MRC Human Genetics Unit
Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit

News 2023

An archive of News from 2023

LOCOME project awarded Innovate UK grant to improve diagnosis and treatment of ME/CFS and Long COVID

The MRC Human Genetics Unit are collaborating with PrecisionLife and Action for M.E. in an innovative precision medicine project providing hope to millions in the UK: December 2023

DNA methylation rates linked to maximum lifespan in mammals

Researchers from the MRC Human Genetics Unit show slower DNA methylation rates in longer lived mammals, such as whales, compared to shorter lived mammals, like rats: December 2023

Carol Monaghan MP visits DecodeME team

Carol Monaghan MP with members of the DecodeME team
The Shadow SNP Spokesperson for Education and Science, Innovation and Technology visited the MRC Human Genetics Unit to learn about the study on 27 September.

2023 Cross-Disciplinary Fellows welcomed

Alina Kumukova, Andrii Iakovliev and Yavor Novev join the Institute of Genetics and Cancer: October 2023

Renal Ciliopathies National Network launches

The network, part of the £14 million MRC and NIHR funded UK Rare Disease National Platform, aims to improve the care of children and adults affected by renal ciliopathies: October 2023

Local community welcomed for Doors Open Day

The Institute of Genetics and Cancer welcomed nearly 200 visitors for Doors Open Day: September 2023

Postdoc Appreciation Week 2023 Awards

Congratulations to Dr Elias Friman on receiving the Postdoc Recognition Award for Student Supervision and Support: September 2023

Celebrating Technician Week at the University of Edinburgh

The essential work of technical staff has been highlighted through Technician Week events across the University in September

New potential treatments for polycystic liver disease

In a Europe-wide research collaboration, groups at the MRC Human Genetics Unit joined forces to investigate the formation of cysts and the development of polycystic liver disease: September 2023

John Inglis Prize Awarded for Best PhD Student presentations

Congratulations to Sarah Muise and Linda Nguyen for winning the 2023 John Inglis prize for best student talks: August 2023

Study identifies missing link in DNA replication initiation

International team employs AlphaFold-Multimer to uncover the molecular role of the human disease protein DONSON: Sept 2023

Study shows women more severely affected by ME/CFS

MRC funded research gives insight into disease severity and co-existing conditions inn study participants: August 2023

School pupils take part in Science Insights work experience programme

School pupils at the Institute of Genetics and Cancer for Science Insights
Over 40 pupils from 37 schools across Scotland, from Nairn to the Scottish Borders, visited the Institute as part of their week-long look into scientific careers: August 2023

£46.3 million funding boost to MRC Human Genetics Unit

DNA labelled within a zebrafish embryo
Ongoing research into how genetic code can influence health and disease has secured major financial investment from the Medical Research Council: July 2023

Institute welcomes UK Eye Genetics Group annual conference

Group photo of the delegates of the UK Eye Genetics Group Conference 2023
On 9 June, the IGC hosted the 2023 meeting of the UK Eye Genetics Group (UK-EGG) – a community of clinicians and geneticists with a specialist interest in ophthalmic genetics.

Core genes for type 1 diabetes revealed

A girl has a glucose monitor fitted by a healthcare professional
Researchers have identified nine core genes that play a key role in increasing the risk of developing type 1 diabetes: June 2023

Allele-specific protein complex assembly counteracts the dominant negative effect

Figure to show cotranslational protein complex assembly
Mihaly Badonyi and the Joe Marsh Research Group at the MRC Human Genetics Unit propose through a study published in Science Advances: May 2023

Shining a Light on Skin Cancer

The Institute and Robertson Construction Central East joined forces for the week of Melanoma Monday to raise awareness of the risks of skin cancer: May 2023

Thousands of people diagnosed with rare genetic diseases in major research study

The Brogden family
​​​​​​​Around 5,500 people with severe developmental disorders now know the genetic cause of their condition, thanks to a nationwide study which will help improve diagnosis across the world: April 2023

Adhesion protein that regulates gene transcription via direct signalling across the nuclear envelope

Colocalisation of Mena with nesprin-2 (left) and model of the proposed role for Mena at the nuclear membrane (right)
Edinburgh-led study identifies a novel function for the cell adhesion protein Mena at the nuclear membrane, where it regulates actin-nuclear lamina associations, nuclear architecture, chromatin repositioning and gene expression: March 2023

Research reveals Orkney link to BRCA1 gene

IGC Sequencing Facility
One in 100 people who have grandparents from Orkney have a gene variant that causes a higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, study shows: March 2023

More than 500 genes are linked to lung health, new study finds

16 weeks post-conception human fetal lung
Genomes from over half-a-million participants, including from Viking Genes and Generation Scotland data, were analysed: March 2023

Didier Devaurs takes his research to UK Parliament

Didier, Cross-Disciplinary Research Fellow at the Institute of Genetics and Cancer, attended Parliament to present his research to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of STEM for BRITAIN on Monday 6th March.

Expanding cell numbers is important for generating specific cell types

Collaborative work from the Bickmore group gives insight into how cell number affects cell fate: January 2023

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