Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Dr Katie Featherstone

Dr Katie Featherstone

Darllenydd: Cymdeithaseg Meddygaeth

Ysgol y Gwyddorau Gofal Iechyd

Ystafell 13.19, 13eg llawr, Tŷ Eastgate, Prifysgol Caerdydd, Heol Casnewydd, Caerdydd CF24 0AB
Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig


My expertise is in the sociology of biomedical knowledge, with particular emphasis on the social consequences of genetic technologies. I have produced a body of ethnographic work examining:

  • Kinship and disclosure in the context of genetic risk information.
  • The classification of genetic syndromes and their social consequences.
  • The technologies of health service evaluation and clinical guidelines.
  • The diagnosis and classification of medical entities.

The recurrent theme of this work is the production and translation of biomedical knowledge and the interaction between the laboratory, the clinic, and patient populations.

Teaching and Learning

As well as Director of Postgraduate Studies (Research), I also manage the compulsory research training module: Advanced qualitative methods within the MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice.

I present a range of introductory sessions and workshops across the teaching programme on PhD options, writing a research protocol and research methods. I also deliver masterclasses on qualitative methods and ethnography within clinical settings.

Impact and Engagement

I am working with colleagues in Cesagen and the MRC Centre in Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics to deliver a programme of events to promote dialogue, debate and interaction between academics and publics, with emphasis on examining the fields of neuroscience and behavioural genetics. This includes:


Based at Chapter Arts Centre (www.Chapter.org) using new release film to explore the social impacts of genomics. Audience members are invited to join the discussion with academics, from Cardiff University and beyond, as they relate the latest films to their areas of expertise. I lead this project and events during 2010 were attended by over 400 members of the pubic who participated for a total of 35 hours of engagement. The sciSCREEN blog @ www.cardiffsciscreen.blogspot.com, Facebook page and on Twitter @ www.twitter.com/sciSCREEN.

Unravelling Eve: Exploring experiences of Post-Partum Psychosis

A collaboration between artist Joan Molloy, biomedical and social scientists, and women who have experienced postpartum psychosis. Molloy will develop work that reflects upon issues of motherhood and inheritance - the beautiful complexity of the genetic science mirroring the intricacies of the social, ethical and familial implications of the illness. Funded by the Wellcome Trust (Society Award, 2011-2012).

Science Show

I am part of a collaborative team led by Techniquest, a science discovery centre and outreach organization (www.techniquest.org) to deliver a show to young people presenting scientific findings in behavioural genetics to facilitate debate about the potential social, ethical and personal implications of these findings. Funded by the MRC centre, Cesagen and matched funding from the European Social Fund (ESF). This is part of the $acirc;  Reach the Heights$acirc;   programme to develop and deliver STEM programmes through seven regional Hubs in the convergence areas across Wales for 11$acirc;  19 year olds who face, or who are at risk of, disadvantage or under-achievement, to improve their career opportunities (2011-2013).

This programme will inform a body of social science research and evaluation with colleagues examining engagement, communication and debate in the field of neuroscience and psychiatric genetics.


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I deliver teaching in the areas of the sociology and anthropology of medicine, social theory and advanced qualitative research methods. All are strongly research-led. My teaching contributions at undergraduate and post-graduate levels include teaching qualitative research methods within the Accelerated Graduate Programme, the Bachelor of Midwifery (BMid) and the MSc in Advanced Practice. Within the Doctorate in Advanced Healthcare, I contribute across the programme on research methods and social theory and lead the doctoral modules in  'Advanced Qualitative Research Methods' and the 'Protocol Development and Preparation' module, which runs throughout the academic year.

As Director of Postgraduate Studies (Research) from 2007-2014 I developed the quality of the environment, progress and assessment, responsibilities, and rated by students in the top four across the university for its 'research culture'. The doctoral student community can be seen via their student led blog www.phdays.cf.ac.uk.

Current doctoral students

I have a personal completion rate of 9 doctoral students. My current students:

  • Areej Haitham (International Student: King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia) Hidden voices: Postpartum women, health beliefs and their use of on-line forums in Saudi Arabia (2009-2014)
  • Nikki West (Florence Nightingale Foundation studentship) The long-term impact of risk reducing surgery on women who are at high risk of breast cancer (BRACA1 and BRACA2) (2011-2016).
  • Amie Hodges (Florence Nightingale Foundation studentship) An exploration of the experiences of the sibling in the chronic illness trajectory(2012-2017)
  • Nasiha Al-Baraki (International student, Oman) An ethnography of the understandings and management of pain in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (2012-2015)
  • Cindy Sylvia (International student, USA) Nurses in Industry: An Ethnographic Study of Professional Ecology (2014-2017)


I am a Research Fellow within Cesagen and a collaborator within the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics. My current programme of work examines:

  • Current developments within neuropsychiatry and behavioural genetics and their clinical, social, and personal implications.
  • The diagnosis and management of chest pain and angina and their impact on variation in patient outcomes (NIHR).

Current grants

Understanding hospital-level variation in outcomes for patients admitted for acute coronary syndrome: an ethnographic study (NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme, 2011-2013) with colleagues in Primary Health Care, Bristol, Cardiology, Barts and the London, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Medical School London.

Previous grants

Evaluation of appropriateness methods to define and improve access across primary, secondary and tertiary care among people with angina. An RCT to evaluate appropriateness ratings as an approach to reducing barriers to access to effective care for patients with angina. Funded by the NHS Service Delivery and organisation, National R & D Programme (2002-2006)

Clinical, molecular, and social aspects of genetic testing for Rett syndrome.

Funded by the Healthcare Trust (2004$acirc;  2006).

Investigation of the practical and ethical problems of a surgical RCT: the MRC spine stabilisation trial. Funded by the MRC (2004$acirc;  2005).

The clinical picture: the interaction of clinical medicine and genetic technology.

Funded by the ESRC (2002).


Proffiliau allanol