MRC Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine
MRC Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine


Vision and governance of the MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh (IGMM).

IGMM vision


"Our goals are to carry out excellent genetic, genomic, cellular and clinical science, so that we contribute significantly to the understanding of human development, physiology and disease, and apply this knowledge for the benefit of patients and society. This broad vision reflects the diversity of research within IGMM, and we aspire to be world class in key themes, bringing innovation and unique twists to IGMM discovery and translation".

Professor Margaret Frame FRSE FMedSci, Director of the MRC Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh


The MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh (IGMM), formed in 2007, is a strategic partnership of the:

The IGMM constitutes one of the largest aggregates of human molecular genetics and biology research capacity in the UK with over 70 Principal Investigators and 500 staff and PhD students. By pooling the resources and complementary skills of the constituent centres, IGMM brings together the scientific expertise, technology and support services needed to maximise scientific discovery.

The Institute enables rapid translation of basic scientific discoveries into new treatments, clinical guidelines and innovative products that have significant impact on the society in the UK and Worldwide.




The IGMM constitutes an integral part of the University of Edinburgh and its activity is overviewed by the IGMM Director (Professor Margaret Frame), who is supported by two groups to ensure the effective management and oversight of the Institute:

Strategic Science Planning Group

Meets four times a year and has the responsibility for planning and ensuring delivery of IGMM’s growth and scientific development in the broadest sense, e.g. promoting translation and commercialisation, ensuring our capacity in key technologies matches our scientific growth, looking after our cohort of early career researchers and the career opportunities of all IGMM staff, and planning the refurbishment and expansion of the IGMM estate.

Membership and areas of responsibility:

Margaret Frame Cancer
David Cameron Cancer
Wendy Bickmore Human Genetics
Tim Aitman Genomic Medicine
Chris Ponting Informatics and Computing
David FitzPatrick Integration with the NHS
Neil Carragher Translation and Commercialisation
David Porteous Estates Planning
Nick Hastie Academic Development and Careers

Cathy Abbott, Director of the IGMM Graduate School, together with our Public Engagement leaders, join the Strategic Science Planning Group occasionally, so that strategic planning is linked to new initiatives in post-graduate training and outreach.

Operations Group

Meets monthly and oversees the day-to-day management of the Institute.


Margaret Frame as Director, CRUK Edinburgh Centre
Wendy Bickmore as Director, MRC Human Genetics Unit
Tim Aitman as Director, Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine
Angela Ingram Operations Manager
Stephen Lissaman Business Manager

Major Funders

In addition, IGMM research is rigorously assessed by its major funders:

  • Cancer Research UK, with the CRUK Edinburgh Centre scoring Outstanding at its 2013 review
  • Medical Research Council, with the MRC Human Genetics Unit scoring 9/10 at its most recent (2011) Quinquennial Review
  • Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, with IGMM contributing hugely to the University’s submission to Unit of Assessment 1 (Clinical Medicine) in the most recent national assessment of research excellence (REF 2014; 4th equal (research power)). The papers submitted by IGMM researchers were predominantly 4*, and all were 3* or 4*.