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About the GPU

The Genomics Policy Unit (GPU) is one of the longest established research groups in the UK studying the implications of genetics and genomics. Since 1996 we have undertaken programmes of innovative research around the effect of genomic technologies on healthcare, particularly in relation to health professionals and the public. The GPU has made a significant contribution to the development of policy and practice in genomics at national and international level with particularly pioneering work in the fields of public engagement and training of health professionals (particularly nurses and midwives).

Our aim is to make a significant contribution to professional preparation, public education, and ultimately to improvements in care through the use of genomics. We are doing this through our research, by generating new knowledge and applying that knowledge to policy developments in health, education and nursing leadership.

The GPU has two main strands of enquiry:

We have expertise in a number of areas including consensus techniques; development of competence frameworks and maturity matrix based assessment tools; the collection and use of patient/personal narrative; and the use of innovative approaches to work with hard-to-reach groups, in particular young-people.

Find out more about our current and completed programmes of work.

The Telling Stories Understanding Real Life Genetics project

One of our biggest achievements is the Telling Stories project; an award-winning, free to access, online education resource. Launched in 2007, the website was initially developed for nurses and midwives to help them to learn more about genetics and link their knowledge with everyday practice. We have since expanded it to support medical education. The site currently contains more than 100 personal stories (in a mixture of written and video format), from people living with or at risk of a genetic condition, family members and health professionals. It has been very well received nationally and internationally, with visitors from over 170 countries.

To access the free library of real life stories and all the supporting material, please visit the Telling Stories website or to find out more about the project, please visit our projects page and follow us on Twitter.

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The GPU works in collaboration with many individuals and organisations across the UK and overseas on research and education initiatives including Genomics Partnership Wales and the Genomics Education Programme at Health Education England in the UK, and internationally with colleagues at the Global Genomics Nursing Alliance (G2NA) and the International Society of Nursing in Genetics (ISONG)

Current external links include:

Contact us

Dr Rachel Iredale
(01443) 483075

Dr Emma Tonkin
(01443) 483156