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The G Word
38 minutes | Aug 3, 2022
Lucy McKay: Opening the door to rare diseases
"Every disease is a rare disease because it's a disease in you, and it's interacting with you. So, this idea that there are rare diseases, and there are common diseases, [is] kind of nonsense because everything is rare in the context of a given human being." On today's episode of The G Word, our CEO, Chris Wigley, is joined by Dr Lucy McKay, CEO and founder of Medics for Rare Diseases. Medics for Rare Diseases is a grassroots charity created to change the attitude towards rare diseases and changing the ground for people with rare diseases. Together, they discuss Lucy's genomics background, delving into her personal relationship to rare disease through her brother and how a conversation at the dinner table with her parents opened the door to many opportunities. They also cover the impact of using terminology such as 'disease' and 'rare' towards patients and in classrooms.
39 minutes | Jul 27, 2022
Professor Sir Mark Caulfield: The predecessor’s view
"In cancer, it's been more challenging, because we had to get a community that hadn't really worked on the scale of data at all, to come to terms with that." On today's episode, Matt Brown, our Chief Scientific Officer at Genomics England is joined by professor Sir Mark Caulfield, one of the founding employees of Genomics England and predecessor to Matt Brown as Chief Scientific Officer. Today, they'll be discussing Mark's recollections of his time as Chief Scientific Officer of Genomics England, and his thoughts about pharmacogenomics' future.
38 minutes | Jul 20, 2022
Data science: The need for health equity
"Biomedical datasets are biased towards Western white rich men typically. This means that historically underserved groups are less likely to be represented in the data." Today on The G Word, Maxine Mackintosh, the Programme Lead for Diverse Data at Genomics England, is joined by Alisha Davies from Public Health Wales and the Alan Turing Institute, and Brieuc Lehmann, from UCL, and both of whom are involved in the data science for Health Equity community. They discuss the role of data and data science in promoting and improving health equity. They also talk about the lack of representation and diversity in genome research and how and why this must change.
32 minutes | Jul 13, 2022
Zoe Conway: Sarcoma Awareness Month, part two
"Chris had been somewhere between a father and a brother to people in Downing Street. He wasn't just principal private secretary." Today on The G Word, Vivienne Parry, our Head of Public Engagement at Genomics England is joined by BBC journalist Zoe Conway whose husband, Chris Martin, died of a rare form of sarcoma in 2015. They discuss the story of Chris Martin and his sarcoma journey. They talk about how difficult it is to diagnose sarcoma and its subtypes. They also discuss how it affected him whilst being David Cameron's Principal Private Secretary.
36 minutes | Jul 6, 2022
Adrienne Flanagan: Sarcoma Awareness Month, part one
"To gain information and insight into these, particularly, rare tumors, we will have to collect them for many, many years." Today on The G Word, Vivienne Parry, our Head of Public Engagement at Genomics England is joined by Professor Adrienne Flanagan. She is the professor of musculoskeletal pathology at UCL and is perhaps the most distinguished academic in this field in Europe. She has made major contributions to the biology of osteoclasts in conditions such as osteopetrosis and made a major advance with her discovery of the locus for the gene causing cherubism. Adrienne has also been very proactive in developing collaborative links to advance genetic studies in sarcomas. Together, they discuss the symptoms of sarcoma, what sarcoma is and its different subtypes. They also discuss the changes in Sarcoma research through genome sequencing and its future in the field of medicine.
64 minutes | Jun 30, 2022
Professor Robert Weinberg: Why do we get cancer?
"Mutations are the price that all animals must pay, starting with jellyfish all the way up to us humans" Today on The G Word, Parker Moss, our Chief Commercial Officer is joined by Professor Robert (Bob) Weinberg. Professor Weinberg is a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and is a well-respected Professor in the MIT Department of Biology. He is the author of the legendary paper, the Hallmarks of Cancer, which was one of the most cited papers on life sciences of all time, and still provides us with much of the language of modern cancer biology. They discuss why cancer occurs, why it spreads, the challenges and the hopes for early detection, and how research is contributing to improving survival for patients around the world.
43 minutes | Jun 23, 2022
Prof Kate Tatton Brown: Knowledge is Changing The World of Healthcare As We Know It
"We need to think about Genomics and we need to think about education because both are going to massively, massively change, and improve. I think we will be living in a very different space [in 30 years] than we are now...we are at the tip of the Iceberg." In this episode of The G Word, our CEO Chris Wigley is joined by Professor Kate Tatton Brown who is the Clinical Director and Head of the Genomics Education Programme at Health Education England. She's also a consultant in clinical genetics at St. George's University Hospital, and a Professor in clinical genetics and genomics education with St. George's, within the University of London. Together, they discuss Kate's pursuit of education for others around the complex topics of genomic medicine and research. Delving into the fundamentals of undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum changes, NHS involvement in genomic healthcare and the necessity of moving forward within research. They also discuss the importance of genomic awareness, access to testing and their project GeNotes - genomic notes for clinicians.
57 minutes | Jun 16, 2022
Nadeem Sarwar: Drug discovery: why do Pharma want my data?
"...the insights we get from human genetics truly are a gift from nature..." On today's episode of The G Word, Parker Moss, our Chief of Ecosystems and Partnership Officer, is joined by Nadeem Sarwar, the Global Head of Genomic Strategies and Global Head of Digital Therapeutics (DTx) Strategies at Eisai. They discuss the difference between associations and drivers of disease, the importance of knockouts and the benefits of having insights through our DNA. They also discuss the phenomenon of making medicine, how quickly we can change/have changed the realm of medicine and the possibilities of the future.
21 minutes | Jun 8, 2022
Fireside Chat with Daphne Koller, insitro: Machine Learning and Multimodal Data in Drug Discovery
“We are now in a world where there is this an abundance of data, which is only the beginning to what we're likely to be able to see in the coming years. At the same time, we have this incredible set of machine learning methods [...]. This seems to be a moment in time when those two tidal waves are about to come together in a way that offers us the opportunity to unlock some of the underlying secrets and complexities that underlie human health and human disease.” This week we are sharing for posterity the discussion that Parker Moss, our Chief Commercial Officer, hosted earlier this month at the Genomics England Research Summit. Parker’s discussion was with the world renowned Daphne Koller, the founder and CEO of insitro. Parker and Daphne explored the use of AI and machine learning in drug discovery and discussed the value of multimodal analysis. They also touched on some of the challenges of causal inference and target validation with unsupervised machine learning methodologies. Parker and Daphne then discussed the recent partnership between Genomics England and insitro.
40 minutes | Jun 1, 2022
Dr Genya Dana: The Power of Genomics
“What will be important is to engage with the patient community, it will be a very important process to complement the science that we are doing and to engage with those ultimate end users. That is the beauty of having these conversations with the people who are going to eventually end up adopting the technology.” Today's episode of The G Word is a little different. We are sharing a live recording of a recent discussion at the Public Policy Projects Global Genomics Conference between Chris Wigley, our CEO, and Dr Genya Dana, Global Head of Health Policy at Avellino. In their conversation, they delved into all things policy, such as data, ethics and education as genomics comes into the mainstream of healthcare and society. They also discussed the importance of engaging with the participant community and Dr Genya Dana’s work in the Precision Medicine Department at the World Economic Forum.
44 minutes | May 25, 2022
Professor, Sir Munir Pirmohamed: Disease, Drugs and Genomes
"If we had the same immune system, all of us, then we would be extinct by now" On todays episode of The G Word, our CEO, Chris Wigley, is joined with Professor, Sir Munir Pirmohamed, a British clinical pharmacologist and geneticist. Munir is also the NHS chair of Pharmacogenomics at the University of Liverpool. They discuss the importance of pharmaceutical drug development, understanding genome structures to better identify and predict diseases and how our lifestyle choices can lead to variation in how our genes interact with drugs. They also delve into the complexity of pharmacogenomic decisions, discussing, taking into account both clinical and genomic factors.
70 minutes | May 18, 2022
Greg Elgar: How does clinical whole genome sequencing work in the real world?
"We're taking the native DNA molecule that's actually from the cell and we're reading the sequence of that molecule. That comes with some tremendous, enormous benefits, but it also comes with it some huge challenges." On today's episode of The G Word, we are joined by Parker Moss, our Chief Commercial Officer at Genomics England, and Greg Elgar, the Director of Sequencing Economic England. They discuss techniques such as preparation ahead of sequencing itself and the logistics to get blood and tissue from humans into the sequencing lab in Cambridge. They also delve into the science of how sequencing itself works, what is needed for accurate sequencing and highlight and debate the implications of genomics, as well as, how it comes into the mainstream of health care and society.
35 minutes | May 11, 2022
The Genomics England Research Summit: Pick of the Conference!
“I Remember when I got to the stage to introduce Edwin Cuppen, who was the first speaker on the cancer Genomics track, and I was just… it’s happening! It’s happening! We did it!” On today's episode of The G Word, we are joined by the chairs for scientific content at the recent Genomics England Research Summit: Dalia Kasperaviciute, Head of Genomic Data Sciences for Rare Disease; Alona Sosinsky, Scientific Director for Cancer; Francisco Azuaje, Director of Bioinformatics, and Maxine Mackintosh, Programme Lead for Diverse Data, all at Genomics England. They choose their picks of the Summit, some of their favourite moments, and how it felt to get together again with the genomics community under one roof. They also discuss how what they saw and heard highlights the power and implications of genomics, as it comes into the mainstream of health care and society.
46 minutes | May 4, 2022
Angela Saini: The history of race science, the use of language and its implications on genomics
"The vast majority of what we think of as human differences, cultural and linguistic, the act of categorization in science itself, I've come to see as fundamentally fraught and political." On this week's episode we join Diksha Srivastava from our Diverse Data team, Ewan Birney from EMBL-EBI and special guest Angela Saini, a science journalist, broadcaster and the author of best selling books Geek Nation, Inferior, and Superior: The Return of Race Science, published in 2019. Angela's work has appeared in Science, Wired, The Guardian, The New Humanist and New Scientist. She is also a presenter on the BBC Radio. They discuss about the history of race science, the use of language and its implications on genomics.
58 minutes | Apr 27, 2022
Nobel Laureate Harold Varmus: Cancer Biology and the future of Cancer Research
“It's critical that the general public understand that science is a long process, and that science is a process that often begins with the art of the feasible. […] We wouldn't be anywhere without computers, we wouldn't be anywhere without DNA sequencing methods. That not only gives me confidence, but it also makes me feel that there's an awful lot left to do.” In this week’s episode of The G Word, our Chief Ecosystems and Partnership Officer Parker Moss is joined by Harold Varmus, who was previously the director of the National Institute of Health and of the National Cancer Institute and is currently the Lewis Thomas University Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and a senior associate at the New York Genome Center. He also won the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes with J. Michael Bishop. Today they discuss cancer biology, the future of cancer research and the major questions that studying diverse ethnicities will uncover through genomics. Harold and Parker also discussed some of the big challenges of bringing molecular diagnostics and genomics into lower income countries and the technologies that are continuing to help explore functional genomics in cancer.
35 minutes | Apr 22, 2022
Dr Annalisa Jenkins: The role of Genomics in Therapeutics
“Patients are absolutely firmly at the centre. That every day we get out of bed, with the patient and their caregivers and families, front of mind. […] You can't be successful in drug development and novel therapeutic development, without engaging the patient communities, as a partner and as a collaborator on the journey.” In this week’s episode of The G Word, our CEO Chris Wigley is joined by Dr Annalisa Jenkins, non-Executive Director at Perspectrum Ltd, Oncimmune, AVROBIO, Affimed, COMPASS Pathways and Genomics England They discuss Annalisa’s background across life sciences and the role of genomics in development of diagnostics and therapeutics. They also discuss the importance of patient communities.
36 minutes | Apr 13, 2022
Tamsin Berry: The World of Life Sciences
"The big realisation for me working in life sciences is if we didn't have [this] industry, to translate this amazing science that comes out of academic institutions into usable products, then we wouldn't be able to benefit as individuals." We join Chris Wigley and special guest Tamsin Berry in today's episode of, The G Word. Tamsin is Partner at Population Health Partners, and former Director of the UK government’s Office for Life Sciences. They discuss the importance of Life Sciences and what it is, focusing on the impact this particular research has on individual lives. They discuss how Tamsin became a part of the life science world and her journey to becoming Director of the Office of Life Sciences. They also discuss the importance of research funding and genome understanding.
26 minutes | Apr 6, 2022
Sir Patrick Vallance: The evolution and future uses of genomics
“The whole area is going to be crucial for everything from monitoring waste, you can think about its use in monitoring biodiversity, such a key area for the future. You can think about the impact of the environment and on the changes in species across the world over time. This is going to be a ubiquitous area of societal discussion.” In this week’s episode of The G Word, our CEO Chris Wigley is joined by Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser and the Head of Government Science and Engineering. They discuss Sir Patrick Vallance’s role and work in the government, the areas that genomics is starting to touch on beyond healthcare and the use of genomic data. They also discuss the role of legislation and societal dialogue, they touched on the impact of the pandemic and how genomic sequencing is crucial to understand the spread of COVID-19. Sir Patrick Vallance also raised the importance of monitoring biodiversity and the impact on the environment.
66 minutes | Mar 30, 2022
Dr Stanley Crooke: Advancing the health of human beings around the world
“Let's talk about patients. That's where we have to always begin. This is about patients. I was tremendously impressed with how much the patient advocacy groups had accomplished, that helped us make judgments that are really complex and very dangerous judgments. All that played into the success. Then, of course, it was very rapidly approved around the world.” In this week’s episode of The G Word, Dr Richard Scott, our Chief Medical Officer, is joined by Dr Stanley Crooke, M.D., Ph.D., the founder, chairman of the board and Chief Executive Officer of n-Lorem. In this episode, Dr Scott and Dr Crooke discuss the foundation of n-Lorem, the importance of patient advocacy groups and the spinal muscular atrophy treatment Spinraza. They also discussed the value of whole genome sequencing in newborn screening.
35 minutes | Mar 23, 2022
Amanda Pichini: Genetic Counselling
“It's not just talking about a genetic test, testing parents to see if they're carriers after their child's been diagnosed or talking about reproductive options when people want to have another child - it's a lot more than that. It's navigating those difficult decisions in a situation where there’s a genetic risk or someone has been diagnosed with something and they need to know if it's going to have an impact on their life and future.” In this week’s episode of The G Word, Chris Wigley is joined by Amanda Pichini, Clinical Lead for Genetic Counselling at Genomics England. They discuss genetic counselling, The 100,000 Genomes Project and uncertainty in genomic medicine. They also discuss the impact of genomics on young people and her early career.
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