Molecular Pathology and Diagnosis of Cancer

18–23 November 2018

Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK

Hands-on training in current molecular diagnostic methodologies in cancer.


This popular course is aimed primarily at trainee pathologists or haematologists. The programme introduces participants to the rapidly evolving field of the molecular diagnosis of cancer. Clinical scientists in field of molecular diagnosis are also encouraged to apply.

The course consists of a series of practical, laboratory-based sessions covering current diagnostic methodologies, along with hands-on training in bioinformatic tools and techniques for analysis of DNA sequencing data.

In addition, the course will host a number of leading national and international speakers who will give seminars on the molecular pathology of a number of common cancers, including lung, colorectal, leukaemia, heritable cancers and others. The programme will also include talks and demonstrations of next generation sequencing platforms (including the latest developments in genomic technologies) as well as discussions on the ethical, societal and practical implications of introducing genome-wide genetic analyses to the clinic.

PLEASE NOTE: Limited bursaries are available to help applicants from anywhere in the world to attend this course and are awarded on merit.

The course is also approved annually for CPD accreditation by the Royal College of Pathologists.


The programme will include lecture and practical laboratory/computer-based sessions covering the following topics:

•    Standard and real-time PCR
•    DNA electrophoresis
•    Capillary (Sanger) sequencing
•    Fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH)
•    State-of-the-art next-generation sequencing technologies
•    Target enrichment approaches
•    Bioinformatic analysis for mutation detection

Learning outcomes
It is anticipated that by the end of the course, participants will have sufficient knowledge of current and future molecular methodologies
applied to cancer diagnosis to become familiar with the dramatic changes in the practice of molecular pathology and haematology.

Participants will also gain an understanding of the format of next generation sequencing data, and the use of analysis tools and publicly-available databases to interpret these data for diagnosis and prognosis of patients. The course also hopes to inspire trainees to follow a career in genomic cancer medicine and research.

Instructors and speakers

Course Instructors
George Vassiliou Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK
Anthony Bench, Haematology Malignancy Diagnostic Service (HMDS), Western General Hospital, UK
Bridget Manasse, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK
Michael Quail Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK
Elli Papaemmanuil Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA

Guest Speakers
Mark Arends University of Edinburgh, UK
James Brenton
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, UK

Anna Middleton
Head of Society and Ethics Research, Connecting Science, Wellcome Genome Campus, UK    

Hege Russnes
Oslo University Hospital, Norway

Serena Nik-Zainal
Academic Department of Medical Genetics, University of Cambridge, UK

Manuel Salto-Tellez
Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Mike Scott
Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK
Marc Tischkowitz
Academic Department of Medical Genetics, University of Cambridge, UK

How to apply

Applicants should be trainee pathologists or haematologists. Clinical scientists entering the field of molecular diagnosis are also encouraged to apply.

The course is also approved annually for CPD accreditation by the Royal College of Pathologists.

Applications can be submitted online. Places are limited and will be awarded on merit. If you have any problems with the online application process, please contact us.

Please note: Applications must be supported by a recommendation from a scientific or clinical sponsor (e.g. supervisor, line manager, or head of department). A request for a supporting statement will be sent to your nominated sponsor automatically during the application process. Applicants must ensure that their sponsor provides this supporting statement by the application deadline.
Applications without a supporting statement cannot be considered.

Deadline for applications: Closed

Travel visas
Please contact the event organiser if you require a letter to support a travel visa application to the UK. Note that letters will only be provided to confirmed attendees.

Non-European Economic Area or Swiss nationals may be required to have a visa to enter the UK.  Early application is strongly advised, as this process can take 6-8 weeks or longer.

Please visit the following websites for further information:
UK Border Agency website and information for general visitors and business visitors.


Cost Accommodation / meals
*Course fee £775 This is a residential course and the fee includes all accommodation and meals.

*The course fee is subsidised by Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences and applies to non-commercial applicants.
Please contact us for the commercial fee.

Advanced Courses are subsidised for non-commercial applicants from anywhere in the world. Additional, limited bursaries are available (up to a 50% reduction of the course fee) and are awarded on merit. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please complete the bursary section of the online application form.

Please note that both the applicant and sponsor are required to provide a justification for the bursary as part of the application

Additional funding opportunities
Visit our support page for additional financial support currently available.

Bursary terms and conditions
UK Courses (held at the Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge)
A limited number of bursaries are available for each course. These are awarded by the selection committee according to merit. The bursary covers a maximum of 50% of the course fee, though in exceptional circumstances an application for the total course fee may be considered. Where there are many bursary applications, the selection committee may issue smaller amounts. We cannot assist with travel costs to attend UK courses.

Bursaries can be applied for as part of the course application form. Applicants will be notified of a bursary award along with their place on the course, usually within one month of the application deadline. The decision of the selection committee is final.


Feedback from the 2017 Course

“Excellent and well rounded course covering many important aspects of molecular pathology. The course provided me with a wide range of knolwedge that I will find highly useful in my research and for the rest of my career as a pathologist in the NHS.”
“I would like to thank all of the organisers and experts who taught us on the course – It was inspirational to me and I learned a great deal.”
“Thank you for a really informative and inspiring week. I have been wanting to come on this course for years and I was not disappointed!”
“I want to thank all of you for this once in a lifetime experience that nourished us with all the knowledge we need to start a career in
molecular pathology….”
“Thank you so much for an extremely well organised residential week with the right balance of seminars and practical sessions, inspiring speakers, and friendly, knowledgeable and supportive staff!”

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