MRC Human Genetics Unit
Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit

News 2021

An archive of News from 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

Canine oral cancer study aims to find new treatments

Understanding of canine melanoma could pave the way for personalised medicine and create biobank for drug screening: 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

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

HGU 4 year PhD programme

IGMM Vision
Apply now for our HGU 4 year studentship programme: Closing date: 7 January 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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