Institute of Genetics and Cancer

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

Institute of Genetics and Cancer

The name change signifies the evolution of the Institute’s scientific research, recruitment and funding successes over the years since it was first established more than a decade ago. The Institute’s Executive Group proposed the new name after reflecting on current Institute strengths, and this was enthusiastically approved by the University Executive earlier this year.  The new name better reflects current and collective research activities and focus across the breadth of the Institute’s scientific community; although there is diversity of biomedical research topics studied at the Institute, the predominant research focus is now genetics and cancer.

The joint mission of the three centres in the Institute of Genetics and Cancer is to understand development and disease by using the latest approaches in genetic, genomic, cellular and clinical science. Our focus is on research into human genetics and cancer, and on training the next generation in an outstanding environment for basic discovery science and translation.

Professor Margaret FrameDirector, Institute of Genetics and Cancer

About the Institute of Genetics and Cancer

The Institute of Genetics and Cancer, formerly the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, is situated on the Western General Hospital campus; it was first established in 2007 and is an integrated and synergistic partnership between the Medical Research Council (MRC) Human Genetics Unit (Director Wendy Bickmore), the University of Edinburgh Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine (Director Tim Aitman), and the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre (which is the hub for the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Edinburgh Centre; both Directed by Ian Tomlinson with academic medical oncology led by Charlie Gourley).

The Institute brings together the scientific interests and activities of its component Centres and Unit, supported by outstanding research facilities and support services, its graduate school and undergraduate teaching.

The Institute is home to almost 80 research groups, around 450 researchers and 120 PhD students at any one time, including two doctoral training programmes funded by the MRC to the Human Genetics Unit and by CRUK (clinical and non-clinical) to the CRUK Edinburgh Centre (and affiliated colleagues at the BioQuarter campus). The Institute also boasts a very successful cross-disciplinary post-doctoral training fellowship scheme (one of the first in the UK; joint with the School of Informatics, funded by the University, the MRC and CRUK). This encourages post-docs who are trained in physical science subjects to develop and apply innovative approaches to data-intensive biomedical questions in a two-way synergy between computation and wet-lab science.

The Institute’s research-led undergraduate teaching continues to grow. A well-received new undergraduate elective in Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine was delivered in 2020 to augment the Institute’s Cancer Biology elective. A series of new in-person and online Masters level courses in cancer biology are currently under development.