After nearly a year's search, the Sanger Centre, a major genome sequencing institute near Cambridge, U.K., has found a new director. Mouse geneticist Allan Bradley, 40, of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston will replace outgoing Sanger chief John Sulston on 1 October.
For Bradley, a pioneer in the use of stem cells to study mouse development, the move will be something of a homecoming: The British-born scientist did his undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral studies in Cambridge. He says that he intends to take Sanger, which is mostly funded by the Wellcome Trust and is currently sequencing about one-third of the human genome, to the next stage of genome research, called functional genomics. "There will be a huge opportunity in discovering [gene] function," Bradley says. He will also continue some of his mouse research in Cambridge, although he realizes that running his own lab and a center with 550 staff members will not be easy. Sulston, he predicts, "will be a hard act to follow."
Sulston, who has directed Sanger since 1992, says he has "no plans" for his next step, but adds: "I shall be looking around."