Honorary degree awarded to Maggie Williams

Issue date: 29 November 2018

Maggie Williams

UWE Bristol has awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science to Maggie Williams in recognition of her commitment to providing genetics and genomic service to the UK and internationally, for delivering the 100,000 genomes project as our partners in the WoE Genomics Medicine Centre and for supporting UWE's genetics and genomics education and research.

The honorary degree was conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences at Bristol Cathedral on Thursday 29 November.

Maggie Williams is a Consultant Clinical Scientist, and Deputy Head of Department at the Bristol Genetics Laboratory at North Bristol NHS Trust, with over 30 years of experience of NHS Clinical Science in the field of laboratory genetics. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathology.

Maggie is the lead for rare disease genomic testing, designing and implementing tests to aid in the diagnosis and management of patients with inherited diseases. Her team developed the first comprehensive high throughput Next Generation Sequencing panel test for Familial Hypercholesterolaemia, now used by multiple lipid teams and cardiologists across the UK and abroad, enabling patients and relatives at risk of a life threatening cardiac event to be diagnosed early and treated. Her team have received multiple awards from Heart UK for scientific innovation.

Maggie is the laboratory lead for the West of England Genomics Medicine Centre, and has developed the laboratory processes underpinning the 100,000 genomes project including sample processing and analysis of whole genome sequencing data. This project is collaboration between Genomics England, NHS Regional Centres, UWE and other Academic Partners in the SW and will transform delivery of patient care for patients with inherited disease and cancer.

North Bristol NHS Trust were announced in October as hosts of the South West Genomic Laboratory Hub, one of the 7 NHSE designated centres, appointed to provide and develop genomic laboratory testing for the UK as part of a prestigious five-year investment programme to integrate Whole Genome Sequencing into NHS patient care. This successful bid is built on the collaborations established through the 100,000 genomes project.

Maggie has worked in a long standing partnership with UWE in genomic education, lecturing on undergraduate and postgraduate courses, supervising project students and most recently delivering the Masters Course in Genomics Medicine.

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