Genomic Practice for Genetic Counsellors (Virtual)

2–4 February 2021

Wellcome Genome Campus, UK

The fundamental aspects of genomics and bioinformatics that underpin clinical practice


Owing to the ongoing situation with covid-19, this event will be organised as a virtual course.

We are pleased to announce the seventh in our series of courses on genetic counselling. This course aims to meet the training needs of genetic counsellors, and nurses providing genetic healthcare, as they upskill in response to the roll-out of genomic sequencing in the clinic. This year’s course will focus on the practical applications of genomics with several ‘hands-on’ workshop sessions.

The programme will focus on the fundamental aspects of genomics and bioinformatics that underpin clinical practice. There will be a particular emphasis on learning how to do variant interpretation. For example, the course include several hands-on sessions that will focus on the use of the DECIPHER database, and the identification of variants in cancer and cardiac disorders. Attendees will have the opportunity to work with sequence data and explore how it is created, analysed and delivered. The course will include discussions on the role of genomics in healthcare and the role of genetic counselling in how genomic healthcare is delivered.

The course is suitable for genetic counsellors practising in the UK or internationally. We also welcome applications from nurses or clinicians delivering genetic healthcare. Previous participants may wish to return to this course as the focus on practical application will enable them to develop their skills further. The course has been designed so that it is relevant for use by genetic counsellors in the UK and Ireland in their GCRB registration.

To optimize discussions and interactions, numbers are limited. Please note that we may need to limit the number of places allocated to each centre/institute to increase diversity on the course.

Learning outcomes

Following attendance at this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe and critically evaluate the current role of genomics in healthcare.
  • Anticipate issues that might arise around informed consent for an exploratory sequence.
  • Assess and critique the use of a variety of visualization tools and databases, such as DECIPHER.
  • Perform a basic variant interpretation process, for discussion with other professionals
  • Contribute effectively to discussions on variant interpretation during multidisciplinary team meetings.
  • Discuss the role and impact direct-to-consumer testing.


The virtual course run over 4 half days. It will start at 9.00 on Tuesday 2 February and close at approximately 16.00 on Thursday 4 February 2021. All times are given in GMT. See the time where you are here.

The following topics will be covered:

  • The role of genomics in healthcare
  • Cancer genomics
  • Cardiac genomics
  • Testing in the real world
  • Variant interpretation
  • Functional studies and analysis
  • Visualising and reporting genomic data
  • The (future) role of genetic counsellors in genomic healthcare

Instructors and speakers

Course instructors

Catherine Houghton
Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust, UK

Nicki Taverner
Cardiff University and All Wales Medical Genetics Service, UK

Gemma Chandratilake
University of Cambridge, UK


Colleen Caleshu – Stanford University, USA
Julia Foreman – Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
Lyndon Gallacher – Victoria Clinicial Genetics Service, Australia
Clara Gaff – Melbourne Clinicial Genetics Service, Australia
Victoria Kiesel – University Hospitals of Leicester, UK
Cathryn Lewis – King’s College London, UK
Anna Middleton – Wellcome Genome Campus, UK
Heather Pierce – Cambridge University Hospitals, UK
Clare Turnbull – The Institute of Cancer Research, UK

ACSC team

Amanda Fletcher– Conference & Events Organiser
Treasa Creavin – Scientific Programme Manager

How to apply

This course is aimed at practicing Genetic Counsellors and Nurses delivering genetic healthcare and working directly with patients in the UK or internationally. We also welcome applications from clinicians delivering genetic healthcare.

How to Apply
Please complete the online application form. Places are limited and will be awarded on merit.



Virtual course Cost
Fee £150

The course fee is subsidised by Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences.

The virtual registration package includes: Access to all talks and live-sessions (including online networking channels), as well as access to all sessions ‘on-demand’ for four weeks after the event.


* To increase the international diversity of attendees at our meetings, we offer bursaries for delegates from Lower and Middle Income Countries (see list of countries here). If you would like to apply for a bursary, please contact the conference organiser. You will be asked to submit a CV and a letter stating financial need.

Application and Bursary deadline: 7 December 2020


Feedback from the 2018 and 2019 courses:

“I really enjoyed entire experience – very good team of lecturers, excellent IT support and friendly staff”

“The hands-on workshops were great, learnt practical tips and information that I could use in my clinical practice”

“I think it was all perfectly pitched at the right level for experienced genetic counsellors. It has given me more insight and the skills to go off and look further into the course content in regards to variant interpretation”

“This is one of the best courses I have been on recently and the standard of lectures was exceptional. I will highly recommend it. It was great to have a course tailored specifically to GC practice. It was very beneficial to gain insight into the experiences of GCs across the UK and overseas in relation to genomic counselling and it was hugely positive to see the central role GCs are playing in genomic practice and in progression of the GC profession”

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