Our history

Originally established as the founding centre for public health genomics in the UK in 1997, we became an independent registered charity in 2007. Today we are a health policy think tank committed to helping decision makers deliver the benefits of biomedical innovations to all. We do this through shaping the conversation, providing the evidence, analysing policy and advocating for change.

2015 - ? Post-genomic era

2012 - 2015 Genomic era

2007-2012 Pre-genomic era

2002-2007 Building networks

1997-2002: Pioneering public health genomics

  • 2001

    UK Government announces £30m investment in genetics

    Moratorium on use of genetic test results in insurance

    PHGU funded to establish Cambridge Genetics Knowledge Park (CGKP)

  • 2000

    1st draft of the human genome

    Human Genetics Commission established

    PHGU invited to brief NHS Executive Board, DH and Secretary of State for Health

    PHGU / Nuffield Trust report: Genetics and health

  • 1999

    Debate about predictive genetic testing gathers momentum

    PHGU / Nuffield Trust Genetics Scenario Project

    PHGU runs first Genetics and Health Policy course

  • 1998

    PCR enables quicker testing for Down's

    Human Genome Epidemiology Network (HuGENet) established in US

    PHGU starts to build community of interest in public health genomics in the UK

    Developing international links with CDC OPHG and other centres in North America and Europe

  • 1997

    Human Genome Project 7 years old

    Research seeks links between genes and diseases (e.g. BRCA1/2)

    In US CDC establishes Office for Public Health Genetics

    Public Health Genetics Unit (PHGU) established in Cambridge UK