The Institute of Genetic Medicine brings together a strong team with an interest in clinical and developmental genetics. Our research focuses on the causes of genetic disease at the molecular and cellular level and its treatment. Research areas include: genetic medicine, developmental genetics, neuromuscular and neurological genetics, mitochondrial genetics and cardiovascular genetics.
As a research postgraduate in the Institute of Genetic Medicine you will be a member of our thriving research community. The Institute is located in Newcastle’s Life Science Centre. You will work alongside a number of research, clinical and educational organisations, including the Northern Genetics Service.
Find out more about the Institute of Genetic Medicine's research areas. We offer supervision for MPhil, PhD and MD in the following research areas:
Cancer genetics and genome instability
Our research includes:
- a major clinical trial for chemoprevention of colon cancer
- genetic analyses of neuroblastoma susceptibility
- research into Wilms Tumour (a childhood kidney cancer)
- studies on cell cycle regulation and genome instability
Cardiovascular genetics and development
We use techniques of high-throughput genetic analyses to identify mechanisms where genetic variability between individuals contributes to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. We also use mouse, zebrafish and stem cell models to understand the ways in which particular gene families' genetic and environmental factors are involved in the normal and abnormal development of the heart and blood vessels.
Complex disease and quantitative genetics
We work on large-scale studies into the genetic basis of common diseases with complex genetic causes, for example autoimmune disease, complex cardiovascular traits and renal disorders. We are also developing novel statistical methods and tools for analysing this genetic data.
We study genes known (or suspected to be) involved in malformations found in newborn babies. These include genes involved in normal and abnormal development of the face, brain, heart, muscle and kidney system. Our research includes the use of knockout mice and zebrafish as laboratory models.
Gene expression and regulation in normal development and disease
We research how gene expression is controlled during development and misregulated in diseases, including the roles of transcription factors, RNA binding proteins and the signalling pathways that control these. We conduct studies of early human brain development, including gene expression analysis, primary cell culture models, and 3D visualisation and modelling.
Genetics of neurological disorders
Our research includes:
- the identification of genes that in isolation can cause neurological disorders
- molecular mechanisms and treatment of neurometabolic disease
- complex genetics of common neurological disorders including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease
- the genetics of epilepsy
Kidney genetics and development
Kidney research focuses on:
- atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome (aHUS)
- vesicoureteric reflux (VUR)
- cystic renal disease
- nephrolithiasis to study renal genetics
The discovery that aHUS is a disease of complement dysregulation has led to a specific interest in complement genetics.
Our research includes:
- investigation of the role of mitochondria in human disease
- nuclear-mitochondrial interactions in disease
- the inheritance of mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy
- mitochondrial function in stem cells
The Neuromuscular Research Group has a series of basic research programmes looking at the function of novel muscle proteins and their roles in pathogenesis. Recently developed translational research programmes are seeking therapeutic targets for various muscle diseases.
Stem cell biology
We research human embryonic stem (ES) cells, germline stem cells and somatic stem cells. ES cell research is aimed at understanding stem cell pluripotency, self-renewal, survival and epigenetic control of differentiation and development. This includes the functional analysis of genes involved in germline stem cell proliferation and differentiation. Somatic stem cell projects include programmes on umbilical cord blood stem cells, haematopoietic progenitors, and limbal stem cells.
Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.
We will be offering the following PhD projects:
- Targeting Biosynthetic and Regulatory Pathways of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis as Novel Drug Targets
- Design, Synthesis and Target Identification of Novel Anti-Tubercular Agents
- Activity-Based Chemical Probes for the Profiling of Cytochrome P450s
- Development of Novel Silanediol HDAC Inhibitors for the Treatment of Cancer
We have specialist facilities on-site for:
- multicolour fluorescence-activated cell sorting
- ‘next generation’ high-throughput sequencing and genotyping
- transgenics/gene targeting
- confocal microscopy
- optical projection tomography
- gene expression imaging
- microarray technology
- fluorescent activated cell sorting
- ‘Good Manufacturing Practice’ for human stem cells
Find out more about the Institute of Genetic Medicine's facilities.
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Training & Skills
As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and support elements to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School.
Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School
Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.
Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.
You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.
Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham Doctoral Training Partnership
The Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) is supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and offers:
- researchers the opportunity to address scientific biosciences questions
- an exceptional programme of research training, emphasising the interdisciplinary nature of modern biology
- the latest technologies and facilities to deliver world-class results
Each year we award around 22 fully-funded studentships across the partnership on the following research themes:
- Agriculture and Food Security
- Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
- Bioscience for Health
- World Class Underpinning Bioscience
Fees & Funding
The fees displayed here are per year.
MPhil, PhD, MD
Full time: £4,800 - £15,300
Part time: £2,400 - £7,650
Full time: £4,800 - £15,300
Part time: £2,400 - £7,650
Full time: £21,000 - £31,500
Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.
EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 and 2019 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.
Our fee range takes into account your research topic and resource requirements.
Your research topic is unique and as such will have unique resource requirements. Resources could include specialist equipment, such as laboratory/workshop access, or technical staff.
If your research involves accessing specialist resources then you're likely to pay a higher fee. You'll discuss the exact nature of your research project with your supervisor(s). You'll find out the fee in your offer letter.
A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a science or medicine related subject.
A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent. Further research experience or a Master’s degree would be advantageous.
A MBBS, or an equivalent medical degree.
Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.
Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
English Language Requirements
To study this course you need to meet the following English Language requirements:
IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills).
Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.
You may need an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate. You'll need to get this before you can get your visa or study on this programme. We'll let you know about the ATAS requirement in your offer letter.
How to Apply
You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.
There are usually three possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:
There is no application closing date for this course, but specific deadlines for funding may apply.
We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
If you live outside the UK/EU you must:
- pay a deposit of £1,500
- or submit an official letter of sponsorship
The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.