovative health.

I work with people across the Institute, including the faculty, public engagement and the Director's Office, as well as with the Wellcome Trust and other science advocacy groups in order to engage policy makers in the UK and in Europe and to bring the Institute's voice to the various debates around the world on bioethics and the use of genomics and data in healthcare. I am also responsible for the research policies of the Institute to ensure that our research is not only legal but employs the highest ethical standards.


  • Establishment of Centromeric Chromatin by the CENP-A Assembly Factor CAL1 Requires FACT-Mediated Transcription.

    Chen CC, Bowers S, Lipinszki Z, Palladino J, Trusiak S et al.

    Developmental cell 2015;34;1;73-84

  • A role for the CAL1-partner Modulo in centromere integrity and accurate chromosome segregation in Drosophila.

    Chen CC, Greene E, Bowers SR and Mellone BG

    PloS one 2012;7;9;e45094

  • The inducible tissue-specific expression of the human IL-3/GM-CSF locus is controlled by a complex array of developmentally regulated enhancers.

    Baxter EW, Mirabella F, Bowers SR, James SR, Bonavita AM et al.

    Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 2012;189;9;4459-69

  • Starting from scratch: de novo kinetochore assembly in vertebrates.

    Bowers SR and Mellone BG

    The EMBO journal 2011;30;19;3882-4

  • Assembly of Drosophila centromeric chromatin proteins during mitosis.

    Mellone BG, Grive KJ, Shteyn V, Bowers SR, Oderberg I and Karpen GH

    PLoS genetics 2011;7;5;e1002068

  • Runx1 binds as a dimeric complex to overlapping Runx1 sites within a palindromic element in the human GM-CSF enhancer.

    Bowers SR, Calero-Nieto FJ, Valeaux S, Fernandez-Fuentes N and Cockerill PN

    Nucleic acids research 2010;38;18;6124-34

  • A conserved insulator that recruits CTCF and cohesin exists between the closely related but divergently regulated interleukin-3 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor genes.

    Bowers SR, Mirabella F, Calero-Nieto FJ, Valeaux S, Hadjur S et al.

    Molecular and cellular biology 2009;29;7;1682-93

Bowers, Sarion
Sarion's Timeline

Policy Lead


Joined Sanger Institute - Research Policy Advisor


University of Sussex - MSc in Science and Technology Policy


Joined the University of Connecticut - Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Joined University of Leeds - Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Joined University of Cambridge - PhD Biochemistry