We are delighted to announce that Chun Hao Wong has joined the Milner team as the MTI lead for the new MRC-AstraZeneca-University of Cambridge Functional Genomics Screening Laboratory (FGSL). The FGSL aims to combine know-how and experience to accelerate the development of biomarkers and therapeutics for diseases through functional interrogation of the genome at scale.

The FGSL will form collaborations to explore the complexity of developmental and disease signatures using human in vitro models. It will leverage the unique feature of arrayed screening, whereby individual genes are edited via CRISPR/Cas9 in a plate-based format, enabling readouts of complex phenotypes through high content endpoints including imaging and flow cytometry. Wong will work in collaboration with Dr Ulrike Künzel (FGSL AstraZeneca lead) to lead a team of screening scientists and bioinformaticians at the Milner to deliver arrayed CRISPR screens for novel target identification. These screens will be collaborations between the FGSL and UK academics, small and medium-sized enterprises or industry.

Wong is experienced in the design and execution of arrayed CRISPR screens, having collaborated with AstraZeneca while at the MRC-Laboratory of Molecular Biology to carry out a genome-wide screen with imaging endpoint. Wong continued to work on developing imaging-based CRISPR screens at the Wellcome Sanger Institute before joining us at the Milner Institute.

I am delighted to join the Milner Therapeutics Institute at such an exciting stage in its journey. The FGSL is a great example of how academia and business can combine to make a difference to society, and I’m proud to play a part in that journey.

Chun Hao Wong