25 Mar 2021

COG-UK First Anniversary Timeline

As COG-UK marks its first year of operation, we look back at key events and milestones from each of the last 12 months.

Links to publications, tools and an explanation of acronyms are at the end of the timeline.



Further information
COG-UK publications
COG-UK tools and databases
COG-UK protocols
COG-UK national study partners
Lighthouse Laboratories
Variants of Concern and Variants under Investigation
Mutants, variants and strains


Selected abbreviations
SARS-CoV-2: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the virus that causes COVID-19
SAGE: The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, provides scientific and technical advice to support government decision-makers during emergencies
GISAID: Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data, open access repository of genomic data of influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses
Majora, ARTIC: COG-UK protocols
SIREN, VIVALDI, HOCI, ONS, REACT: national study partners


COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK)
The current COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, represents a major threat to health. The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium has been created to deliver large-scale and rapid whole-genome virus sequencing to local NHS centres and the UK government.

Led by Professor Sharon Peacock of the University of Cambridge, COG-UK is made up of an innovative partnership of NHS organisations, the four Public Health Agencies of the UK, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and academic partners providing sequencing and analysis capacity. A full list of collaborators can be found here. Professor Peacock is also on a part-time secondment to PHE as Director of Science, where she focuses on the development of pathogen sequencing through COG-UK.

COG-UK was established in April 2020 supported by £20 million funding from the COVID-19 rapid-research-response “fighting fund” from Her Majesty’s Treasury (established by Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance), and administered by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and the Wellcome Sanger Institute. The consortium was also backed by the Department of Health and Social Care’s Testing Innovation Fund on 16 November 2020 to facilitate the genome sequencing capacity needed to meet the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the UK over the winter period.