ELIXIR has today announced the appointment of Tim Hubbard as its next Director. ELIXIR is a life sciences research infrastructure that connects hundreds of organisations and scientists across Europe. It coordinates and develops services and training to make it easier for researchers to find, analyse and share life sciences data, enabling them to gain greater insights into public health, the environment and the economy.

Tim is currently Professor of Bioinformatics in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at King’s College London, Senior Advisor at Genomics England and Associate Director of the London region of Health Data Research UK (HDR UK). He brings a wealth of scientific, technical and management experience to the role, which he will take up from March 2024, replacing ELIXIR’s founding Director, Niklas Blomberg.

Since 2013, Tim has been seconded to Genomics England, the company set up by the UK Department of Health to execute the 100,000 genomes project. Genomics England has enabled the use of whole genome sequence analysis in normal patient care using a Trusted Research Environment (TRE) approach where data is analysed in place to protect patient privacy and provide transparency. Tim has led TRE policy work at HDR UK, the national institute for health data science set up in 2018 to unite UK’s health and care data, and the TRE approach has recently been adopted as policy by NHS England.

Until 2013, Tim was Head of Informatics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute where he was one of the organisers of the sequencing of the human genome. In 1999 he co-founded the Ensembl project to analyse, organise and provide access to the human genome and from 2007 led the GENCODE project to annotate the structure of all human genes.

Commenting on the appointment, Tim said:

“I am honoured to be appointed as ELIXIR Director and look forward to joining the vibrant community that has been built up during Niklas’ leadership. It is an exciting time to be joining European-wide initiatives in molecular data, software and services, with the developments of the European Health Data Space, and of course the fast-moving opportunities of artificial intelligence.”

Read the full press release on ELIXIR’s website