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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.

This year's four-day course will take place at the Hadyn Ellis Building and online, run by the team based in the Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG) and the National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) at Cardiff University.

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 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 2023:

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 1: lab tours in small groups / coffee
(Virtual tour available)

Dr Joanne Morgan
16:00High-throughput sequencing tour, part 2: 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 Hall for those with booked accommodation
08:00                    Breakfast provided at Hadyn Ellis Building
09:00Using MRI to understand mental disorders
Dr Xavier Caseras 
09:45Neuroimaging tour of CUBRIC / coffee (Virtual tour available)
Professor Neil Harrison and team
11:45Reproductive psychiatry and the effect of gender and sex on mental health
Professor Arianna Di Florio
13:30Imaging epilepsy
Dr Khalid Hamandi
14:15Movement disorder phenotypes and genetics
Dr Kathryn Peall
15:30Huntington's disease: translating genetics into therapiesDr Tom Massey
18:30Social meal in Cardiff city centre
08:00             Breakfast provided at Hadyn Ellis Building
09:00Why is this the best time for neuroscience in psychiatry
Professor Jeremy Hall
09:45Emerging technologies - CRISPR-Cas9, single cell sequencing and others
Professor Adrian Harwood
10:30Making neurons from stem cells: laboratory tour / coffee
(Virtual tour available)

Professor Adrian Harwood and team
13:00Neural Stem cells manipulation to repair brain injury
Dr Malik Zaben
13:45Drug Discovery in PsychiatryDr Gerry Dawson, CEO of P1vital LTD
15:00Genetics of epilepsy
Dr Rhys Thomas (Zoom)
15:45Psychedelics and psychiatry
Dr Mathew D Hoskins
16:30Parallel talks: Research careers in medicine
Dr Kimberly Kendall
Parallel talks: Careers for non-medical scientists
Dr Will Davies
08:00                Breakfast provided at Hadyn Ellis Building
09:00A developmental approach to understanding child and adolescent mental health
Wolfson Centre for Young People's Mental Health
09:45Measuring risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
Professor Valentina Escott-Price
11:00Workshop: Social and ethical aspects of genetic testing
Dr Michael Arribas-Ayllon
11:45Advances in the genetics of psychiatric disorders
Dr 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
  • Professor Valentina Escott-Price
  • Dr Elliot Rees
  • Dr Xavier Caseras
  • Professor Jeremy Hall
  • Professor Adrian Harwood
  • Professor George Kirov
  • Dr Kathryn Peall
  • Dr Khalid Hamandi
  • Dr Tom Massey
  • Dr Michael Arribas-Ayllon
  • Dr Malik Zaben

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.

How to apply

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

The deadline for applications is 4 June 2023.

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, please contact:

Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics Summer School