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Published: 09 February 2024

Mark Mencias is an alumnus of St George’s, University of London’s Genomic Medicine MSc.

Following his studies with us, Mark has gone on to set up a nurse-led neurogenetics service working as a clinical nurse specialist – a new and innovative role which has scope for application across many different disciplines.

Bring genomic medicine into the mainstream

Speaking on his current role, Marks says:

“As a neurogenetics clinical nurse specialist, I provide genetic/genomic counselling to patients with neurologic symptoms suspected to have a genetic cause and facilitate their genetic/genomic testing. I also offer genomic education and support to the patient and their family following a genetic diagnosis. I can also signpost the patients to support groups or charities and promote participation to clinical research and patient registries.

Dr Emma Matthews, together with the South East Genomics Medicine Service Alliance, created the role to bring genomic medicine into the mainstream within the neurosciences department at St George’s Hospital.

Interest, passion and vision

“I approached Dr Matthews about the post and expressed my interest, passion, and vision for the role. I was very fortunate that Dr Matthews shares my passion and vision. From there, we managed to transform the neurology care and services that we offer to patients with rare neurogenetic conditions.

"I am hoping to become a Professor of Human Genetics so that I can help translate scientific innovations and discoveries from bench to bedside, and inspire more nurses and midwives to take up this specialist role be it in clinical practice, education, leadership, or research.”

- Mark Mencias -

Explore their own way of learning

Speaking specifically about how the course at St George’s prepared him for the professional life, Mark says:

“The MSc in Genomic Medicine offered by St George's, University of London prepared me very well for my role as a neurogenetics clinical nurse specialist.

"The modules were systematically organised to deliver topics on genomics in a bite-size manner, and the faculty encouraged students to explore their own ways of learning which I particularly enjoyed."

- Mark Mencias -

"They also outline the key publications that are essential for students to know which really helped when I started in my current role."

My source of inspiration

“My tutor at St George’s, Dr Alan Pittman, has been a massive inspiration especially in bioinformatics. My research supervisor, Dr Bridget Bax, has also been incredibly supportive. She taught me so much about the drug development process in rare diseases. And a special shout-out to Dr Kate Everett-Korn who was instrumental in my first few days as a postgraduate student.

"I was from a health and social care background studying a more biomedical science-inclined field and she made the fundamentals of genetics and genomics easy to understand."

- Mark Mencias -

“I really enjoyed my time studying at St George's, University of London and I could not recommend it enough to anyone who would like to undertake postgraduate studies.

"The clinicians, teachers and researchers have been my source of inspiration to pursue genomic medicine.”

- Mark Mencias -
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