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RD&E scientists celebrate Healthcare Science Week


Members of the public had the chance hear first-hand about the benefits of science to healthcare at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital during national Healthcare Science Week (14th-17th March). 

Scientists and staff from the South West NHS Genomic Medicine Centre (GMC), which is hosted by the RD&E, were on hand to answer questions about their pioneering work and how it is already benefiting patients, at an information stand in the hospital’s Oasis restaurant throughout the week. 

A key focus of the event was to raise awareness of the ground-breaking 100,000 Genomes Project, which is gathering samples from around 70,000 people nationwide who have a rare disease or cancer. This project will create a database of DNA sequence data, linked with anonymised medical records, allowing approved scientists access to a unique data set which will enable new medical research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of disease.

The team were also promoting potential career pathways for Healthcare Scientists within the NHS, including raising awareness about the exciting new MSc in Genomic Medicine at the University of Exeter, which can be completed part-time and is fully-funded for a limited time by Health Education England. Individual modules can also be studied for Continued Professional Development or a PGCert.

Verity Fryer, Trainee Healthcare Scientist (Clinical Bioinformatics - Genomics) at the RD&E said: “Healthcare Scientists make up just 5% of the overall NHS workforce however their work contributes to 80% of diagnoses made. Healthcare Science Week is a fantastic opportunity to focus on some of the projects and initiatives that healthcare scientists are involved in, across more than 50 disciplines.”

Adrian Harris, Medical Director at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, added: “This is an excellent opportunity to highlight some of the important work happening in Exeter and for the public to learn more about how scientific careers can help benefit the care patients receive.”

The event was just one of hundreds of ‘open house’ events being held at NHS Trusts across the country to mark national Healthcare Science Week. Healthcare Science Week is organised annually as an opportunity to educate and excite people about the work of their healthcare science community and the vital role they play in patient care and treatment.


To find out more about the exciting range of careers in healthcare science visit


For further information about the MSc Genomic Medicine or opportunities to gain a PGCert or CPD credits please visit


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