MRC Human Genetics Unit
Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit

News 2020

An archive of News from 2020

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

European Research Council Consolidator Grant awarded to Joe Marsh

€655 million has been awarded between 327 of Europe’s top scientists, including support for the Beyond the Loss-of-function Paradigm project: December 2020

Luke Boulter awarded Patrick Neill Medal

The Royal Society of Edinburgh Patrick Neill medal will be awarded to Luke Boulter recognising his work in liver cancer: October 2020

Outstanding contribution awards for MRC Human Genetics Unit postdocs

Congratulations to Chloe Stanton, Peter Tennant and Alessandro Brombin who received awards during National Postdoc Appreciation Week: September 2020

Critical care clinician joins MRC Human Genetics Unit

Simon Biddie wins NES/CSO lectureship to support study of lung inflammation: September 2020

Hastie Career Advancement Awards for IGC postdocs

​​​​​​​Postdoctoral researchers Patricia Heyn of the MRC Human Genetics Unit and Mari Carmen Ortega Liebana of the CRUK Edinburgh Centre recently received awards from the Hastie Career Advancement Fund: September 2020

Thymus cell study sheds light on immune ageing

Collaborative single cell study suggests disruption to thymic progenitor differentiation contributes to ageing related immune impairment : August 2020

PRL3A links regeneration, differentation and melanoma

Researchers identify pathway that links melanocyte regeneration and cancer: August 2020

COPA protein linked to type I interferon induction

In a new publication in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Professor Yanick Crow’s group investigated the link between COPA protein and type I interferon induction. August 20

2 HGU Weekly Winners in I’m a Scientist, Stay at Home

During the COVID-19 Lockdown, university staff and students have been keen to help school pupils stay connected with STEM - all without leaving their homes: July 2020

Cross-Disciplinary Fellow joins IGC as Lecturer in Biomedical AI

​​​​​​​Dr Ava Khamseh has recently been appointed Lecturer in Biomedical Artificial Intelligence with the MRC Human Genetics Unit, Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre and the School of Informatics: July 2020

Scientists to develop antibody fingerprint serology test in fight against COVID-19

LifeArc and Medical Research Scotland have recently awarded funding to a multidisciplinary cross-College research team for a new project called TEST-COVID: July 2020

Students win 2020 John Inglis prize

Ioannis Christodoulou and Yuting Lu win HGU student prizes following virtual seminar: July 2020

Proteomics add power to drug discovery

Combining protein and DNA information provides stronger support for specific proteins in development of disease: July 2020

Predicting effects of protein variants

Predictors of effect benchmarked using deep mutational scanning data - July 2020

Cancer study shows how chemicals cause complex cell mutations

Fresh insights into why some harmful substances are so efficient at causing cancer could aid the quest for better treatments: June 2020

Patients, scientists and advocates celebrate £3.2m funding for largest ever ME/CFS DNA study

Professor Chris Ponting co-leads the project on behalf of the MRC Human Genetics Unit. DecodeME, which launches today, is the world’s largest genetic study into myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: June 2020

Home DNA test data wanted to boost coronavirus fight

A research team including scientists from the MRC Human Genetics have launched a new COVID-19 study using data from home genetic-testing kits: June 2020

Wendy Bickmore Gives EHSG Award Lecture

European Society of Human Genetics Award for Wendy Bickmore, MRC Human Genetics Unit Director: June 2020

Royal Society Fellowship for Professor Andrew Jackson

Professor Andrew Jackson
Professor Andrew Jackson, clinical geneticist and Programme Leader at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society: April 2020

HGU scientists contribute to NHS COVID19 testing

Scientists, laboratory space and equipment from the University of Edinburgh are being used at IGMM to support NHS Lothian’s testing efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic: April 2020

Fresh insight into events behind impaired fertility and genetic disorders

Researchers at the MRC Human Genetics Unit show that the gene Tex19.1 controls events which contribute to the prevention of abnormal chromosome numbers in the egg cells of mice: April 2020

Ingenious Genes - MRC HGU on Radio 4: April 2020

ingenious genes april 2020
Profs Ian Jackson and Bob HIll talk to Dr Kat Arney about genes for hair colour and development

An obituary to Ann Chandley

Ann Chandley outside her house
The MRC Human Genetics Unit pays tribute to influential former researcher Ann Chandley: March 2020

Sugar-coating the inflammatory response?

Glycosylation of immunoglobulin G is regulated by a large network of genes with effects on inflammatory disease risk: February 2020

DNA unwinding regulates genes

Research reveals how DNA twisting organises gene architecture and function: February 2020

Major science prize for former MRC PhD student

Judith reichmann
Judith Reichmann has been awarded the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for Young Researchers, one of the most significant science prizes in Germany: January 2020

Uncoupling scarring and repair

Dissecting the role of Wnt-Planar Cell Polarity signalling in bile duct scarring and regeneration: January 2020

Prestigious RSE medal awarded to Dr Joe Marsh

The Royal Society of Edinburgh awards medals each year to pioneering scientists and researchers in Scotland: January 2020

Genetic study seeks people with Northern Isles ancestry

People with at least two grandparents who were born in Orkney or Shetland are being asked to join a genetic study aimed at improving medical treatments: January 2020

Long-serving staff congratulated with awards from Principal

Dedicated members of staff have recently been recognised by the University of Edinburgh for 25 and 40 years’ service: December 2019

Genetic clues to retinal detachment

A large study has identified 6 regions of the human genome influencing risk of sight-threatening condition: December 2019