Leigh's current work involves investigating the penetrance of rare genetic variants in population cohorts and the implications for patient communication. His previous work around informed consent for genetic testing in research and the clinic was a natural extension of his time based in a research laboratory within Derby General Hospital, during which time he was responsible for obtaining informed consent to participate in genetic research from women undergoing clinical treatment.

Closely working with NHS scientists, nurses, midwives and surgeons within the 100,000 Genomes Project, as well as in fertility and oncology contexts has given Leigh a sound understanding of the healthcare system – an absolute necessity for health services research. His progression into social science research has been helped enormously by his involvement in a number of pan-European, multi-disciplinary, multi-partner projects where he has worked alongside the preeminent clinical, ethical and social researchers in genomics.

Working with human stem cells for many years gave Leigh invaluable insight into the myriad ethical issues and concerns which closely mirror those surrounding the current debate on genome-wide technologies. Leigh has experience of conducting systematic reviews, and both qualitative thematic analysis and quantitative analysis of large datasets, including UK Biobank data.

Leigh's research interests are:

  • Penetrance of rare genetic variants in population cohorts
  • Incidental and secondary findings from genomic testing
  • Patient communication of risk
  • Pharmacogenomic risk variants and duty to disclose to research participants
  • Genomics education interventions for healthcare professionals