Cancer and Genetics
You can conduct your research degree within the Division of Cancer and Genetics. Research is driven for the benefit of patients affected by cancer and by inherited disease.
The programme strategy is to drive research for the benefit of patients affected by cancer and by inherited disease in Wales and beyond.
The programme of research maps onto the translational research pathway ranging from fundamental science through to pre-clinical testing of new therapeutic agents as well as early and late phase clinical trials. Our translational research focuses on the genetic and molecular basis of human disease within a central theme of cancer. The Division of Cancer and Genetics provides expertise and facilities to conduct research into human genetics and disease, prognostic and diagnostic markers for cancer, novel therapies for solid organ and haematological cancers, metastasis, cancer immunology and cancer cell biology.
The programme will lead to a research degree in cancer and / or genetics that could be used in a variety of academic, clinical and industrial settings.
The following areas are available:
- Haematological malignancy - focus on basic and translational research into haematological malignancies and clinical trials exploring innovative treatment for leukaemia;
- Genetic and genomic medicine - to better understand the underlying mechanisms of cancer and genetic illness;
- Solid cancers - aiming to improve the outcome of patients with cancer with a primary focus on clinical trials and linked laboratory research.
- Part of Wales Cancer Research Centre
- Cancer Research UK Centre Status
- Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre
- Human Gene Mutation Database
- Wales Cancer Trials Unit
- Strong International links via China Cardiff Medical Research Collaborative
- Bloodwise Centre of Excellence for research into haematological malignancies.
- Wales Gene Park.
- Wales Cancer Bank.
- Wales Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Centre
- Well-equipped laboratories in Heath Campus buildings including Cancer and Genetics Building, Division of Medical Genetics, Henry Wellcome Building, Sir Geraint Evans Building, Tenovus Building, University Hospital Building, and Velindre Hospital (Cancer Research Wales).
Translational research encompassing fundamental biology, applied and clinical research is undertaken in all areas of research.
The translational loop is closed by aiming to provide new diagnostics for cancer risk and new cancer therapeutics by facilitating the partnerships between Patient, Scientist, Clinician and Pharma Industries.
The areas studied include genome instability (telomere-driven genome instability and DNA damage and repair), the molecular genetics of cancer and inherited tumour predisposition including tuberous sclerosis and Rett syndrome.
Solid cancer research includes prostate, bladder, breast, colorectal and head and neck whilst non-solid cancer research encompasses haematological malignancies such as acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and other lymphoid malignancies, myeloma and clinical stem cell transplantation.
The underlying science is multidisciplinary including imaging, cell and molecular biology as well cross-cutting themes with immunology and pharmacy. In all cases, designing and delivering multi-centre late-phase clinical trials and associated translational research in various solid cancers and haematological malignancies is a significant area of research within the Division. Here the development of therapies designed for specific individuals with specific cancers is an objective.
Research environment and facilities
The Division of Cancer and Genetics is one of four research Divisions in the School of Medicine, based at the Heath Park Campus, Cardiff. It has around 170 staff and 70 PGR students, housed in four research buildings with well-equipped laboratories. The proximity of the University Hospital allows for access to patient samples (with informed consent and ethical approval). Researchers within the Division also have access to Bioinformatic support through the Wales Gene Park, and the potential to collaborate with colleagues in the NHS All Wales Medical Genetics Service. There are currently 9 machines capable of high throughput sequencing at the Heath Park campus.
As well as being a major contributor to School events, the Division has it's own weekly seminar program where students, post-doctoral scientists, clinical research fellows and Principal Investigators (lab heads) present their research. There is also an annual DCG PGR research day, which features student talks and a social event led by students. In addition the School Science Seminar and Science in Health series regularly feature speakers with a cancer or genetics theme.
All post graduate research students in the School of Medicine undergo a 1 week training course in research methods as part of their induction week, and will have access to a large array of courses on research skills through the University Graduate College. The School of Medicine currently has a 92.5% completion rate for PhD submissions and a 100% employment rate among students surveyed. Recent students from our laboratories have continued in research in academia or industry.