The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is one of the world's leading genome centres. Through its ability to conduct research at scale, it is able to engage in bold and long-term exploratory projects that are designed to influence and empower medical science globally. Institute research findings, generated through its own research programmes and through its leading role in international consortia, are being used to develop new diagnostics and treatments for human disease.
In 2011–12, among other work, Institute researchers discovered a gene that can be used to test for a form of blood cancer, corrected a genetic mutation in a patient’s stem cells, identified new targets for vaccines for malaria, defined new genetic testing concepts for Chlamydia and launched a new national project to uncover genetic variants that lie behind developmental delay and deficits in children.
The Sanger Institute led efforts to keep the human genome free to all and is committed today to making its research available to researchers worldwide and accessible to all audiences through its media and public engagement work.
The Wellcome Trust and South Cambridgeshire
Acquired by the Wellcome Trust in 1994, the Genome Campus is a 55-acre estate south of Cambridge in the grounds of Hinxton Hall. Nestled in the quiet countryside of these landscaped gardens in the heart of South Cambridgeshire are two world-class research facilities – the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL–EBI). Complementing their research work is a comprehensive conference and meetings centre.
In 1996, both the Sanger Centre (as it was then known) and the neighbouring EBI began to migrate into purpose-built new buildings. These would be home to some of the most important genetic discoveries of the 20th and 21st Centuries. A second building development to extend the Campus' facilities was opened in 2005, creating a state-of-the-art new home for staff amenities and a data centre to house the growing data storage needs of the Sanger Institute and EBI.
Throughout the years, the adjoining parkland and Wellcome Trust funded wetland sites have developed a diverse ecosystem populated by wildlife and enjoyed by South Cambridgeshire dog-walkers, families and local people.
David Davison, Campus Director, says: “South Cambridgeshire provides a perfect home for the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute: it combines a wonderful environment with rapid and easy access to leading academic and commercial research and teaching hospitals.
“I am still surprised and delighted by how often a visitor will be delighted by the great location and facilities here.
“We are in the leading region for biotech in Europe, next to one of the greatest universities in the world and a short ride from the heart of London. This combination of factors makes us, in part, what we are – and helps us in our search for improvements to healthcare. ”