MRC Human Genetics Unit
Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit

News 2022

An archive of News from 2022

ecDNA copy number is key to high-level oncogene expression, new research shows

A recent study has demonstrated that, contrary to recent reports, the transcriptional output of oncogenes carried on extrachromosomal DNA in glioblastoma stem cells is driven by the copy number of the ecDNA, rather than their spatial localization into transcriptional hubs: December 2022

Kiltwalkers take important steps for Edinburgh Research into Cancer Fund

The IGC kiltwalk team together
On 18 September a group of passionate staff and students from the Institute of Genetics and Cancer walked in aid of the Edinburgh Research into Cancer (ERIC) Fund: October 2022

Edinburgh Super-Resolution Imaging Consortium will play key role in UK Euro-BioImaging node

The new node brings together state-of-the-art biological imaging instruments from world class research environments, including the Advanced Imaging Resource facility at the Institute of Genetics and Cancer: October 2022

National Postdoc Appreciation Week Awards

From left to right: Jareth, Adelaide, Marta, Øyvind
Congratulations to Adelaide Young, Marta Canel, Øyvind Almelid and Jareth Wolfe on recently receiving National Postdoc Appreciation Week Awards for their work at the Institute: September 2022

Human centromere repositioning activates transcription and opens chromatin fibre structure

Summary: A team of researchers from the MRC Human Genetics Unit use neocentromeres as a model system to provide insight into the properties of canonical centromeres: September 2022

Cohesin is required for long-distance but not proximal enhancer action

Cohesin enhancer action:  W.Bickmore
Wendy Bickmore's team use protein degradation and synthetic activation approaches to investigate the action of genetic switches called enhancers at various distances: September 2022

Hunt begins for genes to unlock mystery of ME

A quest to find the genetic signal to one of the world’s most puzzling medical conditions is being led by Edinburgh researchers: September 2022

IGC Langmuir Talent Development Fellowships in Cancer Research

A new fund has been launched by the Institute of Genetics and Cancer to support early career researchers in their journey to independence, thanks to a significant philanthropic donation from Hugh and Josseline Langmuir: September 2022

Work under way on new 4D cellular medicine research facilities to provide unprecedented insights into human disease

building works on the site of the Institute of Genetics and Cancer
Building work has commenced for the new building at the Western General Hospital site, which will allow scientists at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Genetics and Cancer to investigate genetic conditions and cancers in greater depth and detail than ever before: August 2022

DecodeME study protocol published, a template for Myalgic encephalomyelitis research

DecodeMe, the largest genetic study for Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), publishes its protocol outlining the design of the research study: July 2022

Blood test could predict future risk of leukaemia

A 3D computer generated image of acute lymphoblastic leukemia with red blood cells
The collaborative study between the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow was co-lead by the Tamir Chandra Research Group and involved work by two Research Fellows from the Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships (XDF) Programme: July 2022.

Liz Patton Research Group receives award to track melanoma

Liz Patton and her team on balcony overlooking Edinburgh
The award, from Melanoma Research Alliance, will support a recent technology called "barcoding" which aims to help advance therapies in melanoma patients: July 2022

X-Net launches to remove obstacles to cross-disciplinary research careers

The Medical Research Council has invested £200,000 in a new national network which will help scientists overcome barriers to working in interdisciplinary science: July 2022

A new tool for rapid protein degradation in live animals

Andrew Wood and colleagues develop new tool for modulating protein levels in vivo: June 2022

Hebridean study to explore disease and genes link

Long Exposure photograph of the village of Tobermory in the Isle of Mull.
People with at least two grandparents from the Hebrides in Scotland are being asked to take part in a major genetic study.

£22 million investment launches MRC National Mouse Genetics Network

Key members of two Network clusters include MRC Human Genetic Unit scientists Andrew Wood and Joe Marsh, (Degron Tagging) and Pleasantine Mill, (Congenital Anomalies): April 2022

Tom Deegan receives Early Career Research Award

Tom’s work and contribution as an exceptional early career researcher has been acknowledged in the Biochemical Society’s annual awards: April 2022

Early Career Prize for Didier Devaurs

Cross-disciplinary Fellow Didier Devaurs has received a SULSA award for his work using cutting-edge machine learning techniques to resolve challenges with deep mutational scanning: March 2022

New understanding of mutation pattern holds potential for more tailored cancer treatment

A team of researchers from the MRC Human Genetics Unit have found that the enzyme TOP1 is an important source of mutations in active genes: February 2022

Ovarian cancer therapy boosted by drug that slows disease’s advance

The tissue origins and major molecular pathway alterations in different types of ovarian epithelial cancer. [from Shih et al. Am
Trametinib, currently used to treat skin and lung cancers, has been found to slow the progression of a form of ovarian cancer and increase the number of patients who respond to treatment, a clinical trial has found: February 2022

Blood proteins could be the key to a long and healthy life, study finds

Research from the Jim Wilson Research Group suggests two blood proteins influence how long and healthy a life we live: January 2022

Tech spinout aims to ‘democratise data’ to boost medical research

Scientists at the MRC Human Genetics Unit and Roslin Institute have launched a spinout company that aims to democratise genetic data access and cut from days to minutes the time it takes to analyse millions of genetic records: January 2022

Zebrafish study unlocks understanding of developmental mechanisms hijacked in cancer

The work, led by Alessandro Brombin and Liz Patton and in collaboration with Tamir Chandra, could potentially inform improved drug therapies for people living with melanoma: January 2022

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