It took less than a year to go from diagnosing the first case of COVID-19 to administering the first vaccine. Advances in genomics, sped up by the cloud, contributed to this revolutionary speed.
Genomics England (GEL) was established to deliver the 100,000 Genomes Project, a cohort of cancer and rare disease whole genomes by the UK Department of Health and Social Care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, GEL launched an initiative to deliver a cohort of eight leading pharmaceutical companies and research organizations to fuel vaccine treatment and early-detection research. The COVID Research Environment now hosts 35,000 genomes and went live on AWS in under three months. This federated system allows companies and researchers across the cohort to connect with their own private data sets and then help increase global collaboration in a secure environment.
GEL is also currently migrating its genomics medicine service to AWS, along with the 100,000-genome data set to further accelerate research.