A Biomedical Assistant at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) recently received a Cavell Star Award for her work on the 100,000 Genomes Project.

Rebecca Grenfell, 26, has consented over 200 patients to the project, which is sequencing genomes (all the information in a person’s DNA) to find out more about certain cancers and some rare diseases.

By understanding more about the causes of disease, there is the possibility of a genetic diagnosis for some rare disease participants, and more effective, personalised treatments for other people taking part.

Jo Gmerek, Senior Research Sister in Genomics, General Surgery and Paediatrics, said: “I’m delighted that Rebecca has won the Cavell Star Award, which is a fitting recognition for her hard work on the project over the last year.

“Rebecca’s background was in laboratory work, but she has quickly learned tremendous people skills in consenting patients, showing maturity and compassion far beyond expectations.

“Patients often offload their stress and anxiety they are feeling onto us, and Rebecca has dealt with all this amazingly well. Congratulations Rebecca!”

UHCW is one of 16 Trusts that form the West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre (WMGMC), one of 13 Centres created by NHS England.

“I’d really like to thank Jo both for nominating me and her support throughout my time working on the 100k project,” added Rebecca.

“It’s been fantastic to work on the 100,000 Genomes Project, which promises to change the way people are cared for, leading to personalised, more effective treatments for some.

“I’d also like to thank Sean James, Genomics Ambassador, for his work, and everyone taking part, as the project wouldn’t be possible without them.”

The WMGMC is the leading cancer recruiter to the 100,000 Genomes Project, and is also the second highest recruiter in terms of rare disease.

Nationally, more than 75,000 genomes have been sequenced.

The Cavell Star Awards are given to nurses, midwives or healthcare assistants who show exceptional care to their colleagues, patients, or patient’s families.

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