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MRC, Edinburgh Form New Medical Genetics Center

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Edinburgh's Centre for Molecular Medicine and Cancer Research Centre have merged with the Medical Research Council's Human Genetics Unit to form a new research institute located at the Edinburgh campus that will focus on human genetics and medicine.

The new Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) will add 200 MRC staff members and students to create one of the largest human genetics and molecular medicine centers in Europe, MRC said this past weekend.

The merged IGMM is funded with roughly £60 million ($92.8 million) in MRC funding over five years, according to IGMM Director Nicholas Hastie.

"Combining forces will give us the impetus to turn the potential of the genetic revolution into reality, bringing new understanding and treatments of disease," Hastie said in a statement.

"We will be able to use our increased knowledge and understanding of the human genome to develop new tests and therapies for patients suffering from devastating genetic diseases and cancers," added Jonathan Seckl, dean of research of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at Edinburgh.

On its website, IGMM stated that the coupling of resources between the centers will create "critical mass in many key areas," including cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, developmental biology, human genetics, statistical genetics, computational biology, clinical trials, and others.

MRC Chairman John Chisolm said that joining the MRC's resources to create the new center in Edinburgh is part of MRC's strategy to increase the capabilities of the university sector and maximize the return on research expenses.

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