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Dr Marion Mcallister

Dr Marion Mcallister

Reader

School of Medicine

Email
mcallistermf@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2251 0811
Campuses
918K, Neuadd Meirionnydd, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4YS
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

I am a registered genetic counsellor (GCRB and EBMG), with a PhD in Social Science from Cambridge University (1999), and I am currently Programme Director for the MSc in Genetic and Genomic Counselling at Cardiff University.

I have a special interest in patient empowerment, and a distinguished track record in genetic counselling research. My research aims to improve how clinical genetics services respond to the needs of families with genetic conditions. I developed and validated a new Patient Reported Outcome Measure (Genetic Counselling Outcome Scale GCOS-24) for clinical genetics services, which captures patient benefits conceptualised as patient empowerment. This led to my interest in patient empowerment more generally, and I have also published research on patient empowerment in chronic disease. Since publication in 2011, GCOS-24 has been translated into Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Japanese and is being used to evaluate clinical genetics services in practice, and new interventions in research in the UK and internationally.

I was Education Adviser to the UK Genetic Counsellor Registration Board (GCRB, http://www.gcrb.org.uk) from January 2012 to January 2018. The GCRB establishes, maintains and improves standards of practice in genetic counselling to assure public safety in the UK and Republic of Ireland. My GCRB role included lead academic moderator at the annual ‘marking day’, when portfolios submitted for GCRB registration are assessed for academic content, ensuring portfolios meet QAA Level 7.  Since 2017, I have been a member of the European Board of Medical Genetics (EBMG) (https://www.eshg.org/408.0.html). My EBMG role is assessment of European portfolios submitted for EBMG genetic counsellor registration, ensuring portfolios meet MSc level.

Education and qualifications:

  • 2000: PhD (Social Science), University of Cambridge
  • 1994: MSc (Genetic Counselling), University of Manchester
  • 1989: MSc (Industrial Microbiology), University College Dublin
  • 1985: BA (Mod) Natural Science: Genetics, Trinity College Dublin

Career Overview:

  • 2011: Cardiff University School of Medicine: Senior Lecturer in Genetic Counselling & Course Director, MSc in Genetic (and Genomic) Counselling.
  • 2011-2016: Cardiff & Vale University Health Board (0.4WTE) Registered Genetic Counsellor.
  • 2010 – 2011: Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, Medical Genetics Research Group, School of Biomedicine, The University of Manchester, Fixed-term.
  • 2007 - 2010: MRC Research Fellow, Medical Genetics Research Group, School of Biomedicine, The University of Manchester, Fixed-term.
  • 2007 – 2011: Honorary Registered Genetic Counsellor, Genetic Medicine, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT).
  • 2003 – 2007 (0.5WTE): Research fellow (Genetic Counselling), Nowgen (North West Genetics Knowledge Park). Fixed-term.
  • 1999 – 2003 (1.0WTE); 2003 – 2007 (0.5WTE): Macmillan Genetic Counsellor, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Substantive.
  • Apr – Jun 1999: Cancer Genetics Course Co-Ordinator, Central Manchester Healthcare NHS Trust. Fixed term (0.6WTE).
  • 1996 – 1999: PhD studentship (Cancer Research UK), University of Cambridge Centre for Family Research, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences.
  • Jun – Oct 1996: Genetic Associate. Central Manchester Healthcare NHS Trust. Fixed term contract.
  • 1990–1994: Change Management Consultant. Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) London

Honours and awards

  • 2019: 'Genetic Counsellor in Residence', MSc in Genetic Counselling programme, University of Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2019: Visiting Lecturer, MSc in Genetic Counselling programme, University of Siena, Italy.
  • 2017: Recipient of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) International Leader Award. NSGC is the professional body representing genetic counsellors in North America.
  • 2011: Visiting Lecturer, South Africa, Universities of Witwasersrand, Cape Town and Stellenbosch MSc in Genetic Counselling courses.
  • 2011: National Institute for Social Care & Health Research / Academic Health Science Centre Clinical Research Time Fellowship (Cardiff & Vale University Health Board). Value: ~£68,000
  • 2010: Wellcome Trust VIP Bridging Funding awarded by The University of Manchester Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences in internal competition. Value: £9,480
  • 2007: MRC Post-Doctoral Special Training Fellowship in Health Services Research. Value: £318,770
  • 2007: Health R&D North West Training and Mentoring (TRAM) scheme to support Health Services Research training and mentoring. Value: £4,500
  • 2006: UK Resource Centre for Women in SET travel bursary to present at the International Congress of Human Genetics, Brisbane, Australia. Value: £990
  • 1984: Irish-American Foundation undergraduate travel award to work in a research laboratory at University of Michigan, USA investigating cell division cycle genes in S cerevisiae. Value: £1,000

Professional memberships

  • 2016: Genetic Counsellor Registration, European Board of Medical Genetics
  • 2005: Genetic Counsellor Registration, UK Genetic Counsellor Registration Board (no. 153)
  • Member of Association of Genetic Nurses & Counsellors (http://www.agnc.org.uk/), the UK professional body for genetic counsellors
  • Member of National Society for Genetic Counsellors (http://www.nsgc.org/), the US professional body for genetic counsellors
  • Member of British Society for Genetic Medicine (http://www.bsgm.org.uk/), an independent body representing UK human genetics professionals

Academic positions

  • 2010 – 2011: Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, Medical Genetics Research Group, School of Biomedicine, The University of Manchester, Fixed-term.
  • 2007 - 2010: MRC Research Fellow, Medical Genetics Research Group, School of Biomedicine, The University of Manchester
  • 2003 – 2007: Post-doctoral Research fellow (Genetic Counselling), Nowgen (North West Genetics Knowledge Park).

Speaking engagements

Invited speaker:

  • 2019: "The Genetic Counselling Outcome Scale" National Society of Genetic Counsellors Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, USA.
  • 2019: “The Genomics Outcome Scale: A short form of the GCOS-24” World Congress on Genetic Counselling, Cambridge, UK.
  • 2019: “Measuring patient outcomes from genetic counselling: recent developments” Human Genetics Society of Australasia Annual Conference, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • 2018: ‘Genetic Risk Perception and implications for clinical practice’ (Keynote address) MSc in Genomic Medicine, University of Exeter.
  • 2017: “The value of genetic counselling” Genetic Counselling in Genomic Medicine symposium, University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.
  • 2017: “The changing role of genetic counsellors in the genomics era” Genetic Counselling in Genomic Medicine symposium, University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium, December 2017.
  • 2017: “Critical appraisal/analysis: A guide for the academic components of a GCRB portfolio” Association of Genetic Counsellors and Nurses Spring Conference, Leeds.
  • 2016: "Guiding patients with a genetic disease" World MEN 2016 Meeting, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 2016: "Using data collected by patient-reported outcome measures for continous quality improvement in medical genetics" American Society for Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada
  • 2016: "Genetic risk perception and implications for genetic counselling practice" KConFab conference, Gold Coast, Australia
  • 2016: "Co-designing an intervention to facilitate family communication about inherited genetic conditions." KConFab conference, Gold Coast, Australia
  • 2016: “Patient empowerment and measuring patient outcomes from clinical genetic services”. Mind The Risk Workshop, University of Birmingham
  • 2015: “Measuring patient-reported outcomes from clinical genetics and genetic counselling” Rare Diseases Study Day, Sheffield University
  • 2014: “Challenges of using PROMs in NHS Clinical Genetics Services”. Third National Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) Research Conference, The King’s Fund, London
  • 2014: “Patient empowerment: conceptual and measurement issues”. External Departmental Seminar, Department of Health Sciences, University of York
  • 2013: “Measuring patient benefits from genetic counselling and testing interventions: is patient empowerment a useful outcome?” American Society for Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting, Boston MA, USA
  • 2013: “A novel approach to quality assessment of clinical genetics services: Measuring patient benefits” British Genetic Medicine Conference, Liverpool
  • 2012: “Patient empowerment in clinical genetics services” Society for Genomic Policy and Population Health Annual Conference, Kings College London
  • 2011: “Patient empowerment: towards outcome measurement in genetic counselling practice” Human Genetics Society of Australasia Annual Conference, Gold Coast, Australia
  • 2011: “Improving patient outcomes in genetic counselling: interventions to foster patient empowerment” Australasian Society for Genetic Counsellors Annual Conference, Gold Coast, Australia
  • 2011: “Patient empowerment in genetic counselling practice.” South African Society of Human Genetics Biennial Congress, Cape Town, South Africa
  • 2010: “Development of a coherent, multi-disciplinary research programme.” British Human Genetics Annual Conference, University of Warwick
  • 2010: “Working together to improve clinical genetics services in the UK” Genetic Alliance UK Annual Conference 2010 “Giving patients a voice in the heart of debates”, London
  • 2010: “Patient empowerment in clinical genetics services”. External Departmental Seminar, Department of Health Sciences, University of York
  • 2007: “Patient empowerment in clinical genetics services.” External Departmental Seminar, Institute of Medical Genetics, Cardiff University
  • 2005: “Evaluating Genetics Services: Exploring the client perspective” British Human Genetics Annual Conference, University of York
  • 2004: “Towards Valuing Outcomes and Preferences for Genetic Services” Association for Genetic Nurses and Counsellors (AGNC) Spring meeting, London
  • 2002: “AGNC Career Survey” AGNC Spring meeting, London, May 2002.

Committees and reviewing

Internal:

  • 2017-ongoing: Member of the Admissions Group for the Medical School, which sets and implements the policy for admission to the Cardiff University Medical School

External:

  • 2017-ongoing: Member of the European Board of Medical Genetics (Genetic Nurses and Counsellors Division). (See https://www.eshg.org/408.0.html )
  • 2013-ongoing: Member of editorial board for Journal of Genetic Counseling (Springer, IF 2014: 2.243)
  • January 2012-January 2018: Education Adviser, Genetic Counsellor Registration Board (GCRB). See www.gcrb.org.uk/

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Cardiff University MSc in Genetic (and Genomic) Counselling:

Since joining Cardiff University in 2011, I have provided leadership to a team of academics, clinicians and administrative staff to successfully deliver the MSc in Genetic (and Genomic) Counselling. This includes ensuring that the MSc course meets the (often competing) demands of a wide range of different stakeholders, both internal (course lecturers & tutors, dissertation supervisors, Graduate Studies Office, University Registry) and external (placement providers, Genetic Counsellor Registration Board (GCRB), external examiner, NHS clinical colleagues at the All Wales Medical Genetics Service.

In 2016-17, I designed the curriculum for a new MSc Genetic and Genomic Counselling, the first largely distance learning training programme for genetic counsellors in the world. This opens genetic counsellor training to students whose personal circumstances prevent them from moving to Cardiff, including international students, supporting an inclusive learning environment. My leadership style promotes a student-centred approach, recognising different learning styles. This ethos is reflected in the wide range of different teaching modes (face-to-face and recorded lectures, interactive learning objects, synchronous and asynchronous online group discussions) and assessments (essays, videos, case studies). We welcomed our first cohort of 19 students into the new programme in September 2017.

I led on achievement of accreditation of the new MSc in Genetic and Genomic Counselling by both the GCRB (Genetic Counsellor Registration Board) and the EBMG (European Board of Medical Genetics) in 2017.

External teaching contribution:

In August 2019, I was 'Genetic Counsellor in Residence' at the University of Melbourne MSc in Genetic Counselling, where I delivered a series of lectures and contributed to student teaching. In January 2019, I provided 3 days teaching for the MSc in Genetic Counselling at the University of Siena in Italy. In March 2011, I was invited to deliver a two-week Visiting Lectureship in South Africa. I visited the Universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Witwatersrand MSc in Genetic Counselling courses and gave a series of lectures and workshops. 

Topic areas I would like to supervise in:

  • Patient empowerment and patient-centred care
  • Qualitative research in healthcare
  • Patient-reported outcome measures

The Genetic Counselling Outcome Scale (GCOS-24), the novel Patient Reported Outcome Measure that I developed and validated during my MRC Fellowship (2007-10), is being used to evaluate clinical genetics and genetic counselling services in the UK and internationally, and is also used in research. GCOS-24 has been translated into Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Japanese. My current research focuses on improving how cliical genetics services respond to the needs of patients and families affected by genetic conditions.

  • Evaluation of genetic counselling interventions
  • Patient experiences of genetic counselling and/or genetic testing
  • Patient experiences of living with genetic risk

Past projects

Co-supervisor (70%) for MPhil student Peter Grant - Development and validaiton of a short form of the Genetic Counselling Outcome Scale (awarded 2018)

I am a regular contributor to the Wales Gene Park Schools Genetics Roadshow. Since 2018, I have contributed as invited member of Genomics Partnership Wales Workforce and Training Implementation Group, which includes representation from Welsh Government, NHS All Wales Medical Genetics Service (AWMGS), Wales Gene Park, Public Health Wales, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and HEIs. The group’s aim is to ensure that the Welsh NHS workforce is enthused and empowered to use genomics for the benefit of the people of Wales. 

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