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Research Profile

Ms Teresa Finlay 

Teresa Finlay
Position:PhD Student
School:Social Sciences

Address:1-3 Museum Place


I am a registered nurse and qualified higher education lecturer.  I have had a varied career encompassing gastrointestinal oncology and critical care nursing, and management in the NHS, and latterly, postgraduate education for clinical healthcare professionals.

Studying for a BSc in Human Biology in the 1990s prompted my interest in genetics and disease screening (particularly for malignant disease including colorectal cancer).  An MSc from King’s College London gave me a firm grounding in research methods and I continue to teach research design and methods to healthcare MSc students.

21st C technologies in genomics have developed my interest in researching the effects of the public taking their health screening into their own hands by buying online genetic testing.  I have been awarded an ESRC +3 studentship to complete this PhD and hope to develop my career in research and consultancy related to genomics and ethics in relation to disease screening.

Research Interests

  • Genomic screening for DTCGT
  • Effects of pelvic surgery for IBD on sexual function in women.
  • The effects of head and neck surgery for cancer on quality of life.
  • Colorectal cancer screening.

PhD Topic / Area

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: users’ experiences of testing for disease risk and clinicians’ perceptions of its impact on genetics services.

Direct to consumer genetic testing (DTCGT) for disease risk is now widely available to purchase online to those who have the means.  Those in favour of DTCGT champion the rights of individuals to access their genetic information, while many medical professionals think a vulnerable public needs to be protected by regulation. Neither of these views is evidence-based, but they reflect changes in society that the growth in personalised medicine is driving.

Using semi-structured interviews, this research will explore UK users’ motivations and expectations of DTCGT for disease risk and its impact on them and their families.  In addition it will explore clinical genetics professionals’ perceptions of DTCGT’s impact on users, to draw out the implications of DTCGT for users, professionals and the NHS.


Prof Adam Hedgecoe

Dr Michael Arribas-Ayllon