IGMM 'Science Insights' Work Experience Programme

  • Mairead 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 regarding the use of interdisciplinary skills from engineering and veterinary science in computational medicine research, about how my research is translated into clinical practice and technical questions about the different challenges, and. All eight students provided feedback. The feedback was in general very good. The students appreciated the opportunity to speak to real scientists and commented on the importance of the research being conducted. They were impressed with the scope and quality of research that is being conducted, and how passionate the researchers are out their work in the IGMM. Most students found the topic interesting and easy to follow. The students would have preferred that the workshop was a little bit longer, and more on-one tutoring during the activities. A student realised that that following the event that medical genetics is not the career path for them.
Period24 Jul 2018
Event typeOther
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionRegional


  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Genetics
  • Monogenic inheritance
  • Polygenic inheritance
  • Animal models