Certificate in Cancer Genetics

CPD Credits60

Gain a postgraduate qualification in clinical cancer genetics

Apply now for the Certificate in Cancer Genetics - a six-month online, self-paced programme aimed at healthcare professionals or scientists working in cancer care or have an interest in cancer genetics. It includes a live webinar with international experts on 1 April 2022. You can book onto this course and start it at any time.

The National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 has acknowledged the acute need to upskill in this area and this programme offers formal post-graduate training on the topic of cancer genomics.

Upskill in this growing area

  • Learn how to use genomic testing to inform treatment decisions and optimise patient outcomes
  • Understand how to make more informed screening recommendations for higher risk individuals.
  • Gain the skills to correctly interpret genomic test results to inform patient management
  • Understand the ethical and legal considerations when using genomic technology

Hear from experts in the field

On 1 April 2022, a live interactive webinar will be held as part of this course.

  • Ms Ellen Matloff, MS, CGC, Genetic Counsellor, former director of cancer genetic counselling program at Yale, President & CEO of My Gene Counsel and contributor to Forbes magazine.
  • Dr Catherine Goudie, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Member of Human Genetics, Oncology and Experimental Medicine at McGill University, and Staff Physician in Division of Hematology and Oncology at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Dr Goudie will speak about hereditary cancer syndromes that present in children and young adults, and how digital technology can be used to assist clinicians in identifying these syndromes
  • Dr Terri McVeigh, Consultant Clinical Geneticist in the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Clinical Lead for this Certificate in Cancer Genetics.
  • Dr Mark A. Lewis, Director of Gastrointestinal Oncology, Intermountain Healthcare, Utah, USA. Dr Lewis has a specialist interest in neuroendocrine tumours, and is a patient as well as a physician, having multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) himself. This unique insight informs his work as a physician and patient advocate.

Other speakers and agenda will be confirmed in due course.

Is this course for you?

This course is aimed at all healthcare professionals/scientists working in cancer care, including, but not limited to the following groups:

  • Medical Oncologists and doctors with an interest in this area or who are training in this area
  • Surgeons and surgical trainees
  • Radiation Oncologists or doctors training in this area
  • Obstetricians/Gynaecologists with an interest in cancer or those in training in this area.
  • Pathologists – involved in molecular tumour testing or those interested in genetics
  • General Practitioners interested in cancer care
  • Public health doctors with an interest in cancer care
  • Nurse specialists working in Oncology or cancer care
  • Genetic Counsellors
  • Clinical Scientists interest in the area of cancer genetics or doctors involved in genetic research
  • Paediatricians working with cancer patients

70 healthcare professionals working in cancer care have already signed up.

“This course is really well put together and a very enjoyable educational experience. The online format allows for great flexibility. It gives you the opportunity to advance your career, in developing an understanding of a rapidly expanding field that will be fundamental as personalised medicine becomes more mainstream.”

Dr Jana McHugh, Radiation Oncologist, MB BCh BAO MRCPI FFRCSI

"An excellent and comprehensive course for all clinicians in the field of cancer. The course material is laid out in a user-friendly manner, is underpinned by sound educational principles - all of which combined with the ability to complete the modules in one’s own time maximises the learning potential."

Dr Michael Capra, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist, Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin

“I highly recommend this course for all health care professionals who treat patients with cancer. Everyday oncology practice is now employing more and more tumour DNA sequencing. The interpretation and significance of identified variants is key to making appropriate treatment plans and managing expectations. This course is a perfect introduction to cancer genetics and variant interpretation by experts in this field. It should be considered an essential part of oncology education and continuing professional development.”

Dr Dearbhaile Collins, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Cork University Hospital and Senior Lecturer in Cancer Research, University College Cork.

What you will learn

You will gain an enhanced understanding of the impact of germline and somatic genetic variation in development, progress, and treatment of cancer in a programme developed and delivered by recognised experts in the field. You will develop competence and confidence in the recognition, counselling, consenting and testing of patients with germline predisposition to cancer, as well as the interpretation and critical analysis of tumour-based genetic testing.

On completion of this programme, you will be able to:

  • Explain the molecular mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis
  • Discriminate between clinically actionable and non-actionable germline and/or somatic variants
  • Recognise signs and symptoms of cancer predisposition syndrome
  • Implement improved risk assessments and direct preventative strategies in patients at higher risk
  • Discuss technical aspects and limitations of different genetic testing technologies
  • Describe the benefit genetic counselling and testing in patient care
  • Outline the medicolegal and ethical implications of genetic testing

Format of course delivery

This distance learning programme contains six modules with online formal learning material, including clinical scenarios and guidelines and videos. There will be an interactive live webinar with international experts on 1 April 2022.

Time Commitment

Applications are open now and you can begin the course at any time. Assuming participants complete at least two to three hours of online coursework per week, the Certificate takes about six months to complete. Each module concludes with an end-of-module assessment.


This project was supported by unrestricted Educational Grant 241734273 by the following:

  • Roche Products (Ireland) Limited
  • Novartis Ireland Limited.
  • Hermitage Medical Clinic

Delivered by leading experts in cancer genetics

Dr Terri McVeigh, Consultant Clinical Geneticist

Dr Terri McVeigh is the clinical lead for this programme.

About Dr Terri McVeigh

Dr McVeigh is a Consultant Clinical Geneticist in the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, specialising in Cancer Genetics. She also holds an Honorary Associate Faculty position in the Institute of Cancer Research.

Dr McVeigh undertook undergraduate medical training, postgraduate core surgical training and Higher Specialist Training in Clinical Genetics in Ireland. Her specialist training was funded by the Health Research Board/Health Service Executive National Academic SpR Fellowship Programme, with research fellowships in Yale University, New Haven, USA, and in QIMR Berghofer, Brisbane Australia. She also undertook a Clinical Research Fellowship in the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and subsequently took up a consultant post there in 2018.

She was awarded a PhD from National University of Ireland, Galway for her work investigating the translational applications of genomic profiling for risk estimation, prognostication and treatment of breast cancer. She also holds a Certificate in Medical Genetics (RCPath) and Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Science (NUI Galway).

Dr McVeigh has a special interest in teaching, and holds a Masters in Clinical Education. She now acts as a core tutor on the Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Education in NUI Galway. She is also a core tutor of the Molecular Pathology of Cancer and Application in Cancer Diagnosis, Screening, and Treatment Module of the ICR -led MSc in Genomic Medicine (Imperial College London), and regularly supervises and examines postgraduate research projects. 

Dr McVeigh keenly supports patient engagement and education. She developed and curates a patient information website (www.cancergenetics.ie). She is also a member of the medical advisory board of the Ovacome Ovarian Cancer charity in the UK.

She is a member of the Council and Social Media/Communications of the Cancer Genetics Group of the British Society of Genomic Medicine.

Ellen Matloff, MS, CGC, Genetic Counsellor

Ellen Matloff, MS, CGC is the President and CEO of My Gene Counsel. Ellen is the founder and former director of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Program at Yale School of Medicine.

Ellen has authored more than 50 scientific publications in the field; is an established educator, lecturer, and media spokesperson; and has received national awards for her ongoing patient advocacy efforts. She is an outspoken patient advocate in many areas, most notably as a plaintiff in the 2013 BRCA gene patent case that went before the Supreme Court in 2013. This decision led to drastically lower prices of genetic testing, making it possible for more patients to afford this technology.

As genetic testing became more common and also more complex, she served as the senior author on several publications documenting national errors in the misinterpretation of genetic test results. From these experiences, Ellen created My Gene Counsel and its associated digital tools that can be used in parallel with genetic testing to help ensure that results are used accurately and effectively.

Catherine Goudie, MD FRCPC

Dr. Catherine Goudie is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Member of Human Genetics, Oncology and Experimental Medicine at McGill University. She is a staff physician in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. She is also a clinician-investigator at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.

Mark A. Lewis, MD

Dr Mark A. Lewis is the Director of Gastrointestinal Oncology at Intermountain Healthcare in Utah. He received his medical degree, completed his internal medicine residency, and served as chief resident at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. After completing a hematology/oncology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, he returned to Houston to work at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for four years, with a dual appointment in general and gastrointestinal medical oncology. He is also the co-chair of adolescent & young adult (AYA) oncology in the SWOG cooperative group, currently serving a five-year term in that position.

During his training, he self-diagnosed himself with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) and so has a particular and deeply personal interest in hereditary tumor syndromes. Additionally, he is passionate about advocacy and research for GI cancer, social media in oncology and patient-clinician communication.

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