BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, MSc Human Nutrition, Graduate Certificate Genetic Counselling
Louise works alongside Professor Allan Spigelman, Consultant at St Vincent’s Hereditary Cancer Clinic. They work with patients and family members to assess the chance of there being an inherited predisposition to cancer in the family. Together they compose an extensive family tree, which is used to assess this risk.
Some families are then offered genetic testing with discussions around what this information will mean for themselves and their family members. The Clinic aims to find the particular genetic cause of cancer in each family. If this is found, unaffected family members can then be offered genetic testing to find out if they have inherited an increased risk of cancer. If so advice is offered on evidence based personalised strategies to reduce this risk.
The ethos of the Clinic is early detection or prevention of cancer by helping people to understand their risk of cancer and how to reduce it. The Clinic also facilitates rapid genetic testing for patients and their doctors who will use this information to make decisions about future treatments and surgeries. The team endeavours to supply a timely, high quality, equitable service and to contribute to ongoing research in the field.
The St Vincent’s Hereditary Cancer Clinic team has an interest in facilitating recruitment for anybody who is eligible and willing to participate in genetic research into their particular condition. The Clinic is also linked with the pancreatic cancer research team at the Garvan
Louise trained as a genetic counsellor in Newcastle, Australia in 2002 and then worked for the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute with a team that was researching the genetics of heart muscle disease. She then took a job at Newcastle University in the UK on an international clinical trial called the CAPP2 study, combining her interests in genetics and nutrition. This was a large genetically targeted personalised study to find out if aspirin and a dietary supplement called resistant starch could reduce the incidence of bowel cancer and polyps in people that have an inherited risk. Louise also did further training and gained valuable experience as a cancer genetic counsellor in a large NHS genetics unit.
Louise holds the following memberships:
Member of the Human Genetics Society of Australia (HGSA)
Member of the Australasian Society of Genetic Counsellors
New South Wales Oncology Group Cancer Genetics Group
NSW Cancer Institute EviQ Cancer Genetics Reference Committee
Member of InSiGHT (International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours)