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Dr Saskia Sanderson
  • Senior Research Fellow
  • Clinical Epidemiology
  • Institute of Health Informatics
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Saskia C Sanderson PhD is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Health Informatics at University College London (UCL).  She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, US.  She holds a PhD from UCL on psychosocial issues in genetic testing for complex disease susceptibility and is a Chartered Health Psychologist.  After completing her PhD, Dr Sanderson was awarded a joint MRC and ESRC Interdisciplinary Research Training Postdoctoral Fellowship, which she completed at the UCL Centre for Cardiovascular Genetics.  She then moved to the US to complete a post-doctoral fellowship in the Social and Behavioral Research Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), NIH, Bethesda.  She subsequently took up an Assistant Professor position at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where she worked for four years before moving back to the UK.  While in the US, Dr Sanderson was one of the Principal Investigators on the ENGAGE project (Engaging Neighborhoods in General and Personalized Genomics Education), a Co-Investigator on the NHGRI-funded project ‘Biorepositories for Genomic Medicine in Diverse Communities,’ and a member of the Consent, Education, Regulation and Consultation workgroup of the eMERGE (Electronic Medical Records and Genomics) II Network. In the UK, Dr Sanderson has spent the last three years working as a Senior Research Social Scientist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she contributed to research on informed consent and decision-making in the 100,000 Genomes Project. She also worked on the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) -funded PROMISE (Predicting Risk of Ovarian Malignancies, Improved Screening and Early Detection) research programme with Professor Ian Jacobs and Dr Ranjit Manchanda, where she focused on the development of a decision aid to help women make informed choices about stratified ovarian cancer risk-management.  Currently, Dr Sanderson's research interests include patient-reported outcomes of secondary findings from genome sequencing, and how to communicate polygenic risk scores for complex multifactorial conditions to patients in ways that they will understand and lead to maximal benefits and minimal harms.  

Research Themes
Research Summary

Dr Sanderson works at the intersection between genomics, communication and behaviour.  Her research focuses on the cognitive, emotional and behavioural impact of providing individuals with personal genomic information.  She also works on the upstream communication of complex genomic information and helping patients to make informed decisions about receiving personal genomic results.  

Academic Background
2005 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Psychology and Genetics University College London
1997 BSc Hons Bachelor of Science (Honours) – Psychology University of Birmingham
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