Monday, June 25, 2007

Angus Clarke, "I am aware of the paternal age effect in many disorders and in clearly this is the case in autism..."

Professor Angus Clarke
Principal Investigator and Professor in Clinical Genetics

Angus Clarke was born in 1954. He studied Medical and Natural Sciences in Cambridge, taking his Part II in Genetics, and then qualified in Medicine from Oxford University in 1979. After registration, he worked in general medicine and then paediatrics. As a research registrar in the Department of Medical Genetics in Cardiff, he studied the clinical and molecular genetic aspects of ectodermal dysplasia. Subsequently, he worked in clinical genetics and paediatric neurology in Newcastle upon Tyne, developing an interest in Rett syndrome and neuromuscular disorders.

He returned to Cardiff in 1989 as Senior Lecturer in Clinical Genetics. He is now Professor in Clinical Genetics. As well as teaching he also works as a clinician. With his colleague, Peter Harper, he wrote the book, Genetics, Society and Clinical Practice. He directs the Cardiff MSc course in Genetic Counselling.

Research interests:
social and ethical issues raised by advances in human genetics
the genetic counselling process

"I am aware of the paternal age effect in many disorders - and clearly in the case of autism, as with this one family. I am not aware of it in relation to autism in general - but there are cerainly a number of grounds for discouraging the deferral of child bearing to older ages (for men and women) including gene mutations, chromosome anomalies and reduced fertility. Education about the disbenefits of deferring child bearing is important but it is unclear how to achieve this as education is probably a weak force when it is asked to effect major change in a powerful social force.

Don't think that the problems of later child bearing are unrecognised - but if you have useful ways of addressing this then of course do share these"

Best wishes,

Angus Clarke

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