Dr Swinburne grew up in the North-East of England, but relocated to East Anglia in her early twenties and has lived there ever since. She is married with two children and an elderly cat, and lives in a village in the Cambridgeshire countryside on the edge of the fens.
“My whole working life has been committed to genetics. I studied at Edinburgh University, where I obtained an Honours degree in Molecular Genetics, and then spent four happy years working towards my PhD at the John Innes Institute in Norwich. I then spent two years at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute where I was involved in large scale DNA sequencing projects which paved the way for the sequencing of the human genome.
“From 1995 until 2011, I worked as a geneticist at the Animal Health Trust near Newmarket. As a Principal Investigator, I led the project to identify the mutation causing the fatal disease ‘Foal Immunodeficiency Syndrome’. This dreadful disease, in which the foal is left with no defences to fend off infection, can now be prevented by DNA testing breeding stock.
"I also led research into the genetic basis for defects found in the Thoroughbred racehorse, and also hypersensitivity responses in the horse such as Heaves and Sweet Itch.”
Dr Swinburne has published extensively in peer-reviewed academic journals. She has wide-ranging laboratory experience in the techniques required for inherited disease diagnostic testing and parentage verification in domestic animals, and is thrilled to be leading this laboratory.
“I am greatly enjoying applying my experience to running this testing laboratory and ensuring a first-rate service for my customers.”