Professor Nicholas Hastie CBE FRS FRSE
The MRC Human Genetics Unit is at the forefront of research into human genetics. Its role is to advance the understanding of genetic factors implicated in human disease and normal and abnormal development.
Our Scientific aims are:
To gain an understanding of the molecular basis of genetic disease and normal human development
To identify genetic risk factors in common disease in isolated populations
To develop animal model systems to study human genetic disease and mammalian development
To understand the role of nuclear and cytoplasmic organisation in regulating the flow of information from DNA to the organism
To investigate opportunities for novel therapeutic approaches including stem cell therapy
Our Researchers in the Unit pages have indepth information.
The scientific work of the unit is divided into three sections: Biomedical Systems Analysis, Chromosomes and Gene Expression and Medical and Developmental Genetics. However, the unit takes an integrative approach to its work and a number of the projects span more than one section bringing together the scientific interests and skills of the staff. The scientists come from a range of disciplines and use a broad range of approaches to tackle projects which cover the spectrum of basic through to clinical research. The fourth section, Core Scientific Services, provides Administrative, Technical, Computing, Statistical and Bioinformatics services to the unit as well as a Library, Design and Publication service and Workshops.
Aims of the Unit
Professor Nick Hastie, arrived almost 25 years ago to take up a post as a senior group leader, becoming Director in 1994.
Nick explained: "The unit aims to gain an understanding of the molecular basis of genetic disease and normal human development, and to understand the role of nuclear and cytoplasmic organisation in regulating the flow of information from DNA to an organism. Population genetics also plays an important role, in helping to identify genetic risk factors in common disease. We're always keen to take our work forward and to investigate opportunities for possible therapies."
The Unit's programmes of work cover the themes of developmental genetics, chromosome biology and models for human genetic diseases. The unit is one of the largest MRC research establishments supporting approximately 220 scientists, support staff, fellows, PhD students and visiting scientists, of whom approximately 150 are directly funded by the MRC.