Institute of Genetics and Cancer

MRC IGMM Data Science in Biomedicine Workshop renews Institute’s focus on translational activity

The MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) held a workshop on "Data Science in Biomedicine”: 20 June 2017

Data Science in Biomedicine Workshop news 6.2017

The MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) held a workshop on "Data Science in Biomedicine” on 20 June. Spearheaded by Prof Chris Ponting, MRC HGU Section Head for Biomedical Genomics, the aim of this workshop was to highlight existing IGMM expertise; data sets and ambitions and to better understand industry needs and opportunities, seeking to establish new and productive collaborations between University of Edinburgh researchers and industry partners. This event forms part of the MRC IGMM’s renewed focus on translational activity, as it aims to build industry relationships in areas in which it has global expertise.

Over 35 delegates attended the workshop, spanning academic PIs from across the IGMM and College, including The Roslin Institute and the Usher Institute. Invited industry attendees included Optos, Toshiba Medical Innovation Systems, Aridhia, GSK, Fios Genomics and Biomed X Innovation Centre.

Following a welcome address by CGEM Director Tim Aitman, the delegates split into two focused breakout sessions where short presentations on expertise and needs were followed by round table discussions in two focused areas:

  1. Disease Genomics chaired by Albert Tenesa, Roslin Institute and affiliated to HGU Biomedical Genomics
  2. Bridging the Gap between Clinical imaging and Genetics, chaired by Miguel Bernabeu, Usher Institute.

Discussions were lively, exploring potential areas of opportunity to address industry needs and the Industry representatives clarified what they look for in developing academic collaborations. The key message was ‘start small and invest in building relationships’.

Prof Ponting also highlighted forthcoming MRC Biomedical Catalyst Fellowship funding opportunities and Andrea Taylor, Edinburgh Research & Innovation, highlighted the commercial support available to both industry and academics to broker new relationships and collaborative opportunities

Edinburgh Research and Innovation supported the event and has already received feedback about opportunities that at least two of the industry participants would like to follow up.  The organising team will be seeking further feedback on this event in developing a comprehensive programme of industry outreach.

Relevant Links

Chris Ponting, MRC HGU:

Tim Aitman, CGEM:

Albert Tenesa, Roslin Institute & MRC HGU:

Miguel Bernabeu, Usher Institute:

Andrea Taylor, Edinburgh Research & Innovation:


MRC Fellowship funding opportunities:

The translation of the burgeoning knowledge in regenerative medicine into new treatment strategies is a key objective of the MRC’s strategic plan. The Biomedical Catalyst: Regenerative Medicine Research Committee (RMRC) provides support for high quality proposals that may underpin or progress the development of regenerative medicine therapies to improve human health. Closing date: 16:00, 5 July 2017