Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

Dr Gillian Crawford PhD, RGN, BA (Hons), MSc, Registered Genetic Counsellor

Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer

Dr Gillian Crawford's photo
Related links

As an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, my research addresses a number of ethical issues generated within the complex area of genomic medicine, informed by my clinical practice.

Gillian completed her general nurse training at Guy’s hospital and worked for 8 years in medical oncology/haematology. She moved into Cancer Genetics in 1999 and worked as a senior genetic nurse specialist in Oxford. In 2001 she moved to Southampton to a joint NHS/University post as a principal genetic counsellor/research nurse working as part of the CRUK cancer centre. The role involved being the local co-ordinator for a range of national and international research studies into inherited cancers including chemoprevention, screening, epidemiology and DNA based projects. Southampton was consistently one of the top three recruiting centres in the country for these studies. At the same time she began to develop her own research interests. Initially she designed a project looking at the experience of living with von Hippel Lindau disease which resulted in a novel patient held record scheme. She collaborated in qualitative research led by PIs at Southampton and Edinburgh exploring the nature of the boundary between research and clinical practice in the field of cancer genetics. She very much enjoyed the active combination of clinical practice and research during this period.

In 2011 Gillian was awarded a NIHR clinical academic fellowship to develop her own research, with the aim of developing a clinical academic career and leading research development in the genetic counselling profession. Her PhD explored the consent and disclosure practices surrounding clinically relevant incidental findings from genetic tests from both health professional and patient perspectives. Her research has provided an insight into the gap between the enormous technological advances and their translation into clinical practice.

Plans for post-doctoral work include the delivery of a survey to health professionals to review consent practices with regard to genomic testing, a pressing issue following the 100 000 genomes project.


Doctorate of Philosophy, University of Southampton, 2016

MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice (Cancer Care), King’s College University 2005

BA (hons) Health Care Studies, Oxford Brookes University 1999

Appointments held

Member of NIHR CRN Genetics National Speciality Group

Member of UK Cancer Genetics Group steering committee and conference organiser

Assessor for Genetic Counsellor Registration Board

Member of UHS Hospital Clinical Ethics Committee


Research interests

Gillian’s current research explores the ethical and practical issues around consent and disclosure practices where clinically relevant findings are discovered incidentally from genetic tests. This research was funded by NIHR as a Clinical Doctoral Fellowship and now as a Post-Doctoral Fellowship. The research project employs a mixed methods design with an initial qualitative phase to establish current practice, views and experiences with both health care professionals and families followed by a quantitative phase ascertaining the views of a large number of health care professionals involved in ordering such tests. Its aim is to gain an ethical and empirical insight into this topical and important issue to guide future policy and practice.

Her research is part of the interdisciplinary activity of the Faculty of Medicine, Clinical Ethics and Law Southampton group (CELS). She is a co-applicant on other grants from this group. Visit the CELS website for more information.

Research projects

Incidental Findings (IFs) from genetic tests

Genetic testing techniques have advanced enormously over the past few decades. It is now possible to examine large portions of a person’s genetic code at costs manageable to routine NHS services. As well as diagnosing the cause of specific clinical signs and symptoms, or family histories of disease, such genetic testing will also at times find entirely unexpected, but clinical relevant information about a person, such as a future disease likelihood.



Cancer Sciences Research group

Affiliate Department(s)

Clinical Ethics and Law at Southampton

Field lead for Clinical Ethics and Law for BMedSc and MMedSc research projects

Module lead for Counselling skills for Genomics module on MSc in Genomic Medicine

Assessor for Genetic Counsellor Registration Board

Supervision of MSc Genetic Couselling students, Genetic Counsellor trainees, candidates applying for Genetic Counsellor registration

Supervision of 3rd year BMedSc MMEDSci medical student research projects

Marker for 3rd year BMedSc and MMedSc research project

Module lead for Counselling skills for Genomics module on MSc in Genomic Medicine

Teaching team on ELSi Module on MSc in Genomic Medicine

Facilitator in 4th year Law and Ethics conference

Marker for Law and ethics finals papers

Marker for 4th year MMEDSci projects

Teaching on SSU module

Facilitator on BM6 Health Studies module

Facilitator and marker for Doctors, Disease and Society module

BSGM (British Society of Human Genetics) in 2014 in Liverpool.

EMPAG (European Meeting on the Psychosocial Aspects of Genetics) in Milan in 2014

EMPAG in Barcelona 2016

Dr Gillian Crawford
Phone: (023) 8120 5082 Fax: (023) 8120 4346

Room Number: SGH/CCI/2013/MP127

Facsimile:(023) 8120 4346

Share this profile Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings