Women in COG

The COG-UK consortium has over 500 members with a range of scientific and business expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, operations, clinical science and public health. Women in COG is a supportive network created to share experiences and knowledge and to promote science careers in women and girls.


Nominate a speaker!

Who would you like to see at the next Women in COG event?

Perhaps you know an inspirational professional in STEM with a compelling story to tell, or a supportive mentor (male or female) who is passionate about supporting women in science.

We want to hear from you!

Nominate a speaker HERE





“I want to be able to push the boundaries all the time”: In conversation with Dr Sam Barrell, CBE

For the last edition of Women in COG, our Associate Director, Dr Katerina Galai, spoke to Dr Sam Barrell about her career as an accomplished healthcare leader, including her leadership role at Europe’s largest single-site biomedical research organisation, the Francis Crick Institute, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before joining the Crick, Sam led the formation of the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group, after which she took up the role of Chief Executive of the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

“The pandemic allowed me to build a network that I had always dreamed of”: In conversation with Professor Mariana Viegas

During the peak of the pandemic Professor Mariana Viegas (Professor of Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Exact Sciences of the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina), saw an opportunity to brainstorm, create and coordinate the Argentine Consortium for SARS-CoV-2 Genomics (PAIS project). She spoke to our Communications Coordinator, Dr Laia Delgado Callico, at our penultimate Women in COG event of the year.

“You don’t have to be a Professor at a top university to contribute”: In conversation with Dame Kate Bingham

Professor Sharon Peacock was in conversation with Dame Kate Bingham for our October Women in COG edition, where they discussed her experiences of leading the UK Vaccine Taskforce, the importance of having women in leadership roles, and her new book ‘The Long Shot: The Inside Story of the Race to Vaccinate Britain’.

“Never underestimate the importance of building strong relationships” – In conversation with Professor Emma Thomson

Professor Emma Thomson, OBE, is a Professor in Infectious Diseases at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research. We spoke to her during our June Women in COG event about her unique experiences, before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Portrait of a woman, wearing glasses and colorful clothes.

“The coverage of our work re-ignited people’s interest in science” – in conversation with Dr Senjuti Saha

For our April Women in COG event, the team hosted a discussion with Dr Senjuti Saha, a molecular microbiologist who is currently Director at the Child Health Research Foundation (CHRF) in Bangladesh – and also the country’s foremost researcher in the genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2.

International Women’s Day panel discussion: on building support networks, mentorship and enabling change

To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, COG-UK hosted a panel discussion with Colby Benari, CEO of In2scienceUK, and Phoebe Reynolds – an alumnus, and now trustee, of their programme. The panel was chaired by Angela Beckett, a Specialist Research Technician at the University of Portsmouth, who helped to establish and maintain the university’s COG-UK sequencing site.

“People say to me all the time ‘you don’t look like a typical scientist’…” – in conversation with Dr Maria Van Kerkhove

To kick off Women in COG in 2022, we speak to Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical Lead at the World Health Organization (WHO), about the inspiration that led her to a career in epidemiology, applying a leadership mindset to everything we do, and balancing an ambitious career and family life.

“COVID must not distract us from the fight for equality” – in conversation with Sir Jeremy Farrar

In the final instalment of our Women in COG series for 2021,  Professor Sharon Peacock, Executive Director and Chair of COG-UK, and Sir Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, discussed why diversity and inclusion must return to the top of the agenda.

“An inspirational person who’s touched every life in the country” – in conversation with Dr June Raine

In the latest instalment of our Women in COG series, we caught up with Dr June Raine, Chief Executive of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, to learn more about her experiences during the pandemic and as a woman in science. 

Why Dr Magdalena Skipper left the world of academia and became Editor in Chief of Nature

In the latest instalment of our Women in COG series, we caught up with Magdalena Skipper – Editor in Chief of Nature

From London Zoo to NHS England – the story of Angela Douglas, Deputy CSO

In the latest instalment of our Women in COG series, we caught up with Angela Douglas – Deputy Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England and NHS Improvement.

In conversation with the “Queen of Virology”, Professor Judy Breuer

In the latest instalment of our Women in COG series, we caught up with Judy Breuer – Professor of Virology at University College London, and COG-UK Principal Investigator and Chief Investigator of the Hospital Onset COVID-19 Infections (HOCI) study

“Girls like you can’t be doctors” — how Charlotte Summers battled stereotypes to thrive as a woman in science

In the first instalment of our Women in COG series, we caught up with Charlotte Summers – a Reader in Intensive Care Medicine at the University of Cambridge who practices clinically at Cambridge University Hospital.

COG-UK Celebrates International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we highlight some of the many women whose work has been vital to the consortium’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.