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Dr Heather Strange

Dr Heather Strange

Research Associate

School of Medicine

Email
strangehr1@cardiff.ac.uk
Campuses
4th floor, Neuadd Meirionnydd, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4YS
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

I am a qualitative research associate at the Centre for Trials Research (CTR). I work primarily within the fields of medical sociology, science and technology studies, and bio/medical ethics. I am experienced in the use of a wide range of qualitative research methods, and have a growing interest in (health related) implementation and improvement science work.  My PhD (2015) was an empirical study of the emergence and translation of the novel prenatal testing technology NIPD/NIPT (non-invasive prenatal diagnosis/testing), for which I recruited a wide range of patient, clinician and expert participants. Drawing on these accounts, the final thesis explored the shifting of the established boundary between practices of prenatal screening and prenatal diagnosis, the moral, social and political problematisation of NIPT/D, the centrality of termination/abortion experiences and debates, and the containment and defusion of bioethical debate.  I am currently principle investigator for NEPTUNE, a follow-up study of NIPT's implementation within routine prenatal screening in Wales, and co-convenor of the CTR's qualitative research network. 

Previous to undertaking this research, I contributed to a wide range of qualitative and bioethical research projects at Cesagen, the ESRC-funded Centre for the Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics. I also spent time working for the Specialist Unit for Research Evidence (SURE), and contributed to a number of projects coordinated by Cardiff University's School of Social Sciences.  As such, I contributed to a broad range of debates and discussions, including; the ethics of sex selection, the application of new biometric technologies, the standardisation of ethics in biobanking and population health, the dignified care of older people, the care of persons with dementia, and the community-based use of online social media.

Current/recent projects:

Principle investigator for:

The HCRW-funded NIPT (Non-InvasivE Prenatal Testing) Wales: UNdErstanding and Improving the New Landscape of Prenatal Screening (NEPTUNE) project. (website forthcoming)

Qualitative workpackage lead for:

The ORION (the ORganIsing work Of Nurses) impact accelerator workstream, which comprises: public engagement/website development work (links below), the development and evaluation of TRACT (an evidence-based tool designed to capture the organisational components of nursing work) and the development an educational platform using the latest digital technologies to integrate into nurse education formal preparation for the organisational components of the nursing role. 

The NIHR-funded Plan-it study (The feasibility and acceptability of a planned pre-pregnancy weight loss intervention)

The MRC-funded TTTS study (Developing a non-invasive treatment for twin-twin transfusion syndrome)

Qualitative research associate for:

The RCN-funded ProJudge study (examining the use of professional judgement in nurse staffing decisions)

The NIHR-funded PUMA study (Paediatric early warning system - Utilisation and Mortality Avoidance): prospective mixed-methods before and after study of the development, implementation and evaluation of a programme to improve paediatric early warning systems:

The HCRW-funded PLACEMENT (perineural local anaesthetic catheter after major lower limb amputation) trial: 

https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/centre-for-trials-research/research/studies-and-trials/view/placement 

Biography

Education and qualifications

PhD (Social Sciences/STS), Cardiff University, 2016

MA (Ethics and Social Philosophy), Cardiff University, 2007

BA Hons, first class (Philosophy), Cardiff University, 2004

Career overview

2016 - present: Research Associate, Centre for Trials Research (CTR) Cardiff University

2014 - 2016: Research Support, Specialist Unit for Research Evidence (Sure), Cardiff University

2011 - 2015: Doctoral reearcher, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University

2008 - 2011: Research Assistant, ESRC Centre for the Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen), Cardiff University

Honours and awards

  • National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR), Health Studentship Award (2011), Welsh Government.
  • DM Phillips Tylerstown Philosophy Prize (2006-07), Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Philosophy Board of Studies

Smaller grant funders (for travel and research dissemination) include: the British Sociological Association, Cesagen, the KISS DTC, the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness, the Health Technology and Society Research Group, the European Society for Human Genetics, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany) and the Economic and Social Research Council.

Professional memberships

The British Sociological Association (BSA), date of registration 23/05/2012.

Academic positions

  • 2014 - 2016: Research Support, Specialist Unit for Research Evidence (Sure), Cardiff University
  • 2012 - 2014: Qualitative field researcher, Cardiff University School of Social Sciences (Forgotten Abergavenny and Care Home Organisations Implementing Cultures of Excellence/CHOICE, projects)
  • 2011 - 2015: PhD student, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2008 - 2011: Research Assistant, ESRC Centre for the Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen), Cardiff University

Speaking engagements

  • Non Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis: The Emergence and Translation of a New Prenatal Testing Technology. Cardiff University Institute of Medical Genetics seminar series, University Hospital of Wales, 18th February 2016, Cardiff University.
  • NIPT: the Emergence and Translation of a New Prenatal Testing Technology. International Winter School /
    Internationale BMBF-Klausurwoche: “The Fetus as a Patient – a Sustainable Approach to Clinical Interactions in the
    Field of New Prenatal Medicine”. November 23-27, 2015 in Kasteel Bloemendal, Vaals (Netherlands).
  • Non invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) and testing (NIPT): encounters with a revolutionary reproductive technology.
    BSA Medical Sociology Group Annual Conference 2015 Wednesday 9 - Friday 11 September 2015, University of
    York.
  • "Patient and Professional Experiences with Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis (NIPD) and Testing (NIPT): Social and
    Ethical Issues Raised". International Conference on Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy, Washington, DC, USA, 12-15
    July 2015 (poster presentation).
  • ‘From NIPD to NIPT: Biopolitical Implications of an Emerging Reproductive Technology’. Inaugural ELSI 2.0
    conference: Translational Research and Emerging Technologies. HeLEX, Oxford, 23rd – 25th June 2015.
  • ‘Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT): Panacea or Pandora’s box?’. Innermost Learning Babywatch Symposium, The
    Vale Hotel, Hensol, Cardiff. May 19th 2015.
  • ‘Patients voices and the sociological perspective on non-invasive prenatal diagnosis’. Workshop on Interdisciplinary
    approaches to Regulating Innovation, Cardiff University School of Law and Politics, 18th February 2015.
  • 'Non-invasive prenatal testing: divisions, categorisations and public secrets'. Exeter University Department of Sociology
    & Philosophy seminar, 15th October 2014.
  • ‘Non-invasive Prenatal Testing: Pushing at the Boundaries of Screening and Diagnosis’, Symposium on Researching
    (Bio)medicine with Care: Cosmopolitics, Affects and Ethics, British Sociological Association Medical Sociology Annual
    Conference, Aston University, 11th September 2014.
  • ‘Tracking NIPD: findings from PhD fieldwork’. Sussex University Centre for Bionetworking, Colloquium on Disability
    Detection and Foetal Decision-Making. Sussex University, 16th June 2014.
  • ‘Non-invasive prenatal testing: pushing at the boundaries of screening and diagnosis’. Cardiff University School of
    Social Sciences, Medicine Science and Culture (MeSC) research group seminar, 28th May 2014.
  • ‘Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis: The Expert's View’. Cardiff University School of Social Sciences, Doctoral
    Conference, 23rd October 2013.
  • Informed consent in noninvasive prenatal testing’ International Genomics Conference, 13th - 14th September 2012,
    Radisson Blu, Cardiff. (Poster presentation).
  • ‘Informed consent in non-invasive prenatal diagnosis’. European Society for Human Genetics Annual
    Conference/European Meeting for Psycho Social Aspects of Genetics, Nurnberg, Germany. 25th June 2012.
  • ‘Emerging prenatal genetic testing technologies: ethical issues and the need for empirical research’. ESRC Genomics
    Network conference ‘Genomics in Society: facts, fictions and cultures’, The British Library, London. April 23rd, 2012.
  • ‘Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis: a Social Science Perspective’. Bristol University Centre for Ethics in Medicine, 20th
    February 2012.
  • ‘Harmonisation in Ethics: conceptual and practical challenges’. P³G Annual Meeting "Harmonization in Practice: A
    Platform Based on 50 Studies from 18 Countries", April 26 - 27, 2010. Montreal, Canada. (Poster presentation).

Committees and reviewing

  • Cesagene seminar series organising committee, 2014-15
  • Socsi Postgrad Café organising committee, 2011-12
  • Postgrad Forum on Genetics and Society, regional events (Wales) committee, 2012-13

Publications

2021

2020

2018

2017

2015

2010

2009

Teaching

MSc Medical Education. Guest lecturer (research skills), 2017 - present.

MSc Genetic Counselling (Cardiff University). Guest lecturer (teaching on bioethics, ethics and infertility,
ethics and new technologies), 2009 to present.

MSc Tissue Engineering (CITER). Guest lecturer (teaching on bioethics) from 2013 - 2015.

Current and recent projects:

Principle investigator for:

The HCRW-funded NIPT (Non-InvasivE Prenatal Testing) Wales: UNdErstanding and Improving the New Landscape of Prenatal Screening (NEPTUNE) project. (website forthcoming)

Qualitative workpackage lead for:

The ORION (the ORganIsing work Of Nurses) impact accelerator workstream, which comprises: public engagement/website development work (links below), the development and evaluation of TRACT (an evidence-based tool designed to capture the organisational components of nursing work) and the development an educational platform using the latest digital technologies to integrate into nurse education formal preparation for the organisational components of the nursing role. 

The NIHR-funded Plan-it study (The feasibility and acceptability of a planned pre-pregnancy weight loss intervention)

The MRC-funded TTTS study (Developing a non-invasive treatment for twin-twin transfusion syndrome)

Qualitative research associate for:

The RCN-funded ProJudge study (examining the use of professional judgement in nurse staffing decisions)

The NIHR-funded PUMA study (Paediatric early warning system - Utilisation and Mortality Avoidance): prospective mixed-methods before and after study of the development, implementation and evaluation of a programme to improve paediatric early warning systems:

The HCRW-funded PLACEMENT (perineural local anaesthetic catheter after major lower limb amputation) trial: 

https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/centre-for-trials-research/research/studies-and-trials/view/placement 

Key areas of interest:

Medical sociology, science and technology studies/STS, bioethics, biopolitics, the sociology of reproduction, prenatal testing, genetics and genomics.

Reviewer for:

Bioethics, Health Care Analysis, The Journal of Bioethical Enquiry, Science Technology and Human Values, The Journal of Community Genetics, Sociology of Health and Illness, New Genetics and Society, Social Science and Medicine, Nature reviews Genetics, European Journal of Human Genetics.

Supervision

Lisa Jones, MSc Genetic and Genomic Counselling dissertation. "A gene for heart disease" - Exploring genomic literacy in the Welsh lay public (2022)

ShiHui Zhu, MSc Genetic Counselling dissertation. ‘Patient experiences of Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) in the
private sector’ (2017)

Erin Anderson, MSc Genetic counselling dissertation. ‘Experiences of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis in Wales’
(2016)

Claire Giffney, MSc Genetic counselling dissertation. ‘Exploring Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis in Ireland’ (2011)

Amy Bamber, MSc Genetic counselling dissertation. ‘Attitudes towards non invasive prenatal diagnosis in the Down
syndrome community’ (2012)