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Congenica co-founder and genetics pioneer Dr Matthew Hurles elected to fellowship of Royal Society


By Paul Brackley


The co-founder and scientific director of Congenica, Dr Matthew Hurles, has been elected to the fellowship of the Royal Society.

Dr Matthew Hurles, Congenica co-founder and scientific director (8978785)
Dr Matthew Hurles, Congenica co-founder and scientific director (8978785)

It represents the highest accolade in UK science and reflects his contribution to genetic research, particularly in the genetic roots of undiagnosed developmental disorders.

Congenica provides the clinical genomics analysis platform Sapientia, created out of research by the Wellcome Genome Campus and NHS.

Dr Hurles was one of the company’s founders in 2014, and has led it through pioneering research programmes such as 1000 Genomes, UK10K and Deciphering Developmental Disorders, which have helped us understand the underlying causes of disease.

As a result, hundreds of families now have clinical diagnoses.

His work has been pivotal to the recent launch of the national clinical genetic screening programme, the NHS’ Genomic Medicine Service, for which Congenica is the exclusive provider of diagnostic decision support.

Congenica is also a partner in the Genomics England 100,000 Genomes Project and China’s 100K Wellness Pioneer Project.

Dr Hurles said: “I am honoured to have been elected to this prestigious organisation.

“This work is a reflection of hundreds of hours of commitment from researchers, clinicians, parents and patients without whom this would not be possible.

“It is humbling to know that my work has helped so many people, and I believe this is only the beginning for genomic healthcare.”

Congenica says about 80 per cent of rare diseases are believed to have a genetic component and pPatients wait an average of 4.7 years and typically see 7.4 different clinical specialists, before getting a diagnosis. Its Sapienta platform speeds up this process by enabling clinicians to interrogate the human genome to identify disease-causing variants.

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