Professor Brookes works in the Department of Genetics, in the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Medicine, at the University of Leicester. This University is a member of the ‘1994 Group’ of research-intensive universities, placed 20th/117 in the UK, and rated in the world’s top 200. Annual research income exceeds £41.5M, including ~€20M in EC FP7. The Department of Genetics has a diverse research portfolio, encompassing humans, mice, fruit flies, and microbes, addressing fundamental genetic questions in evolution, disease, behaviour and development. Amongst the Department’s many breakthroughs, most well known would be the invention of DNA fingerprinting, and the discovery of the remains of King Richard III. The department also runs a Centre of Excellence for teaching and Learning (CETL) in genetics.
Under Professor Brookes’ Directorship the Genetic Department also leads a Data-to-Knowledge-for-Practice (DKP) Facility (www.le.ac.uk/dkp). This brings together bioinformaticians, biostatisticians, computer scientists, University IT Services, hospital/healthcare IT providers, and translational data analysts (cardiovascular, respiratory, diabetes/lifestyle, and cancer research) from across the University of Leicester, the University Hospitals Leicester Trust, and several collaborating external academic and industry groups. All these teams are co-located on one floor of the new BHF Cardiovascular Research Centre at the Glenfield Hospital.
Collaborative contributions to RD-Connect could include provision and advice regarding the many tools, contacts and experiences gained by having coordinated the GEN2PHEN EU project, insights gleaned by Chairing the genotype-phenotype workgroup of IRDiRC, opportunities stemming from international activities around RD data discovery (e.g., via the Cafe Variome tool, the GWAS Central database, and OmicsConnect software), and ideas developed (with Peter Robinson) concerning RD Knowledge Hubs/Portals.
Early in 2013, key GEN2PHEN results and resources co-led or co-developed by the University Leicester were identified as important tools for RD-Connect to pick up and/or collaborate with and/or learn from and/or extend. These offer significant opportunities for further exploitation, not least because the GEN2PHEN Consortium has survived and is thriving beyond the project’s funding period, now named the ‘GEN2PHEN-Alliance’ and opened up to additional members.