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The Whole Life

What if we could stop an illness before it exists? Cambridge is home to countless discoveries. But the most essential discovery for Cambridge Children’s Hospital is arguably that of structural DNA and genomic sequencing.

Our genes make us who we are – a person’s genome is the template for their development. A complete catalogue of what we inherit and, just as importantly, how this interacts with our environment.

Alex posing outdoor outside of his front door

Prevention is better than cure

By understanding a child’s genomic structure, we can reveal extraordinary insight into their life. And by sequencing both their own and their parents’ genome, we’re able to identify any potential genetic disorders — even those that lie far into their future. Using our knowledge of genomics and environmental factors which attribute to illness, we’ll introduce preventative treatments for children, and the adults they become.

Personalised medicine

Using ground-breaking genomic science will enhance our ability to pinpoint the very best treatment, rather than trialling medicine until one works. Helping us be more accurate, more effective and much faster, and give young people the treatment their DNA requires.

By embedding these advances within our hospital, we’ll be able to diagnose more quickly and more accurately, personalising medicine which lays the foundations for their health in the future. Unlocking an approach that improves the trajectory of a young person’s life by looking at both the child, and the adult they’ll become.

Read more about genomic science here.

Alex walking the dog Alex soaking up the sun outdoor
Alex walking the dog Alex soaking up the sun outdoor

Sharing our knowledge

By linking our knowledge of genomic sequencing with national health records, we will better understand how genetic health interacts with environmental factors — including education, socio-economics and behaviour — throughout a child’s whole life.

We will then use this research to create a unique library capable of predicting and preventing diseases, and developing adaptive, personalised medicine.

All before sharing the life-changing lessons we learn across the globe, helping children and young people aged 0-19, including those with cancer, from the East of England and far beyond.

Find out more here.

Lifetime care

We’ll support young people who require care throughout their whole lives with the compassion and respect they deserve. With specialist access to essential information, they won’t need to repeat their stories each time they join a new service. And with world leading Addenbrooke’s, the Royal Papworth and CPFT right on our doorstep we’ll oversee the seamless transition to adult care if and when required.

By listening and understanding each individual’s needs, we’ll make sure they’re part of any decisions that will directly affect their lives — be it in their education or employment.

Precise genomic research will help young adults like Alex stay healthy now — and make sure they’re healthier long into their future.

Read Alex's story here.