The Adelphi Genetics Forum is a charity, registered with the Charity Commissioners in 2021, and also a limited company (company number: 217533), incorporated by guarantee on 15 November 1926. Since 1978 the Forum has also had overall control of the assets of the Birth Control Trust, now known as the Adelphi Artemis Trust.
The governing body of the Adelphi Genetics Forum is its Council of Management (‘Council’), elected by the Forum’s membership and comprising four officers and up to fourteen members. Only Fellows may be elected to Council or hold offices within the Forum. The limitations on length of service laid down in the Forum’s articles ensure the regular rotation of Officers and Council members giving opportunities for all Fellows to participate in the running of the Forum. Council members are expected to contribute to the work of the Forum and, according to charity legislation, are Trustees.
Council manages all of the Forum’s business and meets in London three times per year; the AGM of the Adelphi Genetics Forum takes place immediately before the June meeting.
The President is supported by four other officers, who are elected members of Council. The Treasurer is responsible for keeping the accounts and administering the Forum’s finances.
Officers of The Adelphi Genetics Forum
Veronica van Heyningen studied Genetics as part of the Natural Sciences Tripos in Cambridge, followed by a DPhil in Oxford on early human gene mapping. She moved to Edinburgh as a Beit Memorial Fellow and joined the MRC Human Genetics Unit where her major research interests were in defining genes and exploring genetic mechanisms associated with developmental eye abnormalities in humans and model organisms. She has a long-standing interest in public perceptions of genetics and was a member of the Human Genetics Commission from 2000-20005. She has engaged in organising meetings on many aspects of genetics, including on ethical issues, through the human Genome Organisation (HUGO), the European Society of Human Genetics (President 2003) and the (UK) Genetics Society (President 2009-2012). As President of the Galton Institute from 2014-2020 she helped convene biennial genetics update meetings for teachers. Veronica is a Fellow the the Academy of Medical Sciences, of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Royal Society, where from 2019-2022 she chaired the Diversity Committee, working to develop and implement equity and inclusion strategies.
Dian Donnai trained in paediatrics and clinical genetics and is a clinical geneticist with a major interest in the care and investigation of children with developmental disorders; her research has focussed on elucidating the underlying causes of these disorders. She was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in Genetics by the March of Dimes in 2010. She has also been involved with genetic service development and sat on many national and international committees including a term as consultant advisor to the Chief Medical Officer of England (1998-2004).
She also has a major interest in public engagement in genetics and was Executive Director of Nowgen, a centre for genetics in healthcare from 2002-2014. She is past president of the Clinical Genetics Society (1997-9) and the European Society of Human Genetics (2009-10).
Rosemary Ekong graduated in Zoology (Parasitology) from the University of Calabar (Nigeria) and gained her PhD in Medical Parasitology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Her early work on the genetic basis of antimalarial drug resistance led to increasing interest in genetic variation in human disease and health.
She joined the MRC Human Biochemical Genetics Unit in UCL, contributing to identifying the TSC1 gene that causes Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. In UCL’s Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, she focused on interpreting variations in the two TSC genes, eventually leading the TSC project. She continues to manage the publicly available, global TSC1 and TSC2 variation databases, both valuable resources to clinicians and researchers worldwide. Her work in Ethiopia contributed to the African Genome Variation Project and her patient-centered work identified genomic variations that impacted on patient care.
Gregory Radick received his PhD from the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, UK. He has published widely on the history of biology and the human sciences after 1800, with particular emphases on Darwin and Darwinism, genetics and eugenics, and the sciences of mind, language and behaviour. He has also pursued more general questions about scientific knowledge, especially to do with history-of-science counterfactuals and intellectual property, narrowly and broadly construed. His current research focuses on the early-twentieth-century debate over Gregor Mendel’s experiments with hybrid peas and how a new understanding of it can change the way we think about – and in particular teach – genetics today. He is a Past President of the British Society for the History of Science, and current President of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology.
Andrew Read trained in Cambridge as an organic chemist, specialising in the chemistry of nucleotides. After research in Cambridge, Heidelberg and Warwick University, he eventually moved into genetics and joined the Department of Medical Genetics at Manchester University. He worked on identifying disease genes, particularly for hereditary deafness, but has also a strong interest in translational research, in which connection he set up and initially ran the molecular genetics diagnostic laboratory at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester. He was founder chairman of the British Society for Human Genetics (now the British Society of Genetic Medicine) and is an Executive member of the European Society of Human Genetics. He is co-author of two leading textbooks, Strachan & Read’s Human Molecular Genetics (Garland, 5th edn. in preparation) and Read & Donnai’s New Clinical Genetics (Scion, 3rd edn. 2015). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Robert Johnston recently retired as Head of Science at St Mary’s College in Liverpool, having taught secondary school Biology for 39 years. He has a lifelong interest in genetics since reading the subject at the University of Liverpool. He is a member of the Public Communications Committee of the Galton Institute and, as editor of the Galton Institute Newsletter, is chair of the Editorial and Publications Committee. He has a number of roles within the Royal Society of Biology including Associate Editor of the Journal of Biological Education, Assessor for the Chartered Science Teacher Register and is a member of the Biology Education Research Group. He is also a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.
Council Members of the Adelphi Genetics Forum
Elena Bochukova is a geneticist investigating the genetic basis and molecular mechanisms underlying human neurological and endocrine disease. She is currently a PI and Lecturer in Genomics based at the Blizard Institute at Barts & The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London. She previously worked at the MRC-Wellcome Institute of Metabolic Science (Cambridge), and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and The Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford. Her background is in human molecular genetics and molecular biology with focus on gene expression phenomena. She is a member of the American Society of Human Genetics, the Society for Endocrinology-UK, and the Human Genome Organisation (HUGO); she has served on the Council of the Galton Institute since 2012
Shirley Hodgson trained at UCL as an undergraduate, gaining a BSc in Physiology, and then went to Somerville College, Oxford, to do her clinical studies. She initially trained in paediatrics, and then worked as a general practitioner whilst her children were young. She became a registrar in Clinical Genetics at Guy’s Hospital, 1980, and worked with Prof. Dubowitz at the Hammersmith Hospital on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (for her DM), at a time when the first gentotype-phenotype correlations were emerging. She became a Consultant in Clinical Genetics at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in 1988, then Consultant/Reader in Clinical Genetics at Guy’s from 1990. She became interested in Cancer Genetics from 1989, specialising in the subject, and developed Regional Cancer Genetics services from Guys and later St George’s Hospitals in London. She was appointed Professor of Cancer Genetics at St. George’s, University of London, in 2003, now emeritus, and currently works part time as a consultant in cancer genetics in Leicester. She did translational research with ICRF (now CR-UK), investigating aspects of inherited cancer predisposition She has published widely on the subject, and co-authored several books, notably “A Practical Guide to Human Cancer Genetics” now in 4th edition. She participated in international research, and is developing genetic counselling courses in collaboration with Indian and Chinese colleagues. Recently she designed and initiated the clinical paediatrics course in the Medical School in Windhoek, Namibia, at a time when this was the only Medical School in the country. She has continued her interests in Namibia by supporting research into malnutrition there. She remains very committed to international collaboration.
Paul Hurd’s research interests focus on the analysis and elucidation of the biological functions of epigenetic mechanisms at the cellular, whole organism and population level, using both genomic and state of the art molecular techniques. Epigenetics is a special class of chemical modifications that exist ‘on top’ of the genetic information where they act as instructions to direct cellular programmes such as switching genes on and off. His major focus concerns understanding how the environment influences these epigenetic tags. As illustrative examples, Paul’s laboratory works on three model organisms: the honeybee, the zebra finch and the single cell eukaryote Tetrahymena thermophila.
His long-standing interest in epigenetic mechanisms was developed during his PhD at the University of Sheffield and subsequent postdoctoral fellowships at Kings College London and more recently at The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge.
Nick Mascie-Taylor trained at Cambridge and has a PhD and ScD in Human Population Biology and Genetics. He was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Biological Anthropology, University of Cambridge in 1974 and remained in that department until he retired in 2016. He served as Head of Department for nearly 19 years, has supervised 40 PhD students and has edited the Journal of Biosocial Science published by Cambridge University Press for 31 years. In 2017 he moved to his current Department where he is a co-investigator working on a four-year RCUK funded project in Bangladesh focusing on social, behavioural and environmental drivers of non-communicable diseases. Much of his research has been undertaken in Africa and Asia on the inter-relationships between poverty, nutrition, growth and disease. He is Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Overseas Fellow of the Hungarian National Academy of Sciences and former President of the European Anthropological Association.
Jane Masters studied Biology at the University of York, graduating in 2001 and then completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. She then taught at Huntington School in York, progressing to be Head of Biology. In 2012 she moved to Cheshire to work at The Grange, a co-educational independent school with very high academic achievement and a heavy leaning towards the STEM subjects at A-level. She specialises in teaching AQA A-level Biology, in particular the topics on Cytology, Genetics, Evolution and DNA Technology. She organizes extra-curricular activities aimed at stretching the more able, such as “Café Scientifique” where students present current changes in science and discuss them over a cup of coffee, as well as running various Biology Competitions. Jane recently attended her first Teacher Conference run by the Adelphi Forum and joined the group with a view to increasing engagement and participation from fellow A-level Biology teachers.
Dallas Swallow has a BSc from the University of St Andrews, where she studied Zoology, and a PhD in Genetics from the University of London. She spent some 25 years in the MRC Human Biochemical Genetics Unit in UCL, and is currently in the Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, UCL, where she is now an Emeritus Professor. She has had a long interest in functionally significant genetic variation in humans, with a particular focus on epithelial proteins – molecules located at the barrier between the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’ of the body, -in particular mucins (MUCs) and digestive enzymes such as lactase, for which she wrote the Chapter in The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease. Uncovering the molecular basis of the lactase persistence polymorphism led to her strong interest in the evolutionary and disease significance of variation in gene-regulation. Her ongoing research interests include, as well as the population genetics of the lactase persistence polymorphism, investigations into the impact of haplotype structure in interpreting population dynamics, and on disease association studies.
Rajesh Thakker studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and Clinical Medicine at the Middlesex Hospital, London. His main research interests include the molecular basis of disorders of calcium homeostasis and he has authored over 410 publications, which have included peer-reviewed papers in the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Nature Genetics, Journal of Clinical Investigation and Lancet Journals. He is a Consultant Endocrinologist who provides expertise in the fields of neuroendocrine tumours (NETs), and disorders of calcium and phosphate metabolism. He was Professor of Medicine at The Royal Postgraduate Medical School, The Hammersmith Hospital, London, until 1999, when he took up his present position in Oxford.
Company Secretary: Ms B Nixon (General Secretary of The Adelphi Genetics Forum)
Registered Office: 19 Northfields Prospect, London SW18 1PE