Vertebrate Genomics Team

The Vertebrate Genomics Team is the part of the PANDA Group that conducts research and creates community resources for genome analysis and annotation.

The Vertebrate Genomics Team is headed by Paul Flicek.


Ensembl, a joint EBI/Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute project, is currently the team's largest activity. Ensembl is a genome information system that seeks to enable genomic science by providing high-quality, comprehensive resources for the management, visualisation, analysis, and distribution of genome data. The Vertebrate Genomics Team includes the EBI portion of the Ensembl project. This responsibility includes the development and maintenance of the specialised databases and APIs as well as the creation of the data for Ensembl's Variation, Comparative Genomics and Regulation resources and user support for the project. We work extremely closely with the Ensembl genebuild and web teams at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Other integral Ensembl partners include the Ensembl Genomes project at the EBI and the HAVANA team at the Sanger Institute. Within the Vertebrate Genomics Team Glenn Proctor coordinates Ensembl Software development, Javier Herrero leads the Ensembl comparative genomics project, Fiona Cunningham leads Ensembl variation, Ian Dunham leads Ensembl regulation and Xose Fernandez heads Ensembl's outreach efforts.

Human Genome Variation

The Vertebrate Genomics Team also creates and maintains large-scale human variation databases to archive and provide access to experimental data resulting from high-throughput genotyping and sequencing technologies. Technical leadership of the variation archives including the EGA (European Genome-phenome Archive) and the DGVa (Database of Genomic Variants Archive) is provided by Ilkka Lappalainen. Laura Clarke leads the 1000 Genomes Project data management activities.

Mouse Informatics

Informatics support for major international mouse projects including the European Mouse Mutant Archive (EMMA), the International Knockout Mouse Consortium (IMKC) and the CREATE project is provided in collaboration with a collection of international partners and led at the EBI by Damian Smedley.

Flicek Research Group

Our major research focus is on computational models for genome annotation and evolution based on models incorporating DNA-protein interactions, epigenetic modifications, and the DNA sequence itself. We are also interested in the large-scale infrastructure required for modern bioinformatics including storage and access methods for high throughput sequencing data.