woman looking at a model of DNA

Genomes, whole genome sequencing and the genomics team

Three new introductory films explore why we want to know about genomes, how whole genome sequencing is used in key areas, and who makes up the genomics team

Genomics and genomic medicine are very much in the spotlight thanks to the increased application of genomics in healthcare. With this increased focus more people are asking about genomics: why do we want to know about genomes and how, once collected, can genomic information be used? The GEP has created three new introductory films which seek to answer these questions and introduce the key professionals involved in genomic medicine.

Why do we want to know about genomes?

In this film we investigate what genomics can tell us. What are specialists looking for when they analyse genomic information? Dr Michelle Bishop from the GEP explores a range of reasons why different people and professionals want to know about genomes. She introduces the concept of genomic variation and explains why it is the main focus for healthcare professionals and scientists performing genomic analysis.

Whole genome sequencing: finding answers for patients

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is a relatively new test that enables us to obtain a sequence of the entire genetic code – all of the DNA – of a person or organism. In this film, we hear from three experts from across the fields of rare disease, cancer and infectious disease about the latest uses for WGS in their areas. Dr Richard Scott, Dr Nirupa Murugaesu and Lead TB nurse Christine Bell all use examples from their clinical practice to give an insight into the particular benefits that WGS brings.

The ‘genomics team’

In this film we are introduced to the groups of professionals involved in all aspects of genomic care – the ‘genomics team’. Dr Michelle Bishop outlines the roles of the clinical geneticists, genetic counsellors, laboratory scientists and clinical bioinformaticians who work together to conduct genomic tests and analyse results for the diagnosis and management of patients. Michelle also explains that the genomics team works closely with other medical specialists across the health service.

Start your learning journey today

These three films are available to view on our Vimeo channel. You can also learn more about the individual professions mentioned above on our genomics careers page. If you’d like to know more about genomics and whole genome sequencing in particular, why not sign up to our free online course, which runs twice a year: https://www.genomicseducation.hee.nhs.uk/education/online-courses/whole-genome-sequencing/