Meet the Team

The West of England Genomic Medicine Centre has appointed a core team to help support the region and to deliver the aims and objectives of the programme.  Please feel free to contact members of the core with queries related to the WEGMC at our central email address


Prof Sarah Smithson

Professor Sarah

Clinical Director

Professor Smithson is a Consultant in Clinical Genetics based at University Hospitals Bristol.


Mr James Bristol

Cancer Clinical Lead

I am a Consultant General Surgeon at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHNHSFT). My Sub-specialty Interests are Breast cancer, Genetics and Genomics.  I am also the 100,000 Genomes Project Clinical Cancer Lead for GHNHSFT.  I introduced family history clinics in Gloucestershire in 1995, which led to the current partnership we have with Medical Genetics in Bristol. Having been involved in the 100,000 Genomes Project since the inception of the bid by the West of England, I have embraced it with great enthusiasm, and have already been performing many of the roles locally without prompt, simply because I could see the need.  This is one of, if not the, most exciting collaborative projects I have been involved with in my professional career.  I am excited to have the opportunity to lay the foundations for the future such that genomic medicine is seamlessly incorporated into health care delivery, locally and elsewhere, and that knowledge and understanding is enhanced across the whole community.


Programme Manager

Catherine is full time in the role of Programme Manager for the West of England Genomic Medicine Centre. Previously Catherine worked as the Cancer Manager at North Bristol NHS Trust and prior to that spent six years as the Research Network Manager for the Avon, Somerset & Wiltshire Cancer Research Network which was part of the National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network.


Lead Genomics Practitioner

Amanda is a genetic counsellor with the Bristol Clinical Genetics Service, with a focus on hereditary cancers, prenatal genetics and neuromuscular conditions. She has also coordinated local recruitment of patients to the Deciphering Developmental Disorders (DDD) study. Amanda has previously worked as a laboratory genetic counsellor in Toronto, Canada, with experience interpreting and reporting genetic variants.


The core team is supported by a dedicated implementation group who have taken on designated roles in order to support key aspects of the WEGMC’s work programme.  This group is comprised of:

  • Aileen McLoughlin, Informatics Lead
  • John Kirk, Communications Lead
  • Maggie Williams, Laboratory Lead

Plus support from many dedicated staff across the WGMC region.
wegmcteam collage