London

The Wellcome Trust announced this week that a mouse geneticist is to be the next director of the Sanger Centre. Based outside Cambridge, England, and founded jointly by the trust and the Medical Research Council, the centre is one of the world’s leading sequencing facilities.

Allan Bradley has spent the past 13 years at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and is currently Cullen Professor of Human and Molecular Genetics. He is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. He will take over the leadership of the Sanger Centre from sequencing pioneer John Sulston, who has headed the centre since it was set up in 1992.

Bradley studied under geneticist Martin Evans at the University of Cambridge before taking up a post at Baylor in 1987. His main research interest is in elucidating the developmental genetics of the mouse, in particular by isolating stem-cell lines from pre-implantation embryos.

"Remarkable opportunities are arising from genome sequencing programmes to progress basic biology and its applications in medicine," says Michael Dexter, the head of the Wellcome Trust. "We are delighted that Allan Bradley is joining us and helping to drive forward the trust’s mission."

The main task facing Bradley will be to map out the ‘post genome’ phase of Sanger’s development, now that the sequencing of the human genome is nearing completion. His background suggests that both mouse genomics and stem-cell research will — as with the US National Institutes of Health — be high on the agenda.