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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 five-day course will take place online, run by the team who are usually based in the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics 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 online programme for July 2021, which is subject to change:

08:45             Welcome and introduction
Professor James Walter and Professor George Kirov
09:00Principles of high-throughput sequencing: sample-preparation, equipment
Professor Nigel Williams
10:00Analysis and interpretation of sequencing data
Dr Elliott Rees
11:00Copy Number Variants (CNVs) in neurodevelopmental disorders
Professor George Kirov
12:00Using MRI to understand mental disorders 
Dr Xavier Caseras
09:00                    Neuroimaging tour of CUBRIC
Professor Neil Harrison 
10:00Bipolar Disorder, Postpartum Psychosis and the Bipolar Disorder Research Network (BDRN)
Professor Ian Jones and Dr Arianna Di Florio
11:00Movement disorder phenotypes and genetics
Dr Kathryn Peall
12:00Genetics of epilepsy
Dr Rhys Thomas (Newcastle University)
09:00             Emerging technologies (CRISPR-Cas9; single-cell sequencing and others)
Professor Adrian Harwood
10:00Making neurons from stem cells: video tour of the lab
Professor Adrian Harwood
11:00Epigenetics and the brain
Professor Anthony Isles
12:00Neural stem cells manipulation to repair brain injury
Dr Malik Zaben

Students split into two groups: medics and non-medics

14:00Workshop: Research careers in medicine
Dr Kimberley Kendall
14:00Workshop: Careers for non-medical scientists
Dr William Davies
09:00                Neuroimaging the impact of drugs of abuse
Professor Anne Lingford-Hughes (Imperial College London)
10:00Workshop: Social and ethical aspects of genetic testingDr Michael Arribas-Ayllon
11:00A developmental approach to understanding child and adolescent mental health
Professor Stephan Collishaw
12:00Why is this the best time for neuroscience in psychiatry
Professor Jeremy Hall
09:00                Measuring risk for Alzheimer's Disease
Professor Valentina Escott-Price
10:00Big data and GWAS
Professor James Walters
11:00Huntington's disease: translating genetics into therapies
Dr Tom Massey
12:00Major breakthroughs in the genetics of neuropsychiatric disorders and the future of this research in Cardiff
Professor Sir Michael Owen


The programme is delivered by experts in their respective fields.

  • Professor Sir Michael Owen
  • Professor James Walters
  • Professor Nigel Williams
  • Professor Ian Jones
  • Dr Will Davies
  • Professor Valentina Escott-Price
  • Dr Elliot Rees
  • Dr Xavier Caseras
  • Professor Jeremy Hall
  • Professor Lawrence Wilkinson
  • Professor Adrian Harwood
  • Professor George Kirov
  • Professor Anne Lingford-Hughes
  • Professor Stephan Collishaw
  • Professor Stanley Zammit
  • Dr Kathryn Peall
  • 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 MRC CNGG. Applications will not be accepted for those who have previously attended.

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 18 June 2021.

Our summer school is free to attend.


For more information, please contact us:

Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics Summer School