About this event

  • Date and time Thu 7 Jul 2022 from 5:30pm to 6:35pm
  • Location Online
  • Organised by Medical Genetics

This webinar is part of the popular Genetics of webinar series and will discuss the challenge of equality and diversity in genomic research and clinical settings and strategies to address this. 

Genomic research has traditionally been focused on caucasian populations, which leads to inherent biases in genomic findings translated into clinical research. Underrepresentation of other populations in genomic datasets and biobanking endeavours leads to genomic medicine services being underutilized and inaccessible to these communities.

During this webinar you will:

  • Understand that genomic data is under-representative of many minority populations which has a direct impact on genomic research
  • Develop an idea of how the scientific community is trying to address this issue
  • Appreciate the challenges of ensuring that diverse communities are able to access the genomic medicine service
  • Describe strategies that are being undertaken to try and improve genomic testing provision within diverse communities

A CPD certificate with 1 CPD credit will be issued to those joining the webinar live as well as those who watch the recording afterwards. Certificates will be issued 7 days after the webinar to those who watch it live and after 60 days for those that watch the recording. 

A CPD certificate with 1 CPD credit will be issued 7 days after the webinar.  

This webinar is part of The genetics of… webinar series. This series has been developed following feedback from delegates. Presented by the Medical Genetics section of the Royal Society of Medicine, this series of talks will focus on the role of genetics in different areas of health and wellbeing.

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Key speakers

Professor Karoline Kuchenbaecker

Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, University College London

Speaker's biography

Professor Karoline Kuchenbaecker is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at University College London where she leads the “Diversity in Genetics” group. Her research focusses on the genetic and environmental risk factors for diseases by leveraging the unique characteristics of diverse populations. She has developed methodological standards for diverse samples as well as innovative methods to empower locus discovery and to assess transferability of genetic risk factors.

Dr Maxine Mackintosh

Programme Lead – Diverse Data, Genomics England

Speaker's biography

Dr Maxine Mackintosh leads the Diverse Data at Genomics England, which aims to reduce health inequalities in genomic medicine by ensuring patients, regardless of their background, receive the same quality of genomics-enabled personalised medicine, supported by the latest research on people like them. Dr Mackintosh is also the co-founder of One HealthTech – a global, volunteer-led, grassroots community that supports and promotes under-represented groups in health innovation. OHT has over 20,000 contributors worldwide across 20 Hubs which have collectively delivered over 1000 events, projects, campaigns and initiatives improving diversity in HealthTech. She has been part of a number of communities and committees including being a Non-Executive Director for the Eastern Academic Health Science Network, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers, and the British Computer Society (Health Exec) and the DeepMind Health Independent Review Board. She also really really likes fancy dress.

Dr Saghira Malik Sharif

Principal Genetic Counsellor, Yorkshire Regional Genetics Service, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Speaker's biography

Dr Saghira Malik Sharif has worked for the Yorkshire Regional Genetics Service at the Leeds NHS trust since 2002 and is now a Principal Genetic Counsellor. Prior to this, Saghira was a genomic research fellow at the University of Leeds and recruited a large cohort of British Pakistanis in three genomic research projects. This research work led to the identification of novel pathogenic genes which have significantly contributed to patient care. The findings of these research projects has raised the profile of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals and the University of Leeds and they became the global leaders for offering autozygosity mapping studies, as well as furthering genomic and scientific knowledge.Saghira is one of the pioneers in developing a model of transcultural genetic counselling services in the UK.  Saghira has reflected upon her experience in prenatal genetics and genomic research for her PhD study and developed a novel cultural competence framework for healthcare professionals and organisations aiming to engage diverse communities in genomics studies. Saghira has been involved with the Born in Bradford programme and other Public Health England and Genomics England projects. Saghira’s international contribution has included working with the health leaders in developing a genomic education programme for healthcare professionals and setting up genetic counselling services in Pakistan and the Middle East. Saghira’s vision and drive has helped in developing healthcare policies and pathways, aiming to reduce health disparities and improving Equality, Inclusion and Diversity in genomics.


View the programme

Welcome and introduction

Dr Lucy McKay, Chief Executive Officer, Medics 4 Rare Diseases and Dr Shwetha Ramchandrappa, Consultant Clinical Geneticist, Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

The lack of diversity in genomic research: Causes, consequences and ways to address the imbalance

Professor Karoline Kuchenbaecker, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, University College London

An overview of diverse data at Genomics England

Dr Maxine Mackintosh, Programme Lead – Diverse Data, Genomics England

Enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in genomics - a culturally competent approach
Dr Saghira Malik Sharif, Principal Genetic Counsellor, Yorkshire Regional Genetics Service, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Panel discussion
Close of meeting



Registration for this event will close on Thursday 7 July 2022 at 4:30pm. Late registrations will not be accepted. 

The agenda is subject to change at any time.  

All views expressed at this event are of the speakers themselves and not of the Royal Society of Medicine, nor the speaker's organisations. 

We are only able to share presentations that we have received permission to share. This is at the presenter and the RSM’s discretion. 

This event will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels. 

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