29 June 2023 – Art Competition Winner 2023

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the publication of the DNA helix structure we invited submissions of art from UK school students on the theme “DNA: Past, Present and Future”.

The Genetics Society is pleased to announce Isla Scott as the winner. Isla’s artwork will feature on the cover of Heredity, a £100 voucher and £500 towards science equipment for their school).

The runner up is Hashim Siraj, who will recieve a £50 voucher and £250 towards science equipment for their school.

Prof. Sara Goodacre, Editor of Heredity, said of the entries: “Heredity is delighted to congratulate all participants of the art competition and in particular, the winners. It is wonderful not only to be able to celebrate past success, but to be reminded how far our community has come since then, as well as to think about the exciting discoveries that lie in the future.”


Name: Isla Scott
Age: 14
Materials used: digital drawing (sketchbook app)


Runner up
Name: Hashim Siraj
Age: 14
Materials used: paper and acrylic paint
Name of Art piece: Details

30 May 2023 – New Honorary Secretary: Professor Ian Henderson

The Genetics Society is pleased to welcome our new honorary secretary, Professor Ian Henderson.

Ian is a Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge. His group investigates genetic and epigenetic inheritance in plants, with a focus on meiosis. Recently, his group have used long-read DNA sequencing to analyse repetitive regions of the genome, including the centromeres. Their current work includes exploring the roles of recombination within the centromeres, and understanding their rapid evolution.

Work in Ian’s group seeks to translate knowledge of recombination mechanisms in crop breeding, to accelerate strain improvement and help adapt to the changing climate. Prior to arriving in Cambridge, Ian performed post-doctoral research with Prof. Steve Jacobsen (UCLA, USA) on RNA-directed in DNA methylation in plants, and completed his Ph.D with Prof. Dame Caroline Dean (John Innes Centre, UK) where he investigated control of flowering-time by RNA binding proteins.

Find out more about Ian’s research here.

23 May 2023 – Prof Dame Caroline Dean wins Mendal Medal 2023

The Genetics Society has awarded the Mendel Medal for 2023 to Prof Dame Caroline Dean.

Prof Dean will be presented with her award on 7th November 2023, at the Genetics Society’s scientific meeting in Newcastle: Genetics of future food production and the green revolution 2.0.

You can find out more about her achievements here.

13 April 2023 – Public Understanding of Genetics News 2023

In January, a study that was funded by the Genetics Society to understand how genetics is percieved by the public.

The work, which was published in PLOS Biology, has been accessed more than 11,000 times in less than 3 months and since then has been featured across several media outlets.

Several authors of the study, including the Society’s Dr Cristina Fonseca, appeared on the Genomics England podcast to discuss their findings.

Cristina has also published an article in the National Health Executive magazine, along with our President, Prof Anne Furguson-Smith.

16 March 2023 – DNA pioneer profile Shankar Balasubramanian

The University of Cambridge have published a profile of Shankar Balasubramanian and his collaborator, David Klenerman, who discovered a revolutionary sequencing technology.

Shankar is the Plenary speaker at the Genetics Society event “DNA: Past, Present and Future”, to be held 29th June 2023. The event will mark the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA double helix and will feature presentations by The Society’s 2023 award winners.

We would be thrilled if you could join us at the event, which will be held at the Sanger building in the Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge. Stay tuned for more details of the event.

19 February 2023 – Sickle Cell Unboxed Podcast

Sickle Cell Unboxed is a new podcast series funded by The Genetics Society UK. The series is produced and hosted by medical doctor and multimedia producer Dr Yemisi Bokinni, and is a public engagement initiative centred on creatively exploring life sciences themes.

You can find links to each of the episodes here, or all of the content at

In an online event, experts and guests featured on the series will be discussing Sickle Cell Anemia before a Q&A, as part of  Rare Disease Day on 28th February 2023.

Register for the event here.


Sickle Cell Anaemia, a hereditary blood disorder, is the fastest-growing genetic condition in the UK and is caused when two copies of a gene mutation are inherited, one from either parent. Historically, at-risk populations for Sickle Cell Anaemia are individuals with ancestry from Africa, the Caribbean, India and parts of the Arab world.

The series creatively ‘unboxes’ themes such as the historical origins and early explanations rooted in African folklore, to the more present themes of Sickle Cell and relationships, lived experiences in the UK and Nigeria, in addition to notes on pioneering new treatments and medical advances for future cures. Guests on the podcast hail from the UK, Nigeria and Ghana, and include senior haematologists, a researcher at the University of Oxford, advocacy practitioners and notedly, insights from individuals living with the condition. The series is set to conclude with an online event scheduled for Rare Disease Day 2023, February 28th, that will provide an opportunity for audiences to engage with the guest speakers. The podcast is widely available across all major podcast hosting platforms.

Speaking from London, UK, a quote from Dr Yemisi Bokinni: “I was inspired to create this project after the unfortunate death of Evan Nathan Smith, a twenty-one-year-old who died of Sickle Cell in the UK, in part due to a lack of an understanding of the condition. Considering Sickle Cell is the fastest-growing genetic condition in the UK, I believe everyone should know about it. While the motivation for the podcast stemmed from a tragedy, I wanted to centre the essence of hope. The series concludes with the episode titled ‘Unboxing the future’ which bears testament to the beauty of science and research in improving all of our lives.

About Dr Yemisi Bokinni: Yemisi is a medical doctor and graduated from King’s College London with a Medical Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Genetics. She currently works as a Multimedia Producer and writer at Remedy Studios, a young media production company dedicated to producing bold and compelling life science programming that reaches and reflects diverse audiences.


18 February 2023 – Deadline Extension Communicating Your Science Workshop

The deadline for the Communicating Your Science workshop has been extended to 28th February 2023.

This is a great opportunity to get experience and meet the experts, while also making your science and CV stand out.

Find out more about this exciting opporuntity here.

6 February 2023 – Funding deadline extended: Heredity Fieldwork Grant

The Genetics Society has made awards up to £2,000 available to cover travel and accommodation costs associated with a field-based genetic research project.

The research should produce results that would typically be suitable for publication in the Society’s journal Heredity.

The deadline for the current rounnd is now midnight on 14th February 2023.

Find more details here.

24 January 2023 – Public Perception of Genetics

A survey of over 2000 British adults finds that trust in genetics is high and went up significantly during the pandemic. It also finds that there is a hunger for more coverage of genetics.

In a study funded by the Genetics Society, a survey of over 2000 randomly selected British adults was commissioned through public polling company Kantar Public.

You can download the report on the public perception of genetics here and can find the technical report here.


Main conclusions of the survey:

1. More than a third of the UK public report an increase in trust in science through the pandemic

2. In particular, attitudes to genetics have become more positive

3. Nearly a half of the UK public would like to hear more about science in the media (and fewer than 10% think there is too much science)

4. University academics, NHS spokespersons and governmental advisors are all well trusted sources.


The survey also led to a research paper in Plos Biology titled “People with more extreme attitudes towards science have self-confidence in their understanding of science, even if this is not justified”.

23 January 2023 – Summer Studentships 2023

We have grants available to support you to gain experience in any area of genetics by doing a research project during the summer holiday prior to the final year of your degree.

Apply before 31st March 2023.

You can find more information here and can look here at some of the previous summer student projects we’ve funded.

16 January 2023 – Nominations for The Genetics Society 2024 awards are now open

Follow the links for the history and specific criteria of each award:

The Genetics Society Medal– outstanding research contributions to genetics

The Mary Lyon Medal – outstanding mid-career contribution to genetics

The Balfour Lecture – outstanding young investigator

The JBS Haldane Lecture – outstanding communicator of genetics

The Bruce Cattanach Prize – outstanding PhD thesis considering non-human in vivo animal models

You can find profiles of our esteemed 2023 award winners here.

10 January 2023 – New Magazine Editor

We’re excited to introduce our new Magazine Editor, Dr Güneş Taylor.

Güneş is a postdoctoral training fellow at The Crick, researching ovary formation and function- find out more about her research here.

Güneş is a highly effective science communicator, having spoken widely on genome editing, sex and gender and the future of human reproduction to a diverse range of audiences. What’s more, she’s looking to develop The Genetics Society into a vibrant community where we can share our stories, ideas and passion for science.

We’re looking for more content, including:

  • Popular science book reviews
  • Pictures of research
  • Science comics/illustrations
  • Science games and public engagement activities

We welcome any other ideas and themes for future editions of the magazine. Reach out to Güneş on her channels if you’d like to participate and contribute: Twitter @GunesTaylor or @GenSocUK or

The current deadline for content is noon on Monday 23rd January.

10 January 2023 – Junior Scientist Conference Grant increased

The amount for the Junior Scientist Conference Grant Scheme A grant has increased to £200.

Grants up to £200 are available for travel and essential overnight accommodation to attend any of the Genetics Society’s own meetings and those of our Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Registration for these meetings will be free when meeting the eligibility criteria. There is no limit to the frequency that Scheme (A) grants can be applied for to attend Genetics Society or SIG meetings.

Scheme (A) is open to undergraduate, Master’s and PhD student members and to postdoctoral scientist members of The Society within six years of their PhD viva. More information about the scheme A grant, as well as other related grants, is available here.

5 December 2022 – Dr Ed Hollox New Committee Member for 2023

The Genetics Society is proud to welcome Dr Ed Hollox as a member of the committee as a represetative of evolutionary, ecological and population genetics, beginning his four-year term in January 2023.


Ed is a Reader in the Department of Genetics and Genome Biology at the University of Leicester. His research focuses on genome structural variation, its evolutionary causes and its phenotypic consequences, primarily in humans. Ed also teaches extensively across the BSc Biological Sciences at Leicester, and is co-author of the textbook Human Evolutionary Genetics. He has been a member of the Genetics Society for over 20 years, and local ambassador at Leicester for 10 years. He is passionate about internationalisation in science and academia, and is keen to use his role as committee member to promote links that cross national boundaries.

20 November 2022 – Awards 2023

We’re proud to announce the award winners for 2023- congratulations!

JBS Haldane Lecture 2023 – Dr Adam Rutherford, University College London, London

Genetics Society Medal 2023 – Professor Douglas Higgs, University of Oxford, Oxford

Mary Lyon Medal 2023 – Professor Cecilia Lindgren, University of Oxford, Oxford

Balfour Lecture 2023 – Dr Lucy van Dorp, University College London, London

Bruce Cattanach Prize – Dr Louisa Zolkiewski, University of Oxford

Sir Kenneth Mather Memorial Prize – Sam Mitchell, University of Edinburgh

Image: Frank Hailer.

Innovate UK introduces additional support for disabled innovators

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), has rolled out application support for disabled innovators across all our funding opportunities. See the announcement here.

This new application support for disabled innovators will be in place for an initial 6-month pilot and is in partnership with Diversity and Ability (D&A) an award-winning social enterprise led by and for disabled people.

The expert coaches at D&A are able to provide a wide range of support in the form of, for example:

  • reading and comprehension of application questions
  • time management and planning
  • confidence building
  • proof reading and spelling-checks

This is a non-exhaustive list, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you are looking for support at

Royal Society of Biology Policy Internships

The RSB annually hosts two policy internship positions for current PhD students who are funded by AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, and NERC.

Successful applicants each spend three months working at the RSB within our education or science policy teams. Start and end dates can be negotiated as appropriate.

The applications window for internships running through 2023 is NOW OPEN

Closing date: 4th November 2022 16:00 UK time

Full details are here and to apply for internships in 2023, go to the UKRI Policy Internships Scheme webpage.