Pathogen Genomics in Healthcare Collaborative: building a community of practice to foster knowledge exchange and skills development

The T3connect journey continues

During the last two years, Wellcome Connecting Science (WCS) Learning and Training team in collaboration with the Centre for Genomic Pathogen Surveillance (CGPS), University of Oxford, has developed and implemented a train-the-trainer programme, as part of the T3connect project. Designed to strengthen capacity in data science and infectious disease genomics in the UK, a key goal of the initiative was to equip healthcare professionals with skills to design and deliver their own training, in the applications of genomic data for infectious disease surveillance, and outbreak investigation.

This training activity has led to the formation of the Pathogen Genomics in Healthcare Collaborative: a community of practice that fosters continued learning and collaboration in this field.

Building professional relationships through training programmes 

During the T3connect courses the participants were encouraged to actively network with one another. Sharing expertise and leveraging collective strengths, inspired new thinking to overcome challenges in their own individual training projects. Recognising the significance of this collaboration opportunity, participants expressed an interest in continuing these professional relationships beyond the course, and initiated a community of practice for T3connect trainees.

A group of T3connect trainees participating in a group exercise. They are gathered around a classroom table. There are pens, paper, laptops and water bottles on the table.
T3connect trainees worked together and exchanged knowledge to work through problems

We were delighted to support the Pathogen Genomics in Healthcare Collaborative, a community of practitioners who are focused on strengthening capacity for pathogen genomics and its application in healthcare.

Alice Matimba, Head of Training and Capacity Building, Wellcome Connecting Science 

The first Community of Practice meeting 

In November 2023, we held the first meeting to launch the community of practice. 24 T3connect trainees participated in person and virtually at the event hosted at Hinxton Hall Conference Centre, on the Wellcome Genome Campus.

A group of participants at the first Community of Practice meeting. They are seated in a classroom, around a table. They are looking up at a screen and a speaker at the front of the room.
Participants at the first Community of Practice meeting

A highlight from the gathering was a presentation of impact stories, showcasing successful partnerships between T3connect graduates from different institutions; spotlighting impactful training projects, at the intersection of genomics and healthcare, developed through continued collaboration.

Speaker standing behind a podium at the front of a classroom. The speaker is referencing slides that appear on a screen.  There is a classroom table in the foreground, with a participant seated next to it.
Speakers gave presentations showcasing impact stories

Expert talks stimulated discussions about the challenges faced by scientists in academic, research and healthcare organisations, such as the availability of suitable quality control materials, and standards supporting quality outputs in sequencing laboratories. These discussions were highly productive and generated valuable suggestions and insights.

The chance to participate remotely was great. It was great to have the opportunity for open discussions across disciplines. This is rare!

Meeting participant

Establishing a defined purpose 

Participants used this meeting as an opportunity to build the foundations of their community of practice, naming it the Pathogen Genomics in Healthcare Collaborative, and discussing and defining its purpose. This was agreed as: to bring together experts from the fields of pathogen genomics, healthcare and technology, and with a common goal of using genomics to enhance healthcare outcomes.

As the meeting drew to a close, the organisers shared their reflections on the event, and outlined the roadmap for the Pathogen Genomics in Healthcare Collaborative. With a sense of collective purpose and enthusiasm, attendees left with a renewed commitment to pushing the boundaries of what genomics can achieve in healthcare.

A group of T3connect trainees standing at the front of a classroom, posing for a group photo. They are standing in front of a podium.
The first group of T3connect trainees to participate in Community of Practice activities

Great opportunity to hear more about what others are doing, connect with like minds, and discuss the future directions of the community of practice.

Meeting participant

Shaping the future of genomic medicine in healthcare 

The Pathogen Genomics in Healthcare Collaborative’s first meeting marked a pivotal moment in the journey toward a future where genomics plays a central role in animal and human healthcare. The community spirit, insightful discussions, and commitment to ethical and responsible use of pathogen genomics has set the stage for an era of collaboration across institutions, not only within the UK, but also globally. As we reflect on this momentous occasion, the excitement for what lies ahead in the realm of genomics for healthcare is striking, promising a future where learning and development, collaboration and networking, innovation and problem solving, and professional growth in pathogen genomics areas become accessible to all.

Keep them coming! Delighted there will be a continuing network. This will be valuable for us as we are seeking to expand next-generation sequencing (NGS), and also training across the country in the coming years.


Meeting participant 

Discover more about the future of this pathogen genomics community! 

If you would like to hear more about this community and how you can become involved, you can email this address:

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