December 2019

First of its kind DNA Measurement Laboratory opened in Teddington

Tim Robinson, LGC CEO, with Prof Dame Sue, CSO of NHS England and Julian Braybrook, Government Chemist, at the lab opening

The National Measurement Laboratory (NML) at LGC recently opened a new DNA Measurement Laboratory. The event was officiated by Professor Dame Sue Hill, the Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England, and was attended by the Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable and stakeholders from across the life sciences and health sector.

Within the life sciences and health sector, being able to accurately and precisely measure DNA is crucial. From the promise of synthetic biology to understanding the rise of antibiotic resistance, personalised medicine to a better understanding of your own ancestry, the UK is at the forefront of many of the global initiatives applying DNA technology.

However, as the technology becomes more advanced, a complete understanding of the precision of the science is needed. This will ensure that the public can have complete confidence in any clinical, environmental or industrial decisions that are made based on DNA measurements.

In her remarks at the official opening event, Professor Dame Sue Hill commented: “Measurement is critical to transform outcomes for the patient. In opening this laboratory, with its calibration facility, it is such a privilege to be part of something unique not only to the UK, but also globally.”

Jim Huggett, Principal Scientist at the NML and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Surrey, gave guests an introduction to the DNA Measurement Laboratory. He underlined the importance of measurement science in providing confidence in the very precise genetic measurements that are being made across a wide variety of areas, from combatting antibiotic resistance or developing personalised medicine to improving the yield of wheat crops and ensuring the food we eat is safe.

Visitors tour the new DNA measurement lab

The DNA Measurement Laboratory at the NML provides the measurement confidence to underpin innovative diagnostic and therapeutic healthcare solutions for our ageing society, as well as advancing NHS patient care through effective and efficient adoption of current and emerging genomic technologies. It is also home to the unique Digital PCR Calibration Facility, providing independent and authoritative DNA measurements for customers and collaborators within the UK and beyond.


The UK National Measurement System is delivered through the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through six national laboratories. These laboratories deliver world-class measurement science and technology and provide traceable and increasingly accurate standards of measurement across four sectors: advanced manufacturing, digital, energy and environment, and life sciences and health.