Prof Karen Temple, theme lead for data science

KarenTemple175x175A clinical geneticist and researcher specialising in medical genetics, Professor Temple leads our NIHR Biomedical Research Centre’s research into the use of large datasets for personalised medicine.


Professor Temple’s research builds on a long standing interest in the genetics and epigenetics of human developmental syndromes, including children with developmental delay, poor growth and those born with congenital malformations.

Childhood developmental disorders

Prof Temple is an internationally recognised clinical academic, educator and research leader in epigenomics, genomic imprinting, rare developmental disorders and genomics medicine.

She is recognised for her identification of new genetic imprinting syndromes including Temple syndrome, a condition with marked short stature and late onset obesity which has overlap with Prader Willi and Russell Silver syndrome.

She has pioneered research into the genetic causes of transient neonatal diabetes (TND), work that has changed the treatment for newborn babies with diabetes, and runs the Diabetes UK TND national register. 

Leader in medical genetics

Prof Temple is co-lead of the Wessex Genome Medicine Centre, which is offering a genome test to NHS patients with inherited rare diseases and cancer as part of the 100,000 Genomes Project. The genome centre is establishing testing in clinical settings across Wessex and leading research to understand how genetic variation changes human development and predisposes to disease.

She leads the Clinical Genetics Research forum, which comprises clinicians and counsellors with an academic interest, and academics with a clinical genetics role. The group meet regularly to develop research in the clinical department and translate new discoveries for patients.

She is the clinical research lead for the Wessex Imprinting group, a University NHS partnership was established in 2006 which offers diagnostic testing and runs research programs for families with imprinting disorders throughout the UK.


Prof Temple has a distinguished track record of leadership as director of the academic unit of Human Development and Health and Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of Southampton, and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Genetics at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

She is an experienced clinical geneticist, having been a Consultant since 1990 and she plays a major-role in developing the Wessex Genetics Service. This serves a population of over 3 million people in Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire.

She has led on the development for UK Clinical Genetics services, one of the chairs of the national dysmorphology group, and was also past President of the Clinical Genetics Society.