Summer School

9th MRC Summer School
Delegates and speakers of the MRC Summer School 2018

Our annual Summer School in brain disorders research is held at one of the world's leading centres on neuropsychiatric genetics and genomics.

This four-day course takes place at the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University, usually in July.

The aim of the Summer School is to provide trainees and scientists with a grounding in brain disorders research and to inspire and inform the researchers of tomorrow.

The Summer School includes talks, demonstrations and interactive sessions on a range of topics in psychiatry, neurology and neuroscience including:

  • neuroimaging
  • psychiatric epidemiology
  • genetics and epigenetics
  • high-throughput sequencing demonstrations
  • manipulation of stem cells
  • phenotypic assessments
  • ethics in genetic research

The Summer School also includes workshops on scientific careers and academic fellowships.


The 2019 course will take place between 8-11 July.

See the programme from 2018 below:

12:00                    Registration and lunch
13:10Why this is the best time for neuroscience in psychiatry?
Prof Jeremy Hall 
13:55Introduction to neuroimaging 
Dr Xavier Caseras
14:40Principles of high-throughput sequencing: sample preparation, equipment Prof Nigel Williams
15:10High-throughput sequencing tour: lab tours in small groups / coffee
Dr Lesley Bates
16:30Copy number variations (CNVs) in neurodevelopmental disorders
Prof George Kirov
17:15Check-in for those with booked accommodation - you will be escorted from Hadyn Ellis
08:00                    Breakfast provided in the Hadyn Ellis building
09:00Neuroimaging the impact of drugs of abuse
Prof Anne Lingford-Hughes
10:00Understanding the neurobiology of addiction to inform treatment 
Prof Anne Lingford-Hughes 
11:15Neurodegeneration: translating genetics into therapies
Prof Lesley Jones
12:00Developmental disorders, child and adolescent psychiatry  
Dr Stephan Collishaw
13:45High-throughput sequencing tour: analysis and interpretation of sequencing data
Dr Elliott Rees
14:45The genetics of movement disorders
Dr Kathryn Peall 
15:30Big data and GWAS
Dr James Walters
08:00                      Breakfast provided in the Hadyn Ellis building
09:00Putting psychiatric genetics to work - using neuroscience to convert statistics into biology
Prof Lawrence Wilkinson
09:45Towards precision medicine in epilepsy 
Prof Rhys Thomas 
10:30Making neurons from stem cell: lab tours in small groups/coffee
Prof Adrian Harwood 
13:00Epigenetics and the brain
Dr Anthony Isles 
13:45Bipolar disorder, postpartum psychosis and the Bipolar Disorder Research Network (BDRN)
Prof Ian Jones

Students split into two groups: medics and non-medics, and swap workshops

14:30Workshop: Research careers in medicine
Dr Judith Harrison and Dr Kristina Harrison (MRC London)
Neuroimaging tour for non-medical scientists 
Dr Tom Lancaster
15:45Workshop: Careers for non-medical scientists
Dr Will Davies and Dr Kristina Harrison (MRC London) 
Neuroimaging tour for medical scientists 
Dr Tom Lancaster

18:00      Social evening: a meal at Cosy Club in Cardiff city centre

07:45                    Check out of accommodation - check bags into Hadyn Ellis reception
08:00Breakfast provided in the Hadyn Ellis reception
09:00Workshop: Social and ethical aspects of genetic research
Dr Andrew Cuthbert
10:00Using stem cells to restore cognitive function in epilepsy
Prof Adrian Harwood
11:00Major breakthroughs in schizophrenia genetics provide insights into pathogenesis
Prof Mick O'Donovan
11:40The future of mental health research in Cardiff
Prof Sir Michael Owen
12:30          Lunch and farewell


The programme will be delivered by experts in their respective fields. Our 2018 summer school included:

  • Professor Sir Michael Owen
  • Professor Nigel Williams
  • Professor Ian Jones
  • Dr Anthony Isles
  • Dr Will Davies
  • Dr Frances Rice
  • Dr Elliot Rees
  • Dr Xavier Caseras
  • Professor Jeremy Hall
  • Professor Lawrence Wilkinson
  • Professor Adrian Harwood
  • Professor George Kirov
  • Professor Anne Lingford-Hughes
  • Dr Stephan Collishaw
  • Dr James Walters
  • Dr Katheryn Peall
  • Dr Judith Harrison
  • Professor William Gray
  • Dr Andrew Cuthbert

Who can apply?

The Summer School is aimed at clinical trainees (Foundation/Core/Specialty Training) and non-clinical scientists (MSc, PhD, Post Doc) who are interested in moving into the field of neuropsychiatric genetics and genomics, or those who want an introduction to brain disorders research.

How to apply

Applications for the 2019 course will open in early 2019.


Student accommodation is available for attendees travelling from outside Cardiff.