The fast-moving and exciting areas of genetics and genomics were highlighted as Wales Gene Park took part in the Wales Festival of Innovation 2018. For the third year, the Gene Park’s Education and Engagement team delivered a series of events to coincide with the two week-long festival, which showcases innovation in Wales to a range of stakeholders.

The two-day Spotlight on Genomics event, held in Cardiff on 18th and 19th June, brought together experts to present the latest research and technological advances in aspects of genome editing and next generation sequencing. The meeting also provided a valuable networking opportunity for researchers, academics and industry representatives.

Spotlight on Genomics meeting, Cardiff, June 2018

On June 27th in Swansea, a Continuing Professional Development event for biology teachers was run in collaboration with Techniquest, STEM Learning Ltd and Swansea University. The Cutting-Edge Biology: Genetics & Genomics meeting was attended by over 30 A-level Biology teachers, with support from the ENTHUSE Bursary scheme. The day included a series of talks from expert speakers on subjects relevant to the WJEC A-level biology curriculum.

Prof. Sonia Consuegra (Swansea University) speaking at the Genetics & Genomics CPD event for Teachers, June 2018

Topics included Genetics, Cell Division and Cancer (Dr George Johnson, Swansea University), Current Developments in Crop Biotechnology (Professor Huw Jones, Aberystwyth University), Microbes and Genomes: Tackling the Antibiotic Crisis (Dr Cerith Jones, University of South Wales), The Role of Epigenetic Inheritance in Conservation Genetics (Dr Sonia Consuegra, Swansea University), Building Stem Cell Networks to Understand Heart Disease (Professor Chris George, Swansea University), Ethical Dilemmas in Clinical Genetics (Dr Alex Murray, Cardiff University & All Wales Medical Genetics Service) and Bioinformatics (Professor Faron Moller, Swansea University). Teachers were also given a tour of the laboratory facilities at Swansea University.

In additional Wales Gene Park took its interactive Discovering DNA stand to the public-facing Technovate event – a fun and informal showcase of local academic and business organisations – on June 16th at Techniquest in Cardiff Bay. Following the very positive feedback from event attendees, the Gene Park is already looking forward to taking part again in 2019!

Wales Gene Park’s Discovering DNA stand at Technovate 2018