About the team

Dr Deborah Morris-Rosendahl 

Consultant clinical scientist and head of the Clinical Genetics and Genomics Laboratory (CGGL)

Dr Morris-Rosendahl is a Health and Care Professions Council-registered consultant clinical scientist and European Board of Medical Genetics registered clinical laboratory geneticist. She heads the Clinical Genetics and Genomics Laboratory and is also the science and technical director for the South East Genomics Laboratory Hub.

She obtained her PhD in human molecular genetics at the South African Institute for Medical Research and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Post-doctoral positions at the Mammal Research Institute, University of Pretoria and Institute for Molecular Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, USA, were followed by a move to the Institute of Human Genetics in the Free University Berlin, Germany, upon being awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship. She subsequently moved to the University of Freiburg, Germany, where she obtained the “Habilitation” (Associate Professorship) in 2003 and German specialist qualification as a “Fachhumangenetikerin” (Specialist Human Geneticist).

Dr Morris-Rosendahl headed the molecular genetics diagnostic division in the Institute of Human Genetics, University of Freiburg, for 15 years before moving to London in 2012. She spent two years at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, before taking up her current position at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. She has published and lectured extensively on the genetics of rare and complex disorders and her current interests are focused on inherited cardiac and respiratory conditions.

Matthew Edwards

Clinical scientist

Matt obtained his BSc (Hons) at Queen Mary & Westfield University (now Queen Mary, University of London) in 1994. In 1995, he obtained his MSc in microbiology at University College London (UCL). He went on to work as a research technician at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London.

He then completed clinical scientist training in cytogenetics at the North West Thames Regional Genetics Service. He has been registered as a clinical scientist with the Health and Care Professions Council since 2006. In 2006, he also passed the Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath) part one exam in 2006 to become an associate member.

Matt moved in 2011 to the molecular genetics department at the North West Thames Regional Genetics Service. His role there was as a section leader and acting quality manager. He gained experience running diagnostic molecular genetic testing for a range of diseases, particularly cystic fibrosis, using several techniques including next-generation sequencing (NGS).

He made the move in 2016 to Royal Brompton Hospital to the clinical genetics and genomics service. He helps the service develop and run diagnostic tests, identifying the genetic causes of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Maha Younes

Clinical scientist and quality manager

Maha obtained her BSc (Hons) at the Hashemite University of Jordan in 2004. Maha moved to the UK in 2005 and obtained her MSc in Medical Molecular Biology in 2006 from the University of Westminster. She went on to work in various academic and healthcare institutions including the Southmead Hospital in Bristol, University of Cambridge, Kings College London and London School of Economics.

Maha started her career in clinical genomic science as an STP trainee at Sheffield Genetics Diagnostic Service. She was one of the first STP trainees to undertake the genetic pilot training programme in 2009. At the end of her training Maha obtained her second master’s degree in Clinical Science Genetics from Nottingham University, the STP Certificate of Completion, and her HCPC State Registration in 2013.

Since her registration, she has worked as a clinical scientist in a number of regional and specialist genetics laboratories. Throughout her work, she managed the delivery of a wide repertoire of genetic and genomic testing services for common and rare diseases and cancer referrals. Services included whole exome sequencing (WES), whole genome sequencing (WGS), NGS panel testing, testing of product of conception, genotyping services, arrCGH testing, testing of primary brain tumours and newborn screening. 

Maha had previously contributed at an expert level to the national best practice guideline CEQAS meetings for the testing and reporting of glioblastomas and oligodendrogliomas. She has also contributed to the development of the MSc programme in Precision Genomic Medicine at Leeds University.

Maha is the clinical genetics and genomics quality manager and the deputy training officer for the group.

Shibu John

Lead bioinformatician

Shibu graduated with a master's in Bioinformatics from Bharathiar University Coimbatore, India. He started his career as Bioinformatics research assistant at Thrombosis Research Institute, Bangalore India in 2006 to support high throughput experimental design, data management and analysis in the functional genomics and proteomics labs. 

In 2009 he moved into the Medical Research Council, CSC as Bioinformatician (postdoctoral fellowship) with Professor Stuart Cook’s research group to work on next-generation sequencing and whole transcriptome data analysis of the human/rat heart for translational cardiovascular research.

Shibu relocated to the Royal Brompton Cardiovascular Genetics & Genomics research laboratory in 2010 as a specialist Bioinformatics scientist for molecular diagnosis of inherited cardiac conditions using whole genome, exome and targeted sequencing for diagnostics and research studies.

In 2017 he joined the Clinical Genetics and Genomics Laboratory at Royal Brompton Hospital as a bioinformatician, in order to apply his research expertise to the diagnosis of the genetic causes of inherited cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Shibu now leads the CGGL Bioinformatics team.

Dr Susan Clasper FRCPath

Clinical scientist 

Sue obtained her BSc(Hons) in Biochemistry at the University of Liverpool in 1990 and went on to obtain a PhD in 1994 working on the expression profile of synovial fluid neutrophils in rheumatoid arthritis. The next 14 years were spent as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford in a range of research projects which involved work at the molecular and protein level.

Sue changed career in 2007, joining the Oxford regional molecular genetics lab as a trainee clinical scientist and registering with the HCPC in 2012. During the next 14 years she rotated across a number of teams. Training began within the cardiac team before rotating into the then core-disease team which included testing for; CF, PWAS, DM, HD, RSS, BWAS, FRAXA. Training was at a time before technologist and clinical scientist roles were clearly defined and she therefore gained experience in performing, analysing and reporting samples. 

She then re-joined the cardiac team in 2015 where she was responsible for overview of the arrhythmia service. At the same time, she was responsible for setting up and overseeing the rare disease service which initially dealt with confirming results obtained in research laboratories and the deciphering developmental disorders (DDD) study. This service quickly grew in size to encompass the 100k data and in 2018 she left the cardiac team to concentrate on this service.

The time in the Oxford lab provided a great many opportunities, including the chance to develop teaching skills by supervising numerous STP trainees and two MSc projects. The MSc projects arose from a desire to bring basic research to the diagnostic lab to enable characterisation of variants of uncertain clinical significance using RNA and protein studies. This work led to her being accepted as a Fellow of the Royal College in 2018. After a short period at Sidra Hospital in Qatar setting up NGS sequencing and an even briefer period in industry, Sue was delighted to return to NHS diagnostics within the Brompton lab in October 2021 and hopes to add to the highly skilled team. 

Andrew Fleming

Clinical scientist 

Andrew completed his BSc (Hons) in biology (with a Year in Industry) at the University of York in 2016. His year in industry was undertaken at Tissue Regenix; a medical devices company producing regenerative decellularised tissue products. Andrew’s interest in clinical genetics began in the final year of his undergraduate studies, where his focus was on the genetics of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms.

In September 2016 Andrew began the Scientist Training Program (STP) at Oxford Regional Genetics Laboratories, completing his training in molecular genetics and cytogenetics in September 2019. In 2019 he also completed his MSc in Clinical Science (Genomics) at the University of Manchester. Andrew then achieved registration as a clinical scientist in November 2019. During his STP training Andrew developed his current interest in cardiac and respiratory genetics.

In June 2019 Andrew took up his current position as clinical scientist and health and safety officer at the Clinical Genetics and Genomics Laboratory at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. He is involved in the running and reporting of diagnostic testing for cardiac and respiratory conditions. 

Dr Anna Ferlin 

Service manager

Dr Anna Ferlin obtained her MSc in Biotechnology at University of Padua in 2009 and her PhD in Molecular Virology from Paris Diderot University-Paris 7 in 2013 upon being awarded a Marie Curie Research Fellowship. She subsequently moved to London where she started her Post-doctoral position in Renal Genetics at the University College London (UCL) until May 2019.

In June 2019 Anna took up her current position as service manager at the Clinical Genetics and Genomics Laboratory at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. Her main role is to monitor the administrative aspects of the service to ensure it is responsive to users’ needs in the medical genetics field and to oversee the day-to-day laboratory management and administrative processes. 

Dr Amy Slater

Clinical bioinformatician

Amy is a Health and Care Professions Council-registered clinical scientist specialising in Clinical Bioinformatics. Amy completed the Scientist Training Program (STP) in Clinical Bioinformatics (Genomics) at Guys and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in 2018.

Prior to the STP Amy obtained her Bsc (hons) in Pharmacology and Molecular Genomics at King College London in 2010, before undertaking a MRes in biomedical research, followed by a PhD in molecular genetics and epigenetics of rare renal cancers at the University of Birmingham.

Amy joined the team at Royal Brompton in July 2019. Her role as a clinical bioinformatician primarily focuses on analysis, development and processing of NGS pipelines and improving and validating tools, software and web services within the laboratory.

In September 2021, Amy took on the role of STP training officer, facilitating the provision of STP training in bioinformatics at Royal Brompton.

Dr Steven Müller

Bioinformatician & systems administrator

Steven obtained a Diplom-Ingenieur in Medical Informatics from the Medical University of Vienna in 2011 and a PhD in Evolutionary Computational Biology from University College London in 2019. Before starting his PhD, Steven worked for 2 years as a systems administrator at the Center for Integrative Bioinformatics in Vienna.

In June 2019. Steven joined the team as a bioinformatician and systems administrator. In his role as bioinformatician he mainly works on improving the the genetic analysis pipeline with a focus on Copy Number Variant (CNV) analysis. As systems administrator, he also set up and maintains the high performance cluster hardware to run the bioinformatic analyses and web services within the laboratory.

Sam Wilkinson

Senior genetic technologist and technical lead

Sam has a BSc in biomedical sciences and an MSc in Genomic Medicine (Imperial College London, with distinction) and has been working in the Clinical Genetics and Genomics Laboratory since its inception in 2013. Sam was involved in the development of the custom gene panels that are used in the diagnostic service and has extensive experience in NGS technology, having worked with various platforms.

His main role is in processing clinical samples for NGS and other tests, as well as the development of new assays and research techniques. He also supports variant analysis and reporting using various web and software programs. Sam is responsible for the day-to-day running of the lab and supervises the other technical staff.

Lizi Briggs

Genetic technologist and pre-registration clinical scientist

Lizi completed her BSc (Hons) in biological sciences at the University of the West of England focusing on genetics and regenerative medicine. She has just completed the MSc in Genomic Medicine in Imperial College, London, with distinction.

She began her clinical career as a genetic technologist at Hammersmith hospital’s cytogenetics lab assisting in the diagnosis of haematological malignancies and solid tumours, becoming experienced in cytogenetic techniques such as FISH and karyotyping. 

Lizi Joined the team at Royal Brompton in January 2017. Her main role is performing the molecular techniques, such as library preparations for next-generation sequencing, Sanger sequencing, MLPA and ddPCR and analysis for cascade testing, as well as drafting diagnostic reports and supporting the general running of the laboratory.

Giovanni Stefani

STP trainee, Clinical Bioinformatics Genomics

Giovanni completed his MD degree at the University of Modena (Italy) and his PhD at the Rockefeller University (New York), where he studied the regulation of alternative splicing of RNA. Subsequently, he worked on various aspects of miRNA-mediated gene expression regulation at Yale University (New Haven). After working on the biology of ageing as a lecturer at the University of Trento (Italy) and honorary research associate at UCL (London), Giovanni enrolled in the NHS scientist training programme (STP) in the Bioinformatics Genomics track and joined the laboratory of Clinical Genetics and Genomics at Royal Brompton Hospital. 

Nahomi Prevost

Genetic technologist

Nahomi Prevost completed her BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences at Northumbria University Newcastle in 2019. She completed a Medical Genetics MRes in 2020 at Newcastle University, focusing her research project in the analysis of the inheritance patterns of de novo mutations associated with male infertility.

She previously worked specialised reproductive genetic testing company Juno Genetics at Oxford as a Laboratory Technician. Her role involved processing samples, undertaking DNA extraction, and preparation of libraries for Next-generation-sequencing.

Nahomi joined the team as a genetic technologist in June 2021. Her main role is performing library preparation for Next-generation-sequencing and other specialised molecular techniques and analysis in the laboratory.

Marylka Griffiths

Genetic technologist

Marylka has a BSc (Hons) in Biological Science from the University of Warwick, and an MRes in Evolutionary biology from the University of Nottingham. This research project focused on the population genetics of a coral reef fish. 

Marylka previously worked as a DNA analyst within the forensics division of Eurofins. Her role involved processing DNA samples undertaking DNA extraction, PCR and sanger sequencing.

Marylka joined the Clinical genetics team in April 2019 as a genetic technologist.

Charlie Powell

Genetic technologist

Charlie completed her BSc (Hons) in genetics at Swansea University in 2018, having completed a research project into the genetics of pancreatic cancer with the Institute of Life Sciences, in collaboration with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg local health board. Her clinical interests began as a trainee dental nurse at Elbow Lane Dental Practice, Formby.

In January 2019, Charlie joined the team as a junior genetic technologist, with her main responsibilities including the processing of clinical samples and the extraction of DNA, Sanger sequencing and supporting the workflow for next generation sequencing. Charlie also undertakes the PowerPlex 16HS Assay and cystic fibrosis common variant analysis.

Charlie is currently undertaking an MSc in Genomic Medicine at Imperial College London. 

Francheska Punzal

Genetic technologist

Francheska obtained her BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine from the University of Nottingham in 2017 with a research project in cell and cancer biology. Her interest in healthcare began during work experience with an A&E consultant at Whipps Cross Hospital - Bart’s Health NHS Trust in 2012. 

Prior to working at Royal Brompton, Francheska worked as a laboratory analyst for the Identification Operations team at Cellmark Forensic Services. Her main role being the high throughput processing of samples through DNA fingerprinting Assays to be loaded into the National DNA Database and for forensic reference.

Francheska joined the team in July 2020. Her main responsibilities include the processing of clinical samples and the extraction of DNA, Sanger sequencing and supporting the workflow for next-generation sequencing. Francheska is also in the process of gaining competency in the PowerPlex 16HS Assay and Cystic Fibrosis common variant analysis.

Louis Pearson-Wright

Administration and personal assistant

Louis also has an MA in Media and Cultural Studies which he completed at the University of Sussex in 2012. He has over five years administration and personal assistant experience working within the NHS. He has worked in a variety of roles such as providing administration support to a hospital discharge team as well as being a personal assistant to the managing director of a NHS Commissioning Support Unit.

Louis joined the team in October 2020. His main roles include issuing genetic reports to referring clinicians as well as organising all the billing and invoicing of genetic tests conducted by the laboratory. Louis is responsible for all other administration required by the team.

Clinical genetics and genomics laboratory

Ground floor (level 2), Sydney wing, Royal Brompton Hospital, Sydney Street, London, SW3 6NP

Telephone: 020 7352 8121 ext. 83009
Email: rbh-tr.genomics@nhs.net or geneticslab@rbht.nhs.uk

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am - 5 pm 

Head of laboratory: Dr Deborah Morris-Rosendahl

Useful documents

NHS test request order and consent form (PDF, 384KB)

Non-NHS (private and international) test request order form (PDF, 517KB)