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Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Promotes Mike Stratton to Director

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Mike Stratton has been named the new director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, where he has served as deputy director since 2007.

Stratton has been acting director of the institute's Board of Management since March, when Allan Bradley stepped down as director after 10 years at the institute's helm in order to found a startup company and focus on his research.

"I aim to build ambitiously on the Institute's current leadership in large scale analysis of genomes and experimental studies in model organisms to develop cellular systems that will explore human biology and to provide transformative insights into how diseases develop," Stratton said today in a statement.

"Our Institute will make a major contribution to understanding what these sequences mean and will be a leading voice in society's consideration of how they should be used in order to achieve our aim of improving human health," Stratton added.

Stratton is a team leader of Sanger's Cancer Genome Project, which uses human genome sequencing and high-throughput mutation detection techniques to identify acquired mutations in human cancer rather than inherited mutations. The research aims to identify new cancer genes, understand the process of cancer mutation, and reveal the role of genome structure in determining the abnormalities of cancer genomes.

He is also joint head of the International Cancer Gene Consortium, which aims to sequence over 25,000 tumors from 50 different cancer types at the genomic, epigenomic, and transcriptomic levels.

This past year, Sanger has committed itself to upgrading its sequencing capacity, as well as shifting its use from large-scale initiatives such as the Cancer Genome Project, to clinical studies focused on generating sequence information for patient samples.

Stratton qualified in medicine at Oxford University and Guys Hospital, trained as a histopathologist at the Hammersmith and Maudsley Hospitals, and obtained a PhD in the molecular biology of cancer at the Institute of Cancer Research, where he is a professor of Cancer Genetics. He led the group that mapped and identified the high-risk breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA2.

Bradley, who will assume the title of director emeritus, succeeded the institute's founding director Sir John Sulston in 2000.

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