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MRC to fund genetics unit for five more years

The Medical Research Council has awarded £53 million to its Human Genetics Unit, allowing research at the laboratory based at the University of Edinburgh to continue for five years.

The funding will support work to improve understanding of the genetic basis of inherited diseases, the university said in a statement. Scientists at the lab are exploring the molecular basis for genetic diseases, especially those of the eye, the brain and during development. They are also aiming to identify the variations in genome sequences linked to the risk of common diseases and to investigate ways to improve diagnosis and therapies.

The funding will be used to provide training for scientists working in this area, according to Wendy Bickmore, the unit’s director. “The scale and long-term nature of this funding from the Medical Research Council will enable our scientists to tackle the most challenging questions in human genetics,” Bickmore said.

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