Understanding Rare Chromosome and Gene Disorders
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Claire Andersen

Scientific Communications Officer

I discovered Unique when my sister’s gorgeous youngest daughter, Tilly, was diagnosed with Tetrasomy 9p. While very little information was made available to her upon diagnosis, fortunately a friend of mine who works as a paediatrician recommended getting in touch with Unique. As a doctor, she knew how valuable the accurate and compassionate information provided by Unique was to families. Finally, someone could offer the support and information that is so crucial to families of children with rare chromosome disorders and my sister became a member.

A chance meeting with our now CEO, Sarah Wynn, at the Unique Garden at the Hampton Court Flower Show in 2015 gave me the opportunity to find out more about how I could help with the charity’s invaluable work and led to a memorable meeting with the truly inspirational Prisca Middlemiss. I soon began working for Unique on a voluntary basis helping to update guides, including those to Tetrasomy 9p, 14q deletions, Diploidy Triploidy and 10p deletions from p11 and p12.

My professional background has included working as a research scientist – specialising in vaccine research – and I have a BSc in Human Genetics and a PhD in Immunology. After having my daughter, Emily, I retrained and worked as a secondary school science teacher before having my son, Kasper. Genetics has always been close to my heart and when the opportunity to continue working for Unique in a more formal capacity was presented, it seemed like the perfect match. In February 2017, I officially joined the Unique team as a part-time scientific communications officer, primarily involved in updating and writing new guides. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is the contact it gives me with Unique’s members and I can’t emphasise enough how valuable the information and personal experiences you share with us are. Thank you!

Claire Andersen BSc (Hons) PhD