The Department of Medical & Molecular Genetics

Molecular genetics

The Department of Medical & Molecular Genetics undertakes fundamental scientific discovery and its application to find new and improved ways to understand, diagnose and treat genetic diseases. Their research combines information from large human datasets such as Genomics England with new technologies in genomics and bioinformatics, statistics, genetic epidemiology and expertise in epigenomics and gene regulation, to provide an integrated view of how variation in both the coding and regulatory genome contribute to disease.

The Department is based in the School of Basic & Medical Biosciences, one of six Schools within the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine at King’s College London. It occupies space across three floors of the Tower Wing, in Guy’s Hospital. The department is home to 17 academic groups with a wide range of research interests and expertise across laboratory-based and computational genetics and from basic discovery to clinical translation. It is home to ~20 research staff and trains 24 PhD students. It is supported by a team of professional services staff who provide technical support and management and high-quality administrative support across research portfolios of ~£16M.

Rosalind Franklin

The department is well equipped for a range of genetic and downstream analyses (qPCR, tissue culture, microscopy etc) and the university has a broad range of world class research facilities for biological and medical research from biological services through imaging, mass spectrometry, proteomics and molecular and cellular characterisation. The department has access to HPC platforms such as the CREATE research computing infrastructure and the university is currently further developing and investing in state-of-the-art eResearch facilities for big data applications.

Teaching and training is fundamental to the department’s work, both at undergraduate and post-graduate level, contributing to the teaching, innovative curriculum development and for both bioscience and medical education, with the BSc Molecular Genetics achieving 87% student satisfaction in 2021, despite the enormous challenges of teaching through the pandemic.

Genetics expertise also exists within other Schools in the Faculty, such as the School of Life Course & Population Sciences (the TWINS UK group) and the School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine

The Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine (FoLSM) is one of the largest and most successful centres for biomedical research and education in the UK. The Faculty has unparalleled expertise in basic, translational and clinical research, which is deployed to inform and deliver our education programmes, enhance clinical innovation and serve our communities.

People

The Colonnade, Guy's Campus

The Faculty employs almost 1,900 FTE staff, of which there are 440 FTE academic staff and 800 FTE research staff.

The Faculty is configured as six Schools and the cross-cutting Centre for Education. The Faculty holds an Athena SWAN Silver award, achieved in October 2018. It has a comprehensive programme of initiatives to support an inclusive environment and culture, and promote diversity across our staff and student communities, as well as the leadership of the Faculty. Against the main benchmarked metrics of gender, disability and BME the diversity of our student and staff community looks strong; however, we are aware that deeper analysis shows that the programme we have put in place is needed to address specific areas.

The Faculty is led by the Executive Dean, supported by the Faculty Leadership Team.


Structure and location

Guy's Campus

The Faculty is located on four sites – Guy’s, St Thomas’, Waterloo and Denmark Hill on the King’s College Hospital site – reflecting our strong partnership with clinical centres of excellence.

The six Schools are:

  • School of Basic & Medical Biosciences

  • School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences

  • School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences

  • School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine & Sciences

  • School of Immunology & Microbial Sciences

  • School of Life Course & Population Sciences

Each provides a scholastic environment to pursue research and to train the next generation of researchers and practitioners through postgraduate research programmes and short courses, as well as contributing to the delivery of the undergraduate education programmes.


Research

The Faculty is recognised as having major strength in a wide range of research areas relevant to life sciences and medicine, from fundamental to applied research. There are several nationally awarded Research Centres hosted within the Faculty. Assisted by our close collaboration with clinical colleagues in the King’s Health Partner Trusts, and outstanding infrastructure, the Faculty’s research findings are able to impact directly on the clinical setting and on health outcomes for patients.

King’s Health Partners is an Academic Health Sciences Centre with twenty-two thematic Clinical Academic Groups and five Institutes that bring together academics and clinicians who are committed to ensuring faster translation and adoption of research innovation into clinical practice. Having our academic staff based alongside their NHS counterparts further strengthens this dialogue between clinical and basic science, helping to accelerate the uptake of novel diagnostics, treatment and therapies.

Laboratory

The Faculty’s research excellence is reflected by the outcomes of REF2021, with 92.8% of the Faculty submission rated 4* (world leading) or 3* (internationally excellent). The breadth of the Faculty’s research is reflected by the fact that over 400 members of staff from the Faculty submitted returns to six units of assessment including Clinical Medicine, Engineering, and Applied Health Professions and Pharmacy, in which the Faculty ranked first in the UK in terms of the proportion of our overall submission that was ranked 4* or 3*. This work is only possible due to the wide range of funding that the Faculty attracts: it currently has an annual research grant income of over £100M from a range of research council, charitable funding sources and research contracts, with the UK Government’s core support for research being in the region of £28M per annum.

Both the Faculty’s research and education is built on a platform of partnerships across King’s College London, across London (including the Francis Crick Institute and London Advanced Therapies), nationally and internationally. In 2016, King’s College London became a founding academic partner alongside UCL and Imperial College in the Francis Crick Institute, London. In addition to joint academic appointments between King’s and the Crick, the partnership funds a vibrant PhD studentship programme and opportunities for mid-career academics to be seconded to the Crick for a fixed period. This research partnership has created productive collaborations, as demonstrated by the rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Education

Medical Education

With an undergraduate student body of around 5,000, the Faculty’s School of Bioscience Education and the Guy’s King’s & St Thomas’ (GKT) School of Medical Education deliver a comprehensive biomedical education portfolio, including professional health programmes (Medicine, Nutrition & Dietetics, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy) and a wide range of BSc programmes in biomedical sciences. The Faculty also has 1,710 students registered on our ~40 Masters programmes covering basic science through to programmes for health and allied health professionals. Embedded in research groups in our Schools, there are over 1,000 postgraduate clinical and non-clinical research (PhD/MDRes) students, approximately 20% of whom study part-time. Alongside these education programmes is our short course and continuing professional development provision which supports professionals to gain or refresh their skills and knowledge. Overall, the Faculty’s education programmes currently generate in the region of £75M per annum in tuition fee income, with additional UK Government annual core support of £18M for education.

The Faculty is in the process of setting up the first UK-partnered Medical School in China, in collaboration with the Southern University of Science & Technology (SUSTech). This is part of an ambitious project to establish a world-class Joint Education Institute in Shenzhen, China. The Joint School of Medicine plans to engage with the med-tech industry in southern China and Hong Kong to generate pedagogical and curriculum advances. In addition to Medicine, the Institute will deliver programmes in Biomedical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, with plans to develop a wider portfolio of jointly delivered programmes.

About King’s College London

King’s College London offers an intellectually stimulating environment, where staff are dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and learning in the service of society. We are a multi-Faculty institution, providing high-quality education, research and innovation across the sciences, humanities, medicine, law, dentistry, and social sciences. As a member of the Russell Group, an association of leading UK research-intensive universities, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards in research and education. King’s is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres spread across its three teaching hospitals.

Guy's Campus

King’s is one of the top 10 UK universities, ranked 35th in the world (QS World University Rankings, 2022) and the fourth oldest university in England, based in the heart of London. King’s has over 31,000 students from some 150 countries, and over 8,500 employees. King’s is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of about £1BN (2021).

King’s Strategic Vision looks forward to our 200th anniversary in 2029. It shows how King’s will make the world a better place by focusing on five key strategic priorities: educate to inspire and improve; research to inform and innovate; serve to shape and transform; a civic university at the heart of London; an international community that serves the world.

King’s comprises nine faculties, each with an academic leader and professional services lead: Executive Dean of Faculty and Director of Operations. Professional Services are provided in every Faculty as well as centrally to deliver support services for students and staff.

Our faculties

  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities

  • Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences

  • Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine

  • Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences

  • Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

  • Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care

  • Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

  • King’s Business School

  • The Dickson Poon School of Law