Professor Tom Connor is the COG-UK principle investigator for Cardiff University and Public Health Wales NHS Trust and leads the Welsh SARS-CoV-2 genomics effort. He is a professor in the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University and is the Bioinformatics Lead for Pathogen Genomics PHW. His research focuses on understanding pathogen variation to examine a range of questions from how pathogens evolve through to how and why they spread in local and global outbreaks, with a particular focus on translating his research activities into clinical services. Working within the PHW Pathogen Genomics Unit he has built a range of accredited clinical pathogen genomics services – expertise that has been vital to standing up SARS-CoV-2 sequencing in Wales. The Welsh team has setup a comprehensive sequencing and analysis service for SARS-CoV-2 in Wales, which has seen over 30,000 SARS-CoV-2 genomes
sequenced and used to support the pandemic response in Wales and the UK – in just 11 months.
Working with Professor Nick Loman, Professor Connor designed and acts as the co-technical lead for the MRC CLIMB system, as well as leading the Cardiff CLIMB node. Together the Cardiff and Birmingham CLIMB nodes have provided the core infrastructure for the UK-wide collection and analysis of SARS-CoV-2 data as part of COG-UK.