UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Meet the team

UCL Genomics team

Dr Mark Kristiansen

UCL Genomics Facility Manager

After studying in Liverpool and Munich, I then completed a PhD and post-doc in Clinical Neuroscience at the UCL Institute of Neurology focusing on the molecular mechanisms of prion disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. My next project at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health used the latest genomic technologies to investigate the molecular mechanisms of neuronal apoptosis. I joined the UCL Genomics facility in 2010 where I am currently the Centre Manager. I am also the Programme Teaching Fellow for the MSc Cell and Gene Therapy course (and module lead in Applied Genomics) run from this institute as well as the Co-Director of the MSc Personalised Medicine and Novel Therapies programme.

Tony Brooks

Applications Specialist

Lead in Sequencing, Automation and Data handling

I joined UCL Genomics in 2009 and I am currently a senior applications specialist in sequencing, automation and data analysis.

Dr Paola Niola

Application Specialist

Lead in Sequencing and Quality Control

I studied at the University of Cagliari (Italy) where I completed a degree in Biology and a PhD in Neuroscience, focusing on the genetic role of microRNAs as peripheral biomarker in bipolar suicide patients. During my PhD, I had the opportunity to spend three months at the Advance Sequencing Facility at the Francis Crick Institute (London, UK) where I gained expertise in next generation sequencing. I joined UCL Genomics in April 2016 where I am a lead applications specialist in QC platforms and sequencing, mainly dealing with sample quality control and sequencing projects (library preparation and sequencing) using Illumina platforms.


Gaganjit Madhan Kaur

Applications Specialist

Lead in Microarrays (genotyping) 

I graduated from Imperial College London with a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences and then undertook a Master's course in drug discovery and development from London School of Pharmacy, UCL. During my Master's course I had the opportunity to be part of an early drug discovery project at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). My project looked at biophysical characterization of ligand binding to epigenetic reader domains. Soon after graduation, I joined ICH under the HIGH-5 project, which aims to address a major challenge in the understanding of rare childhood diseases by integrating genomic, clinical and molecular phenotype information from patients. I joined UCL Genomics in 2016 as an Application Specialist (microarrays).


Leysa Forrest

Applications Specialist

Lead in Extractions and microarrays (methylation) 

I hold a BSc in Molecular Biology from Royal Holloway, University of London and an MSc in Cell and Gene Therapy from UCL GOS ICH. I joined the UCL Genomics team in June 2019 as an Applications Specialist, working mainly with automated extraction projects, microarrays for methylation profiling and genotyping as well as sample quality control. I love working at UCL Genomics because we work as one big team and it gives me the chance to collaborate on a diverse array of fascinating projects, so no two days are ever the same!


Danesh Sundar

Research Student

I am in my final year of my undergraduate degree at UCL, studying Applied Medical Science. After taking an optional module in Applied Genomics, my interest in this field grew into a fascination and I now hope to pursue a career in the field of genomics and bioinformatics. I am currently based at UCL Genomics, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health researching the differential gene expression of cells, taken from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia patients, when treated with various drugs. I enjoy working at the GOS ICH as part of an amazing team, and each day there is something new to learn.


Former members of the team

Yasmin Panchbhaya

Applications Specialist, Lead in Microarrays (Methylation) 2016-2019

I am a Human Genetics graduate of the University of Nottingham. I joined UCL Genomics in 2016 from Illumina Ltd., where I was a subject matter expert in NGS for the UCAM pilot study - part of the 100,000 genomes project. I joined the facility at UCL to continue my scientific career and my role combines in-depth microarray work with a solid understanding of a vast array of laboratory robotic systems such as the Hamilton and Tecan. The ICH is a great place to work as part of a wonderful team and each day brings a new challenge.