Professor Anneke Lucassen BMedSci, MBBS, DPhil(Oxon), FRCP
Professor of Clinical Genetics, Honorary Consultant in Clinical Genetics, Wessex Clinical Genetics Service,Co-ordinator: Ethics and Law teaching Southampton Faculty of Medicine
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Professor Anneke Lucassen is Professor of Clinical Genetics within Medicine at the University of Southampton and combines key clinical, laboratory and ethico-legal expertise to research developments in genetic medicine and to effect improved delivery of genomic services to individuals and families.
What has fascinated me over the last 20 years is combining very different skill sets to approach genomic developments in an interdisciplinary way. The bottleneck for genomic medicine has shifted from cost/ technology limitations to interpretation, and there is much to think about.
Anneke did her higher medical training in Oxford before doing a PhD in the molecular genetics of multifactorial disease at the Institute of Molecular Medicine (Oxford). She specialised in Clinical Genetics, with a particular interest in cancer and cardiac genetics. She was appointed to Consultant/ Senior Lecturer in Oxford in 1997, moved to Southampton in 2000 and became Professor of Clinical Genetics in 2007.
Her early research into the genes that are involved in susceptibility to type 1 diabetes, led to an interest in the problems of assimilating an exponentially increasing amount of detailed molecular genetic information into clinical practice and the ethical and legal aspects raised by the clinical practice of genetics. In 2001, with collaborators at Ethox (University of Oxford) and Wellcome Trust funding, she cofounded the UK Genethics Group which is a national forum for the exploration of ethico-legal issues arising in genetic practice.
She retains a foot in the molecular genetics laboratory through a variety of collaborations, and leads an interdisciplinary programme of research into the social, ethical and legal aspects of developments in genetics. She set up the multidisciplinary unit CELS: Clinical ethics and law at Southampton which pulls together the diverse interests in these subjects across the faculty of medicine, and promotes research in this area as well as research led teaching.
These interests led to a leadership role in national policy development and implementation of best practice and she sat on the Human Genetics Commission until 2012 and has been on the Nuffield Council of Bioethics since 2009. She chairs the British Society of Genomic Medicine’s ethics and policy committee. She is a member of Genomics England ethics advisory committee and plays a key role in the current development of the Wessex Genome Medicine Centre.
In 2013 she was awarded a prestigious visiting professorship to Groningen University, the Netherlands; the Bijtel professorship which runs from 2014-2016. Through this a rolling programme of 4 year joint PhDships has just been awarded with the first doctoral student starting in 2015.