The West Midlands Regional Genetics Service (WMRGS) is relocating its Germline, Bioinformatics, Cancer Genetics, Business and Quality support teams to the Birmingham Research Park – at the heart of the BHP campus.
WMRGS runs the largest genetics laboratory in the UK, providing services to over 5.8 million NHS patients and processing over 55,000 samples a year. Demand for these services is constantly increasing due to developments in genetics that allow earlier and more accurate diagnosis.
The service uses a wide variety of technologies and works closely with the biomedical services and BHP members in the surrounding area, including the Clinical Genetics Unit at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital and the University of Birmingham.
These services are split into two overarching clinical programmes – the Germline Genetics Programme which includes prenatal diagnosis, developmental disorders, rare diseases and infertility, and the Cancer Genetics Programme which provides testing to people who may have an increased risk of developing cancer due to family history.
Research Park Manager Angie Reynolds commented: “The Regional Genetics Service is the hub for a vast operation that works closely with the biomedical services in the surrounding area. The new staff have settled in rapidly, and are adding considerably to the verve our commercial and incubator tenants already enjoy.
Concurrently, some elements of the Research Park are undergoing refurbishment, including the first floor of the BioHub Birmingham®, which will be developed over the next few months to provide office and laboratory space for up to six biomedical tenant companies
The WMRGS Germline, Bioinformatics, Business and Quality support teams moved in a few days ago, and will be followed by the Cancer Programme at a later date. Overall, the move will bring a 120 new people to the Research Park, taking the office buildings to full occupancy, and meaning that 600 people work at the Research Park.
WMRGS laboratory staff will remain at the Women’s Hospital.