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.

Category: PhD Life

Life as a PhD student.

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 […]

When I applied to the MRC Human Genetics Unit (HGU) PhD programme I was already working as a Research Assistant at the HGU but my path up to that point hadn’t been very direct.   When I left university with an honours degree in Cell Biology, I was ready to enter the workforce. I wanted […]

Breathing in the thin but fresh air of Himalayas, and bathed in the most dazzling sunlight besides Namtso, I was on a road trip across Tibet last summer. Right after resigning from my last job, one of my closest friends just started the career as an English teacher there, so we drove 3,000 kilometres from […]

Intro I didn’t always want to do a PhD, in fact, I didn’t always want to be a scientist! At first, I even applied to be a vet. But I quickly realised it was science that I was actually interested in, so the injured animals will have to survive without me! I then did my […]


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.