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Press Release

Leicester researcher comments on major new Genome study
Press release date04/08/2014
Dr Julian Barwell at Leicester’s Hospitals has been interviewed about Leicester’s plan to take part in the 100,000 Genomes Project.
Press release

The study will be run across a small number of areas nation-wide and Leicester is currently bidding in collaboration with Cambridge and Nottingham to deliver the study in the East Midlands. The study aims to map the genome sequence of 20,000 people with rare diseases and 20,000 people with cancer. Alongside this, there is a plan to map the genome of the parents of those affected with rare diseases and the tumours of cancer patients.


Dr Barwell, senior lecturer and honorary consultant in clinical genetics, explains, “The study is ground-breaking as it aims to help to benefit patients and the NHS at the same time. This is a good thing for people in the East Midlands in three separate ways:

1)    It will help identify the cause of diseases to improve our understanding of a number of different conditions

2)    It will personalise treatment plans for cancer patients based on genetic changes in tumours

3)    It will clarify the risks for other family members.


"We are also currently in the process of opening a new paediatric and genetic research unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary, so it is a fantastic opportunity for patients to become involved and have access to the best and newest facilities.”


The study itself is helping to create partnerships with local universities and support groups. One such group is PROSTaid, a local charity who has been working with the team. PROSTaid provide support and information for those living with Prostate Cancer, and are committed to helping to identify affected men and support them through the testing process.


The study has come about through Genomics England (a new company established by NHS England) and promises to deliver 100,000 full genome sequences by the end of 2017. The pilot is on-going and the full study will be launching nationwide in January 2015.


Genomics England’s website can be found here: http://goo.gl/j2HT8

PROSTaid’s website can be found here: http://goo.gl/XdH3p3

Contact information:
Contact information
For media enquiries, please contact:

Jennifer Durrant
Research Communications Manager
Leicester’s Hospitals
0116 258 4747

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