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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.

Our four-day course takes place at the Hadyn Ellis Building, run by the team based in the Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG) at Cardiff University.

The summer school aims 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 on a range of topics in psychiatry, neurology and neuroscience including:

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

The summer school also includes workshops on scientific careers and academic fellowships.


Our programme for July 2024, which is subject to change:

12:00             Registration and lunch
Professor James Walters and Professor George Kirov
13:10Principles of high-throughput sequencing: sample preparation, equipment
Professor Nigel Williams
13:55High-throughput sequencing tour, part one: lab tours in small groups and coffee
16:00High-throughput sequencing tour, part two: analysis and interpretation of sequencing data
Dr Elliott Rees
16:45Copy number variations (CNVs) in neurodevelopmental disorders
Professor George Kirov
17:30Check-in at Senghennydd Court for those with booked accommodation
08:00                    Breakfast is provided at the Hadyn Ellis Building
09:00Using MRI to understand mental disorders
Dr Xavier Caseras 
09:45Neuroimaging tour of CUBRIC and coffee
Professor Neil Harrison and team
11:45Reproductive psychiatry and the effect of gender and sex on mental health
Professor Arianna Di Florio
14:00A developmental approach to understanding child and adolescent mental health
​Professor Stephan Collishaw
15:00Genetics of multiple sclerosis
Dr Karim Kreft

Huntington's disease: translating genetics into therapies
Dr Tom Massey

08:00             Breakfast is provided at the Hadyn Ellis Building
09:00Preclinical mouse models for schizophrenia: MURIDAE and the MRC National Mouse Genetic Network
Professor Anthony Isles
09:45Emerging technologies - CRISPR-Cas9, single-cell sequencing and others
Dr Yasir Syed
10:30Making neurons from stem cells: laboratory tour and coffee
Dr Yasir Syed and the team

Parallel talks: Research careers in medicine
Dr Kimberley Kendall
Parallel talks: Careers for non-medical scientists

Dr Will Davies

13:45Drug Discovery in Psychiatry
Dr Gerry Dawson, CEO of P1vital LTD
15:00Genetics of epilepsy
Dr Rhys Thomas 
15:45Psychedelics and psychiatry
Dr Mathew D Hoskins
18:30Social meal in the city centre
08:00                Breakfast is provided at the SBARC|SPARK building

Imaging epilepsy
Dmitri Sastin

09:45Measuring risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
Dr Emily Simmonds
11:00Workshop: Social and ethical aspects of genetic testing
Dr Kimberley Kendall and Professor George Kirov
11:45Advances in the genetics of psychiatric disorders
Professor James Walters
12:30Lunch and farewell


The programme is delivered by experts in their respective fields.

  • Professor James Walters
  • Professor Nigel Williams
  • Professor Arianna di Florio
  • Dr Will Davies
  • Dr Elliot Rees
  • Dr Xavier Caseras
  • Professor Anthony Isles
  • Professor George Kirov
  • Dr Khalid Hamandi
  • Dr Kimberley Kendall
  • Dr Tom Massey

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.

We run a similar programme every year as an introduction to the research taking place at the CNGG. Applications will not be accepted for those who have previously attended.

Our summer school is free to attend. Student accommodation is provided for anyone travelling from outside Cardiff.

Unfortunately, we cannot help with travel fees.

Attendees touring the CUBRIC neuroimaging facilities

How to apply

Applications for the 2024 summer school are now open.

To apply, please send us a short CV and cover letter to, 750 words maximum, stating why you want to attend the summer school and how you think it will benefit you.

The closing date for applications is 5 June 2024.

It is free to attend the summer school, but please note travel expenses cannot be reimbursed.


Free student accommodation is available for attendees travelling from outside Cardiff.

Contact us

For more information, contact:

Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics Summer School