What does genomics mean to you? How would you answer this question? Does it mean your family? Maybe it’s your ancestry? What about your health? Or perhaps the answer is, “I’ve no idea!” For our latest exhibition at the Wellcome Genome Campus we posed this question to those who work here. The creative responses featured in Genomic Expressions are by people from across our campus: lab assistants, administrators, software developers, and senior scientists. It is their ideas and words that you will encounter. Some may make you smile, some are heart-warming but all encourage us to reflect on our own answer to the question.
A genome is the unique DNA code possessed by all living things; their very own set of instructions made from four chemicals that we know as A, C, G and T. The Wellcome Genome Campus was established as part of the Human Genome Project; a project to sequence the entire human genome for the first time, working out the code letter by letter – all 3.2 billion! This year is the 25th anniversary of the Wellcome Genome Campus; a milestone to reflect on how far genomics has moved from a new science to an area of research that is already making changes to treat diseases and explore the world we live in. Genomic Expressions is about the question "what does genomics mean to you?" Below, some of the exhibition contributors share their thoughts.
One of the wonderful things about being a genome scientist is the personal connection to your own research. My work involves finding genetic variants involved with diseases, and every one of those discoveries tells me something about myself, too.Jeffrey Barrett, Director of Open Targets
“Genomics means ‘family’ to me. It’s the silver thread that links me to my relatives; it’s about what is shared within my family and our communal heritage. My sister, mother and maternal grandfather are all artists and sculptors.” Anna Middleton, Head of Society & Ethics Research
“For me, genomics is about exploration. It is a chance to understand a hidden language that unites all life yet at the same time, almost paradoxically, underscores biological diversity.” Alex Cagan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Wellcome Sanger Institute
"Our work at the Wellcome Sanger Institute focuses on using genomics to advance human health, but genomics is also used in fields such as agriculture, animal conservation and horse-racing. It can change the way we manage the health of the animal populations we rely so heavily upon." Jessica Forbester, Posdoctoral Research Assoicate
Genomic Expressions is a FREE exhibition that runs until 16th June 2018. You can visit it on one of our monthly Open Saturday events that are open to all, or by prior arrangement for group visits.