MELGEN was created

  • to optimize research on the genomics and transcriptomics of melanoma, enabling a deeper understanding of the genomic changes which drive melanoma and the immunological responses to the tumour. Both of these are important determinants of survival.
  • to train the researchers of the future who have had the benefit of high quality supervision, superb sample and data sets, experience of industry and entrepreneurship, and complimentary training in skills such as communication.

Our approach

Our approach is to adapt the newest genomic technologies to the large sample/data banks with their carefully annotated clinical cohorts. MELGEN groups have shown that mutation screening, gene expression (using the Illumina cDNA-mediated Annealing, Selection, extension, and Ligation (DASL) Assay) platform and state of the art next generation sequencing can be applied successfully to small formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tumours. MELGEN will explore emergent new techniques, for example the Sanger Institute (GRL) and ServiceXS will explore new approaches to genomic data generation from such samples and from fresh tumour and, critically, with other participant groups develop new statistical/bioinformatic approaches to data analysis.

The training network is led by Professor Julia Newton-Bishop (University of Leeds) and her colleague Dr Juliette Randerson-Moor, but the Supervisory Board is made up of members of the 7 University research groups training students, the partners working with those students, a student representative and lay members.

Professor Newton-Bishop is a dermatologist by training currently working entirely in the field of melanoma research.

Training is key

The MELGEN training programme has been designed to encompass individual projects that incorporate training-through-research, personal career development plans and a research/training multidisciplinary supervisory team. The students will also benefit from secondments, MELGEN-wide complementary skills training and specific skills training.

A more detailed explanation of the ethos of the MELGEN training programme and the specific MELGEN-wide training elements to be undertaken by the students are given in the MELGEN Training Programme 2016-2018