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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford Centre for Genomic Medicine

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Genetic Counsellor staff profiles

Genetic Counsellors

Barbara Stayner BSc (Hons) MSc

Lead Genetic Counsellor: GCRB Registered 176

Speciality: hereditary cancer

Areas covered: Oxford and Windsor

Qualifications:

  • BSc Biology (Honours), University of Winnipeg
  • MSc Genetic Counselling, University of Manchester

Gael Bretz BSc MSc

Principal Genetic Counsellor

Jo Lowndes BSc (Hons) MSc

Principal Genetic Counsellor

Specialties:

  • mitochondrial genetics
  • eye genetics
  • prenatal and reproductive genetics

Areas covered: Oxford and all surrounding regions

Qualifications:

  • BSc Hons (1st Class) Applied Biology - Molecular Biology, University of Hertfordshire
  • MSc Genetic Counselling, Manchester University
  • Certificate in Counselling (Person Centered and Psychodynamic Counselling training), University of Hertfordshire
  • Eye Clinic Support Studies Course,City University, London and RNIB

Jo Lowndes specialises in working with patients and families with mitochondrial and genetic eye conditions and also sees patients and couples for prenatal and reproductive genetic counselling relating to a wide range of genetic conditions.

Peter Risby RN MSc

Principal Cancer Genetics Counsellor: NMC Registered

Specialty: Cancer Genetics

Areas covered: Oxford and Chipping Norton

Qualifications: MSc Cancer Studies, Oxford

Peter has a special interest in bowel cancer, especially related to predisposition syndromes such as Lynch syndrome and familial polyposis.

Ruth Robertson BSc (Hons) MSc

Principal Genetic Counsellor: GCRB Registered 200

Specialties:

  • neurogenetics
  • HD

Areas covered: Oxford and Reading

Qualifications: MSc Genetic Counselling, Manchester

Training Officer for Genomic Counselling STP (Scientist Training Programme)

Alyssa Armsby BSc MSc

Principal Genetic Counsellor: GCRB Registered 388

Specialty: Inherited Cardiac Conditions

Qualifications:

  • BSc Biology, McGill University
  • MSc Human Genetics and Genetic Counselling, Stanford University

Alyssa joined the team in 2017 and specialises in cardiac genetics (cardiomyopathies and inherited arrhythmia conditions). She works for the Oxford Inherited Cardiac Conditions Service and is based at the John Radcliffe Hospital. She is currently serving as an elected council member for the Association of Inherited Cardiac Conditions (AICC).

Nilotpal Chauhan BTech MSc

Genetic Counsellor: GCRB Registered 407

Specialties:

  • clinical genetics (general, cancer and prenatal)
  • Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL)
  • cleft lip and palate

Areas covered: Oxford, Swindon

Qualifications:

  • BTech 1st class Genetic Engineering, SRM University, India
  • MSc (Distinction) Genetic Counselling, University of Manchester

Smrithi Devaiah BE (Biotech) MSc

Genetic Counsellor: GCRB Registered 408

Specialties:

  • cancer and general genetics
  • NF1
  • aortopathy (Marfan syndrome)

Areas covered: Oxford and Milton Keynes

Qualifications: MSc (Distinction) Genetic Counselling, University of Manchester

Anita Matadeen BSc (Hons) MSc

Genetic Counsellor: GCRB Registered 289

Specialties:

  • neurogenetics
  • HD
  • general and cancer

Qualifications: MSc Genetic Counselling

Anita is a keen advocate of genetics education for the general public and allied specialties. She holds a position on the UKGTN Genetic Test Evaluation Working Group.

Christine Neatby BSc (Hons) MSc

Genetic Counsellor

Qualifications:

  • BSc (Honours) Molecular Genetics and Genome Biology, University of Toronto
  • MSc Genetic and Genomic Counselling, University of Glasgow

Christine is a Cardiac Genetic Counsellor, working with the Inherited Cardiac Conditions (ICC) team at Oxford Heart Centre. She works with families who have inherited cardiomyopathies and channelopathies.

Sally North BSc (Hons) MSc

Genetic Counsellor: HCPC Registered CS21048

Specialties:

  • cancer
  • general
  • prenatal
  • endocrine

Qualifications:

  • BSc (hons) Biological Sciences, Aberystwyth University
  • MSc Genomic Sciences (Genetic Counselling), University of Manchester
  • Scientific Training Programme (STP), Genomic Counselling.

Urvi Savania BSc MSc

Genetic Counsellor

Areas covered: Aylesbury, Thame and Oxford

Qualifications:

  • BSc Biological Science with a major in Human Physiology, Macquarie University, Sydney
  • MSc Genomic Counselling,University of Glasgow

Sian Sperring BSc (Hons) MSc

Ophthalmology Genetic Counsellor

Qualifications:

  • BSc Microbiology, Cardiff University
  • MSc Genetic Counselling, Cardiff University

Sian is based at Oxford Eye Hospital, John Radcliffe Hospital.

Hannah Wakelin BSc MSc

Genetic Counsellor

Areas covered: High Wycombe, Heatherwood and Oxford

Qualifications:

  • BSc Biology with a major in Genetics, Massey University, New Zealand
  • MSc Genetic Counselling, University of Melbourne, Australia

Samantha Boland BSc (Hons) MSc

STP Trainee in Genomic Counsellor (2019 cohort)

Qualifications:

  • BSc Neuroscience (Honours), University of Leeds
  • MSc Psychology, University of Hertfordshire

Jamie Forrest BSc (Hons) MSc

STP Trainee in Genomic Counsellor (2020 cohort)

Qualifications:

  • BSc Neuroscience (Honours), University of Leeds
  • MSc Psychology, University of Hertfordshire

Megan Jones BSc (Hons)

STP Trainee in Genomic Counsellor (2019 cohort)

Joshua Nolan BSc (Hons) MSc

STP Trainee in Genomic Counsellor (2018 cohort)

Qualifications:

  • BSc Genetics (Honours), University of Manchester
  • MSc Genomic Medicine, University of Manchester

Family History Co-ordinators Team

Emma Ablett

Genomic Assistant

Qualifications: BSc (Honours) Biology, Oxford Brookes University

Emma's role consists of the delivery of the New Genomic Medicine service, which includes Whole Genome Sequencing, to patients and their relatives.

Fiona Elbourn

General Genetics Family History Co-ordinator

Fiona is a nurse by background and contacts patients before their appointment to ask some questions about them, and their family, so we can provide accurate medical advice.

Gill Higgs

Cancer Genetics Triage Nurse

Qualifications:

  • BA (Honours) Social Science with Psychological Studies, Open University
  • BSc Adult Nursing, Oxford Brookes University
  • PGC (Distinction) Cancer Studies, Oxford Brookes University

Gill's background is in oncology nursing. Her role involves gathering family histories and providing risk assessments for patients referred to the Cancer Genetics Service.

Wioletta Hurdha

Administrative Assistant

Claudia McFarlane

Clinical Assistant