National cancer institute L7en7 Lb Ovc unsplash
Case Study
Disease Surveillance
In 2017, Professor Shaun Hendy had an idea that could contribute to minimising the impact of infectious disease on the community. WGIF backed the project, enabling the team to build capability in using a novel data source to track disease spread and to cut their teeth on the use of genomic testing data.

Years later, this expertise was invaluable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Genomic sequencing provided the basis of the modelling that guided Government’s pandemic response. The experience and confidence gained from this earlier work meant the organisation was able to launch into pandemic modelling as the crisis unfolded. Disease Surveillance provided proof that the tool they had previously developed could deliver what was needed for COVID-19 modelling, and that they should be trusted to access anonymised health data.
“Funding innovation like this [WGIF] on its own isn’t disruptive, it often has to be combined with the right circumstances. There is a risk in funding… a discovery project like this. The funding needed to be combined with the crisis. We had to be ready to react, to have built up the knowledge, to test.”
Funded Partner
Our investments disease surveillance 2017