Dr Paul Brennan

Dr Paul Brennan is a Consultant in Clinical Genetics with the Northern Genetics Service, based at the International Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne. He provides a regional service for families affected by heritable cardiovascular diseases across three cities, in addition to leading the regional cancer genetics and endocrine genetics services. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University as well as a Consultant in Genomic Medicine.


Present Appointment

November 2002 to date



Current Post

Dr Brennan is one of seven NHS consultants working in the Northern Genetics Service. His first task as a new Consultant was to open the Teesside Genetics Unit at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, where he retains a clinical office and works with a team of consultants, genetic counselors and admin staff. He spends 2 days a week at the International Centre for Life in Newcastle where he enjoys a productive relationship with laboratory colleagues and academic staff within Newcastle University.


Clinical experience

Dr Brennan trained as an adult physician before undertaking further training in paediatrics and clinical genetics. His main areas of expertise are:

  • Cardiovascular genetics (congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia syndromes, aortic aneurysm syndromes and sudden adult death). He has been Clinical Lead for this diverse subspecialty form 15 years and provides clinics in 4 different locations within the region.
  • Cancer genetics. He has been Clinical Lead in Teesside for 16 years and has recently assumed the role of Clinical Lead for the whole North Eastern region. He developed one of the UK’s first nurse-led triage services for families affected by cancer. He has a particular interest in endocrine tumour syndromes.


Management Experience

  • Dr Brennan started his Consultant post as Clinical Lead of the Teesside Genetics Unit, developing a team and clinical services from scratch into a busy NHS department serving a population of one million.
  • In 2008, he was promoted to Clinical Director of the Northern Genetics Service, leading a large and diverse team of clinicians and scientists, providing genetic diagnosis, management and counseling to the population of North East England and North Cumbria. He held this post for 10 years, during which time he encountered almost every challenge conceivable ranging from staff and budget through to cutting-edge technological development.
  • In 2014, he was appointed Clinical Lead of the North East & North Cumbria NHS Genomic Medicine Centre and led both enrolment of patients into the 100,000 Genomes Project and the development of a regional genomics education strategy.
  • These posts taught him 3 valuable lessons: (1) that people with inherited diseases deserve better healthcare than they sometimes receive; (2) that technological improvements bring much potential but must be used with care and (3) the uptake of new technologies is highly variable and often inequitable.


Teaching and Education Experience

Dr Brennan is a passionate and busy teacher with years of experience teaching undergraduates, postgraduates and other professional groups. He has developed undergraduate genetics teaching in Malaysia and for cancer nurses in Germany. He has written over 50 medical papers and contributed to a number of well-respected textbooks.


Extra Curricular Activities

Dr Brennan has just completed his first novel, stimulated by his travels and interest in food!

For more information, see www.genomics.expert