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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 MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (MRC 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 2022:

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 14:00-14:45)

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/CUBRIC
09:45Neuroimaging tour of CUBRIC / coffee (Virtual tour 10:00 - 10:45)
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
15:30Genetics of epilepsy
Dr Rhys Thomas, Newcastle (Zoom)
16:15Huntington's disease: translating genetics into therapies
Dr Tom Massey
18:30Social meal in Cardiff city centre
08:00             Breakfast provided at Hadyn Ellis Building
09:00Drug Discovery in Psychiatry
Dr Gerry Dawson, CEO of P1vital LTD
09:45Emerging technologies (CRISPR-Cas9, single cell sequencing and others)
Professor Adrian Harwood
10:30Making neurons from stem cells: laboratory tour / coffee
(Virtual tour 10:00 – 10:45)

Professor Adrian Harwood and team
13:00Neural Stem cells manipulation to repair brain injury
Dr Malik Zaben
13:45Measuring risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
Professor Valentina Escott-Price
15:00Neuroimaging the impact of drugs of abuse
Prof Anne Lingford-Hughes, London (Zoom)

Parallel Workshop: Research careers in medicine
Dr Kimberly Kendall
Parallel Workshop: 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
Professor Stephan Collishaw
09:45Big Data and GWAS
Professor James Walters
11:00Workshop: Social and ethical aspects of genetic testing
Dr Michael Arribas-Ayllon
11:45Why this is the best time for neuroscience in psychiatry
Professor Jeremy Hall
12:30Lunch and farewell


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.

Our summer school is free to attend. Student accommodation is provided for anyone travelling from outside Cardiff. We cannot help with travel fees.

Please be aware of your local/region's COVID-19 guidelines, as well as the guidance in place if you are travelling through England to Wales.

How to apply

We are now taking applications for the next MRC Summer School in Brain Disorders until 4 June 2022.

To apply, please email your CV/resumé and a cover letter outlining your experience and interest to

Contact us

For more information, please contact us:

Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics Summer School