Dr Christopher M. Watson

Dr Christopher M. Watson


I am a HCPC registered Clinical Scientist leading NHS research and development activities in the Translational Genomics Unit (a DNA sequencing facility established jointly between the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust).

I initially studied at The University of Manchester where I was awarded an undergraduate degree in molecular biology (2006) and PhD in human genetics (2009). This period included a research appointment at the Mayo Clinic (Florida, USA). I then moved to Leeds to undertake clinical scientist training, attaining a postgraduate certificate of competence in clinical molecular genetics (2011) before passing The Royal College of Pathologists part 1 examinations in 2018.

My academic interests focus on the diagnostic application of emerging DNA sequencing technologies. This work is closely aligned with rare disease research programmes established within the city. I have extensive experience of approaches used to identify novel disease genes and the limitations of these techniques.

Recent studies have focussed on the diagnostic utility of long-read nanopore sequencing, for the identification of structural variants at nucleotide resolution. A particular interest is the use of CRISPR-Cas9 for large fragment target enrichment.


  • Part 1 in Molecular Genetics, The Royal College of Pathologists
  • PhD Human Genetics, The University of Manchester
  • BSc (Hons) Molecular Biology, The University of Manchester

Professional memberships

  • The British Society for Genetic Medicine
  • The Royal College of Pathologists
  • Association for Clinical Genomic Science; Science & Technology Committee, 2013 - present

Student education

I lecture on the Molecular Medicine MSc course (Human Molecular Genetics MEDM5111M).

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's
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