The MRC Human Genetics Unit (HGU), is part of the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) within the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. As well as delivering outstanding research, the institute creates a vibrant scientific community and a friendly research environment rich in both scientific and social opportunities.
The aim of the MRC Human Genetics Unit is to advance the understanding of genetic factors implicated in human disease and normal and abnormal development and physiology. Our PhD and MSc programmes harnesses strengths in different research disciplines (genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology) tied to our scientific themes (disease mechanisms, biomedical genomics and genome regulation). Our program also provides a strong focus on computational biology, and state of the art imaging as part of the Edinburgh Super-Resolution Imaging Consortium. Over 30 principal investigators based in the MRC HGU contribute to these cross-disciplinary programmes spanning fundamental to clinical research.
We invite postgraduate research proposals in a number of disease areas that impact significantly on patient care. We focus on exploring the mechanisms of disease, understanding the ways disease impacts patients’ lives, utilising new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and developing new treatments.
As a student you will be registered with a University research institute, for many this is the Institute for Cellular Medicine (ICM). You will be supported in your studies through a structured programme of supervision and training via our Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School.
We undertake the following areas of research and offer MPhil, PhD and MD supervision in:
Newcastle hosts one of the most comprehensive organ transplant programmes in the world. This clinical expertise has developed in parallel with the applied immunobiology and transplantation research group. We are investigating aspects of the immunology of autoimmune diseases and cancer therapy, in addition to transplant rejection. We have themes to understand the interplay of the inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses by a variety of pathways, and how these can be manipulated for therapeutic purposes. Further research theme focusses on primary immunodeficiency diseases.
There is strong emphasis on the integration of clinical investigation with basic science. Our research include:
We also research the effects of UVR on the skin including mitochondrial DNA damage as a UV biomarker.
This area emphasises on translational research, linking clinical- and laboratory-based science. Key research include:
Focus is on applied research and aims to underpin future clinical applications. Technology-oriented and demand-driven research is conducted which relates directly to health priority areas such as:
This research is sustained through extensive internal and external collaborations with leading UK and European academic and industrial groups, and has the ultimate goal of deploying next-generation diagnostic and therapeutic systems in the hospital and health-care environment.
There is a number of research programmes into the genetics, immunology and physiology of kidney disease and kidney transplantation. We maintain close links between basic scientists and clinicians with many translational programmes of work, from the laboratory to first-in-man and phase III clinical trials. Specific areas:
We have particular interests in:
Novel non-invasive methodologies using magnetic resonance are developed and applied to clinical research. Our research falls into two categories:
Our studies cover a broad range of topics (including diabetes, dementia, neuroscience, hepatology, cardiovascular, neuromuscular disease, metabolism, and respiratory research projects), but have a common theme of MR technical development and its application to clinical research.
We focus on connective tissue diseases in three, overlapping research programmes. These programmes aim to understand:
This research theme links with other local, national and international centres of excellence and has close integration of basic and clinical researchers and hosts the only immunotherapy centre in the UK.
Genetic approaches to the individualisation of drug therapy, including anticoagulants and anti-cancer drugs, and in the genetics of diverse non-Mendelian diseases, from diabetes to periodontal disease, are a focus. A wide range of knowledge and experience in both genetics and clinical sciences is utilised, with access to high-throughput genotyping platforms.
Our scientists and clinicians use in situ cellular technologies and large-scale gene expression profiling to study the normal and pathophysiological remodelling of vascular and uteroplacental tissues. Novel approaches to cellular interactions have been developed using a unique human tissue resource. Our research themes include:
We also have preclinical molecular biology projects in breast cancer research.
We conduct a broad range of research activities into acute and chronic lung diseases. As well as scientific studies into disease mechanisms, there is particular interest in translational medicine approaches to lung disease, studying human lung tissue and cells to explore potential for new treatments. Our current areas of research include:
Our research projects are concerned with the harmful effects of chemicals, including prescribed drugs, and finding ways to prevent and minimise these effects. We are attempting to measure the effects of fairly small amounts of chemicals, to provide ways of giving early warning of the start of harmful effects. We also study the adverse side-effects of medicines, including how conditions such as liver disease and heart disease can develop in people taking medicines for completely different medical conditions. Our current interests include: environmental chemicals and organophosphate pesticides, warfarin, psychiatric drugs and anti-cancer drugs.
Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.
The aim of our Clinical Neuroscience MSc course is to give you a unique understanding of the principles underlying the clinical presentation and investigation of diseases affecting the brain. We place particular emphasis on the translation from basic science to clinical practice. Our course is suitable for students interested in neuroscience and its applications to neurological or psychiatric diseases.
Our Clinical Neuroscience course enables trainees in neurology, psychiatry and related health-care disciplines to study the anatomical, physiological and pathological basis of symptoms and signs of brain disorders. It will provide you with in-depth knowledge and skills related to specialist clinical practice and will systematically integrate advances in genetics, molecular neuroscience, electrophysiology and neuroimaging into clinical practice. You will have the opportunity to work independently within a multidisciplinary environment and at an advanced level develop and sustain evidence-based practice, appraise and conduct clinical research and audit.
You will be taught through a mix of lectures, seminars and tutorials.
You will be assessed through a combination of coursework and examinations.
King’s College London is regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England
Our graduates pursue clinical and non-clinical academic careers in neurology, psychiatry and allied health care professions.