Whole genome sequencing data

#Comms UKB Community Team
#Comms UKB Community Team
  • Updated

UK Biobank's whole genome sequencing data on all 500,000 participants - the biggest whole genome dataset in the world - is now available to approved researchers on the UK Biobank Research Analysis Platform.

It will transform the way in which scientists study the genetic determinants of a wide range of health outcomes, providing information that will complement and enhance the existing genotyping and exome data.

The Medical Research Council provided funding to UK Biobank in 2018 for a pilot project (the Vanguard) to perform whole-genome sequencing on 50,000 participants, which was undertaken by the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge.

A consortium of government, industry and charity then came together to fund whole genome sequencing of the remaining 450,000 participants. This project was funded by:

  • UK Government’s research and innovation agency, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund
  • The Wellcome Trust
  • A consortium of industry partners: Amgen, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson.

Decode Genetics and the Wellcome Sanger Institute carried out the sequencing using Illumina Novaseq technology.

Data for 200,000 genomes was released in 2021. 

Data for 500,000 whole genomes is now available to approved researchers in the UK Biobank Research Analysis Platform.

Useful links

Data Showcase

UK Biobank genetic files data formats 

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