Scientists team up to beat genetic diseases

Scientists from leading medical institutes in Edinburgh are joining forces to further research into a range of genetic diseases.

More than 200 staff and students from the Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit will join the University of Edinburgh.

This will form one of the largest centres for human genetics and molecular medicine in Europe.

Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine

The newly strengthened Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) will aim to deliver clinical benefits directly to patients suffering from a variety of diseases.

Conditions studied will include brain and eye disorders, cystic fibrosis and childhood and adult cancers.

Great science is all about scientists coming together, interacting, and exchanging ideas. Combining forces will give us the impetus to turn the potential of the genetic revolution into reality, bringing new understanding and treatments of disease.

Professor Nicholas HastieDirector of the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine


The University, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Cancer Research UK have been working together closely for many years in the area of human genetics.

The merger is backed with around £60 million of funding from the MRC over five years.

It has the potential to provide major insights into mechanisms of disease and human biology.

The IGMM is a partnership between the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Molecular Medicine, the MRC and Cancer Research UK.

We will be able to use our increased knowledge and understanding of the human genome to develop new tests and therapies for patients suffering from devastating genetic diseases and cancers.”

Professor Jonathan SecklDean of Research of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

The MRC is delighted to join its Human Genetics Unit to the University in order to capitalise on this fast-moving science and accelerate the benefits to patients. This is part of the MRC’s strategy to make best use of the increasing capabilities of the University sector and maximise the return in terms of health and wealth from research expenditure

Sir John ChisholmChairman of the Medical Research Council