Rhian’s background is in biomedical research in academic, industrial andclinical settings. More recently, she has worked with individualsaffected by genetic conditions as Wales Development Officer for Genetic Alliance UK, and on the “Telling Stories Understanding Real Life Genetics” project at University of South Wales. Her current role sees her helping to deliver a busy programme of genomics engagement to the public.
What inspired you to pursue a role in the field of genomics?
I am passionate about genetics and genomics engagement. Initially, my
inspiration came from learning about human genetic conditions at A-level
and undergraduate level. My postgraduate and post-doctoral research
investigated genetic causes of rare conditions and how these clinically affect
people. Subsequently, I worked directly with those affected by genetic
conditions and was greatly inspired by capturing their experiences through
storytelling, advocacy and policy work, which led to my current role.
What happens during a typical working day?
A favourite aspect of my role is its variety, with no two days the same. I enjoy
being part of a busy team that delivers a broad programme, which can
involve anything from large conferences for professionals, activities for
schools, talks to community groups and patient and family events. I also
enjoy communicating about genomics and our work in this area, preparing
news articles and web and social media content.
What advice would you give to those interested in joining this field?
Genetics, and now genomics, is an extremely interesting, fast-moving area of
medical science. I’ve enjoyed the experience of working in several different
aspects of the field and would recommend taking any opportunities that
present themselves, such as secondments or training, as they can often lead
to something new. For me, the most important thing is understanding how
rare and genetic conditions impact upon people’s everyday lives and how
our work can benefit this.