To ensure that we are in the vanguard of this scientific revolution, we have pooled the resources and complementary skills of the MRC Human Genetics Unit,The University of Edinburgh Centre for Molecular Medicine and Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre into this new IGMM. Together, we will have critical mass in many key areas, including: cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, developmental biology, human genetics, statistical genetics, model organisms, computational biology, pathology, public health and epidemiology and clinical trials. Furthermore IGMM's strengthened links with NHS doctors will give us much more access to key patient cohorts and clinical expertise.
As well as tackling these big scientific challenges, another major goal to train a new generation of young scientists and clinical researchers. In 2007 we welcomed our first intake of collaborative IGMM students and clinical fellows, supported by our core grant from the MRC.
Even before being formally launched, IGMM acted as a magnet for recruitment of three very eminent senior scientists - and more will follow. Furthermore, our first large collaborative grant has been awarded to the IGMM from Breakthrough Breast Cancer. We expect to be in a very strong position to compete for many more big funding opportunities.
This new knowledge will not only help us understand what makes us tick but should lead to identification of individuals at greater risk of disease. As all common diseases arise through a combination of genetic factors and environment, the goal will be to advise susceptible individuals on the lifestyle most likely to reduce their risk and to invite them in for more frequent check-ups. Knowledge of genetic factors in common disease will undoubtedly lead to new drugs targeted to an individual's needs.