Festival of Genomics: our Favourite Parts of this three day Festival

From Tuesday 19th until Thursday 21st January, hundreds of industry and academic genetic researchers descended onto Excel in London for the Festival of Genomics! With its 8 workshops, plenary talks and high profile guest speakers, the Festival of Genomics energised attendees, encouraged dialogue and facilitated understanding between different sectors. Its ultimate aim was to create a seismic shift in the rate of adoption of genomic medicine in the UK.

As a media partner, DNAdigest attended the event on all three days, and as well absorbing as much information as possible we also mingled with the attendees and spread our mission of supporting ethical and efficient access and reuse of human genomic data. So what were the highlights for us?


Understanding sequencing problems – interpreting QC on large data sets

Although we enjoyed so many of the festival workshops, this was one of our favourites because it highlighted problems with sequencing that we had never considered before and gave practical context to those problems. It was easy to digest this workshop and the take home message still lingers in the office and is often the topic of lunch time conversations.

Plenary Talks

In particular, we enjoyed Sir John Burns’ (Professor of Clinical Genetics from Newcastle University) and Alex Dickinson’s (Senior Vice President of Illumina) plenary talks. Both of these talks highlighted some major issues resulting from the lack of genomics in medicine and although the road ahead is long, both talks left us with the feeling that together we will get there.

Music of the Spheres

We really enjoyed the extra novetly of the ‘Music of the Spheres’, in which the Kreutzer quartet played music decoded from DNA. The idea was very ambitious and unique and we enjoyed the atmosphere it brought to the event. From the crowds you can see that we were not alone in our views.



Event organisers Front Line Genomics recently released presentation slides from the workshops, plenaries and stream talks. To get them, simply complete the Front Line Genomics survey.


If you are already missing the Festival of Genomics or perhaps waiting for the festival to cross the Alantic, then today is your lucky day because the Festival of Genomics is coming to Boston, USA from June 27th – 29th. For more information visit the event website.

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