PROJECT DIRECTOR

Katrina Sarig Msc, BSc(hon)

Director of The JHC Review

Read more about Katrina Sarig

Katrina has extensive research and development experience, with specific expertise in genetic education and screening services for at-increased risk communities. After completing her MSc in Organisational Psychology at UMIST, she worked in Israel managing R&D projects for an International behavioural risk management agency then as an independent consultant developing and delivering cross-cultural programmes.

Having returned to the UK, Katrina founded Jnetics, the only UK charity dedicated to improving the prevention and management of Jewish genetic disorders (JGDs). During her ten years as Executive Director, she managed the development and implementation of initiatives that have transformed awareness and uptake of recessive carrier screening in the UK Jewish Community. Since 2017, the Jnetics’ GENEius programme has and continues to educate and screen thousands of young Jewish adults who are now aware of, and can effectively manage, their risk of passing on a severe, recessive JGD.

In recent years, Katrina has become increasingly aware of the need to improve the management of, and access to genetic testing for, hereditary cancers in the UK. In June 2020, she left Jnetics to enable her to focus on this area and is now working as an independent consultant directing the JHC Review on behalf of The Esterson Trust.

Project Partner

Professor Ranjit Manchanda MD, MRCOG, PhD

Professor of Gynaecological Oncology & Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist, Queen Mary University London (QMUL) and Barts Health NHS Trust

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Professor Manchanda completed his PhD in Gynaecological Oncology and a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Academic Lectureship at University College London (UCL), and speciality training in gynaecological oncology at UCL Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital (Barts Health).

He leads the Barts Health Women’s Precision Prevention service and is chair of the London Cancer High Risk Gynaecological Cancer multidisciplinary team.

He is co-Lead for the Cancer Prevention Theme at the Barts CRUK Cancer Centre and is the Speciality Research Lead for Gynaecological Cancer, NIHR North Thames Clinical Research Network as well as being the Integrated Academic Training Programme Director at the London Speciality School of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Health Education England.

Professor Manchandra led the GCaPPS (Genetic Cancer Prediction through Population Screening) trial in the UK focusing on the Ashkenazi Jewish population. He is passionate about enabling the delivery of this new approach towards cancer prevention which is the focus of the NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellowship that he was awarded in 2019.

He leads a number of studies related to genetic testing and cancer prevention. He has received numerous other national and international awards and has published and lectured widely on topics related to both his academic research and clinical work.

Expert Advisors

Professor Ros Eeles FMedSci, PhD, FRCP, FRCR

Professor of Oncogenetics, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology and Oncogenetics, The Royal Marsden Hospital (RMH)

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Professor Eeles is both a clinician and scientist and has been instrumental in ensuring new discoveries in cancer genetics immediately benefit patients, particularly in her speciality areas of BRCA-mutations, other DNA repair gene-mutation carriers, and prostate cancer.

She trained at the University of Cambridge and St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School, has a PhD in cancer genetics and is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and the Royal College of Radiologists (Clinical Oncology Faculty).

She returned from the USA in 1994 and is lead of the ICR Oncogenetics Team which has a programme of research in genetic predisposition to prostate cancer and management of individuals with BRCA and other DNA repair gene mutations. She leads the largest prostate cancer genetic study in the UK, set up an international consortium that involves over 100 research groups worldwide, and leads multiple clinical trials and screening studies. She also started the flagship Prostate Risk clinic at RMH to evaluate the increasing role of genetic testing in men with and at risk of prostate cancer.

She has sat on many genetics advisory committees, both national and international. She has edited a major textbook on genetic predisposition to cancer and a special edition of the Familial Cancer journal ‘Delivering cancer genetics services – new ways of working’. She is the Genomics Champion for the Royal College of Radiologists (Clinical Oncology Faculty) for the Academy of Royal Colleges. She is an author of over 450 papers and her book which she led as lead editor ‘Cancer Prevention and Screening’ won the BMA Chairman’s Book of the Year Award in 2019.

Professor D. Gareth R. Evans MB BS MRCP MD FRCP

Professor of Medical Genetics and Cancer Epidemiology, The University of Manchester and Consultant in Medical Genetics and Cancer Epidemiology, Central Manchester
Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust

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Professor Evans has established a national and international reputation in clinical and research aspects of cancer genetics, particularly in breast cancer and neurofibromatosis. He has developed a clinical service for cancer genetics in the North West Region of England, which is nationally regarded.

Following initial training at St Mary’s Hospital Medical school, he specialised in genetics at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Manchester then developed his career specialisation further by taking an MD in cancergenetics, while working as a Senior Clinical Research Fellow at Manchester University. He has developed a national training program for clinicians, nurses and genetic counsellors in breast cancer genetics and established a system for risk assessment and counselling for breast cancer in Calman breast units implemented through a training course (1998-2011).

Professor Evans is an important opinion leader nationally, serving as chair of the NICE Familial Breast Cancer Guideline Development Group from 2002-2010, becoming its clinical lead in 2011. He also served as Chief Investigator for a £1.59 million NIHR-funded programme on breast cancer prediction (2009-2014) and is a two term NIHR Senior investigator.

He lectures on hereditary breast cancer and cancer syndromes across the UK and internationally, has published over 850 peer reviewed research articles, over 150 reviews and chapters, and a book by Oxford University Press on familial cancer. He was elected a fellow of the learned Society of Wales (FLSW) in 2020.

Dr Michelle Ferris MB BS MRCGP DCH DRCOG

General Practitioner, Lane End Medical Group.

Read more about Dr Ferris

Dr Ferris is a General Practitioner at Lane End Medical Group, and Clinical Tutor at University College London Hospital, with an Honorary contract in Cancer Genetics at the Institute for Cancer Research.

Having qualified from UCL Medical School, and completed vocational training at Ealing Hospital, Dr Ferris has gained over 35 years’ experience working as a GP. Within her practice, of which a third of patients are Jewish, she noted a high incidence of breast cancer cases and carried out Practice-based research assessing breast cancer incidence across patient age groups, their lifestyle and their genetic susceptibility and ethnicity.

Following on from this research, Dr Ferris and her colleagues developed the Befriend Your Boobs (BYB) – a breast cancer prevention initiative educating young women about their cancer risks, based on interplay between their genetics and lifestyle, and providing practical information and tools for better risk management.

The BYB programme has been delivered by a collaborative of doctors, nurses, and teachers to over 10,000 female sixth form students across 20 educational venues , as well as being presented internationally. Based on NICE Guidelines, BYB was a Finalist project in the British Medical Journal awards, 2020.