Birmingham Centre for Genome Biology

The Birmingham Centre for Genome Biology (BCGB) brings together experts from across the University of Birmingham who are working in diverse settings and research fields but who share the goal of understanding at a deep molecular level several key aspects of how genomes function.

Epigenetics & Gene Regulation

Understanding how cellular signals impact upon transcription factors and chromatin to control developmentally regulated gene expression and epigenetic modifications.

DNA Replication & Repair

Investigating mechanisms controlling the replication and maintenance of the genome, with a major focus on the DNA damage response and DNA repair, and genome stability.

MRes in Functional Genome Biology

A new MRes in Functional Genome Biology is being launched in September 2023 that will be run jointly by BCGB and the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences.

Also in 'Birmingham Centre for Genome Biology'

BCGB Symposium 29-30 June 2023

There will be a full BCGB symposium on the 29-30 June 2023. This will have international speakers including Ellen Rothenberg and Dan Tenen. 

BCGB previously held a one day Genome Biology Symposium on Friday 10 June 2022.  The full programme from that event is available here. The keynote speaker was Kristian Helin from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)  Kristian Helin works on the role of epigenetic modifications in the regulation of transcription and cancer.  Title: “Novel Targets for the Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia”

Latest News FOR BCGB:

The last year and a half has been difficult for everyone, and especially hard for research labs that had to endure complete laboratory shut-downs for many months and severely restricted access to labs and offices at other times.

However, that does not mean we have been unproductive. While working from home many of our members used this time to publish research articles based on data that they had already accumulated before the COVID19 pandemic struck. This made a substantial contribution to the University of Birmingham’s REF submission with many of these outputs ranked internally as 4 star publications. It is impossible to list them all here but here are just some of the highlights.


A new MRes in Functional Genome Biology is being launched in September that will be run jointly by BCGB and the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences.This research masters degree is offering cutting-edge taught and research training in all aspects of genome biology.

New grant awards for BCGB:

Recent major grants awarded to members of BCGB include

  • 3 CRUK Programme grants awarded to Dr Eva Petermann, Professor Jo Morris and Professor Tanja Stankovic
  • 2 Wellcome Trust awards to Dr Aga Gambus and Professor Ian Tomlinson
  • 3 Research council grants awarded to Professor Constanze Bonifer and Professor Peter Cockerill, Dr Padma-Sheela Jayaraman, Dr Marco Saporano, and Dr Eva Petermann

(See recent grant funding from BCGB group leaders  for a full listing of new grant awards)

BCGB Seminar series:

See the news and events section for a full listing of seminars. 

Major publications FOR BCGB:

There were previously at least 20 high profile publications in 2018 and 2019 coming out of BCGB laboratories before lockdown. Remarkably, we maintained the same level of success in 2020 and 2021, even with the COVID19 restrictions, with a constant stream of high profile papers, summarised in the news section.

There have already been about 20 high profile publications in 2018 and 2019 coming out of BCGB laboratories.

Professor Jo Morris published a paper in Nature in 2019 describing a novel mechanism regulating the structure of the BRCA1 protein and how mutations in breast cancer prevent the BRCA1 protein from adopting the correct structure.

Professor Conny Bonifer and Professor Peter Cockerill published a series of 3 inter-related papers in Nature Genetics in 2019 and Cancer Cell, 2018, defining gene regulatory networks and therapeutic targets in acute myeloid leukaemia.

Professor Jo Morris had a paper in Genes and Development in 2019 on the role of SUMO in DNA repair.

Professor Grant Stewart and Dr Martin Higgs had a publication in Molecular Cell in 2018 showing how histone methylation protects against DNA damage.

Dr Aga Gambus published a study in Nature Cell Biology in 2018 on the role of ubiquitin in DNA replication.

Dr Sheela Jayaraman, Dr Eva Petermann, Dr Pawel Grzechnik, Professor Ferenc Mueller and Dr Chris Yau each had a publication in Nature Communications. 

 (see the publications section for a full listing of publications)