Institute of Genetics and Cancer

Institute of Genetics and Cancer

A blog for our community to write about their interests and to share their stories.

Dr Duncan Sproul is a CRUK Career Development Fellow at the MRC Human Genetics Unit and Institute of Genetics and Cancer at the University of Edinburgh. His work focusses on understanding the molecular mechanisms behind deregulated DNA methylation in disease. I met with him to chat about his career, his thoughts on how epigenetics will advance […]

Dr. Donncha Dunican

It was the mid-1990s, a young student started his undergraduate study at the National University of Ireland Galway with a settled idea that he is going to become a biochemist after graduation. He majored in Chemistry and Mathematics in the second year. He was very down the line to receive his Honours Degree in Biochemistry […]

Dr Catalina Vallejos and her research group

As a new PhD student in the Institute of Genetics and Cancer, I was very excited to get the opportunity to pick the brain of an inspiring young female group leader from the MRC Human Genetics Unit: Dr Catalina Vallejos. Just returning from maternity leave, Dr Vallejos outlined her impressive career development and successes, from […]

jigsaw puzzle of DNA

Background 42,886. This is the number of new bowel cancer cases in the UK every single year. One would think that the immense advancements in healthcare and the eradication of a plethora of diseases through vaccination would have also led to the “cancer cure.” While this sounds idealistic to the ears of a scientist, aware […]

Portrait of Karolina Mąka

The following is a conversation with Karolina Mąka, lab manager at Carbogenics, an Edinburgh-based startup which produces sustainable carbon adsorbents from difficult to recycle organic waste. I spoke to Karolina to find out more about the climate action work being done in and around Edinburgh, and her hopes and aspirations for this field. Sitting down […]

Portrait of Eoghan Forde

The path to becoming a scientist is littered with decisions and serendipitous events that shape a career. For young scientists it is next to impossible to decide which University, degree, and projects to go for. After all, the choices may feel equally good at times but could influence which position you find yourself in twenty […]

Portrait of Hannah Long

As a PhD student very interested in gene regulation who is passionate about supporting women in science, I was very keen to talk to one of the MRC Human Genetics Unit’s new group leaders, Hannah Long. Hannah has recently moved from Stanford to Edinburgh to start her own group here. I sat down with Hannah […]

cast of The Big Bang Theory

Let’s get this out of the way early doors; I’m older than your average bear when compared to the rest of my cohort. Heck, I think I’m older than most of the postdocs and the occasional PI too! However, I honestly believe that the only person who has a problem with this is me; I […]

Yanick Crow talks with an attendee at the MRC Festival at the Institute of Genetics and Cancer

In a landmark review published in Nature Reviews Immunology this week, The type I interferonopathies: 10 years on, Yanick Crow and Dan Stetson (University of Washington) look back at what has been learned since Yanick first coined the term in 2011, and how the field may develop in the years ahead. To mark this milestone, […]

I met with Ian Jackson following his retirement to talk about his career, his ideas, the changing face of science, people and the future. We sit contemplating the view over the City of Edinburgh, on the upper terrace of the Institute of Genetics and Cancer, at the Western General Hospital where Ian has worked for […]


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