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