Meet the team
The UTS Master of Genetic Counselling staff have extensive clinical experience, having worked in Genetic Services in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Our Curriculum Advisory Committee includes representatives from genetic counselling, clinical genetics, biomedical ethics, research, clinical psychology, science, Indigenous studies and educational design. This experienced multidisciplinary group has helped shape the Master of Genetic Counselling curriculum.
Associate Professor Alison McEwen, who leads the Genetic Counselling Discipline within the Graduate School of Health, has 16 years’ experience as a Genetic Counsellor in a general Genetic Service in Wellington. Alison is an Human Genetic Society of Australasia (HGSA) certified genetic counsellor and completed her PhD in 2011 and undertook training in professional supervision in 2016. She was chair of the HGSA Board of Censors in Genetic Counselling (2008-2011), and the Australasian Society of Genetic Counsellors (2014-2016). Currently, Alison is a member of the HGSA Professional Issues for Genetic Counselling working group and the HGSA Honorary Secretary.
Dr Chris Jacobs has 19 years of clinical experience as a Genetic Counsellor. Chris is a Genetic Counsellor Registration Board (GCRB) Registered Genetic Counsellor and Registered Nurse. She brings extensive clinical and research experience to her role as a Senior Lecturer. Chris worked as a Consultant Genetic Counsellor in cancer genetics at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London. Her research interests are in access to, communication about and the impact of genetic and genomic testing for hereditary cancer. In addition to undertaking her own research in this area, she has collaborated on a variety of research projects. Chris has co-edited two books about cancer genetics.
Rosie O’Shea comes to the Graduate School of Health as an Associate Lecturer. Rosie has ten year’s clinical experience in various settings including general, prenatal, metabolic and oncology genetic counselling. She was Ireland’s Clinical Research Genetic Counsellor for the Deciphering Developmental Delay (DDD) w~hole exome sequencing project. Rosie is registered with the Genetic Counselling Registration Board (GCRB) and the European Board of Medical Genetics (EBMG). She is currently undertaking a PhD entitled "Preparing the health system for new genetic testing pathways for colorectal cancer".
Dr Erin Turbitt is a lecturer and social scientist who joined the Genetic Counselling Discipline in 2018. Prior to working at the University of Technology Sydney, Dr Turbitt was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, USA. She was awarded her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2014. Dr Turbitt’s research lies at the intersection of genomics, decision making and research ethics. She studies the psychological and behavioural aspects of genomics, with a focus on how families affected by genetic disorders cope and make decisions about healthcare and their involvement in research.