Genomics research and innovation fellowships awarded

Nine successful applicants ready to begin their academic research projects under the HEE GEP research and innovation fellowship scheme

Following a rigorous 10-month application process, Health Education England’s Genomics Education Programme (GEP) has awarded funding to nine successful candidates to undertake a range of genomics research projects.

The scheme attracted a high number of applicants, who were all keen to carry out clinical research in this exciting field. The GEP is delighted to introduce the nine fellows, chosen from a field of 64 highly skilled candidates, who have been awarded funding to carry out their chosen research projects. The successful fellows all hold either permanent NHS appointments or NHS honorary contracts, and will start their research from 2nd October.


Three secondments have been awarded.

Daniel Lindsay will research the germline alteration in cancer exomes / genomes over the next two years.

Lisa Ballard’s part-time secondment research will be on the communication to families of results from the 100,000 Genomes Project, designing an online intervention.

Stephanie Greville-Heygate will spend 12 months looking into the utilisation of histopathological and tumour somatic profiling to better classify variants of unknown significance in familial cancer.

Doctoral research fellows

Two full-time doctoral research fellowships have been awarded, giving each candidate three years to conduct research in their chosen field.

Niamh Appleby will begin her three-year full-time research programme this autumn, looking into the development and evaluation of the clinical utility of plasma-based ultra-sensitive detection methods for high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and lymphoma.

Dimitra Repana will be conducting her research on the functional validation of predicted synthetic lethal interactions in colorectal cancer patients. Her project is expected to be completed by 2020.

Post-doctoral fellows

Four post-doctoral fellowships have been awarded.

Jamie Ellingford will complete his two-year research project covering EIGER: a bioinformatics approach to evaluate and integrate genomic variation impacting gene expression and regulation.

Richard Turner will begin four years of research this autumn on evaluating the potential of pharmacogenomics using whole genome sequences to reduce drug toxicity.

Celine Lewis will spend two years researching young people’s motivations and attitudes towards whole genome sequencing.

Finally, Jana Vandrovcova will also spend two years exploring how to maximise the potential of whole genome sequencing by implementing additional bioinformatics pipelines to identify mutations not fully investigated using current protocols.

Research into practice

Launched in November 2016, the genomics research and innovation fellowship scheme was created by the GEP in partnership with Genomics England and NHS England. The aim of the scheme is to increase the capability and capacity of the current workforce, by providing fellows with the opportunity to actively engage with genomics research and bring new-found knowledge and skills into practice within the NHS.

In addition, fellows will contribute to the work of the Genomics Education Programme and we also look forward to them becoming active members of the Faculty of Genomic Medicine. To learn more about the successful fellows visit the fellowship page of our website.

On behalf of Health Education England’s Genomic Education Programme, we wish them every success with their research studies.