Dr Anna Middleton, PhD MSc RGC | Head of Society and Ethics Research

Middleton, Anna

An entrepreneurial researcher who designs and delivers cutting edge social science research for the Wellcome Genome Campus.

Explores the social and ethical impact of genomics on people. Continually asking - how is society responding to genomic technology?

Utilises both quantitative and qualitative research methods to gather empirical data on attitudes, beliefs and values about genomics.

An enthusiastic communicator who thrives on stimulating discussion, motivating others and inspiring change.

Produces outcomes that have a practical value, e.g. films that can be used in teaching and public engagement. Is a subject matter expert on ethics for Health Education England's training for all health professionals taking consent for the 100k Genomes Project.

Experienced genetic counsellor who has co-written the core curriculum for genetic counselling training in the UK. Current Vice-chair of the Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors in the UK and ROI.

My proudest achievement is being the first person to publish empirical data on the attitudes of Deaf parents towards using pre-natal testing for deafness, with the preference for having deaf children. Since my first publication on this in 1998, the ethical conundrum has been publicised widely; it has now become a familiar, almost mainstream ethical issue discussed in relation to genetic testing.

For a fuller CV and career summary that spans the last 20 years see my personal website and blog.

Channel 4 news coverage of the GenomEthics study:

Here is a film that summarises the outcomes from the GenomEthics study that gathered attitudes from < 7,000 people towards receiving incidental findings from sequencing research, published in the European Journal of Human Genetics amongst others:

This is a Sky news interview on the Socialising the Genome project, found at www.genetube.org:

Publications

  • Attitudes of nearly 7000 health professionals, genomic researchers and publics toward the return of incidental results from sequencing research.

    Middleton A, Morley KI, Bragin E, Firth HV, Hurles ME et al.

    European journal of human genetics : EJHG 2016;24;1;21-9

  • No expectation to share incidental findings in genomic research.

    Middleton A, Morley KI, Bragin E, Firth HV, Hurles ME et al.

    Lancet (London, England) 2015;385;9975;1289-90

  • Potential research participants support the return of raw sequence data.

    Middleton A, Wright CF, Morley KI, Bragin E, Firth HV et al.

    Journal of medical genetics 2015;52;8;571-4

  • Genetic counselors and Genomic Counseling in the United Kingdom.

    Middleton A, Hall G and Patch C

    Molecular genetics & genomic medicine 2015;3;2;79-83

  • Position statement on opportunistic genomic screening from the Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors (UK and Ireland).

    Middleton A, Patch C, Wiggins J, Barnes K, Crawford G et al.

    European journal of human genetics : EJHG 2014;22;8;955-6

  • Communication about DTC testing: commentary on a 'family experience of personal genomics'.

    Middleton A

    Journal of genetic counseling 2012;21;3;392-8

  • Communicating in a healthcare setting with people who have hearing loss.

    Middleton A, Niruban A, Girling G and Myint PK

    BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 2010;341;c4672

  • Providing a transcultural genetic counseling service in the UK.

    Middleton A, Robson F, Burnell L and Ahmed M

    Journal of genetic counseling 2007;16;5;567-82

  • Attitudes of nearly 7000 health professionals, genomic researchers and publics toward the return of incidental results from sequencing research.

    Middleton A, Morley KI, Bragin E, Firth HV, Hurles ME et al.

    European journal of human genetics : EJHG 2016;24;1;21-9

  • Potential research participants support the return of raw sequence data.

    Middleton A, Wright CF, Morley KI, Bragin E, Firth HV et al.

    Journal of medical genetics 2015;52;8;571-4

  • Genetic diagnosis of developmental disorders in the DDD study: a scalable analysis of genome-wide research data.

    Wright CF, Fitzgerald TW, Jones WD, Clayton S, McRae JF et al.

    Lancet (London, England) 2015;385;9975;1305-14

  • No expectation to share incidental findings in genomic research.

    Middleton A, Morley KI, Bragin E, Firth HV, Hurles ME et al.

    Lancet (London, England) 2015;385;9975;1289-90

  • Large-scale discovery of novel genetic causes of developmental disorders.

    Deciphering Developmental Disorders Study

    Nature 2015;519;7542;223-8

  • Genetic counselors and Genomic Counseling in the United Kingdom.

    Middleton A, Hall G and Patch C

    Molecular genetics & genomic medicine 2015;3;2;79-83

  • Synaptic, transcriptional and chromatin genes disrupted in autism.

    De Rubeis S, He X, Goldberg AP, Poultney CS, Samocha K et al.

    Nature 2014;515;7526;209-15

  • Position statement on opportunistic genomic screening from the Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors (UK and Ireland).

    Middleton A, Patch C, Wiggins J, Barnes K, Crawford G et al.

    European journal of human genetics : EJHG 2014;22;8;955-6

  • Policy challenges of clinical genome sequencing.

    Wright CF, Middleton A, Burton H, Cunningham F, Humphries SE et al.

    BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 2013;347;f6845

  • Empirical research on the ethics of genomic research.

    Middleton A, Parker M, Wright CF, Bragin E, Hurles ME and DDD Study

    American journal of medical genetics. Part A 2013;161A;8;2099-101

  • Communication about DTC testing: commentary on a 'family experience of personal genomics'.

    Middleton A

    Journal of genetic counseling 2012;21;3;392-8

  • Communicating in a healthcare setting with people who have hearing loss.

    Middleton A, Niruban A, Girling G and Myint PK

    BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 2010;341;c4672

  • Preferences for communication in clinic from deaf people: a cross-sectional study.

    Middleton A, Turner GH, Bitner-Glindzicz M, Lewis P, Richards M et al.

    Journal of evaluation in clinical practice 2010;16;4;811-7

  • Reproductive liberty and deafness: Clause 14(4)(9) of embryo bill should be amended or deleted.

    Emery S, Burke TB, Middleton A, Belk R and Turner G

    BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 2008;336;7651;976

  • Providing a transcultural genetic counseling service in the UK.

    Middleton A, Robson F, Burnell L and Ahmed M

    Journal of genetic counseling 2007;16;5;567-82

  • Editorial on supervision.

    Middleton A, Cowley L and Clarke A

    Journal of genetic counseling 2007;16;2;123-5

  • Reflections on the experience of counseling supervision by a team of genetic counselors from the UK.

    Middleton A, Wiles V, Kershaw A, Everest S, Downing S et al.

    Journal of genetic counseling 2007;16;2;143-55

  • Report from the UK and Eire Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors (AGNC) supervision working group on genetic counselling supervision.

    Clarke A, Middleton A, Cowley L, Guilbert P, Macleod R et al.

    Journal of genetic counseling 2007;16;2;127-42

  • Tailoring genetic information and services to clients' culture, knowledge and language level.

    Middleton A, Ahmed M and Levene S

    Nursing standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987) 2005;20;2;52-6

Career/Research Highlights

Middleton, Anna
Anna's Timeline
2016

Head of Social Science and Ethics

2015

Wellcome Genome Campus Principal Social Scientist

2010

Ethics Researcher on the Deciphering Developmental Disorders project at the Sanger Institute. Ran the GenomEthics project

2005

Chief and Principal Investigator on NIHR grant at Cardiff University on attitudes of d/Deaf people towards genetic counselling

2001

Cancer Genetic Counsellor at the East Anglia Medical Genetics Service, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge

2000

PhD Genetics and Psychology from University of Leeds - attitudes of d/Deaf people towards pre-natal testing for deafness

Genetic Counsellor at the Yorkshire Regional Clinical Genetics Service, St James' Hospital, Leeds

1996

Research Genetic Counsellor, collected the families that were part of the research collaboration that discovered the Connexin 26 gene, University of Leeds

1995

MSc Genetic Counselling, University of Manchester

1993

BSc Genetics (hons), Newcastle University