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


Our multidisciplinary approach, researchers, collaborations and funding.

Cancer Research UK Laboratory

"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 IGMM partnership brings together engineers, scientists and clinicians from fields as diverse as mathematics, computer sciences, bioinformatics, chemistry, biology and medicine to study human health and disease using modern multidisciplinary approaches.

Over 70 Principal Investigators and 500 staff and PhD students are working together in a single, scientific endeavour. More information about our researchers and research focuses can be found on our component Centre websites:


IGMM research is positioned in a very rich translational and multi-disciplinary environment through interaction with University cross-campus disciplines, such as the physical sciences, and close links with Industry and the NHS, through the Clinical Genetics Service.

Key collaborations within the University of Edinburgh include:

  • Roslin Institute
  • Queens Medical Research Institute
  • MRC Farr Institute
  • Usher Institute for Population Health Science and Informatics (in eHealth)
  • School of Informatics
  • School of Chemistry and the Centre for Translational Chemical Biology.

Strategic collaborations with other Higher Education Institutions include:

  • Heriot-Watt University (super-resolution optical imaging (ESRIC), microfluidics and bio-engineering (Edinburgh Cell Genomic Consortium))
  • Sanger Institute (joint initiative on single cell genomics)
  • St Andrews University (MRC Molecular Pathology Node)
  • University of Glasgow (Scottish Genomes Partnership)
  • University of Oxford and Imperial College (lung targeted gene therapeutics)
  • University of Oxford (Structural Genomics Consortium)
  • University College London (Brain Cancer Accelerator Programme).

Innovative partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry include, amongst others:

IGMM researchers round table
  • Janssen
  • Carrick Therapeutics
  • Eli-Lilly
  • AstraZeneca
  • Radius Health Inc.
  • Genentech
  • Boehringer Ingelheim
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Biogen


The IGMM has raised £127M of research funding in the last five years.  Of this, the Medical Research Council has provided £65.7M core funding for infrastructure and research programmes in IGMM predominantly through the MRC Human Genetics Unit. CRUK has provided £6M infrastructure to support around £25M research funding (won via response mode) to the CRUK Edinburgh Centre. The CRUK Edinburgh Centre has the highest number of non-clinical CRUK fellowships of all CRUK Centres.

Recent strategic awards include the MRC Molecular Pathology Node (Edinburgh and St Andrews; £2M) and the Scottish Genomes Partnership (£6M jointly funded by MRC and CSO). Together these provide new impetus in Edinburgh to deliver the benefits of medical genomics and molecular pathology to the NHS.

Examples of prestigious awards made to established investigators:

  • 8 ERC grants: 4 Advanced Investigator grants (Tim Aitman, Wendy Bickmore, Margaret Frame and Chris Ponting), 1 ERC consolidator grant (Liz Patton) and 3 starting grants (Omar Albagha, Jose Garcia–Perez and Andrew Jackson).
  • 2 CRUK Programme grants (Malcolm Dunlop and Margaret Frame)
  • 2 Wellcome Trust Investigator Awards (Javier Caceres and Chris Ponting)
  • 1 MRC Senior Fellowship (Nick Gilbert)
  • 2 senior CRUK Fellowships to IGMM affiliate PIs (Steve Pollard and Kamil Kranc)
  • 1 EPSRC Healthcare Technologies grant (Asier Unciti-Broceta)