Quote of the Month: Professor Heather Skirton

May I share one anecdote that reflects the naivety of the Genetic Nurses and Social Workers Association in the early days? We didn’t know what we were doing and it was decided that a constitution should be established for this new association. But no-one had ever done that before and one of the members of the group was a member of a sailing club and she went and got the constitution for the sailing club and they crossed out ‘sailing’ and put ‘genetic nursing’. We lived with that constitution until the BSHG [British Society for Human Genetics] was formed. Professor Heather Skirton, Clinical Genetics in Britain: Origins and development

Professor Heather Skirton PhD MSc RGN (b. 1953), a qualified midwife and registered genetic counsellor, trained as a nurse and midwife in Melbourne, Australia, emigrated to the UK in 1988 and worked as a genetic counsellor (1989–2000) and nurse consultant in genetics (2000–04), during which time she completed a PhD on the outcomes of genetic counselling (1996–99). Her academic posts include appointments as co-director of the MSc in genetic counselling at Cardiff University (2000–03) and reader in health genetics at the University of Plymouth (2004–08). She was promoted to professor of applied health genetics at the University of Plymouth in 2008. She chaired the Joint Committee on Medical Genetics (2003–05), established in 1999 and representing the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath), the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the British Society for Human Genetics (BSHG) to provide a unified forum. She is past president of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (2006).
This quote, alongside many other such reminiscences, is compiled in our special anniversary 50th volume, Monoclonal Antibodies to Migraine: Witnesses to Modern Biomedicine, an A–Z.