The Sanger Centre was established jointly by the Wellcome Trust and the British Medical Research Council to provide a major focus in the UK for mapping and sequencing the human genome and the genomes of other organisms. The Centre is situated near the university city of Cambridge.
Projects at the Sanger Centre have included sequencing the genome of the nematode worm C. elegans (a very simple and experimentally amenable animal) and a number of microorganisms including bakers' yeast (another important subject in basic biological research) and human pathogens (disease-causing organisms) such as the tuberculosis bacterium.
The Centre is named for the biochemist Frederick Sanger who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1958 for determining the structure of insulin. He received a second Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980 with Walter Gilbert "for their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids."