Any views expressed within media held on this service are those of the contributors, should not be taken as approved or endorsed by the University, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University in respect of any particular issue.

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.

Doors Open Day 2023 marked the first outing of our new public engagement activity at the Institute of Genetics and Cancer – the Dark Genome Fish.    This project has been a fantastic collaboration between our research scientists, zebrafish facility staff and workshop and graphics teams. The result is a 4-foot model zebrafish (somewhat larger that […]

Dr Kelly Blacklock

Rare diseases are defined by the European Union as a disease or condition that effects fewer than 1 in 2000 people within the general population. Despite their individual rarity the sheer number of rare diseases results in a much higher figure as 1 in 17 people in the UK will suffer from a rare disease […]

Graphic of a brain (stock image)

As a first-year PhD student with interest primarily in deciphering inner workings of cells and gene regulation, I have yet set foot outside my comfort zone MRC unit. Rare Disease Day offers a great opportunity to explore research on rare disease and cancer conducted in IGC. Brain tumors are collectives of abnormal cells that multiply […]

Chloe Brotherton, a PhD student in Pleasantine Mill’s lab

Above: Image by Chloe Brotherton, Pleasantine Mill’s lab   A rare disease is defined as a disease that affects less than 1 in 2,000 people in the general population, which is the equivalent of 4 million people worldwide 1. To this day, around 6,000 different rare diseases are known 1. Although a single rare disease […]

Figure from the UK Government's Rare Diseases Framework

Above: From the Government Rare Diseases Framework   I knew precious little about rare disease before I started my PhD at the IGC. I was aware of the existence of rare disorders, and had heard the names of some of the better known ones, like cystic fibrosis and motor neurone disease. And that was about […]

IGC seating area

Above: Comfy sofas for scientific discussions   In September 2023, I began my 4-year MRC Human Genetics Unit (HGU) PhD journey at the Institute of Genetics and Cancer (IGC) in Edinburgh. Despite consistently nearly being blown away by the wind, I shall still head to the IGC for my experiments and PhD training. I am […]

RNAse H2 structure, predicted with AlphaFold-Multimer

Above: RNAse H2 structure, predicted with AlphaFold-Multimer. The visualization of interfaces raises questions on mechanisms of action, which can then be experimentally tested in the wet lab.   Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is slowly starting to make its way into every aspect of life. In the increasingly data-driven field of Biology, tools like AlphaFold are […]

By Caroline Hayward and Shona Kerr   Professor Caroline Hayward has decided to retire, after 45 years of service between the University and the MRC Human Genetics Unit. In January 2024 the Senatus Academicus conferred on her the title of Professor Emeritus. We wanted to learn about her career, so project manager Shona Kerr interviewed […]

Fig 1A. Exploiting optic vesicle organoids to probe the molecular origins of eye-field specification. (A) Representative organoids from days 1-5, and day 8. Scale bars: 100 µm

By Andrew Papanastasiou and Liusaidh Owen   Andrew Papanastasiou and Liusaidh Owen take us on a deep dive into their study at the MRC Human Genetics Unit.   The eye field, its development and challenges in understanding   The establishment or `specification’ of the eye field marks the first known stage of vertebrate eye development. […]

Professor Lesley Stark

By Cherry Ferrier Communications Manager, Institute of Genetics and Cancer   I recently spoke with the Institute’s Director of Teaching and Learning, Professor Lesley Stark (above), to reflect upon the first year of a new part-time online MSc programme in cancer biology and precision oncology at the University of Edinburgh. Lesley’s passion for the programme […]


Report this page

To report inappropriate content on this page, please use the form below. Upon receiving your report, we will be in touch as per the Take Down Policy of the service.

Please note that personal data collected through this form is used and stored for the purposes of processing this report and communication with you.

If you are unable to report a concern about content via this form please contact the Service Owner.

Please enter an email address you wish to be contacted on. Please describe the unacceptable content in sufficient detail to allow us to locate it, and why you consider it to be unacceptable.
By submitting this report, you accept that it is accurate and that fraudulent or nuisance complaints may result in action by the University.