IBMSPOD - Episode 12

Genomics Medicine & Public Engagement with Deborah Lakeland and Charlotte Felton

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8th October 2021

IBMSPOD ยท Episode 12 - Genomics Medicine & Public Engagement with Deborah Lakeland and Charlotte Felton

As we enter a new era of personalised medicine, how can biomedical scientists integrate the necessary genomic tests into their services? 

Genomics medicine uses information about a patient's genetic makeup to improve their care and overall clinical outcome. As the science moves from research to practice, we'll enter a new paradigm of diagnostics, prognostics and personalised treatments tailored to the individual patient. 

Deborah Lakeland is a cancer genomics project manager at Lancashire & South Cumbria teaching. Hospitals. Deborah has over 30 years of experience as a biomedical scientist across several specialities, including Immunology, Haematology and Molecular Pathology. She moved over to genomics to assist the 100,000 genome project. 

Deborah takes us through what progress has been made so far in the field of genomics medicine, including the government's 100,000 genome project and her role within it. She then discusses how genomics medicine has transformed therapeutics for cancer patients before outlining the significant challenges biomedical scientists face to integrate genomics medicine into their practice fully. Later, Deborah is asked to outline how large scale testing of coronavirus patient genomes helped us to identify variant strains of SARS-CoV2 and ultimately helped us bring the pandemic under control. 

We also discussed Deborah's outreach and media work, including being recognised as a Chief Scientific Officer Women in Science and Engineering Fellow for 2019/2020. 

In the Quick-Fire round, Rob is curious if Deborah prefers tea over coffee, casual wear over smart wear and ab-sailing over bungee jumping! 

In LabLife we were joined by IBMS Licentiate Charlotte Felton - a trainee clinical scientist in critical care science. Charlotte explained why she felt it was so important to participate in the public engagement of biomedical science and the initiatives she's set up to promote the profession and teach younger generations about careers in Biomedical science, including creating the popular 'inspire BMS' Twitter account. She also tells us about why she is transitioning from a band five role in haematology to a new position in critical care science and what the role encompasses.