Jonathan Symonds will step into the role of chair of Genomics England, after John Chisholm stepped down in late January 2019. The appointment of Symonds will be the first appointment to this position as Chisholm has held the role since the company’s inception. His decision to leave the company came after Genomics England realized its 5-year goal of sequencing 100,000 whole genomes in early December.
Symonds has more than 30 years of experience in life sciences enterprises. He previously held the role of senior non-executive director on the Genomics England board and has been a part of the initiative since 2014.
Symonds stated on his appointment, “I am delighted to accept the honor of becoming Genomics England’s chair. John’s shoes will be hard to fill. We have an exciting challenge ahead in partnership with the NHS, as we continue our efforts to prevent disease, unlock new treatments, improve and accelerate diagnosis and to help patients receive the best care tailored to their needs.”
CEO of Genomics England, John Mattick, is set to leave the organization after completing its initial mandate of sequencing 100,000 genomes. Genomics England’s chief scientist, Mark Caulfield, will step in as interim chief executive while the search for a permanent appointment begins.
Mattick stated, “I am very sorry to be leaving Genomics England at this time. Genomics England has an exciting future through its partnership with NHS England to deliver personalized medicine, and fuel innovation and investment in genomic medicine. I am pleased with the contribution I was able to make in developing the vision for the next 5 years that the Secretary of State announced in October, and in laying out a plan to achieve this vision. I wish Professor Mark Caulfield and all the staff at Genomics England well with their future endeavors.”