Meet the G2NA Steering Group

Dr Kathleen Calzone and Dr Jean Jenkins from the USA, with Professor Maggie Kirk and Dr Emma Tonkin (UK) first started exploring the value of coordinated international effort to promote genomics in nursing in 2011. The team swiftly expanded to incorporate Professor Laurie Badzek (USA), Dr Caroline Benjamin and Dr Anna Middleton (both from the UK). Dr Christine Patch (UK) joined the Leadership Team in 2017, taking over as co-lead from Maggie Kirk in 2018.

The Steering Group Leads

Dr Kathleen Calzone (Co-lead)
Kathleen Calzone, PhD, RN, AGN-BC, FAAN, is a Research Geneticist in the Genetics Branch of the Center for Cancer Research (CCR) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She serves as the Vice Chair of the NCI Institutional Review Board [Ethics Board], and is the CCR Genomic Program Administrator for the implementation of the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy. She is certified in advanced genetic nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Calzone is a prior president of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics and also founded the Oncology Nursing Society Cancer Genetics Special Interest Group. She is chair of the Genetic/Genomic Nursing Competency Initiative which established the Essentials of Genomic and Genomic Nursing: Competencies, Curricular Guidelines, and Outcome Indicators, and the Genomic Nursing Science Blueprint. Dr. Calzone has sustained a research program in the translation of genetics/genomics into nursing research, practice and education.
Dr Christine Patch (Co-lead)
Dr Christine Patch PhD RN GCRB Registered Genetic Counsellor, has recently been appointed Clinical Lead for Genetic Counselling at Genomics England, Reader in Genomic Health Care in the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London and honorary Consultant Genetic Counsellor. Having started her career as a nurse she has spent the last ten years in the clinical genetics service at Guys Hospital as Consultant Genetic Counsellor and Manager. She has various academic collaborations exploring how best to use the advances in genetic technologies to benefit patients and families. As President of the European Society of Human Genetics her aim was to maintain this focus and highlight the importance of a multidisciplinary team promoting high quality genomic healthcare. Her previous role in the genetic clinic at Guys involved seeing patients and families as well as leading and developing the service. She has been a member of a number of committees being past Chair of the British Society for Human Genetics and member of the public policy committee of the European Society for Human Genetics. She has published peer reviewed articles and text books and maintains an active interest in the provision of genetic healthcare.

Steering Group Members

Dean and Professor Laurie Badzek
Laurie A. Badzek LLM, JD, MS, RN, FNAP, FAAN, is the Dean of the College of Nursing at Penn State University. Prior to coming to Penn State, she served as the Director of the UNCW School of Nursing in the College of Health and Human Services. Previous to her administrative positions she was a tenured professor at the West Virginia University (WVU) School of Nursing. She served the state of West Virginia in the School of Nursing and in a variety of nursing positions in the DHHS and WVU Hospitals for 30 years. Laurie earned her BSN and her JD from WVU Schools of Nursing and Law. While at the College of Law, she was a member of the Moot Court Board and inducted into both the Order of the Barristers and the Order of the Coif Honoraries. She is also a member of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honorary for research and scholarship. She received her MS in Nursing and her LLM in Health Care Law from DePaul University in Chicago. For nearly 18 years, Laurie was the director of the American Nurses Association (ANA) Center for Ethics and Human Rights retiring from that position in December 2017. She is considered a national and international leader and spokesperson on ethics and health care policy. She guided the revision of both the 2001 and the 2015 US Code of Ethics for Nurses. In addition, she participated in the development and revisions of the essential nursing competencies for genomics and was the PI on one of the largest US studies examining the translation of genomics to bedside care. As an active researcher, her interests have spanned ethical and legal health care issues including patient and family decision making, genomics, and professional healthcare ethics.
Dr Caroline Benjamin
Dr Benjamin PhD, RGN, RGC, BSc, MSc, is a Registered Nurse and a GCRB Registered Genetic Counsellor. She currently holds a Guild Fellowship (Healthcare Genetics), within the School of Nursing, at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). She has been involved in providing genetic counselling to NHS patients for the last 25 years and has clinical experience of the impact of new technologies over time on families with genetic conditions. She is a leader in the profession being on the Genetic Counsellor Registration Board and is involved in the development of the new training programme of Clinical Scientist: Genomic Counsellors for the National School of Healthcare Science. She sits on the European Society of Human Genetics Public and Professional Policy Committee, which raises awareness of genomic policy and ethical issues. Her research is into the psychosocial aspects of genetic conditions, the evaluation of different models of service delivery and genomic education. She is currently leading, on behalf of the North West Coast Genomic Medicine Centre, the National Evaluation of the Consent Process and Documentation in the 100,000 Genomes Project. Caroline is also part of the NHS Genetic Counselling team at the Merseyside and Cheshire Clinical Genetics Service, part of the North West Coast Genomic Medicine Centre hosted by the Liverpool Women’s NHS Trust, UK.
Dr Maggie Kirk
Until her retirement in January 2018, Maggie Kirk PhD, BSc Hons, DipN, RGN, SFHEA, FRCN, worked as Professor of Genetics Education at the Genomics Policy Unit (GPU), University of South Wales, where she was also Faculty Head of Research from 2006-2013. Formerly a mammalian geneticist, Maggie moved into nursing in 1985 and worked in coronary care after qualifying. She commenced her career in higher education in 1992, taking up her post at the GPU in 1996. Since then Maggie has explored the impact of advances in genomic technologies on healthcare, assessing the implications for nurses and midwives in particular. From 2004-2012, she led the UK nursing programme for the NHS National Genetics Education and Development Centre and from 2013-2014, Maggie served as President of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics. As one of the founder co-leads of G2NA with Dr Kathy Calzone, in retirement, Maggie retains her interest in G2NA and the role of nurses in genomics healthcare.
Dr Anna Middleton
Dr Anna Middleton PhD, MSc, RGC, has had two parallel careers – the first as a practising genetic counsellor, the second as a social scientist exploring the impact of genetic technology on people. Also a Professor/Affiliate Lecturer at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Anna currently works at the Wellcome Genome Campus in Cambridge, UK leading the social sciences research as Head of Society and Ethics. She is continually asking: ‘how is genomics impacting on people?’ and aims to find evidence-based ways to make genomics resonate for patients and their families. She is a previous vice-chair of the Genetic Counsellor Registration Board (UK and ROI) and a current committee member of the Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors, serving as Chair from April 2018. Together with genetic counselling colleagues she has co-written the core curriculum for training genetic counsellors in the UK. Follow Anna on Twitter at @genomethics.
Dr Emma Tonkin
Emma Tonkin PhD, BSc Hons, is a Senior Research Fellow within the Genomics Policy Unit (GPU) at the University of South Wales, UK. She has a background in human genetics (molecular biology, gene mapping and identification), completing her PhD following periods of research at the Universities of Cardiff and Aberdeen and postdoctoral research at the Institute of Human Genetics, Newcastle University. She moved to the GPU in 2005 where her research position ran concurrently (until 2012) with her role as Education Development Officer for the Nursing Professions Programme at the NHS National Genetics Education and Development Centre. Emma’s work focuses on health professional education and engagement, and service development initiatives for mainstreaming genetics/genomics. She regularly teaches nursing and midwifery students at the university and has been closely involved in the design, development and expansion of the free online genetics teaching and learning resource Telling Stories, Understanding Real Life Genetics aimed at health professionals working outside specialist genetic services. Emma has been a Board member of the International Society for Nurses in Genetics and she currently manages training and development events for Research Capacity Building Collaboration (RCBC) Wales, a scheme for nurses, midwives, pharmacists and allied health professionals.

G2NA Aims and Objectives

Accelerating integration of genomics across everyday nursing practice


G2NA as the unified international voice for advancing and integrating genomics across nursing practice


Supporting the nursing profession to realise its full potential through integrating genomics across nursing practice to improve healthcare for all

Agree and prioritise

the collaborative efforts needed to realise a Roadmap that lays out how to integrate genomics across nursing education, practice and research