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Medical Genetic Counsellors

Tina Wessels


I obtained my undergrad degree in Genetics (BSc(Agric)Animal Genetics) from the University of Pretoria.  I went on and did an Honours in Genetics also at the University of Pretoria. As I was always interested in working with people I enrolled for the Masters degree in Genetic Counselling offered at the University of the Witwatersrand.  I obtained my MSc(Med) in Genetic Counselling in 1997 and worked as a genetic counsellor in the department of Human Genetics at Wits. I then briefly joined the National department of Health (1998 to 2000) but missed the clinical contact with patients and returned to Wits.  In 2001, I was appointed Manager Clinical Genetics in the Division Human Genetics at the National Health Laboratory Service and the University of the Witwatersrand.  My duties included providing a genetic counselling service to private and state patients, co-facilitating the MSc(Med) genetic counselling course, teaching and research. I obtained my PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2013.  My PhD was conducted in association with the Health Communications Project and examined the communication aspects of the Genetic Counselling process in our antenatal multicultural context.  I joined the Division of Human Genetics at UCT on 1 April 2014 as senior lecturer in Genetic Counselling.  Together with Prof Jacquie Greenberg, we run the Masters programme in Genetic Counselling and I am involved in other undergrad and postgraduate teaching.  In addition to my academic role, I am involved in clinical service and counsel patients from Groote Schuur and Red Cross Children’s Hospital

PhD Project Title: “Dental Implications of Genetic and congenital Intellectual Disability in Cape Town”

Supervisors: Prof. P Beighton & Prof. L Stevens