Institute of Genetics and Cancer

News 2021

An archive of Institute News from 2021

Disparities in breast cancer care quality have reduced

Regional variation in chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer across Scotland has reduced significantly over the past 15 years, according to a new study: December 2021

TestEd team awarded Principal’s Medal at winter graduation ceremony

TestEd Logo
Professor Tim Aitman received the medal on behalf of the team for significant achievements in pioneering a way to mass population testing in an epidemic: December 2021

Multi-omic machine learning predictor of breast cancer therapy response

Schematic: prediction of response to neoadjuvant therapies
Edinburgh clinicians contributed to a study that developed new AI-based predictor of response to cancer therapy: December 2021

Controlled drug release in the brain

Graphical abstract of the work by Dr M. Carmen Ortega-Liebana and colleagues.
Polymer composite with gold nanoparticles capable of localized drug production in the brain has been developed in a study led by our scientists: December 2021

New advance in assessing the impact of disease-associated mutation on the function of regulatory elements

A team of researchers led by Professor Wendy Bickmore and Dr Shipra Bhatia have defined a new methodology which enables the activities of two regulatory sequences to be simultaneously visualised and compared in live developing zebrafish embryos: November 2021

MISpheroID – a knowledgebase and transparency tool for spheroid based research

Image showing different types of cancer cells grown as spheroids in various cell culture media (for details see Peirsman et al.
Edinburgh researchers are part of international team developing improved standards and practices for three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models: November 2021

Special delivery: new functions for an old friend for fast-tracking membrane components necessary to build the cell's antennae

cilia schematic
In a study recently published in eLife, Dr Pleasantine Mill and colleagues discover that protein complex IFT plays essential roles in delivering cargos to the base of the cilia and in facilitating their entry: November 2021

Deal to aid development of cystic fibrosis gene therapy

Cystic Fibrosis
Researchers and commercial partners agree licensing to advance work on treatment for life-threatening lung condition.

Partnership with DATA-CAN to collaborate on cancer research using health data

Data-Can logo
CRUK Edinburgh Centre investigators are delighted to be involved in new partnership between the University of Edinburgh, NHS Lothian and DATA-CAN: November 2021

Cancer immunotherapy research among beLAB1407’s first projects

IGC PI working to develop new therapies for difficult-to-treat cancers is among the first recipients of funding from the $20 million beLAB1407, recently launched to advance life sciences innovation.

New protective mechanism preventing premature termination of chromosome replication defined

A collaborative study led by Tom Deegan and Joe Yeeles’ lab (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge) provides an answer to a longstanding question in this field: October 2021

PhD Student secures RSE Saltire Early Career Fellowship

Some Early Career Researchers linked to the lobular breast cancer project with lobular breast cancer patient advocates from Lobu
Esme Bullock, one of our PhD Students, has been awarded a fellowship to advance her breast cancer research project: October 2021

Higher rates of mutation alone are not sufficient to cause ageing

Visual illustration of human genome
A study has found that human cells and tissues can accumulate many more mutations than are normally present, without the body showing the features associated with ageing: October 2021

Mouse model lends insights into genetic eye condition

Mouse model lends insights into genetic eye condition: News 9.2021
Mice with mutations in the gene ZNF469 show reduced corneal thickness and strength: September 2021

Emeritus Professor Ian Jackson retires

Upon his retirement, Ian Jackson has been presented the title of Emeritus Professor in recognition of distinguished academic service at the University of Edinburgh: September 2021

Biology-Physics collaboration wins Wellcome Trust funding

Gilbert/ Marenduzzo
University of Edinburgh Professors Nick Gilbert (MRC Human Genetics Unit) and Davide Marenduzzo (School of Physics and Astronomy) will investigate how chromatin structure affects transcription: September 2021

Licensing of a SRC/YES1 inhibitor with novel mode of action

Mechanism of action of eCF506  SRC inhibitor.
Nuvectis Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of innovative precision medicines, has licensed exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize a novel SRC/YES1 inhibitor discovered at the CRUK Edinburgh Centre: September 2021

Omics data suggests larger effect of smoking on body mass index than previously thought

DNA methylation patterns linked to smoking explain ten times more variance than self-reported data: September 2021

Hastie Career Advancement Fund Award and Early Career Awards announced

Congratulations to Andy Badrock who has recently been awarded support from the Hastie Career Advancement Fund and to the recipients of this year’s Early Career Awards: September 2021

Linking mitochondrial dysfunction to induction of the innate immune system

Yanick Crow
Yanick Crow's team, working with clinical colleagues worldwide, and together with Ashish Dhir (CGEM, IGC) and Tim Wai (institute Pasteur), have identified mutations in ATAD3A as a novel cause of interferon induction: August 2021

Clinical trial identifies effective adjuvant therapy for patients with kidney cancer

Histology section of ccRCC. Clear cell renal cell carcinoma is named after how the tumour looks under the microscope - the cells
KEYNOTE-564 clinical study, with important contributions from the UK that were led from Edinburgh, shows that adjuvant immunotherapy following surgery improves disease-free survival in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma: August 2021

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on breast cancer early detection and screening

Breast Cancer Screening - early detection is the best protection
Dr Jonine Figueroa and international colleagues report on the impact of the Covid-19 on breast cancer early detection and screening providing important information to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on early diagnosis and treatment.

Opportunities for stratification in endometrioid ovarian carcinoma

Edinburgh researchers used unique dataset that combines hormone receptor expression patterns with matched genomic characterisation to identify opportunities for patient stratification in endometrioid ovarian carcinoma: June 2021

A new PhD training programme focused on epilepsy research awarded

A new Doctoral Training Centre led by Prof Richard Chin (Child Life and Health) and Prof Cathy Abbott (Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine) has been funded by the charity Epilepsy Research UK. June 21.

DNA repair pathway implicated in Cornelia de Lange syndrome

Researchers at the MRC Human Genetics Unit found that a gene mutation associated with a CdLS like syndrome results in changes to DNA damage signalling and repair: May 2021

Andy Sims, scientist, mentor and teacher; our valued colleague

All at the Institute of Genetics and Cancer were saddened to learn of the untimely death of our colleague Dr Andy Sims: May 2021

Optimizing treatment for the older and frailer cancer patients

Schematic of the human digestive system
Study with important contributions from Edinburgh investigators finds that less chemotherapy is noninferior to more in frail and elderly patients with advanced gastroesophageal cancer: May 2021

TestEd project receives £1.8 million UKRI backing to roll out across the University

TestEd logo collage
A £1.8 million award from UK Research and Innovation will enable the TestEd team to provide fast and cost-effective twice weekly COVID-19 testing across the University.

Inflammatory mediators of severity in COVID-19 infection

A recent publication in Science Immunology from Dr Kenneth Baillie, including work from Prof Yanick Crow and Prof David Hunt, identifies inflammatory mediators implicated in COVID-19 severity. April 21

RAC1B is an important mediator of colorectal tumourigenesis

Rac1b deletion effects in a mouse colorectal cancer model.
Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre scientists identify RAC1B as an important mediator of colorectal tumourigenesis and a potential target for enhancing the efficacy of EGFR inhibitor treatment: April 2021

New insights into how severe brain cancer evades immune attack

Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre researchers uncover mechanisms underlying immune evasion in Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM): April 2021

Spinout BioCaptiva launched to unlock cancer detection through liquid biopsy

IGMM News 2014 - Tim Aitman
A spinout from the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine targets the early diagnosis of difficult-to-detect cancers with a new blood-based biopsy device.

IGMM renamed the Institute of Genetics and Cancer

From 1 April the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) will go by a new name, the Institute of Genetics and Cancer (IGC): April 2021

RSE Fellowships for Liz Patton and Jim Wilson

Prof Liz Patton of the MRC Human Genetic Unit and CRUK Edinburgh Centre and Prof Jim Wilson, MRC Human Genetic Unit Affiliate, have been select as Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: March 2021

UKRI & MRC Innovation Scholarships initiative awarded for Data Driven Life Science Skills Development project

Data Science in Biomedicine Workshop
UK Research and Innovation and the Medical Research Council’s £10 million Innovation Scholarships initiatives have gone to secondments and training programmes in health and bioscience, including a Cross-College project led by Alison Meynert: March 2021

Focal Adhesion Kinase controls transcription via chromatin accessibility

Schematic model illustrating regulation of IL-33 expression by FAK.
A study led by CRUK Edinburgh Centre scientists provides the first demonstration that Focal Adhesion Kinase controls transcription via chromatin accessibility: January 2021

CBE for Prof Wendy Bickmore in Queen's New Year Honours

Professor Wendy Bickmore, Director of the MRC Human Genetics Unit, has been appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of her services to biomedical sciences and to women in science: January 2021

Accurate and cost-effective COVID-19 PCR test developed

A cross-Institute research team led by Martin Reijns have developed a multiplex assay with human quality control probe, performing as well as commercial tests but at a tenth of the cost: December 2020

Genes could be key to new Covid-19 treatments, study finds

Edinburgh researchers collaborating in the global GenOMICC consortium identify potential treatments for Covid-19 after the discovery of five genes associated with the most severe form of the disease: December 2020

The Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow join forces to train young doctors in musculoskeletal disease

The Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow are joining forces to train young doctors in research relevant to the causes and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. The ambitious new project which will see the institutions combine their global excellence in biomedical research and teaching to advance understanding of musculoskeletal diseases.