IGMM 'Science Insights' Work Experience Programme

  • Mairead Lesley Bermingham (Organiser)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Schools engagement


Genetics of Type 1 Diabetes

The students were introduced to the genetic epidemiology of type 1 diabetes. Including monogenic (disease is caused a mutation in a single gene) and polygenic (disease is caused by mutations in two or more genes) forms. The students were then asked to undertake a ‘find a gene challenge’ for monogenic disorders and a ‘polygenic pedigree challenge’ for complex diseases. The aim of these challenges was that the students would come away with a better understanding of how monogenic and polygenic disorders are transmitted through families. Following which the importance of animal models in genetic research was discussed. The students then used a simulation program to breed an animal model with a particular disease phenotype. It was hoped that this activity would provide the students with a better appreciation of the work involved in the development of animal models for genetic research. The only questions are were technical questions about the different challenges, and about how Danio rerio, Caenorhabditis elegans and drosophila melanogasteris are in genetic research. Twelve out of the nineteen students provided feedback. The feedback was in general very good. The students found the activity very interesting, and they could see the many opportunities available for them in genetic research. A number of the students were very impressed with the facilities at the IGMM, and stated that the work we are doing is interesting and important. A number of students said they would have preferred more hands on activity and more complex themes.
Period24 Jul 2017
Event typeConference
LocationEdinburghShow on map


  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Genetics
  • monogenic
  • polygenic
  • find a gene challenge
  • polygenic pedigree challenge
  • animal models
  • breed an animal model simulation
  • Genetic research