BioWales 2015

4-5 March 2015

The leading event for the life sciences sector in Wales this year will focus on the life sciences supply chain providing practical commercial opportunities for growth through novel routes to market in the private sector and NHS.

An international line-up of speakers and industry experts will deliver keynote addresses and lead the showcase presentations and discussions around supply chain opportunities and development. 

The showcase sessions will provide the opportunity to hear from the big names, present your ideas, products and plans and engage in the wider debate.  Key themes will focus on commercialisation and routes to market, together with financing the deal. 

BioWales 2015 sees the return of a highlight from last year’s conference – the Dragon’s Den style pitches showcasing innovative new business ideas face to face with expert investors.

Inherited Eye Disease Patient Day

Friday 9th January 2015

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Event flyer and booking form.

This is a new initiative designed to bring people with inherited eye disease together, especially those located in South Wales. The meeting will be as interactive as possible. The Optometric Adviser to the Welsh Assembly Government, Dr Barbara Ryan, will be speaking about the Wales Eye Care Plan and patients with inherited eye disease, and there will also be information about the Welsh Rare Disease Plan and how you may benefit. The aim of the meeting is both to provide information about support that is available and to bring together patients, families, charities in the sector and others.

Patients and Families

Current work for 2014/ 2015

  • Launching a report on accessing specialised services and therapies at the Senedd in early 2015 amongst key stakeholders
  • Supporting Welsh Patients Project- supporting the development of 4 patient groups in Wales where there is currently little support for patients and families affected by rare and genetic conditions. A number of conditions where there is unmet need have been identified, these include:Tuberous Sclerosis, Restless Legs Syndrome, Inherited Eye Disease and Ataxia
  • Access to medicines – working with the All Wales Therapeutics and Toxicology Committee (AWTTC) to support the establishment of a separate process for appraising orphan/ultra orphan medicines in Wales.
  • Welsh Rare Disease Plan – work to support the implementation of the Rare Disease Plan across NHS Wales and raise awareness of the plan
  • Working with the Wales Gene Park Education and Engagement team to support the organisation of training and education work around rare diseases
  • Engaging with patients and the public to raise awareness of rare diseases through public engagement initiatives
  • Working with colleagues at Genetic Alliance UK to secure external funding to develop a Welsh Patient Charter on Access to Medicines in Wales
  • Supporting the development of Genomic Medicine capabilities across NHS Wales specifically in relation to informed consent.

Patients and Families

Key achievements in 2014

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  • Development of a network of patients and families affected by rare diseases to be involved with the work of Wales Gene Park
  • Holding four events to engage with patients and families affected by rare diseases across Wales. The events gave an insight into experiences of accessing specialised services and therapies in NHS Wales, funded through the Big Lottery Fund and grants from Alexion and Genzyme. We will be launching a report at the Senedd in January 2015 with findings from the events and recommendations to improve access to services and therapies for patients affected by rare diseases in Wales.
  • Representing the patient perspective on the Clinical Evidence and Evaluation Group for Rare Diseases established by the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC).The group supports service development in relation to new commissioning processes for specialised services and therapies.
  • Supporting the Welsh Government review of the appraisal process for orphan/ultra orphan medicines through giving oral and written evidence to the review group and supporting the organisation of an event to gather patient views.
  • Representing the patient perspective on the Individual Patient Funding Request (IPFR) review panel.
  • Being invited to be a member of the Welsh Government Planning Group that delivered the Implementation Plan for Rare Diseases
  • Organising a launch event for the draft Welsh Rare Disease Implementation Plan on Rare Disease Day 2014 at the Heath Hospital, Cardiff. The event received coverage on national TV and radio and in Welsh newspapers.
  • Engaging with patients and families through a consultation event with Welsh Government organised by the Wales Gene Park to feedback views on the plan to Welsh Government officials.
  • Responding to Welsh Government consultations as well as providing oral evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee on access to medical technologies in NHS Wales.

Genetics Roadshows

During the autumn 2013 and spring 2014 terms, over 4000 students from 73 schools and colleges across Wales and the border counties heard talks from 58 speakers from research, healthcare and the police force on the latest advances in genetics and genomics and about genetics-related courses and careers.

Our roadshows will return in Autumn 2015.

About our Genetics Roadshows

Genetics Roadshow '13 Olchfa School

2013 Roadshow at Olchfa School

The Genetics Roadshow is a project that takes leading speakers into schools to talk about the latest advances in genetics. More than 60 schools and colleges across Wales and bordering counties took part during the autumn term with further events planned for spring 2014.

Topics include DNA structure; PCR and DNA sequencing; genomics; DNA damage, cell cycle and cancer; genetic counselling; stem cell research; GM foods; inherited disorders; evolution; biodiversity; cloning and genetic engineering; vaccination and antibiotics; and forensics.

Genetics Roadshow '13 Monmouth School

2013 Roadshow at Monmouth School

Speakers from the Universities of Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Bangor, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff Met, Edge Hill, Liverpool, South Wales, Swansea and Worcester, as well as the National Botanic Garden of Wales, the All Wales Medical Genetics Service, the NHS National Genetics and Genomics Education Centre and various NHS LHBs and Police Authorities have taken part. 

As well as taking the students beyond the text book to hear about the latest advances in genetics, the students also gain an insight into genetics-related courses and careers and have the opportunity to put their questions to the experts. There has been a tremendous response from schools and colleges for the events and more than 4,500 students are participating.

Roadshow events are delivered free of charge. The Wales Gene Park is greatly assisted in the delivery of this event by Techniquest.

We will shortly be inviting schools to take part in the 2015 roadshow. For further information and to make sure your name is on the mailing list email


Over the Counter Genetic Testing

Thursday 25th September 2014, 6.30pm
  Haydn Ellis Building, Cardiff University

Download event flyer

Download event flyer

A free public event

Event organised by the Wales Gene Park

Join us to hear talks from clinicians and researchers on what is meant by over-the-counter genetic testing; what sort of information this testing can reveal and what it might mean for you and your family; the implications for healthcare; and the ethical issues surrounding it. There will also be time for discussion and questions with our experts.

This event is free of charge but please register at: Event Brite

Tea/coffee from 6pm; talks start at 6.30pm

Further information from

Golden Helix Pharmacogenomics Day

Friday 10th October 2014 – Angel Hotel, Cardiff


Event flyer

The Golden Helix Foundation organises Pharmacogenomics days across Europe in collaboration with local groups. The meetings are FREE educational events in major cities with universities and large academic hospitals.

The aims of the event are:

  • To provide timely updates on the field of pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine to the local biomedical scientists and healthcare providers
  • To inform them on the application of pharmacogenomics in fields such as psychiatric disorders, oncology, and
  • To bring together faculty members from universities and research institutes from the local scientific are and working in the field of pharmacogenomics in order to initiate collaborative projects in this field to the benefit of society.

This is the first time the meeting has been held in the UK and is being organised by Wales Gene Park in Cardiff. It is an ideal opportunity to hear from renowned speakers in the field and find out about the latest advances in pharmacogenomics. The meeting is suitable for all involved in the field.

Speakers at the Cardiff event include:

  • Dr George Petrinos, University of Patras, Greece
  • Professor Munir Pirmohamed, Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine, University of Liverpool
  • Professor Philip Routledge, School of Medicine, Cardiff University
  • Professor Bill Newman, Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, University of Manchester
  • Dr Panos Deloukas, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge
  • Dr Darrol Baker, Golden Helix Foundation, London
  • Dr Simon Reed, Institute of Cancer Genetics, Cardiff University

This meeting is free of charge but you must register in order to attend.

For further information please contact:

Angela Burgess, Education Project

Manager, Wales Gene Park

Telephone: +44-(0)29 20 746 940


Meeting sponsored by:


Getting started with analysing biological big data

Tuesday 29 April 2014 

More information...A workshop on ‘Getting started with analysing biological big data’.

This afternoon session is an introduction to the practical utility of various bioinformatics and biostatistics techniques and how to develop these skills yourself.

It is intended for PhD students, junior staff and senior PIs who have no (or limited) bioinformatics and biostatistics skills. However, it will also offer valuable insights and networking opportunities for those with more advanced bioinformatics and biostatistics skills.

To register please email David Fear (