About the team

The clinical genetics and genomics laboratory team

Currently, Dr Tessa Homfray, consultant clinical geneticist, and Samantha Mason, genetic counsellor, work across both Royal Brompton and Harefield sites. 

To refer a patient for a clinical genetics consultation, referrals should be addressed to Dr Homfray. Referrals for familial genetic screening can be addressed to Samantha. 

To refer a cardiac patient for clinical investigations and possible genetic testing they should be referred to the inherited cardiac conditions service.

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-registered clinical laboratory geneticist. She heads the Clinical Genetics and Genomics Laboratory and is the validation and laboratory lead for the West London Genomic Medicine Centre.

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 Germany upon being awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship. After two years in the Institute of Human Genetics in the Free University Berlin, she moved to the University of Freiburg, Germany, where she obtained the “Habilitation” (associate professor) 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 for 15 years before moving to London in 2012, where she initially spent two years in the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, before taking up her current position at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. 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.

Laura Brett 

Clinical scientist and quality manager

Laura completed her BSc (Hons) in natural sciences at the University of Bath in 2009 and began her clinical scientist training at Barts Health NHS Trust. This included obtaining an MPhil at Queen Mary, University of London in 2014.

She has worked in diagnostic genetics laboratories at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and in the South West Thames Regional Genetics Laboratory (St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust). She gained HCPC registration as a clinical scientist in 2017.

Laura is the clinical genetics and genomics quality manager and health and safety coordinator for the group. 

Dr Frank Honti

Bioinformatician

Dr Honti obtained a degree in biochemistry from the University of Bath and completed his DPhil in human genetics at the University of Oxford. During his studies, he undertook a placement at the Sanger Institute, gaining experience in programming and bioinformatics.

Later, his projects involved the development of new methods and computational tools for the identification of genes and molecular pathways disrupted in developmental disorders, as well as analysing next-generation sequencing data. He moved to the clinical genetics and genomics diagnostic service after a postdoctoral position in Switzerland.

Dr Honti is in charge of next-generation sequencing data analysis, variant calling and automated variant interpretation. He also works on developing and applying new tools and techniques at the forefront of molecular diagnostics.

Shibu John

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 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 human/rat heart for translational cardiovascular research.

Shibu relocated to Royal Brompton cardiovascular genetics lab with Professor Stuart Cook’s group in 2010 as 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 as bioinformatician in the clinical genetics and genomics laboratory at Royal Brompton to avail his research expertise for the genetic causes of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases in the diagnostics services.

Sam Wilkinson

Senior genetic technologist

Sam has a BSc in biomedical sciences and has been working in the clinical genetics and genomics laboratory since its inception in 2013. Sam was involved in the development of the ICC gene panel 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. 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.

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

Lizi Briggs

Genetic technologist

Lizi completed her BSc (Hons) in biological sciences at the University of the West of England focusing on genetics and regenerative medicine.

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 the Royal Brompton in January 2017. Her main role is performing the molecular techniques in the laboratory such as; the library preparations for next-generation sequencing, Sanger sequencing preparation and analysis as well as supporting the general running of the laboratory.

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, supporting the workflow for Sanger and next generation sequencing. Charlie also undertakes the PowerPlex 16HS Assay and cystic fibrosis common variant analysis.

Sayyid Hasan

Validation coordinator & genetic technologist

Sayyid completed his BSc (Hons) in Medical Genetics at Queen Mary University of London in 2013. He then moved to Finland to pursue an MSc in Biotechnology at the University of Helsinki. Sayyid subsequently worked as a research assistant at the University’s DNA Sequencing and Genomics Laboratory, and in collaboration with Helsinki University Hospital, worked on a research project investigating the human gut microbiome and its relation to gestational diabetes.

Sayyid joined the clinical genetics team in February 2017 to work on the UK’s 100,000 Genomes Project. His roles involves coordinating validation of whole genome sequencing results for the West London NHS Genomic Medicine Centre. In addition to this role, Sayyid also works as a genetic technologist, processing clinical samples, extracting DNA and supporting the workflow for both Sanger and next-generation sequencing.

Sophie Maxey

Administration assistant

Sophie graduated from the University of Bath in 2013 with a degree in biology, she joined the clinical genetics and genomics laboratory in 2017 as a part-time administrative assistant to assist with lab operations while studying for a Master’s in genomic medicine at St George’s University of London and King’s College London.

Her previous roles (including research assistant at Dartmouth Medical School and a role as an ecologist) have allowed Sophie to use large datasets to draw meaningful conclusions from a variety of data sources.

Sophie’s main roles are to issue reports and ensure that patients details and results are recorded and communicated appropriately.


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

Molecular genetic testing request and consent form (pdf, 431KB)

Non-NHS molecular genetic testing request and consent form (pdf, 493KB)

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