Professor David Aanensen

Director of the Centre for Genomic Pathogen Surveillance and Former Group Leader


This person is a member of Sanger Institute Alumni.

David Aanensen moved to the Big Data Institute at the University of Oxford in 2021. To find out more about his ongoing work, please visit: and

This page is no longer being updated and is a historical record of David Aanensen’s work at the Sanger Institute.

David is the Director of the Centre for Genomic Pathogen Surveillance (CGPS) which brings together expertise in data modeling, software development, epidemiology, bioinformatics and machine learning, genomic technology, Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP), training and capacity building. David is based at the Big Data Institute, University of Oxford.

For endemic pathogens (and outbreak scenarios), epidemiological data combined with genomics can inform control strategies and interventions on a local, national and international scale. Data generation, integration, analytical flow and interpretation in real-time is challenging, but crucial for decision making and action.

Within the CGPS, David and his team focus on data flow and the use of genome sequencing for surveillance of microbial pathogens through a combination of web application and software engineering, methods development and large-scale structured pathogen surveys and sequencing of microbes with delivery of information for decision making.

Working with major public health agencies such as the US CDC, the European CDC, Public Health England and the WHO, systems are utilised to interpret and aid decision making for infection control.

David is also Director of the NIHR funded Global Health Research Unit on Genomic Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) working with partners leading National AMR strategies in The Phillipines, Colombia, Nigeria and India to implement genomic surveillance and linking to routine phenotypic and epidemiological data for priority pathogens.

Major applications include:


Mobile data gathering platform used globally and by major health agencies, citizen scientists, ecologists, epidemiologists, business analytics, schools and colleges over 14,000 projects and > 28Million data points.


Open data visualisation and sharing for genomic epidemiology. Used by major agencies such as CDC, eCDC and PHE for routine investigation of public health incidents.


A global platform for genomic surveillance of microbial pathogens (including all major WHO Priority bacterial pathogens) Rapid prediction of resistant genotypes, and clustering giving epidemiological context.

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