Sian has worked in the All Wales Genetics Laboratory for 28 years after initially joining the
service in 1991 as a Cytogeneticist. She is now a Consultant Clinical Scientist and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath). Sian was recently appointed Head of Laboratory at a significant time of growth for genomics and precision medicine in Wales.
What inspired you to pursue a role in the field of genomics?
From an early school age I was very motivated to follow a career within an
NHS laboratory. I achieved that dream at the age of 25 when I joined the All
Wales Genetics Laboratory. At that time cytogenetics was well established
and was very much focused on patient outcomes and a high quality service
delivery. The opportunity for detecting new diagnosis for patient benefit was
(and still is) exciting. The advent of new technologies over the years has
transformed the way we now analyse the genome.
What happens during a typical working day?
Responsible for the rapidly expanding diagnostic laboratory, I support an
expert workforce of approximately 120 Clinical Scientists, Bioinformaticians
and Technologists. I am responsible for the strategic direction of the service
(both for rare disease and cancer) at a local, Welsh, UK and international level.
Each section is continually evolving and developing in line with clinical need
and technological advances. The focus is on patient outcomes and high quality
service delivery. The favourite part of my job is seeing a new service being
What advice would you give to those interested in joining this field?
The future requirements of the genomic service in Wales has never been so
exciting in this new era of expanded genetic testing and research supported by
the Genomics for Precision Medicine Strategy. There are rewarding career
opportunities for Clinical Scientists, Bioinformaticians and Genetic
Technologists within the laboratory. This dynamic environment is an interesting
and exciting place to work. If you enjoy genetics please consider a career with us.