Professor Gil McVean, co-founder of Genomics plc, appointed Chief Information Officer

Written by: Pharmiweb editor
Published on: 6 Sep 2019

6 September 2019, OXFORD, UK – Genomics plc, the data science company specialising in the use of human genetic information to improve drug development and healthcare, today announces that Professor Gil McVean will be joining the company on a full-time basis as Chief Information Officer (CIO) and a member of the senior leadership team.

Gil, already a director and one of the founders of Genomics plc, is a world leader in the analysis of population-scale genomic data. He will take the lead in shaping and implementing the company’s data strategy.

Gil will join Genomics from the University of Oxford where he was the founding Director of the Big Data Institute (BDI), one of the world’s premier research institutions, and Professor of Statistical Genetics at the Nuffield Department of Medicine. He was one of the leaders of the 1000 Genomes Project and has played a major role in many other major national and international genomic projects and policies. Gil has made seminal contributions to the genetic analysis of diseases ranging from multiple sclerosis to malaria and led the analysis in Oxford’s WGS500 project which pioneered whole genome sequencing in clinical medicine and paved the way for the Genomics England project to sequence the genomes of 100,000 patients in the National Health Service.

Prior to joining BDI, Gil was Head of Bioinformatics and Statistical Genetics at Oxford’s Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics and a Professor in Statistical Genetics at Oxford’s Department of Statistics. His work has been recognised through multiple awards, including the Francis Crick Prize and the Weldon Memorial Prize, as well as his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Professor Sir Peter Donnelly, CEO of Genomics, said: “We are delighted that Gil is joining Genomics full time. The world of genomic data is advancing rapidly in ways which promise to transform healthcare. Gil’s world-leading expertise in big data, machine learning, and human and statistical genetics will reinforce our position at the forefront of this emerging field and help us deliver solutions to make healthcare and life sciences more efficient and effective.”

Gil McVean said: “As a founder of Genomics, it is exciting to see how the company has grown and is already using genetic information to bring benefits to healthcare systems, the life science industry and, ultimately, patients. I am looking forward to joining such a dynamic team. My work in big data and machine learning will help Genomics maximise its impact on the rapidly evolving landscape of using genomic insights to transform drug discovery and precision health.”

Gil will be stepping down from his role as Director of the BDI and joining Genomics towards the end of the year.


Genomics plc is a leading genome analysis company formed in 2014 by four leading scientists at the University of Oxford, including Professors Peter Donnelly (then Director of the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics) and Gil McVean (Director of Oxford’s Big Data Institute). Its vision is to use genomic insights to transform drug discovery and precision health.

By amassing and curating data from publicly available sources, Genomics plc has developed the largest engine of its kind in the world linking genetic variants to changes in thousands of measurements and disease outcomes, together with its own breakthrough machine learning algorithms that use this data at scale to learn directly about human biology.

Backed by some of the leading investors in life sciences, Genomics has an expert cross-disciplinary team of 60 people, primarily scientists and software engineers, with offices in Oxford and Cambridge UK. For additional information about Genomics plc, please visit