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Dr Gabrielle Samuel

Dr Gabrielle (Gabby) Samuel is a Senior Research Fellow in the CELS-Oxford research group, and research fellow for the Ethics Advisory Committee of UK Biobank. 

Her main research interests relate to the ethical, social and regulatory issues associated with data-driven technologies used in health research. Her research draws mainly on qualitative  methods, and explores ethical and social issues spanning a range of innovative biotechnologies, including biobanking, genomics, forensic/health genetic technologies, and AI health technologies. She has a particular interest in the environmental impacts of big data and AI technologies, as they pertain to health research. 

She was recently awarded a Wellcome Fellowship to explore the environmental sustainability of data-driven health research, and a co-Investigator on the ESPRC collaborative project PARIS-DE (Design Principles and Responsible Innovation for a Sustainable Digital Economy), led by Professor Gordon Blair at Lancaster. 

Gabby completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham, her PhD in Genetics at the University of Adelaide, and a two-year genetics post-doctoral position at the University of Sydney (Australia), before retraining as a social scientist, firstly undertaking an MA in Bioethics and then a second PhD, in biomedical ethics, via exploring the ethical and social issues surrounding the use of fMRI for severely brain-injured individuals. 

She has worked as a Research Fellow at Brighton and Sussex Medical School exploring ethical issues related to the UK 100,000 genomes project; and as a research associate at King’s College London on the VISAGE project exploring the ethical, social and regulatory issues related to forensic DNA phenotyping.

She spent some time at the Centre for Values, Ethics, and the Law in Medicine (University of Sydney) exploring ethical concerns related to the advertising of prescription medicines, umbilical cord blood banking, synthetic biology, and direct-to-consumer genetic testing. 

Dr Rachel Horton

Rachel joined CELS in June 2018 to do a PhD. She has nearly completed her training as a clinical geneticist and is spending some time doing dedicated clinical ethics research.

Rachel’s research, funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Award for Health Professionals in Humanities and Social Sciences, explores what we should consider to be a genomic result. Genomic testing identifies the millions of variations that each of us has within our genetic code, and Rachel is interested in how and why decisions are made as to which of these variations should be considered the ‘result’ of a genomic test.

Rachel studied medicine at Oxford, doing an intercalated BA in Molecular Medicine in 2008. She worked as a junior doctor in the Severn deanery before moving to Southampton in 2015 to train in clinical genetics. She completed an MSc in Genomic Medicine at the University of Southampton in 2018.

Rachel is currently on maternity leave, and will return as a Junior Research Fellow in Social Sciences in May 2024.

Dr Susie Weller

Susie Weller is a CPM Research Fellow. Her current work forms part of the ‘Ethical Preparedness in Genomic Medicine’ study (Wellcome Trust, 2018-24), which combines conceptual, empirical, and theoretical work to examine the ethical and social challenges that arise for those living and working with genetic and genomic results. Susie draws on a range of conceptual tools from family and lifecourse sociology and employs qualitative longitudinal research approaches to explore, over time, interactions between individuals, those within their networks, and the wider social processes and structures shaping their experiences. She is particularly interested in: how patients and families navigate different routes through genomic medicine; the resources and support on which they draw to manage the process; how participants conceive of their data journey; and how caring relationships, identities and practices evolve over time.

Dr Sarah Briggs

Sarah Briggs is one of the CPM’s Junior Research Fellows in Medical Sciences. Her DPhil research, funded by the Medical Research Council, evaluated the use of polygenic risk scores in predicting bowel cancer risk. Sarah’s ongoing research interests include assessing the environmental impact of the genomic technologies increasingly employed to personalise healthcare. She studied medicine at the University of Oxford, and is a clinician, training in Medical Oncology in Oxford.

Professor Anneke Lucassen

Anneke was appointed Director of the CPM in August 2021. She is delighted to return to Oxford, and the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, after 2 decades as Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton. She also holds an honorary consultant physician post, now at the Oxford regional genetics service. Her research focuses on the ethical and legal aspects of developments in genetics and genomics.

Much more information on Anneke’s research can be found here