Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine
Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine


The aim of the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine (CGEM) is to use genetics and genomics to understand the mechanisms of disease and improve disease prediction, prevention and prognosis.

Professor Tim Aitman
Professor Tim Aitman - Director: CGEM, Chair of Molecular Pathology and Genetics

We are part of the Institute of Genetics and Cancer at the University of Edinburgh. Our researchers undertake detailed studies of populations, families and individuals to study a wide range of health related conditions. We use state-of-the-art genetic, epigenetic, genomic, statistical, computational, biological and molecular approaches including whole genome sequencing. We apply these in model systems and in clinical studies to systematically investigate disease mechanisms. With this knowledge, we aim to improve disease prediction, prevention, diagnosis and prognosis. Our research is leading to the development of new medicines and better use of existing medicines in clinical trials.

We provide a first-class research and training environment for basic, clinical and genomics research with a strong emphasis and track record in translational research and experimental medicine. Our research has consistently obtained the highest possible ranking in national assessments of research excellence.

At the heart of CGEM strategy is the use of whole genome and epigenome methods and data, which are used to understand how genetic variation between individuals tracks with human traits and disease conditions. We utilise a powerful set of laboratory-based and computational tools to reveal both clear-cut and subtle changes in the human genome, and how this genetic variation affects the encoded information content, to develop improved understanding of a wide range of health related conditions.

Edinburgh Genomics

As well as improving understanding of these disease states, a key activity across CGEM is translating our research findings into a clinical setting. Although each of these conditions involves a different gene or gene set, there are important methodological and technical commonalities which unifies our research.

By systematically investigating disease mechanisms through genomics, we are making important progress towards improving disease prediction, prevention and prognosis. This includes the development of new medicines and new diagnostic approaches based on genetic knowledge.

Institute of Genetics and Cancer



Professor Tim Aitman became Director of CGEM in April 2014. He is supported by the Centre Executive, comprised of Section Heads and key academic and business support staff who are responsible for scientific strategy and smooth running of the Centre.

The IGC Hub provides CGEM with key business support including human resources, finance, communications and administrative support.


Professor Tim Aitman Director of CGEM, Chair of Molecular Pathology and Genetics
Professor Cathy Abbott Personal Chair of Mammalian Molecular Genetics
Professor Sara Brown Section Head of Genetic and Experimental Medicine, Professor of Dermatology
Professor Helen Colhoun AXA Chair in Medical Informatics and Life Course Epidemiology
Professor Charlie Lees Professor of Gastroenterology

Dr Riccardo Marioni

Section Head of Translational Epidemiology, PhD in Genetic Epidemiology
Professor Stuart Ralston Professor of Rheumatology
Dr Daniel Toddie-Moore Scientific Research and Funding Manager
Angela Ingram IGC Operations Manager
Stephen Lissaman IGC Business Manager