Building a community of collaboration in genomic science

Cambridge hosts international meeting of academic partners in AstraZeneca’s Centre for Genomics Research

Yesterday at an event held in Cambridge, UK, scientists from AstraZeneca’s Centre for Genomics Research joined together with a host of academic thought-leaders for an inaugural meeting to share the latest in genomics science.

Held at Madingley Hall, University of Cambridge, academic partners from around the globe, who are part of AstraZeneca’s Genomics Initiative, discussed their progress towards achieving the aims of the Initiative, plus latest developments in genomics science and direction for the future.

Reflecting the growing level of knowledge in the field, discussions were lively and challenging, bringing forward emerging data from large-scale genome and exome sequencing, transcriptomics, patient stratification, and machine learning. A common thread was the challenge of expansion into  therapy areas beyond oncology to uncover the complexity in cardiovascular, metabolic and respiratory diseases.

Our integrated genomics initiative, led by Professor David Goldstein, is an industry first in terms of scale and scope, applying the knowledge gained from an unprecedented two million genomes comprehensively across our entire research and development pipeline. This will help us identify new targets for medicines and understand which treatments will work best for which patients.


Getting academic partners together in this way is critical for the success of the Centre for Genomics Research. You need a real understanding of the genomics academic landscape to figure out what’s truly relevant to your drug projects. This field evolves at an incredibly fast pace, so the open and collaborative approach AstraZeneca is taking is more important than ever to remain at the forefront of the latest developments in genomic science.

Professor David Goldstein

We shared some really exciting science here today and we feel very energised by this open approach to sharing ideas and challenging each other. Collaborations with our academic partners are central to the AstraZeneca genomics initiative, enabling the genomic analysis of up to two million individuals which will drive the transformation of drug discovery and development. We look forward to holding more meetings like this in the future as our Centre for Genomics Research begins to take shape here in Cambridge.

Ruth March VP, Personalised Healthcare and Biomarkers

Our integrated genomics initiative is broad ranging and collaborative, aiming to place us at the forefront of applied genomics research. Genomics is fundamental to our laboratory research, our clinical trials and the launch of new precision medicines. Our culture of collaboration enables us to partner with some of the world’s best scientists, and today’s meeting is a great example of how we work with academic leaders who share our passion for genomics, innovation and helping turn great science into medicines for patients.

Mene Pangalos EVP, IMED Biotech Unit and Global Business Development


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