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Professor Marcus Pembrey
Founding Chair of Trustees

Marcus Pembrey

Professor Marcus Pembrey is a clinical geneticist and Founding Chair of Trustees at the Progress Educational Trust (PET), having founded the charity together with Dr Virginia Bolton and Viscount Janric Craigavon. He is also Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Genetics at University College London's Institute of Child Health, Visiting Professor of Paediatric Genetics at the University of Bristol, and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was previously Consultant Adviser in Genetics to the Chief Medical Officer at the UK Government's Department of Health, President of the European Society of Human Genetics, Vice Dean of the Institute of Child Health, and a Consultant Clinical Geneticist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. He cofounded the International Federation of Human Genetic Societies, and his group helped to pioneer the use of DNA testing in genetic counselling and prenatal diagnosis within the services provided to families threatened by serious genetic disease. Together with Antony Blackburn-Starza, James Brooks and Siobhan Chan (editors of PET's free weekly email news digest, commentary service and website BioNews) he runs the BioNews internship scheme, which provides practical science writing training and experience for PhD students.

Alongside his research into rare genetic syndromes showing unusual patterns of inheritance, Marcus helped Professor Jean Golding establish the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) - also known as 'Children of the 90s' - and subsequently became the project's Director of Genetics. ALSPAC is widely regarded as the most comprehensive general population birth cohort in the world, with a cell-lined backed DNA bank on more than 10,000 participants, their mothers and many fathers. Marcus has written more than 150 peer-reviewed papers in publications including Cell, the Lancet, Nature and Science. He has also written textbooks and guides for the general public, and has worked with the Nuffield Foundation on the development of its Science in Society course. The focus of his current research is environmental epigenomics and transgenerational responses, and this is a subject he has discussed on TV programmes including the Channel 4 series Brave New World with Stephen Hawking, on radio programmes including the BBC Radio 4 series Frontiers, and at such PET events as Does Genetics Matter? Help, Hype and the New Horizon of Epigenetics (which was the first public event to address epigenetics before a mixed lay and specialist audience) and The Best Possible Start in Life: The Robust and Responsive Embryo.


Professor Marcus Pembrey speaking at the Progress Educational Trust event 'Is There a Place for Race in Biology?' (photograph by Lahiru Dayananda)

At lectern: Professor Marcus Pembrey
Speaking at the Progress Educational Trust event Is There a Place for Race in Biology?
Photograph by Lahiru Dayananda


Professor Marcus Pembrey speaking at the Progress Educational Trust event 'Is There a Place for Race in Biology?' (photograph by Lahiru Dayananda)

At lectern: Professor Marcus Pembrey
Speaking at the Progress Educational Trust event Is There a Place for Race in Biology?
Photograph by Lahiru Dayananda


Dr Neil Bradman, Dr Jim Wilson, Dr Aarathi Prasad and Professor Marcus Pembrey speaking at the Progress Educational Trust event 'Is There a Place for Race in Biology?' (photograph by Lahiru Dayananda)

Left to right on speaker panel: Dr Neil Bradman, Dr Jim Wilson, Dr Aarathi Prasad, Professor Marcus Pembrey
Speaking at the Progress Educational Trust event Is There a Place for Race in Biology?
Photograph by Lahiru Dayananda


Dr Neil Bradman, Dr Jim Wilson, Dr Aarathi Prasad and Professor Marcus Pembrey speaking at the Progress Educational Trust event 'Is There a Place for Race in Biology?' (photograph by Lahiru Dayananda)

Left to right: Dr Neil Bradman, Dr Jim Wilson, Dr Aarathi Prasad, (at lectern) Professor Marcus Pembrey
Speaking at the Progress Educational Trust event Is There a Place for Race in Biology?
Photograph by Lahiru Dayananda


Dr Neil Bradman, Dr Jim Wilson, Dr Aarathi Prasad and Professor Marcus Pembrey speaking at the Progress Educational Trust event 'Is There a Place for Race in Biology?' (photograph by Lahiru Dayananda)

Left to right in background: Dr Neil Bradman, Dr Jim Wilson, Dr Aarathi Prasad, Professor Marcus Pembrey
Speaking at the Progress Educational Trust event Is There a Place for Race in Biology?
Photograph by Lahiru Dayananda


Kerry Dyus, Sandy Starr and Professor Marcus Pembrey at the Progress Educational Trust event 'Is There a Place for Race in Biology?' (photograph by Lahiru Dayananda)

Left to right: Kerry Dyus, Sandy Starr, Professor Marcus Pembrey
At the Progress Educational Trust event Is There a Place for Race in Biology?
Photograph by Lahiru Dayananda


Professor Marcus Pembrey speaking at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

At lectern: Professor Marcus Pembrey
Speaking at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Professor Marcus Pembrey, John Parsons and Sarah Norcross at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

Left to right: Professor Marcus Pembrey, John Parsons, Sarah Norcross
At the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Professor Marcus Pembrey at the Progress Educational Trust's celebration of the 10th anniversary and 500th edition of its free weekly email news digest, commentary service and website BioNews (photograph by Ben Jones)

Professor Marcus Pembrey
At the celebration of the 10th anniversary and 500th edition of the Progress Educational Trust's BioNews publication
Photograph by Ben Jones


Professor Marcus Pembrey speaking at the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Progress Educational Trust (photograph by Viscount Janric Craigavon)

Professor Marcus Pembrey
Speaking at the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Progress Educational Trust
Photograph by Viscount Janric Craigavon

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