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U Edinburgh, U Glasgow Launch $22.7M Scottish Genomes Partnership

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow today announced a £15 million ($22.7 million) investment in genome sequencing that establishes The Scottish Genomes Partnership. The universities are partnering with Illumina to support genomic research in Scotland in a variety of fields.

The project will initially focus on diagnosing cancer, childhood illnesses, and disorders of the central nervous system, as well as population studies. The project could eventually extend to agricultural research, sequencing plant and animal genomes important to Scotland.  

Linking genetic data with clinical information will enable more precise diagnosis for patients in the Scottish National Health Service, leading to more personalized treatment and better selection of drug therapies, Illumina said in a statement.

"Scotland is uniquely placed to make a significant contribution to the field of genomics medicine. It has well-established and approved methods of linking electronic health records to medical research programs, governed by NHS and academic regulations," Jonathan Seckl, of the University of Edinburgh, said in a statement. "Edinburgh is also home to the UK's national supercomputer facility, which will provide the high-performance data processing ability needed to analyze the vast volume of information that will be generated from this research."

The partners will purchase and install 15 Illumina HiSeq X next-generation sequencing instruments at two research hubs.

The University of Glasgow's Wolfson Wohl Cancer Centre, a translational research facility dedicated to oncology, and Edinburgh Genomics, the UK's largest university-based gene sequencing facility, will lead the project.