Genomics healthcare and research


Published 18/01/2024

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A project aimed at developing a UK model for applying ethical standards to genomics initiatives.

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Project Background and aims

Genomics in healthcare and research is a fast-moving area of science. In its Genome UK strategy (2020), the Government committed to establishing a 'gold standard UK model' for how to apply strong and consistent ethical and regulatory standards in genomics research and healthcare.

In a 2022 UK-wide shared commitments plan for the implementation of Genome UK, the four countries of the UK recognised the need for more discussion on how to achieve this in a meaningful way.

From March-December 2022, we helped to facilitate those discussions in partnership with the Office for Life Sciences (OLS) and genomics healthcare leads in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The aims were to:

  • Gather and share best practice
  • Build connections between people and organisations in the UK with an interest in the ethical issues raised by genomic healthcare and research
  • Identify the potential features or steps of a ‘gold standard UK model’ for ethics in genomics, as well as the challenges and barriers to applying such a model.

Our analysis and findings will help the Government develop a UK model for how to apply ethical standards to genomics initiatives.

We published the findings from this project in July 2023. For more information on this work, please email us on

This work was funded and led by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.