14 Oct 2020

Queen honours three COG-UK scientists in 2020 Birthday List

News announcement

Queen honours three COG-UK scientists in 2020 Birthday List

Dr Tony Cox and Professor Emma Thomson become OBEs, while Dr Catherine Moore receives an MBE, for their services in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Three scientists from the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium, representing research efforts in England, Scotland and Wales, have been honoured by the Queen for their roles in delivering vital services during the first phase of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Their work helped to establish the UK’s national network of testing and DNA sequencing of the virus to help guide the country’s public health response.

Dr Anthony Cox becomes an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to science and the COVID-19 response. As Chief Executive of the UK BIOcentre in Milton Keynes, he led the work to automate and ramp up its testing and analysis services to become one of the country’s Lighthouse Labs, analysing coronavirus tests given to the public. Under his direction, the centre has moved from analysing hundreds of swabs by hand to handling up to 40,000 tests a day through automation.

COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK)

The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium works in partnership to harness the power of SARS-CoV-2 genomics in the fight against COVID-19.

Led by Professor Sharon Peacock of the University of Cambridge, COG-UK is made up of an innovative collaboration of NHS organisations, the four public health agencies of the UK, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and sixteen academic partners. A full list of collaborators can be found here.

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, represents a major threat to health. The COG-UK consortium was formed in March 2020 to deliver SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing and analysis to inform public health policy and to support the establishment of a national pathogen sequencing service, with sequence data now predominantly generated by the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Public Health Agencies.

SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing and analysis plays a key role in the COVID-19 public health response by enabling the identification, tracking and analysis of variants of concern, and by informing the design of vaccines and therapeutics. COG-UK works collaboratively to deliver world-class research on pathogen sequencing and analysis, maximise the value of genomic data by ensuring fair access and data linkage, and provide a training programme to enable equity in global sequencing.