World Congress on Genetic Counselling

2–4 October 2019

Wellcome Genome Campus, UK

Exploring the evidence that guides genetic counselling to improve patient care


Advances in genomic sequencing technology are promising a revolution in how diseases are diagnosed and treated. Understanding how these advances are managed and communicated to patients, families and wider society will benefit from empirical genetic counselling research.

The second world congress on genetic counselling will provide a forum that facilitates active engagement between international researchers and practitioners to explore the evidence that guides genetic counselling and the communication of genetics in mainstream medicine, thereby enhancing clinical practice.

The conference will bring genetic counsellors together with:

  • Clinicians (genetic nurses, clinical/medical geneticists, and others using genetic technology in their practice)
  • Academics (social scientists, psychologists and geneticists)

The programme will explore, empirically, what is at the heart of genetic counselling; and will also question whether genetic counselling can ever be substituted with ChatBots. We will explore professional and leadership issues and discuss what counts as success in genetic counselling.

The conference is delivered in partnership with the Society and Ethics Research Group at Wellcome Genome Campus and the Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors (UK and Republic of Ireland)


The conference will start at approximately 13.00 on Wednesday 2 October and close at approximately 14.00 on Friday 4 October 2019

Topics will include:

  • The ‘therapeutic alliance’ in genetic counselling, what is it and how do we translate this to non-specialist colleagues?
  • Genetic counselling against the clock
  • What changes as a consequence of genetic counselling?
  • Technology and genetic counselling: will genetic counsellors be replaced by ChatBots?
  • Research into the counselling process
  • The evolution of genetic counselling practice

Organisers and speakers

Scientific programme committee

Jehannine Austin
The University of British Columbia, Canada

Barbara Biesecker
RTI International , USA

Clara Gaff
University of Melbourne, Australia

Anna Middleton
Wellcome Genome Campus, UK

Christine Patch
Genomics England, UK

Keynote Speakers

Laura Hercher
Sarah Lawrence College, USA

Shivani Nazareth
Clear Genetics, USA

Confirmed speakers

Michelle Bishop – Health Education England, UK
Felicity Boardman – Warwick University UK
Rhona MacLeod – Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, UK
Marion McAllister – Cardiff University,UK
Alison McEwen – University of Technology, Australia
Alvaro Mendez – University of Porto, Portugal
Chieko Tamura – National Center for Child Health and Development, Japan
Olga Zayts – English University Hong Kong, China


Jon Roberts – Wellcome Genome Campus, UK
Gemma Chandratillake – Univeristy of Cambridge, UK
Patricia Birch – University of British Columbia, Canada

Scientific conferences team

Laura Wyatt – Conference and Event Organiser
Treasa Creavin – Scientific Programme Manager

How to apply

Early bird discount
(until 9 July)

Standard rate
(after 9 July)
Student/Trainee No accommodation £154 £254
Student/Trainee Single accommodation,
Holiday Inn Express
N/A £494
Academic/NHS employee/Genetic counsellor/Nurse No accommodation £254 £354
Academic/NHS employee/Genetic counsellor/Nurse Single accommodation,
Holiday Inn Express
N/A £594
Commercial No accommodation £354 £454
Commercial Single accommodation,
Holiday Inn Express
N/A £694

The registration fee includes entrance to the lectures and poster sessions, an abstract book, meals (lunch and dinner) and refreshments during the conference. Breakfast will be provided for delegates who have booked accommodation.

Accommodation is provided for the nights of 2 and 3 October 2019. Please note: there is limited onsite accommodation and this will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, early registration is recommended.

If you wish to book onsite accommodation either side of the conference dates, please contact the Conference Centre directly.

Please note: Onsite accommodation has sold out. We have arranged accommodation nearby at the Holiday Inn Express.
The Holiday Inn is a 5-min drive from the campus. Complimentary shuttles to and from the conference centre will be provided.

Travel visas
Contact the conference organiser if you require a letter to support a travel visa application. Please note: letters will only be provided to confirmed registrants.

Non-European Economic Area or Swiss nationals may be required to have a visa to enter the UK.
Early application is strongly advised, as this process can take 6-8 weeks or longer.

Please visit the following websites for further information:

Accommodation services phishing scam – please be vigilant. More information.


A limited number of registration bursaries/scholarships are available to attend this conference (up to 50% of the registration fee).
These have been provided by National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) and Wellcome Genome Campus Scientific Conferences.

To apply, please contact the conference organiser. You will be sent a unique registration link which will hold your place, without taking payment, until you have been notified of the outcome of your application.

The following will need to be provided as part of the bursary application:

  • Confirmation of membership (if applying for NSGC award)
  • Abstract/clinical case study* (to be submitted via the portal during the registration process)
  • A justification letter (explain how you will benefit from attending the conference) and why you need financial assistance.

*We encourage bursary applicants to submit an abstract for consideration as a poster or short oral presentation. Although not mandatory, applicants who submit an abstract may be prioritised depending on the number of bursary applications received.

If you have already registered for the conference you are still welcome to apply for a bursary, please contact the conference organiser.

Bursary deadline: 23 July 2019

Additional funding opportunities
Visit our support page for additional financial support currently available.


We welcome abstracts from all areas relevant to the main themes of the meeting, for both oral and poster presentations. Several oral presentations will be chosen from the abstracts submitted.

Abstracts will only be considered from registered delegates. Please use our online abstract submission system and follow the instructions given to ensure your abstract is submitted correctly. All abstracts must be submitted by the deadline. If you are intending to submit more than one abstract, please contact the conference organiser prior to registration.

The scientific programme committee will assess your abstract after the deadline has passed and you will be notified whether you have been selected for an oral or poster presentation.

Poster boards onsite will accommodate 118 cm high by 84 cm wide (A0- portrait) of printed material. Accepted abstracts will appear in the conference programme book and poster boards will be allocated at the conference.

Abstract deadline: 30 July 2019

Keynote lecture video from 2017 meeting

What have genetic counselors been doing and have they been any good at it?

Keynote lecture by Bob Resta (Swedish Medical Centre, USA) at the World Congress on Genetic Counselling (4-6 October 2017) organised by Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences and held at the Wellcome Genome Campus Conference Centre (Hinxton, UK).

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