LEADING experts are hosting a special event to highlight pioneering genetic work carried out at Newcastle University, including the controversial ‘three-parent’ IVF technique.

Genetic Matters will focus on a series of high-profile talks, including mitochondrial donation, the future of genetic diagnostics and life after being diagnosed with a rare illness.

Newcastle University’s 100,000 Genome Project will also be discussed. The world-leading scheme aims to map 100,000 complete genetic codes to uncover DNA data that can be used to develop personalised diagnostic procedures and drugs.

Dr Katarzyna Pirog, from the Institute of Genetic Medicine, said: “Genetics Matters is an event designed specifically for members of the public, and is an exciting opportunity to meet scientists and learn about the state-of-the-art genetic research that happens at Newcastle University.

“With a series of high profile talks, presentations from patient groups and charity organisations, and hands on research tables, it is a packed day giving everyone a chance to talk to real scientists and ask them any questions to do with genetic research.”

Prof Sir John Burn, head of Newcastle University’s Institute of Human Genetics, will close the event with a talk about the future of rare disease research.

He said: “There are more than 8,000 rare diseases, mostly due to faults in one or more genes and the number grows as sequencing gets cheaper and faster. One in 17 people has a rare genetic disorder and providing their care is a major health cost.

“As we learn how these rare diseases are caused we gain new insights into the causes of common diseases and can use this to develop new treatments.”

Genetic Matters will take place on Friday, February 27, from 10:45am until 5pm, at the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle.

To book a place at the event visit: forms.ncl.ac.uk/view.php?id=7501