One million COVID-19 tests have been processed at the new megalab in Leamington
Opened in June 2021, The Rosalind Franklin Laboratory is part of the current Test and Trace network and is at the heart of the UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) plans for managing COVID-19, including through scaled up genome sequencing capacity.
In the coming weeks the laboratory will begin genotype assay testing to rapidly detect known COVID-19 mutations and genome sequencing to confirm known variants and identify any new mutations.
The megalab is the biggest of its kind in the UK and has created 600 new jobs already with around 60 per cent of the staff hired so far living within 30 miles of the laboratory site.
Jenny Harries , the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency said: “This milestone is a real testament to the hard work, dedication and collaboration between teams across the public sector, academia and industry.
“While the phenomenal vaccine rollout has helped to build a wall of defence across the country, testing and isolating when needed remains vital to controlling the spread of the virus and protecting one another.”
The laboratory is training students with the aim of them choosing a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
To date, 11 undergraduates from the University of Warwick and Birmingham City University and four PhD students from the University of Warwick have begun placements at the laboratory to gain testing experience and to develop their skills in a 'real world setting'.