Genomics England has revealed part of how it plans to turn the huge amount of data generated by the 100,000 Genomes Project into insights into rare diseases and cancers. From today, British researchers who want to work with the data can apply to access the resource.
The initiative--called the Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership--is intended to tap into the expertise within the National Health Service and broader United Kingdom research environment to make sense of the sequencing data. Genomics England is encouraging researchers to form multidisciplinary teams made up of experts in IT, health records research, ethics and other fields and apply for access to the data center.
Each team will focus on a disease or function-specific domain, potentially giving Genomics England a pool of experts to match the scale of the database. "In order to find any meaningful correlation, it is necessary to do the research at scale. The U.K. has an advantage in medical genomics because the integrated health service will allow it to compare a lot of genomic information for statistical analyses," Michael Dunn, head of genetics at the Wellcome Trust, told the Financial Times.
Genomics England plans to create a consortium of commercial partners to work alongside the teams on precompetitive projects. Exactly how this will work is still being figured out, but the current thinking is that Genomics England will decide how and when to involve commercial companies.