Education 5

GEP partners with Social Mobility Foundation

The new partnership has been working to develop educational activities for students based around genomic medicine

The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) aims to improve opportunities for social mobility for young people from low income backgrounds. The foundation aims to support students who have the academic ability to flourish in top universities and professions, but lack the encouragement, confidence or networks to achieve their goal.

A new genomics partnership

Earlier this year, the programme was approached by a local education initiative known as Health Tech, with the objective of creating a programme of activities about genomics for interested SMF students.

Several activities were proposed as part of the initiative, including work placements at NHS Genomics Medicine Centres and a visit to the Sanger Institute in Cambridge – where whole genome sequencing is performed.

Learning more at the Sanger Institute

In August, the first group of students visited Cambridge with members of the GEP team to learn more about the exciting genomics work that is happening there. During the visit the group took part in a practical activity giving them the opportunity to explore how genomes in cancerous tissue differ from those in healthy tissue.

Following a tour of the facilities in the afternoon, the students took part in a discussion around ethics in the genomics era, and were encouraged to draw out important points that should be considered.

The students all enjoyed their day and agreed that the visit had been a great insight into the world of genomics and DNA. It is hoped that further activities will take place over the coming 12 months.