Institute of Genetics and Cancer

Institute of Genetics and Cancer

A new space for seminar blogs and other stories from staff and students at the Institute of Genetics and Cancer (formerly the IGMM)

Back in March, I wrote an article for an online DNA magazine to help push the message that VIKING II, the fastest growing Viking genetics study in the UK, was looking for volunteers.  It was a call to arms by study leader, Professor Jim Flett Wilson of Edinburgh University. Little did I know, six months […]

Dr Kenneth Baillie

The recent GenOMICC study led by Dr Kenneth Baillie, an Academic Consultant in Critical Care Medicine from the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, has revealed novel genetic associations with critical illness in COVID-19. As a new student at the IGMM, starting my PhD during a world-wide pandemic has been a strange and challenging experience. Nevertheless, […]

They say you should write about what you know. Asked to interview a scientist, I selected my two former supervisors. Raphaël Pantier, an experimentalist in the “wet lab” and Kashyap Chhatbar, a bioinformatician in the computational “dry lab”. I chose to interview them together because I wanted to capture the energy and enthusiasm of their […]

A light microscope image of epithelium cells lined with cilia in the bronchus

Dr Pleasantine Mill, an MRC Investigator at the IGMM and winner of the 2019 BSCB Early Career Medal for Women in Cell Biology, discusses her approach to understanding the genetic and molecular processes that underpin cilia biogenesis and cilia-associated human diseases. Her work is funded by the MRC and the ERC. Born in Canada, Pleasantine […]

an example of how the oct machine can be used to detect retinal detachment

As someone who has studied physics for most of my academic career the world of animal models seems perplexing and complicated and the people who work in it something akin to animal magicians. But that is the world in which Dr Amy Findlay – a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the MRC Human Genetics Unit – […]

Graph showing the majority rate their proficiency in statistics as satisfactory

In 1828, a young 19-year-old Charles Darwin commented on the regret he felt for not understanding the “great leading principles of mathematics”, as people with such an understanding seemed to have “an extra sense”. Today, where mathematics – or most commonly statistics – goes hand in hand with biological research, those who possess Darwin’s extra […]

It is clearer now more than ever of the importance of epidemiology, the study of the distribution and determinants of health and disease. Epidemiology is vital in shaping public health prevention and cancer control programmes by providing evidence of associated risk factors for the disease that, if modifiable, can be promoted and if not might […]

Over six months ago, the world plunged into lockdown and virtual seminars popped up like mushrooms in autumn. Here at the MRC Institute of Genetics Molecular Medicine, the IGMM Statistical Seminar Series was set up to provide researchers more insight on the discipline of statistics. This brainchild of Dr Ailith Ewing and Dr Catalina Vallejos, […]

Making the decision to apply for and accept the offer to do my PhD in Edinburgh was a big decision for me. You might think the mere 30 minute flight to Edinburgh from my home in Belfast, Northern Ireland is no distance at all. But for me, a self-professed home bird, it’s a big jump […]

Starting my PhD in the field of developmental biology, I was very excited to attend the seminar at the IGMM by the award-winning guest speaker Cédric Blanpain, a pioneer in lineage tracing and tumour research at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. For his outstanding work in the field of stem cell and cancer development […]


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